Six students from Newent Newent Community School and Sixth Form Centre recently took part in an Arctic Expedition to Northern Scandinavia. Here, Year 12 pupil, Davi Griffiths, one the students who attended the trip, writes about the experience.
The first thing you need to know is that it was no ordinary school trip. We were in the Arctic Circle, cross country skiing, surrounded by a beautiful landscape and totally hospitable people. In our time in Norway, we experienced three Arctic storms, an Arctic blizzard and snow-stricken airport.
The trip was very strenuous for everyone, however the morale kept everyone going and we were all so determined. The arctic rewarded us with the beautiful northern lights and some spectacular sunsets and sunrises which would rival anywhere.
Myself and five other Year 12 students, Dan Rowley, Elliot Gray, Harry Bloxsome, Peter Jenkins, and Taine Roberts, along with Mr Morley and Mr Naylor, completed the ten day Arctic expedition, two hundred miles inside the Arctic Circle.
Skiing through Finland, Sweden and Norway, we experienced some of the most unusual weather we have ever seen in the winter this far north. From starting out in -25ºC, the temperature rose by 30ºC in 24 hours during the first arctic storm, with rain leaving some very challenging skiing conditions.
Travelling between 12km and 18km each day was something we were all used to, however none of us had ever had skis on our feet. This created a recipe for lots of falling over, but thankfully there were no injuries, apart to people’s pride.
While trapped by a storm, we had the opportunity to practice our downhill skiing, which definitely needed finessing! Considering we would be skiing down bigger mountain slopes much steeper than the hill we were practising on, we didn’t have much hope. Indeed our practice didn’t really help as we all fell over at some point going downhill, and even when we were just standing still.
During the final four days of our expedition, which some of the group are hoping to use for their Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition, we had lots of fun and it made our friendships even stronger, and our respect for the people who live out there even greater.
The teachers really made our expedition and the opportunity is unparalleled. We have all come back gaining something slightly different from the expedition, whether it be more independence or improved resilience.
Either way this trip is something that none of us are ever going to forget and is something that we would urge everyone to do, you will definitely surprise yourself.