Teen Leadership Camp: Arctic Ambassadors 2010

There is so much going on in the world of polar bears that it is hard to keep up and stay afloat. Progress is being made with conservation, research, education, and leadership. The San Diego Zoo and its partner, Polar Bears International, have made drastic steps in the direction of leadership to try to make a difference for polar bears, their habitat, and their future.

Each year, Polar Bears International hosts Teen Leadership Camp and Keeper Leadership Camp in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Each year, the San Diego Zoo sponsors a young adult and a keeper to attend the camps (read posts from our 2009 Teen Arctic Ambassador, starting with Teen Arctic Ambassador Lives Life in the North). Each camp is a week-long experience full of lectures, discussions, observations of the bears, and the overall experience of being immersed in the atmosphere of the tundra.

This year, the two individuals representing the Zoo are dedicated to teaching and conservation. Rachel Juhnke is one of our very own Zoo Corps teens; she will be attending the Teen Leadership Camp with teens from the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Also traveling to Churchill is Hali O’Connor, one of our bear keepers here at the Zoo, who will be attending the Keeper Leadership Camp.

These two amazing ladies are going to be taking their journeys to the arctic tundra of Churchill this October and are going to come back with personal experiences that connect them to the polar bears and the understanding of why we need to help them. They promise to write about their experiences for blog readers, so check back often.

Kindra Maples is a Project Polar Bear coordinator for Polar Bears International and an educator at the San Diego Zoo.

8 Responses to Teen Leadership Camp: Arctic Ambassadors 2010

  1. how exciting for both young ladies to experience this adventure to the artic tundra of churchill! can’t wait to hear about everything they will see and learn about the bears & their habitat. have a wonderful time and we will look forward to them sharing all their stories with us! I’m so jealous but happy for you both!

  2. What a wonderful and unique educational opportunity for these young women. They are fortunate to have the help of Kindra Maples as the coordinator and educator. This is truly an example of “paying it forward” for Ms. Maples as I’m sure she has had the support of others as she began her career.

  3. Wow..Congrats to both young ladies. I look forward to reading a blog about their adventures when they return. I hope one day to fly to Churchill and see the bears myself. There is a direct flight from Edmonton.

  4. Excellent update! We are looking forward to hearing all about his year’s Churchill adventure.

  5. Your polar bears are so cute. Wow! I love how big the polar bear cam is, and the color is great! :-)


  7. I am seeing AWESOME pics right now! Kalluk and Tatiq were playing and ‘bobbing’ at the stash pipe. She would go under for something and when she came up, he tried to steal it!
    she has a big bone now, and he is on his back shredding a burlap sack in the water!
    oh how I wish I were there! :)

  8. That must have been such a great excperience i hope that girl got a lot out of it because she was offered the excperience of a life time. does anyone know how these kids get picked?? what an opportunity i love the enviorment!!

    Moderator’s note: The San Diego Zoo has an application process for those interested in becoming our Arctic Teen Ambassador. The next application process should be announced in March for the fall 2011 Polar Bear Leadership Camp.