AORE Association News June 2016 - Page 13

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By Jeremy Oyen, AORE Secretary, REI Outdoor Programs and Outreach

Over the past years as a guide and outdoor educator, I have had the opportunity to go to many interesting and inspiring places. It is quite common for people to ask "what are you going to be doing?" when they hear about these exploits and it is quite easy to simply tell them that I will be guiding, teaching, or just doing the activities that will be happening on the trip. The common response to hearing about the trip is how people think a guideā€™s job is awesome, which of course it is, but sometimes this exchange misses the point.

Early in the Spring of 2016, I had the opportunity to join the 2041 Foundation team to help lead the International Antarctic Expedition (IAE2016) led by the renowned Sir Robert Swan (the first man to walk to both the North and South Poles). As I shared this opportunity with others, the question remained the same "what are you going to be doing?" and I thought nothing of it.

In the case of the IAE2016 expedition, an international group of 140+ people from 30 countries came together to experience the majesty, magnificence, and fragility of the only place on Earth that is outside the bounds of governmental control or interests...for now. Currently Antarctica is protected from such entities by the Antarctic Treaty that states no country can claim or have ownership of any aspect of the continent, protecting it from mining, drilling, or exploitation.

Despite this protection, we all are doing things that are greatly affecting our southernmost continent and our expedition provided an opportunity for all to experience the place, create discussion, and for everyone to come back with plans to make a difference through positivity and sharing what we can do to protect our interests by using Antarctica as an example of a resource we all cannot allow to disappear. (continued on p 14)

From Inspiration to Aspiration: Guiding and Sharing a Passion for Our World