Mount Kilimanjaro is an adventurer’s dream. Few have had the opportunity to venture to the summit of this legendary mountain. However, in 2010, a group of passionate Power To Be supporters banded together and set out on the adventure of a lifetime, Power To Climb. This group of 12 people was going to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, to encourage inclusion in the outdoors.

This ambitious idea was crafted during the setup of a Power To Play Victoria event, when volunteer Shawn Beardsley, Power To Be CEO Tim Cormode, and former Power To Be staff, Mike Schauch all expressed their desire to tackle the journey up Mount Kilimanjaro. The trip was quickly pulled together and a team of 12 Power To Be supporters began to prepare for an awesome adventure with training, team-building, and fundraising for Power To Be.

This was a new experience for everyone, no one had in the group had attempted the expedition before. The terrain proved to be tricky, but the real challenge for many was the change in elevation as the group got closer and closer to reaching the summit. Everyone as individuals faced their own challenges throughout the journey, but the comradery was unparalleled and the group was always there to support each other. Sarah Cormode, who attended the trip explained “I’d have a rough night and someone would comfort and support me, and the following night they may be struggling and I did the same for them. It was such a unique experience for bonding and learning about yourself and others.”

The journey was a true test of how strong both your mind and body can be. Sarah recalled someone in their group having underlying health concerns and who was unsure of how they would do. However, they ended up being one of the most energetic and successful people in the group! “It’s amazing how your body can surprise you when faced with new challenging situations and really step up to the plate”.

Shawn Beardsley, one of the people who helped the trip come to life, had always dreamed of summiting Mount Kilimanjaro and was crushed when he fell ill and was unable to attend. However, to stay connected to the group and their journey, he wrote letters, to each team member for every day of the expedition, as well as one group letter a day. Sarah recalls how powerful this gesture was, and the thoughtfulness of this meant a great deal to her and the rest of the group. Everyone looked forward to reading Shawn’s letters every day, and this provided even more motivation as they were determined to carry Shawn’s enthusiasm and spirit to the summit. The group reached the top just as the day broke, and was a powerful moment of accomplishment, pride, and teamwork for everyone.

The adventure was challenging but was filled with bonding, laughter, and breathtaking sights. Sarah says that one of her biggest takeaways from the expedition was learning how important it can be to pace yourself. She’s carried this metaphor with her since and is grateful to have experienced this once in a lifetime opportunity amongst such a passionate group of people.

Inspired by the 10th anniversary of Power To Climb, Power To Be launched our very first Power To Summit event, a virtual expedition up Mount Kilimanjaro. Since 2020 these unique virtual adventures have seen teams of four cumulatively complete the elevations of some of the worlds highest peaks all while raising vital funds for Power To Be. To learn more click on the button below!