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October 17, 1986 - Image 43

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-10-17

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Special to The Jewish. News

Boy Scout
Louis Sugarman
is on the
at the
South Pole

Lou Sugarman has gone south
— really south.
The 19-year-old Southfield Eagle
Scout-Assistant Scoutmaster-
University of Michigan sophomore
left Oct. 2 for a spot located about
1,500 miles southeast of the south-
ernmost tip of New Zealand. His
destination, McMurdo Station, is the
main U.S. scientific outpost in An-
tarctica. In November, he'll be con-
tinuing on another 500 miles south,
for a two-week stay at the South
Sugarman was selected from
among 147 other Eagle Scout corn-
petitors last May to represent the
Boy Scouts of America on a three-
month Antarctic research program,
co-sponsored by the National Science
Foundation. He is only the fifth
Scout in almost 60 years to be so
honored. (The first, Paul Siple, ac-
companied Richard Byrd to the
region in 1928. Siple later conducted
extensive exploration on the conti-

nent; now, an American outpost
bears his name.)
While in the Antarctic, Sugar-
man will assist American science
crews in NSF-sponsored study proj-
ects. He expects to be counting and
tagging Antarctic seals, and helping
out with a number of experiments
with sea-ice algae, and trace metals
in Antarctic waterways. Beyond
that, he will be photographing the
region for the official Boy Scouts
magazine, Boys' Life, and writing a
daily journal. In an interview with
the Jewish News shortly before de-
parture, he said he's also looking
forward to just "being a tourist."
The possibility of such an exotic
"vacation" first came up for Sugar-
man a couple of years ago when he
spotted in Boys' Life a notice about a
similar BSA-NSF competition. He
entered the contest at the time, but
didn't win anything, and pretty
much gave up on having a second
chance at it, since the competition
(only open to Eagle Scouts between
the ages of 17 and 19 1/2) had been
held so rarely over the years. When,

surprisingly, another contest , was
announced this year in Boys' Life, he
didn't hesitate to try a second time.
In the first round of competition,
entrants were asked to compose an
essay on why they wanted to take
.part in the Antarctic project. A list
of scouting and scholastic awards,
curricular and extra-curricular ac-
tivities, community work, grade-
point averages, and several letters of
recommendation had to be included
with each entry.
From the 147 applicants across
the country, four finalists were cho-
sen. When I got the notice that I
was a finalist, I disturbed everybody
at the dorm that night, I think, run-
ning up and down the halls, scream-
ing and shouting," Sugarman said.
Final competition, held in conjunc-
tion with the biennial meeting last
May of the National BSA Council in
Louisville, Kentucky lasted 2 1/2 days.
During this time, each finalist spent
most of each day with one of four
judges, three of whom were former
winners in the Antarctic project.
They just tried to get to know

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