Square Knots & Penguins
The Antarctic Scout Philately Connection
Dr. Terrence H. Dunn

Square Knots & Penguins

Welcome to the Antarctic and Scout Philately Connection!

It's about Scouts such as King Scout James Marr and Eagle Scout Paul Siple, who were selected to experience real life adventures in the Antarctic.  Also men who went to Antarctica who became scouts, such as Jean-Baptist Charcot who helped to form the French Boy Scouts and who became its first president.  Others have followed in their snowshoe tracks; but never to the degree experienced by these early explorers.  Today scientific study is the main motive for a visit to Antarctica; however, there are those, such as British Chief Scout Bear Grylls, who have made the trip for pure adventure as the early explorers had done.

Communications with the outside world were always important to the expeditions and those individuals participating.  In the early years, there only was the mail and short-wave radio.  The mail was sent and returned via the countries of New Zealand and Chile, while letters with special postmarks noted the historical aspects of the expeditions.  In time special efforts were engaged in to create unique cachet envelope covers during time spent aboard ship or on the ice.  As the decades flew by, countries were determined to remember the exploits of the expeditions and explorers via the issuance of special postage stamps.  

It is the stamps and cachets from and about the Antarctic expeditions and activities related to Scouts and Scouting that are presented in this publication.

Whether it is from selected scouts crewing old ships or tracing through the frozen snow fields, to the existence today of a scout troop at Esperanza Base, the allure of the Southern Cross continues as scouting skills are tested.  While they are tested the mails continue to depart and arrive even though satellite links and email have made communication virtually instantaneous.  There are postmarks yet to be found and applied, and there are still stamps to be issued and cachets yet to be designed and printed.