National Geographic Ice Cream Expedition
Ice Cream Expedition- We are a group of three National Geographic Young Explorers. This summer we will be driving across America in an ice cream truck giving away ice cream talking with kids on our route about conservation and exploration.
Driving an ice cream truck across America, we’ll give away ice cream and inspire the next generation to explore and protect their world
The spark for the National Geographic Ice Cream Expedition is that stirring within all of us when we hear of a great explorer and their adventures. The three of us have spent our lives running through mountains, climbing trees and getting lost abroad. We recently started to examine why we have this drive to exist in the unknown and have realized that, although it’s often the novelty of an experience that entices one to explore, it’s the knowledge earned during the experience that is fulfilling.
However, with great knowledge comes great responsibility. An explorer is in a way responsible for preserving what he has discovered. Whether it is an ancient temple or a creek in the backyard, an explorer is first and foremost a conservationist. It is our aim to inspire the next generation with the realization that they are explorers with priceless knowledge and to empower them with the responsibility of conserving and protecting their natural world.
How best to connect with the next generation of explorers – an ice cream truck. Growing up we would literally sprint blocks to catch an ice cream truck. We’ll be giving away all-natural ice cream to start our conversation with children around America.
We’ll hear honest thoughts about the environment, giving voice to the individuals that will confront most of the issues that scientists are discovering today. We will hear first hand what these kids are passionate about, encouraging them that where they live is somewhere worth exploring, somewhere worth conserving.
When we approached National Geographic and National Geographic Kids with this idea it was met with enthusiasm. We were awarded a National Geographic Young Explorer grant, which provided some of the funding we need. Furthermore, we have been working hand in hand with National Geographic and National Geographic Kids to design the trip and working through the logistics of putting on large events in major cities along the way.
In the documentary to be filmed during this trip we aim to approach the concept of conservation from a child’s point of view – something that is complicated, yet an exciting challenge. Seeing first hand where they play and where they explore we will try to find pertinent areas where we need to focus our conservational efforts, giving us tools to cut through scientific jargon and political confusion that has infiltrated the issue of conservation.
We plan to start our trip July 18, 2014 and finishing in mid September. During the trip we plan on traveling to 33 states roughly along the route in the map below.
Funding will go towards buying and converting a diesel step van into an ice cream truck that runs on vegetable oil. Furthermore, it will cover a few additional pieces of necessary camera equipment, expenses while we produce the documentary, every day expenses during the trip, and fixes for any breakdowns that we encounter. Below is a chart of our predicted expenses.
We hope you check out our Kickstarter rewards to find one that you like. Below we have examples of what we expect our T-shirts, Hats, and Bracelets will look like.
We look forward to meeting many of you during our travels. Thank you for sharing our idea with those you know and thank you of course for your contributions which will make our dream of an Ice Cream Expedition a reality.
Follow our trip on social media:
Risks and Challenges
One of the biggest anticipated setbacks is a significant breakdown. As we said in the video, we fully plan on breaking down, it’s just a matter of where it happens. The truck is a 1988 Chevrolet which is conducive to a less expensive fix. We will carry all the tools needed and do our best on preventative maintenance.
As we scoop ice cream, we will be starting conversations with children about where they like to explore and how they can be legitimate explorers by looking very closely at the world around them; whether it is an ancient temple or a creek in the backyard, we hope to communicate that an explorer is first and foremost a conservationist.
Children we meet on the way will be signing a pledge where they are named the Explorer of a natural space in their town, meaning that they promise to study, explore, and conserve the region. Using this approach, we aim to approach the concept of conservation from a child’s point of view – something that is complicated, yet an exciting challenge. Seeing first hand where they play and where they explore we will try to find pertinent areas where we need to focus our conservational efforts, giving us tools to cut through scientific jargon and political confusion that has infiltrated the issue of conservation.
As we pass through major cities we are partnering with National Geographic Kids to put on events for the whole community. Here, we will gather kids and their parents for a program that conveys the same message through exciting activities.
After seeing your site and how it encourages kids to go exploring, we think that you would be interested in this project. National Geographic has sponsored a portion of the trip, but we are in the process of running a kickstarter campaign in order to raise funds for the remainder. We hoped that you would share the expedition on your site to help us raise the funds we need.
A video our journey and the purpose behind it can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/347656150/ice-cream-expedition
Thank you for your time, if you have any questions or suggestions regarding the trip shoot us an email!
Caleb and the Ice Cream Expedition crew