I interviewed UK Youth Commissioner, Hannah Kentish, on top of a mountain within the Arctic Circle.
This is a sentence which is seldom uttered by a member of the Scout Association, which is strikingly different to the Wednesday night in the explorer hut where I found myself the week before. Nevertheless, on top of a mountain with the snowline below us, following a gruelling eight hour day on the third day of our Queen Scout Award practice hike Hannah and I sat down for an interview.
The Queen Scout Award is the highest award a young person can achieve and consists of nights away, skill, physical activity and service sections followed by an expedition and a residential experience. Anyone from the ages of sixteen to twenty-five can sign up and it can be done in conjunction with the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme and gold level. For full information concerning the Queen Scout Award please go to http://members.scouts.org.uk/qsa.
Our international adventure saw us depart London on an early Friday morning with a flight to Bodø where we would stay the night. I caught up with Hannah whilst on the plane about her expectations about the trip:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/268468869″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
Upon our arrival to our Airbnb for the night we ventured out for food and on our way back were halted in our paces by a gentleman in his car. Hannah Kentish explains:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/268469428″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
Following on from this, we flew to our final destination; Leknes on the Lofoten Islands, a chain of islands off the northern coast of Norway two degrees within the Arctic Circle, where we spend the next week acclimatising and hiking around the southern islands.
As we finished our penultimate climb, at this point finishing the hardest part with only a small trek into the bay to go, we stood on top of the ridge and I got a chance to interview the Youth Commissioner about her thoughts on the trip, international experience and advice for all members looking to create such an adventure for themselves:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/268469551″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
The Queen Scout Award practice hike that we undertook was a lot more strenuous, logistically challenging and daunting than a domestic one, however the experiences I gained from this trip made all the extra effort worthwhile.