Saturday, October 1, 2011

All-expenses-paid Expedition Looking for Young Explorers! Do You Have What It Takes?

UPDATE - 2011.11.14

Young explorer goes on trip of a lifetime

Aya Anholt, 15, a student at Balmoral junior secondary in North Vancouver, is taking part in a three-week expedition around the Florida coastline as part of Mike Horn's Young Explorers Programme. Anholt was one of eight youths chosen from around the world to accompany Horn, a seasoned explorer, on the trip.

Photograph by: News Photo, Paul McGrath

MANY kids hope to grow up and go on exciting adventures, but one North Vancouver teen won't have to wait any longer.

Balmoral junior secondary's Aya Anholt, 15, was one of eight students chosen from around the world to accompany extreme explorer Mike Horn on an expedition on the Gulf of Mexico aboard his boat, Pangaea, Nov. 14-Dec. 5.

Horn, who is known for such trips as Latitude Zero during which he circumnavigated the world along the equator without motorized transportation, started the Young Explorers Programme in 2009 to raise awareness about environmental issues amongst youth. The program's mantra is to explore, learn and act and so far nine journeys have taken place in locations such as the Antarctic Peninsula, the Himalayas, India and Nunavut. This month's excursion will take a closer look at the wetlands in Southern Florida.

"The idea is to raise awareness once we get back about the oil spill that took place in 2010," explains Anholt, adding the trip will include a 10-day kayak tour of the Everglades.

"We'll be taking water samples, looking at the acidity and the temperature and . . . maybe implementing a couple of projects while we're there."

Anholt first came across Horn when he visited Vancouver on his ship in the summer. After applying to be part of the Young Explorers Programme, she was invited to attend a selection camp in Switzerland along with 14 other hopefuls. That was a great experience in and of itself, says Anholt.

"It was amazing. You're with 14 upbeat passionate youth that have a common interest and goal and you learn so much."

While staying in a tiny town in the Swiss Alps, the teens participated in environmental workshops and went through physical and mental testing, including a 400-question personality test.

Anholt, who was born in Japan and moved to the North Shore as a child, says she hasn't done much travelling but is very much looking forward to the expedition.

"I'm really excited to do tons of outdoor activities with these awesome people I met in Switzerland and really get to know Mike Horn. He has pretty amazing stories," she says.

The group will be blogging about their expedition at www.

Read more:

mike horn young explorers on canadian glacier
Photo: Mike Horn Young Explorers Program
South African explorer Mike Horn faces a surprising conundrum: Three years into his Pangaea Project, a four-year round-the-world expedition that promises to chisel young adventurers into global ambassadors for the planet, he is still receiving a dearth of U.S. applicants. The news is a little confounding, considering that in addition to being a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students between the ages of 15 and 20, the impossible-to-replicate-on-your-own, all-expenses-paid expedition is worth roughly $20,000.
young explorers program on pangaea
Photo: Young Explorers Program
“We’re not looking for a super jock or even a kid who is necessarily very well traveled,” says Pangaea spokesperson Mary Buckheit. “The focus is on authenticity—a kid who cares about the environment and sustainability, is active and healthy, and will share his message after the expedition is over. This is not about whether this experience will look good on a college application. And it’s not a vacation.”
With 8 of the 12 expeditions—which have included exploring the ice-cut fjords of New Zealand, the mangrove estuaries of India, and the Gobi desert of Mongolia—successfully completed, and applicants for the upcoming expedition to the Everglades already selected, Horn has only two more expeditions to fill: One to the Brazilian Amazon next April and one to East Africa in July.
Think you’ve got what it takes? Check out the Pangaea Application.
If you’re one of 16 selected from roughly 125 applicants from around the globe, Horn will bring you to his training camp in the Swiss Alps, where you’ll be fitness-tested, learn mapping skills, and begin your environmental education. For a quick recap on what goes on, check out the below.

At the end of the two-week camp, Horn and his crew select the lucky eight.
mike horn young explorers program
Mike Horn teaching the crew. Photo: Young Explorers Program.
So what’s the secret to being selected? According to Henry Stanislaw, the only American student out of two men and four women on Pangaea’s 2008 maiden Antarctica voyage, it all boils down to outlook. “Attitude is everything,” Stanislaw says. “Like any expedition, a positive attitude makes all the difference.”

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