Rachel is the San Diego Zoo’s 2010 Teen Arctic Ambassador. She is sharing what she learns at Polar Bears International’s Teen Leadership Camp. Read her previous post, Teen Arctic Ambassador: Day 1.
Imagine yourself in one of the most isolated places on Earth, where trees struggle to grow against the harsh arctic conditions. The wind blows across the ancient permafrost layers, and the majestic apex predator, the polar bear, roams free.
Our adventure began in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where teens from around the world met up to begin our mission of environmental stewardship. Our initial action project was focused on societal influence, where we participated in the 350.org 10/10/10 campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of atmospheric carbon levels above 350 parts per million. After listening to previous Arctic Ambassadors, we realized our full potential to make a difference to our planet’s environment. With those enthusiastic thoughts, we went to bed early, eager to begin our adventures in Churchill, the Polar Bear Capital of the World.
This morning we woke up 4:30 to catch our flight to Churchill. We were too excited to catch up on any sleep or jetlag on the flight and instead enjoyed a spectacular sunrise. Upon arrival, we were greeted with the fresh arctic morning chill and were escorted to our Tundra Buggy® for the day. Before we knew it, we were encountering our first wild polar pear.
This experience can be described with a myriad of emotions such as: enlightening, awe-inspiring, beautiful, connected, inspirational, overwhelming. Words just cannot describe the power and magnitude of this encounter. Arctic biodiversity also included sightings of ptarmigan, snow buntings, falcons, and snow geese.
This experience could not have been possible without the generous support from Four Points Sheraton, Winnipeg, Calm Air, Frontiers North Adventures, and Parks Canada.
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
From the Orange Team: Grant, Gus, Olivia, Simon, Brian, and Rachel. Read posts from the other teen ambassadors.