While we all fancy ourselves to be adventurers, being named by National Geographic as one of the 2014 Adventurers of the Year is a bit harder to achieve. Paddlers Amy and Dave Freeman have managed just that.
Now in it’s 9th year, National Geographic has been assembling a collection of incredible athletes, explorers, leaders and free spirits, and since 2006, they’ve been honoring lovers of both land and sea. Past honorees have included skiers, climbers, surfers, voyagers and humanitarians.
This year’s round-up includes 10 individuals who have pushed the boundaries in their areas of expertise in search of something larger than themselves. Amy and Dave Freeman, Adventure Educators, are no exception.
Amy Freeman, a kayak and dogsled guide with a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy, and her husband, Dave Freeman, a guide, biologist and anthropologist by training, developed Wilderness Classroom along with David Frost, a public school teacher.
The online adventure tracking website was developed in 2001 to allow students to view outdoor voyages and achieve a deeper understanding and respect for the great outdoors. The website grants digital access to Amy and Dave’s adventures, and allowed school children to travel along with the couple as they journeyed across Lake Superior and paddled and bicycled through South America and the Amazon.
In their latest and longest adventure to date, the couple completed an arduous three-year journey that had them kayaking, canoeing, dog sledding and backpacking through North America. 85,000 students joined them online throughout the voyage, participating in weekly real-time check-ins, mapping out the routes, guessing the source of mystery photos, and even voting on critical issues like the fate of Dave’s beard.
The couple completed the 11,647 mile journey in April 2013, feeling accomplished and invigorated. Their mission to educate and inspire children to get out and explore the wilderness is a quest that National Geographic was proud to honor.
To vote for Amy and Dave as the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year, visit the National Geographic website.
Learn more about the Wilderness Classroom here.