Junior Survivor

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Junior Survivor YouTube Channel – https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCfh1h8Uhx0Ygk_SWFtbT-aA

From a young age my passions have been survival and helping people.  I’m now almost 14 and am starting up a project helping young people through survival, but before I say any more I will tell you a bit about myself.

My name is Evan Andrew Chick.  Since I was three years old I have grown up living on a farm in East Sussex. 

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My Dad loves the outdoors and has taught me to love it too.  

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I’ve also learnt loads from watching Bear Grylls on tv and at every opportunity I could be found off in the woods practicing the survival skills I’d learnt from either my Dad or Born Survivor and Survival Academy.

When I was about 7, me and my mates even started a club called The Bear Gorillas.  To start with there were six of us, I was the leader and would teach them what I knew.  All sorts of things from lighting fires, cooking and tyrolean traverse (a method of pulling yourself across a crevasse on a rope) Over the years more friends joined and we grew to ten members.

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My favourite thing we did was  pretend to have an injury, like a broken leg, and then the rest of the team had to build an emergency stretcher in minutes, put the casualty on it and walk through the woods to an opening and into the field where we pretended a helicopter picked them up!

Since the early days of playing ‘survival’ I have progressed in my knowledge and ability.  In 2018 I started volunteering for an educational bushcraft company as a Junior Instructor teaching the skills I know to school kids who came on camps, to businessmen who came on team building days and at kids parties.  

In February last year I was given the opportunity to go to Finland on an expedition.  It was amazing, we learnt how to build a snow cave and set up a base camp. We went on a 7km ski hike pulling sleds and kit, snow shoed up a mountain where we could see the Russian border and went dog sledding through the forests.  We slept out under the stars at -22 degrees and watched the Northern Lights.  

That particular night started out with about seven of us all keen to sleep out.  We were all pumped and uber excited to be sleeping under an almost white sky because there were so many stars.  

We all started to set out our beds and get ready.  In the arctic you don’t sleep in pj’s, you sleep in your clothes and your boots go in your sleeping bag otherwise they freeze solid, no joke.  Then I fell asleep just to wake up a 3am to see the rest of the team packing up their beds and going back to their cabins to have a warm bed for the rest of the night.  I was umming and ahhing about going with them but I didn’t, I was going to sit it out even though I was frozen and could not bend my hands and fingers. Then I remembered that we had a full days hike ahead of us and I wanted to have the energy to do that.  So I got up put on my boots that were frozen, even though I’d put them in my sleeping bag and went over to where the instructor was sleeping, or where he should have been sleeping.  

The snow grave where he was meant to be was empty, At 3am I imagined that he had been dragged away by a reindeer who had mistaken his hair for moss – leaving him to return bald in the morning!  At least the thought made laugh. It turned out he just got cold and returned to our cabin. I was proud that I was the last man standing.

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I absolutely loved it and it’s fuelled my passion to go on and learn as many survival and expedition skills as I can.

I also really want to inspire young people to believe in themselves, to help them overcome their struggles, build their self confidence and realise their full potential.

If I can bring these two passions together then this would be the ultimate for me.   For a 14 year old to set up a charity helping people through survival and expeditions is not really that simple but that’s what I want to do in the future and I’m working on making that happen.

I had no idea that something like this already existed!  I recently watched a BBC programme about a man called Craig Mathieson who started a charity called Polar Academy in 2013.

Craig was appointed ‘Explorer-in-Residence’ by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and is also a member of the Explorers Club.  

Polar Academy takes young people, who they call “invisibles”, not the really smart kids and not the loud disruptive kids, but the ones who go unnoticed and usually have low confidence and low self esteem, on about a year long programme.  

The kids train for months to build their fitness and endurance levels and to learn the skills they’ll need during their ten day expedition to Greenland. 

When the kids return home they go into schools, youth clubs, Scout groups and any other place where young people are and use their experiences to inspire others.

They are able to say, “Look where I was and where I am now.  You can do anything if you put your mind to it”.

When I watched the documentary I was inspired and really excited as this is what I want to do and what I’m going to do.   

Craig has inspired me and is a great role model.  What he and his team are doing is amazing. 

Straight away I got in touch with Craig, really excited that someone shared the same passion as me, he was very interested in what I am doing and encouraged me to pursue my dreams.

So I’m starting a project called Junior Survivor.  

One of my biggest holdbacks in life is my attitude, I often see things in a negative light and it ends up with me getting really frustrated and agitated.  Having a negative attitude is a pain in the backside and so I want to change it.

I can see that to become an expedition leader I need to change this and that is what Junior Survivor is all about. 

I have challenged myself to change and hope that other young people who have similar struggles to me will join me on my journey.

Half the reason I’m doing this to help myself but also because I care about my generation.

I hope to help myself and others beat the negativity through survival challenges.  I see that it is a great way to change attitude.  

The challenges will all be based around survival, the outdoors and expedition skills.

I love making little films and so I will present the challenges in short videos. 

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My dad always says to me that “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” and so that’s Junior Survivor’s motto. 

Below is my channel trailer and the link to Junior Survivor YouTube channel.

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCfh1h8Uhx0Ygk_SWFtbT-aA