Craig Mathieson
The Polar Academy at the North Pole
2021

Craig Mathieson

Educator

poles and purpose

meet craig

Scottish explorer Craig Mathieson is the founder and head of the children’s charity The Polar Academy. A veteran of both North and South Pole expeditions, he dedicates his time to training and inspiring the next generation of young people to succeed in life, especially helping those who are struggling. A veteran of many expeditions, he participated in the first dedicated Scottish expedition to the South Pole in 2004.

poles and purpose
Nominated by: Lisa Keating Mark Wood FN'15
Class of 2021 Location Scotland

The Polar Academy participants train for 12 months in Scotland, before a 10-day sledge-hauling expedition in Greenland. Schools that have supported their own Polar Academy pupils have seen an increase in interest in scientific studies and outdoor education. Once back from the Arctic, the teenagers are tasked with the public speaking circuit. Teenagers speaking to other teenagers are very powerful when they talk about overcoming adversities, working hard to succeed, and the importance of being kind to each other. The success of The Polar Academy is Craig’s legacy. With each new explorer who graduates, his/her knowledge, inspiration, and belief are shared with thousands of individuals, who then strive to be the best versions of themselves.

“With each new explorer who graduates, his/her knowledge, inspiration, and belief are shared with thousands of individuals, who then strive to be the best versions of themselves.”

- Craig Mathieson

Craig Mathieson began his career in the military and has always had an affinity for the outdoors. In 2006, he successfully trained and accompanied a high-school pupil to complete an expedition to the North Pole. This expedition not only had a huge positive impact on the pupil but also on his family and local community. It led to the founding of the Polar Academy, an extremely challenging year-long training program that instills the sense of pride and confidence needed to achieve in life.

All explorers know in their heart the magical benefits of spending time outdoors and the transformative side effects of pushing oneself to undertake and accomplish difficult tasks. The young explorers and their families are changed, and their outlook on life is positively altered. Many choose to continue outdoor pursuits, while others are determined to aim for professions they previously thought were beyond them.

never stop exploring

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