Our Arctic Survival Training Expedition is like no other out there. It’s not a trip, it’s an experience that has more depth to it that one would think.
First the locations are beautiful and diverse. Where we go one could sleep in a bivy under the heavens by an open fire, or you could have a top corporate experience with all the whistles and bells.
Second the training is brilliant. Your leaders and guides will teach you how to have the confidence of all the great explorers in history; learning how to set up and operate a full arctic base camp, stay comfortable at extreme temperatures and manage yourself and others so that you can be happy in places that most other people would never dare to venture. I often say that knowledge is power, and wow do our students become powerful!
Thirdly the students are not just tested physically. They don’t just learn to manage themselves and their equipment, they learn a way of thinking that will change them forever. We help students to face their fears, assess themselves from the inside out and the outside in. Our approach helps students to grow in ways they never even thought possible.
Before each student goes on one of our expeditions, they fill in a questionnaire. We find out about their strengths, their weaknesses, their hopes and dreams and their fears. The team then uses this information and that collected from the entire team to put together a personal task for each student. Each task is related to them addressing, overcoming or facing their fears during the activities of the week, but also helps them to untangle their problems and make sense of why they are they way they are.
At the same time most of the students are tasked to help one another overcome or achieve in some way, creating a brilliant spiderweb of tasks that all in all will pull the whole team up together and help them achieve really great things. During this journey they fill in a work book or personal development record that helps them to reflect and test themselves against a special set of skills and values. It’s an effective tool for self-development and it works.
For me, its my favourite part of the trip. One great example we had this year was a student who was afraid of the cold, as she had had previous experiences that were not pleasant. Another student was assigned to help motivate her (although she didn’t know that). The results were evident very quickly. With a little motivation from others in the team and some brilliant first aid and cold injury training she was ready to go. Within a day she forgot her fear and was able to step out and push herself at minus 22 degrees without any hesitation.
The results of her overcoming that difficulty had ripple effects, she tried new activities in the cold; she became more organised with her kit because she knew how important it was to not lose a glove or keep her boots dry. She laughed more, she got to see the beauty of the northern parts of the world and her confidence soared in herself.
By the end of the trip every student in the group knew that they had done something to help themselves overcome and grow, and they knew that they had done something to help someone else, and that’s a great feeling.