Scouting in the Antarctic

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Scouting in the Antarctic
Scouts Antártidos Argentinos.svg
Chilly Willy is the mascot of the Esperanza Base group
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Scouting in the Antarctic is maintained by a single troop of Argentinian Scouts and also by visiting Scouts from other nations who are participating in expeditions and research projects.

The permanent Scout Group[edit]

The southernmost Scout unit of the world, the Grupo Scouts 1556 "Esperanza Blanca", is at the Esperanza Base at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula; it is affiliated to the Scouts de Argentina. Originally, the group belonged to the Asociación Diocesana de Scouts Católicos Argentinos Castrense (Diocesan Association of the Catholic Scouts of Argentina - Military Diocese), an independent Scout organization with links to the Union Internationale des Guides et Scouts d'Europe.[1]

Scouts participating in Antarctic expeditions[edit]

Charles Hoadley, who founded one of the first Scout Groups in Footscray, Victoria, Australia,[2] was a member of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition led by Sir Douglas Mawson from 1911–14. Hoadley was a member of the Western Base Party. Cape Hoadley was named after him upon discovery by the exploration party.[3]

James William Slessor Marr was one of two British Scouts who were selected from 1,700 Scouting applicants to accompany Sir Ernest Shackleton on the 1921 Shackleton–Rowett Expedition. The expedition was curtailed following the death of Shackleton, but Marr later joined the 1929 British Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition. The other Scout, Norman Mooney, left the expedition en route due to illness.[4]

Paul Siple took part in two Byrd expeditions of 1928 to 1930 and 1933 to 1935, representing the Boy Scouts of America as an Eagle Scout.[5]

BSA Antarctic Scientific Program[edit]

Following the example of Paul Siple, Eagle Scout Richard Chappell was selected to join the researchers of the United States Antarctic Program to mark International Geophysical Year in 1957-58. Mark Lienmiller was similarly selected to go to the Antarctic in 1978 for the 50th anniversary of Byrd's 1928 expedition. This was repeated in 1985 when Doug Barnhart was selected. These placements proved so successful that the National Science Foundation announced that once every three years, the National Science Foundation would sponsor an "Antarctic Scout" to join the Antarctic Program commencing in 1987,[6] with the aim of "providing students with opportunities to participate in research activities outside the college or university setting".[7]

Scouting Antarctic expeditions[edit]

Three Scouts of Scouts Australia, Ian Brown, Keith Williams, and Peter Treseder, were the first Australians to walk unaided to the South Pole, and stood at the Pole with the World Scout flag on New Year's Day 1998. It took them 60 days to reach the Pole, pulling all their food and gear with them. "We gained our zest for adventure in Scouts. Scouting is fun and you learn to adventure safely," they said in a message broadcast from Antarctica to Scouts at the 1997/98 Australian Scout Jamboree.[8]

A projected expedition organised by Hampshire Scout Expeditions in the United Kingdom is planned for 2018,[9] with the aim of skiing 700 miles (1130 kilometres) from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole in 60 days and then kite ski the return journey. The four-man team, three of whom will be under 25 years-old, will have completed training in Scotland, the French Alps, Norway and Greenland before the start of the expedition,[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Grupo Scouts 1556 "Esperanza Blanca"". Fundación Marambio. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  2. ^ Williamstown Advertiser 8 July 2009.
  3. ^ Coolantarctica Biography of Hoadley
  4. ^ Walker, Colin. "Scouting Milestones - Scout Marr and the Quest". Scout and Guide Historical Society. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Paul A. Siple". Retrieved 2006-11-08. Paul Allman Siple saw the first light of day on December 18, 1908, in Montpelier, Ohio. ... 
  6. ^ Butterworth, W E. "Scouting at the Bottom of the World". Boys' Life (October 1985): 32–33. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "BSA Antarctic Scientific Program". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 
  8. ^ Page 17 World Organization of the Scout Movement – Triennial Report 1996-1999
  9. ^ "Antarctica 2018". HSX. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  10. ^ Robinson, Ollie. "Southampton Academic to Lead Hampshire Scouts on First Ever Expedition to Antarctica". University of Southampton. Retrieved 28 January 2017. 

External links[edit]