Scouts mark centenary of Shackleton’s departure for Antarctica
A team of ten Scouts officially launched their Antarctic Research Project – ReQuest2021 – in London on board the 100-year-old Thames barge, the Lady Daphne.
This included Sam Payne a Network member with North East Scotland Scouts, originally from Inverurie.
The Lady Daphne was part of a flotilla of half-a-dozen Scout boats that made their way from Greenwich and then under Tower Bridge – which opened its famous bridge spans – into the Pool of London to mark the launch of the Scout’s ReQuest2021, Antarctica Project.
The Scouts on board Lady Daphne were hand-picked for their personal research projects on topics spanning climate change, the arts and science.
Sam will be researching the links between the ocean currents and climate change, communicating this to a wide audience and aim to establish a legacy citizen science project.
He is working with support from the British Antarctic Survey and European Argo Network, by deploying seven Argo floats that will remotely send back data, and build on a large pre-existing network within Antarctica.
Launching ReQuest2021 the Honourable Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Sir Ernest Shackleton, said: “I am enormously impressed by the attitude, dedication and attention to detail that these ten members of Scouting have shown.
"It will be a truly life-changing experience for each and every one of them.
"I am very much looking forward to learning more about their individual projects and how we can work together to educate more people around the world about the need to protect our fragile polar ecosystem.”
The 23-day expedition will begin on December 30 with the 2000km+ voyage on board Bark Europa from Ushuaia, Argentina, crossing the infamous Drake Passage, to the Antarctic Peninsula which the Scouts will be exploring for two weeks.
Whilst in Antarctica, as well as working on their projects, the team will get to help crew the tall ship and to visit the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust base of Port Lockroy.
They will also make a number of landings to study wildlife and carry out some ice trekking through dramatic scenery.
Sam said: “I have been involved with Scouts since a young person which has been fundamental in shaping me as a person and giving me the skills needed for life.
"Scouts helped me to appreciate the outdoors, ask the big questions in life and helped me explore science, being part of Scouts has lead me to take on this massive challenge.
"It’s great privilege to be representing the North East of Scotland, in this once in a lifetime expedition.”
Dougie Simmers, Regional Commissioner for North East Scotland Scouts, added: “ReQuest 2021 shows how far a Scout can go in the movement.
"Antarctica is a place where only a select few people ever get to experience first-hand and now Sam will be one of them following his time as a Scout in the North East of Scotland.”
To support Sam’s expedition, check out www.facebook.com/sampaynerequest