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Category — Polar Bear International

It’s Manitoba Time

I started my day this morning at 4 am (and let me tell you, I am not a morning person). My plane to Minneapolis left Cincinnati at 7 am, and I then had a 3 and a half hour layover. As it turns out, I met up with 7 others attending camp who had connecting flights from Minneapolis to Winnipeg. Both flights were only a little over an hour. Not too bad!

My group from Minneapolis was actually one of the first flights to arrive. The first sign I saw in Winnipeg said “It’s Manitoba Time” and it had a polar bear on it, I couldn’t believe I was actually in Canada though and I still don’t to be honest. We then literally walked right across the street to our hotel. People have been arriving from all over ever since. There are girls from Pittsburg who had serious flight issues and won’t get here till midnight. One camper from Tennessee, Olivia, hasn’t been feeling good since she arrived. They said if she isn’t feeling better she has to go home because of the risk of getting others sick. Hopefully she will sleep it off tonight.   

This whole experience is still surreal to me. I have met people from Oregon, Connecticut, North Carolina, Minnesota, Tennessee, and other places from all over the U.S. and Canada. They all are just as excited as I am, and I feel like I have known some of them for a long time. I have also met adults associated with different zoos and aquariums because the teen camp is combined with the communicator camp this year. Everyone participated in different games to get to know each other better, and then had a wonderful dinner. Following our meal, we got to hear from Bill Watkins to learn a little more about the Churchill area. He is a biologist who lives here in Winnipeg and studies endangered species. So, we are off to a great start! It is off to bed now because we have another early morning ahead of us. Our flight to Churchill leaves at 7:20 am, can’t wait!

October 9, 2011   10 Comments

Seeing Polar Bears in the Wild

Excitement at CREW is steadily growing! In less than a week, Caitlynn Turner will be representing the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden at Polar Bears International Teen Leadership Camp in Churchill Manitoba. Caitlynn impressed us all last fall when she rallied her team “Impact” to compete in PBI’s Project Polar Bear Contest. Her creativity, dedication and hard work were evident in the way she engaged her schoolmates and community in reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. However, what was really impressive about Caitlynn was her contagious enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge about saving arctic ice, the polar bear and its ecosystem.

Caitlynn Heading to Teen Leadership Camp

At Leadership Camp Caitlynn and 14 other teens will get the unique opportunity to not only learn about polar bears and their ecosystem but actually see polar bears in the wild. These teens prepare for their journey months before they ever set foot on the tundra mostly by reading assigned materials and thinking about how to save polar bears once they get home—through community projects and leadership skills.
We will be following Caitlynn’s life-changing polar bear adventure through her blog from camp. We invite you to do so too!
Good luck Caitlynn! We wish you the very best and can’t wait to hear about the amazing things you do at camp and plan to do upon your return.

October 4, 2011   No Comments

Countdown to Canada Coming to a Close

My name is Caitlynn Turner, and you may have read about my previous adventures as a teen volunteer at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Now, I’m getting ready for my greatest adventure yet; a once-in-a-lifetime trip to see the polar bears.

It’s almost here, and on October 9th I will finally be leaving for Canada! I have patiently been waiting since I was chosen by the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife, (CREW) to represent the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden at Teen Leadership Camp. This is a week-long trip spent right along the Hudson Bay in the ‘Polar Bear Capitol of the World’ known as Churchill, Manitoba.

I can’t tell you how excited I am! This is definitely a trip that will provide memories that will last a lifetime. Not only will I get to see the magnificent polar bear in the wild, I will get to meet other teens that are just as thrilled and inspired to help the bears as I am. I have been preparing to leave for a number of month as I’ve had reading assignments to do so that I have a better understanding of polar bears in general, and climate change in the arctic. I’ve applied for and received my passport; and I have been shopping to get warm layers, a hat, gloves, and other essentials so I can handle the cold weather (it’s fall in Canada, so temperatures are a “warm” 30 degrees on average during the day). I’ve even got my Canadian currency at the ready. All that fun pre-trip stuff. Now, the trip is so close I am actually starting to pack, but it hasn’t really set in that I’m leaving so soon. To tell the truth, I don’t think it will until I get up very early Sunday morning to make my flight. Until then, I can’t wait! Check back soon, and join me in this great adventure.

October 3, 2011   9 Comments