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Norman Vaughan – "Dream Big and Dare To Fail"

Adventurer Norman Vaughan was a member of Admiral Richard Byrd’s 1928 expedition to the South Pole, serving as a dog handler. In 1930, Admiral Byrd named one of the peaks he conquered during his expedition after Norman and two other dog handlers. And it was then that Norman decided he wanted to scale the peak that had been named after him. As he put it, he chose to “dream big and dare to fail”.

Dream big and dare to fail Norman did – it took him 65 years before he was able to finally scale the peak that had been named after him, achieving his goal at age 89!

This video tells the incredible story of adventurer Norman Vaughan.

Additional Resources:

  • Here are an article and a podcast that tell Norman’s amazing story.
  • Here is an article that tells more about Norman and his lofty goal.

Topics for Discussion:

  • Norman’s motto was to “dream big and dare to fail”. Do you agree with this idea?
  • How do you think Norman felt when he finally achieved his goal at age 89, after 65 years of trying?

Take Action:

  • Do you have a big dream? Be inspired by Norman’s 65-year quest to attain his dream, and go for it!
  • Visit the website for the Serum Run, an Iditarod run dedicated to the memory of Norman Vaughan, to learn how you can support this worthy event!

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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