SIX young people were welcomed safely home to Solihull last week after successfully completing a wilderness expedition in Canada.
The team from Knowle Sea Scouts spent a month in the country, the purpose being a nine day expedition by canoe and foot in the remote Woodland Caribou Provincial Park.
Following their arrival at Winnipeg, the sixteen and seventeen year olds were welcomed to Canada by the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba before heading far North to Red Lake; the expedition base camp.
The team then paddled 150 miles across a vast network of lakes and rivers connected by treks through dense woodland totalling over 25 miles.
During the treks, the team carried over 500kg of equipment including tents, cookers, food, survival gear and canoes. They also undertook an environmental project and studied an ancient pictograph site.
Following completion of the venture and interviews with the press, the team headed to Toronto where they were received by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and spent time visiting attractions such as Niagara Falls, the CN Tower and Canada's Wonderland.
On returning, James Lees said: "The scenery and wildlife were fantastic, and the expedition really did turn out to be the hardest thing we've ever done.
"There was blood, sweat and maybe some tears but looking back, it really was worth it. Luckily, we managed to avoid any encounters with bears, but the mosquitoes and leaches wouldn't leave us alone!"
Sam Timms added: "The whole trip was amazing, from having a BBQ with a group of Canadian Scouts, to spending a day on the water with the Toronto Police Marine Unit to taking the controls of a Norseman floatplane while flying over the park".
The team of six Young Leaders from Knowle Sea Scout Group are completing their Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award, and are hoping to become Queen's Scouts.
More information about the Group can be found online at www.knowleseascouts.org.uk.