Friday, 1 February 2013

Polar Scott Museum -- Arctic and Antarctic expedition

With our local home ed group we booked a tour of the Polar Scott Museum to learn more about Arctic and Antarctic exploration.  We had a fabulous visit and the docent was brilliant in making the stories of Robert Scott come to life for the children.  He was in a race with Roald Amundsen to get to the South pole first.  Unfortunately for Scott he lost the race and his life.

We met up with our homeschool group at the museum

The museum also has some information on the Inuit People of the Arctic

Some of the artifacts from the Inuits

Lots of bone art, I believe this was from a seal 

winter coats

art made from a whale bone

musical instruments

Whaling weapons

Kids loved the two thumb mittens:)

Can you imagine going out on the cold seas hunting whales in this kayak.  

Next we met the docent who gave us a great history lesson on the story of Robert Scott.  She was very dynamic and did a wonderful job bringing to life the hardships of this journey.

The five men who made it to the South Pole only to discover that Roald Amundson had beat them there by one month.  Amundson and his team were kind enough to leave a tent, 8 Norwegian flags and a letter to Scott to bring home the point that he won the race to the South Pole.  On the return trip to base the five men ran into a lot of trouble

The travel party lost 2 men on their return trip back to base camp.  Edgar Evans fell and hit his head severely and died.  the other person who died was  Oates.  He had severe frostbite and one night simply told his fellow companions that he was "going outside and would be awhile"  He was never seen or heard from again.  Most believe he willingly sacrificed himself to save the group.  This is his sleeping bag.

We saw some of the equipment they brought with them -- snow shoes

wooden skis

lots of interactive stations 

these were teeth that had art work etched into them. Very detailed

The kids had a few things to look up while visiting the museum

Camera document the time spent in the South Pole

I was very surprised to know they took horses to the South pole and they wore these snow shoes.  The horses were then eaten

Robert Scott and his men did not make it back to their base camp.  A huge storm came up and they were stranded in tents and without food.  After the storm and several weeks later search parties were sent out and the tent and bodies were found.  They were about 40km from a cache of food but they couldn't get to because of the storm.  While Scott and his men were in the tents they wrote many letters and most have been saved and are now stored at this museum.  His last entry into his dairy was on March 29 and it said

"We took risks, we knew we took them; things have come out against us, and therefore we have no cause for complaint, but bow to the will of Providence, determined still to do our best to the last ... Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale, but surely, surely, a great rich country like ours will see that those who are dependent on us are properly provided for."

It is believed Scott died one or two days later and was the last of the 3 men to die in that tent.


  1. This sounds fantastic-I hadn't heard of this Museum before but it definitely needs to go on our "to do" list.

  2. This is fascinating!
    As a NYer, I am going to love learning about the unique ( to me) and fun things that your family does as HSers..... I've obviously never heard of this amazing museum, And as a typical NYer, yes, we rarely, rarely go into The City to the museums, Statue of Liberty, some point, we got jaded. But this post shows me I should pick it up again and that the kids and I should hop on the train to the museums. THANK YOU>:)
    I'd love to share your post, the photos and what you learned with my kids today, if that's okay.
    Enjoying getting to know you!
    Have a great day/night.
    ~Chris at

  3. Wow, that was an awesome tour of the Polar Scott Museum. The pictures and topics were so interesting. Sad that so many died at the time; but we do know of their courage and selflessness. I continue to love your adventures and this was a wonderful one.
    Just a thought; I can't imagine ever wanting to live in these cold areas. I think I am just so comfortable home by the fire.
    Blessings to you all for a learning moment~

  4. Wow, I never learned about Robert Scott. Sounds like his story could be turned into a very touching story. That he was worrying about his loved ones in his final writings, when he also knew he would be dying is very touching. If it was a race, did both parties leave the same day? That is sad that Oates died like that and they never found his body. It reminds me of the Mt. Everest incident a few years back. The guide died, because he waited for people in the party who had misrepresented their climbing skills. Then later, other climbers saw the guide's body, but couldn't bring it down. As far as I know, it is still there...