November 16, 2008 Over 100 Expedition Flags!
Most of the famous polar explorers of the last century carried expedition flags with them. Historic photographs from the age of exploration recorded those adventures and often include the tattered expedition flag tied to a pole, tent, sled or emergency shelter. When I was selected to be the PolarTREC teacher aboard the Oden for 2008 one of my first thoughts was that I would need a flag too. Then I quickly realized that a better idea was for me to be the "flag bearer" for kids across the country. With the help of the folks at ARCUS and the American Camp Association as well as several other media outlets, I invited schools and summer camps to create and send me their flags. As of today I have received well over 100 flags from every part of the country! Each flag has a story of the kids who made it and the symbols they used. Some of the groups even sent me photos of the kids who made the flags.
I have tied all of the flags together into a single string of flags and I have been very proud to take it to over 30 school presentations that I have given. Each time I unroll the flags the collection grows longer. Last Friday I hung the string of flags up in Lynnwood Elementary School near Albany, NY where over 100 students had gathered for an hour to hear about my upcoming adventure. The students were very impressed by the string of flags, which hung from the ceiling and almost circled the room...TWICE! Last weekend my wife Jan and I strung the flags on the front of our house to give them a chance to flap in the breeze. Our neighbor thought they looked great too!
I have photographed the full collection of flags and posted them on my photo gallery. Check it out and see which ones you think will look the best when they fly over the sea ice off the coast of Antarctica. Then, check back to this journal to see photos of each flag at the bottom of the Earth.
Take care, have fun & make memories,