With much of North America stuck in the deep freeze, this is a good time to remember Paul Siple, the Eagle Scout who co-developed the concept of wind-chill factor. Siple’s other claim to fame is that he accompanied Admiral Richard Byrd on an Antarctic expedition in 1928 as an official Scouting representative.
Six years ago, the National Eagle Scout Association revived the concept of sending Eagle Scouts along on scientific expeditions with what’s called the NESA World Explorers Program. This year, Eagle Scouts who are 18 or older can apply for trips to six different locations:
- The Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Ecuador (biology)
- The Galapagos Islands (biology)
- Mammoth Cave National Park (speleology)
- Yellowstone National Park (astrobiology)
- Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota (ornithology)
- The Judith River Dinosaur Institute in Montana (paleontology)
These trips are underwritten by NESA, although participants bear some costs. And they are real research trips, not just glorified vacations.
To apply, interested Eagle Scouts must complete an online application form and submit a 250-word essay by January 22. They must also be majoring or working in a related scientific field.
If you have Scouts with a scientific bent, this is a great opportunity for them to explore their passion–and to discover how being an Eagle Scout opens doors throughout adulthood. For more information, visit the World Explorers Program webpage.
Oh, and about Paul Siple. Don’t blame him when you feel cold. He didn’t invent wind chill; he just gave it a name!
Need more great troop program ideas? Check out the new edition of The Scoutmaster’s Other Handbook, which is now available in both print and e-book formats at https://www.eaglebook.com/products.htm#scoutmasters.