Machu Picchu: Trekking Days

Comment

Machu Picchu: Trekking Days

Take it from us! The first of a few upcoming blog posts all about our Machu Picchu Trek and the Choose a Challenge team members who went on them.  This time around we recount one of our former UK team members, Caitlin, and her day by day experience trekking to the lost city of the incas.

Comment

Trek or Treat

Comment

Trek or Treat

In this month's newsletter, we recap our recruitment road trip around the northeast, plus show you some of our student leaders who are help make our adventures possible.

Comment

#PathTo1Million: Week 3

Comment

#PathTo1Million: Week 3

It's week 3 of recruitment season and we're almost at the finish line. We've had a busy week and we're here to tell you all about it as we inch closer to raising $1 million for charity this year!

Comment

#PathTo1Million: Week 2

Comment

#PathTo1Million: Week 2

One information meeting down; a bunch more to go! We enter week 2 of recruitment season where we plan to visit a handful of schools to meet with our leaders and help them promote their trips. We're excited to keep the ball rolling and get that much closer to raising $1 million for charity this year!

Comment

#PathTo1Million

Comment

#PathTo1Million

September is upon us and that means recruitment season for the Choose a Challenge USA team. This first edition of our NEW #PathTo1Million blog series previews what's to come over the next month and how we plan to achieve our goal of raising $1 million for charity this year!

Comment

August Rush

Comment

August Rush

In this month's newsletter we sat down with Gretchen Geraghty, an online video blogger, who recently came back from one of our treks to Mt. Kilimanjaro. We'll also introduce our #Pathto1million campaign and our first US Intern.

Comment

Fired up for Summer

Comment

Fired up for Summer

Welcome to our July newsletter! It's an exciting time here at Choose a Challenge USA as we continue to settle into our new office in New York City. The team is working dilligently on some new and exciting projects including our Team Leader Training Day and our offical company rebrand (more details to follow next month). Outside of our monthly newsletter we'll be keeping everyone updated about everything else going on through our FacebookTwitterand Instagram so make sure to follow us.

Comment

Standing on the Roof of Africa

Comment

Standing on the Roof of Africa

And that is that. Our first Kilimanjaro climbers of the Summer have stood aloft the peak of Africa and conquered what they set their minds upon achieving a mere 7 months ago. Although they are now back in the relative comfort of our hotel enjoying a well earned meal and shower they will undoubtedly have gained memories and a story which will last a lifetime. Read more about their advenutre here.

Comment

#KILI01 Update 4; Half Way There

#KILI01 Update 4; Half Way There

Today was undoubtedly the hardest day so far for our team as they left behind the relative comfort of the Shira Plateau and headed on up to Lava tower at a staggeringly high 15,000 feet before dropping back down to sleep in the shadow of Barranco Wall. We are happy to report that the entire team has now made it safely to Barranco camp and are currently eating warm nuts and popcorn whilst they wait for dinner to be prepared.

Day 2 on the Mountain.

Comment

Day 2 on the Mountain.

As our #Kili01 teams draw to the end of their 2nd day on the mountain. We look at their progress up the mountain so far and what's in store for the remaining 4 days of the climb.

Comment

May the Fourth Be with You.

It's official.

We have arrived.

Welcome to our May blog and it's a big one! The doors are open on our New York office, we are a week away from our teams from BU, Penn State and UCONN jetting off to Kilimanjaro and we have the official return of our big 5. Outside of our monthly newsletter we'll be keeping everyone updated about our progress and that of all our teams on FacebookTwitter and Instagram so give us a follow (and point your nervous parents this way as well).

IMG_3685.JPG

Why the move?

We love our London HQ and we're still there but we opened our first US office in the belief that students are bored of the same cliched travel opportunities and instead want to challenge themselves and make a difference. Now we are here it's about proving this and building on our 2017 successes and preparing for a bigger and better 2018. We already have well over 100 challenge leader applicants for our 2018 departures and are in talks with various national and local charities about working with them for the forthcoming academic year. It's all quite exciting and wouldn't be possible without you guys supporting our journey.

The path ahead...

It was certainly a big April for us and it's great to have feet on the ground in the US but May is set to be even larger. Here's a small section of what we have planned for the coming month;

  • We're Hiring ... a VP of Marketing and two new account managers to ensure we are providing our teams with the best support possible. Recruitment closes tomorrow but click here if you think you could be the ying to our yang and fancy joining the team.
  • We're shortlisting... our leaders. Our challenge leaders are what allows us to raise such vast sums of money and impact so many lives therefore we take their recruitment very seriously. Our CEO, Simon, speaks to every applicant who makes it through to the second round before they are offered the role to ensure they are the very best leaders possible. Next month will see the final preparations in place before we meet all our challenge leaders face to face at our away day in NYC. Our final open leader applications close on Tuesday so get involved if you haven't already. (as you guys are already faithful subscribers this is a shortlink straight through to the second round).
  • And of course, we are taking almost 30 of you to take on the challenge of a lifetime. It's going to be amazing and we're super excited at HQ to hear the stories back from that summit attempt on Mt Kilimanjaro. Good luck and congratulations on so far raising well over $100,000 for Make a Wish, the B+ Foundation and Medical Missions for Children.

 

And finally...

Here's are Mays Big Five....


Number 1
Adventurer of the month.

With the launch of our European Marathon packages and with April holding not one, not two but three Major Marathons in the form of Boston, Paris and London our adventurer of the month is Katherine Switzer who was the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon in 1967 and came back in 2017 to take on the infamous course again at the fresh old age of 70. Read more about her story here.

Number 2
What we are reading this month.

Trump, Brexit, Le Pen... The world seems to be going mad and sometimes the best retreat is a good book. One which has been making it's way round challenge HQ is 'It Couldn't Happen Here'. A big-mouthed and probably tiny-handed cretin backed by big money runs for President and wins. Except this was written in 1935, and Buzz Windrip is a Democrat. Lewis is a Nobel prizewinner but this book had been largely forgotten, making its astoundingly accurate details about how populist fascism can not only take root in America but truly thrive all the more frightening and impressive. A weighty classic to take on any adventure with you. We don't sell books but you can get your own copy here.

Number 3
What we are watching.

In a break away from films and TV we were blown away by the latest Google Earth update. Check out the actual route our Kilimanjaro climbers will be taking up Kilimanjaro in eyewatering 3D. We promise you that you won't be disappointed. The only thing better is doing it yourself. 

Number 4
What are we eating this month.

We haven't quite been in New York long enough to find a classic recommendation but we recently did stumble on a bag of superfood Quinoa chips. They were fab! However it led to the well thrased out debate of whether the metoric rise in popularity of Quinoa was a good thing. One of our oldest and most established treks along the Salakantay trail takes place in the Andes where, it is estimated, over 65% of the worlds supply of Quinoa comes from so we did some digging (excuse the pun). It turns out the opinons both locally and abroad are mixed about the effects of the rising popularity of Quinoa but here is one of the most balanced reports we could find. It certainly reminds you that everything you put in your mouth has a story to it.

And finally Number 5, Quote of the Month  from the diary of Antarctic explorer (and owner of an impressive set of eyebrows) Vivian Fuchs

"There is a real difference between travellers and explorers: travellers go to places, whereas explorers go to acquire knowledge; they travel for a purpose"

Until next month,

The Choose a Challenge Team.

UCONN

Our final stop on our first week in the USA was a road trip away in the University of Connecticut. Here we partnered with a charity, we work very closely with in the UK - the Make a Wish Foundation. In UCONN we were supported by the brilliant work of student volunteer Katherine Chipdey who had a more personal reason than most to support the incredible work of Make a Wish Connecticut. After speaking to hundreds of people who showed immense interest in the opportunity tabling during the day, the information meeting had a much more personal intimacy than the previous two nights and we certainly enjoyed talking about how climbing Kilimanjaro could make such a personal difference to both the climbers lives and young children around Connecticut. 

By the end of today we had almost 20 students registered from across the East Coast to take on the incredible challenge of raising $5000 and taking on the highest free standing mountain in the world. I think it was time for a beer. 

Stay tuned next week for more updates or email us on support@chooseachallenge.com if you want to hear about you can get involved in our challenges. Kilimanjaro awaits you.

www.chooseachallenge.us.

Boston Bound

Day 3 of our American trip saw us meeting up with the second of our US Charity Partners; The B+ Foundation. The Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation is one of the largest providers of financial assistance to families of kids with cancer nationwide. They also already have a fantastically strong student programme in the USA which was one of the main reasons Choose a Challenge approached B+ about getting involved in the opportunity.

Working with B+ Foundation for year one is our fantastic leader and volunteer from Boston state Lexa Nutter, originally from Ohio. Lexa saw this as a great chance to give something back whilst taking on the challenge of a lifetime.

And so it was that on a warm and traffic packed evening in Boston we spoke to our second group of over 40 about how they could make an impact on the lives of children across the country and climb Kilimanjaro. It was starting to look like we would have quite a team on board.