Matthew Campbell (pictured fifth from right), a second year student at King George V College, recently celebrated his graduation from the British Explorers programme, following a gruelling expedition to Iceland.

The three week expedition, which took place in August, was organised in partnership with the National Citizenship Service (NCS) and Catch 22, a public service provider, as part of their Project New Horizons initiative.

Matthew, who studies Electronics and Further Maths at KGV, joined one of four teams of young explorers on the trip. Matthew’s team, named The Bulls after one of the four Guardian Spirits of Iceland, hiked across a range of exciting and dangerous terrains including: Sellandafjall Mountain, Askja Volcano and the magnificent Ullafoss and Aldeyjarfoss waterfalls.

The programme aims to challenge young people, both mentally and physically, by pushing them outside of their comfort zone.

Matthew said, ‘Completing the expedition required a lot of determination, plus skills in leadership and teamwork were needed to navigate the difficult terrain.’

‘My favourite part of the expedition was as simple as seeing a field full of colourful flowers! It was a nice change from the black lava fields we had previously trekked through and it showed how the simplest things can really lift your mood.’

Matthew and his team mates hiked up to 21km a day, overcoming extreme weather conditions of high winds and persistent rain. Each evening, the group of young explorers would set up camp – going back to basics sleeping under the midnight sun and living off easy to prepare dried food packages.

‘At this time of year, Iceland has 24 hours of daylight which made it pretty difficult to sleep in our tents!’

Matthew attended a graduation from the programme in London on September 29th. During this ceremony, he was invited to speak with public service providers from across the country, in a bid to help secure future funding for the programme.

*Photograph acredited to the British Explorers Society 


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