This past summer I was lucky enough to participate in a Students On Ice expedition. I spent two weeks on a ship in western Greenland and the eastern Canadian Arctic learning about climate change, Sustainable Development Goals, ocean literacy, blue economy, healthy communities, and so much more. We started the expedition in Ottawa where we met the other 130 students who would be joining the expedition alongside us. After two days of expedition prep and ice breaker games in Ottawa, we flew up to Kangerlussuaq, GL where we boarded The Ocean Endeavor.

We traveled to many incredible arctic communities and visited fjords in both Canada and Greenland. From Kangerlussuaq, we continued through the Itilleq Fjord, Disco Bay, Ilulissat, and Ummannaq. On day seven we spent the day crossing the Davis Straight to return to Canada where we spent the second half of the trip visiting Pond Inlet, Sirmilk National Park, Coutts Inlet, Arctic Bay Cape Graham Moore, Croker Bay, Maxwell Bay, and finally we flew back to Ottawa from Resolute Bay.

I knew as soon as we boarded that our ship was beyond any of my expectations. Once being shown to my room, I went to explore the ship only to find a tray full of drinks and a table of snacks, it was like a cruise ship! The whole trip was so much more than I could have ever imagined. It’s hard to believe that spending two weeks in the Arctic with 131 youth from all over the world would be able to have such a big impact so quickly. Every single person I met had incredible stories of their own and inspiring futures. Looking back at all the wonderful people I met, I know there is still hope for our future. The passion for change and a better world could be felt throughout the ship.

My trip might have ended when I arrived back in Victoria but I will never stop thinking about the memories we made, the people I met and the places I have seen. I can not give enough thanks to Power To Be for allowing this dream to come true. I have wanted to be a part of a Students On Ice Expedition since first hearing about the program three years ago. After applying for 2 years with no luck I was ecstatic when Power To Be offered me a spot. I will be forever grateful for everything Power To Be has done for me.

2020 marks the fourth year in a row that Power To Be will be partnering with Students on Ice to send youth into the Arctic to connect and learn about the environment and people who inhabit the northernmost lands of our country. 2020 also marks the 20th anniversary of Students on Ice bringing youth from all over the world together on an educational trip of a lifetime.

This blog was written by Elly Crawford, a graduate of Power To Be‘s Wilderness School program who continues to support our inclusive programs.