Journey of Global Pioneering
These adventurous mountain men and the STN Sweden crew have been tirelessly preparing for the grand opening of STN Sweden and an adventure that is out of this world! Zach Ifland and Kevin Scott share about some of the challenges they’ve endured along with their excitement and passion through the pioneering process. Exciting things are happening in Särna, and this is only the beginning! If you have ever served with STN in Hawaii as a staff member, joined us internationally, or completed any of our training programs this Alumni Adventure is for you! The link to sign up for this thrilling trip is at the bottom of the page. This is a groundbreaking, risk-taking, and history-making opportunity that you do not want to pass up!
Elaborating on the journey of pioneering a base and personal transitions of moving to Särna.
The adventurous journey of pioneering multiple STN bases was revealed to my wife and me while receiving some world-class training in 2017 at YWAM Perth, Australia. We basically went to learn and plan one. What we thought was a big project, ended up becoming something massive to execute. The Thruster Model was the project we came back to Hawaii with to help our organization grow into a global movement! Simultaneously, STN had been looking at something new in Sweden and not soon after the Thruster Model officially launched as STN rebirthed itself in Särna, Sweden! Pioneering anything is exhilarating! A new line of work, a new caliber of performance in a sport, having a baby, getting married, etc! But it’s also hard work and requires many forms of discipline and commitment; however, the payoff is crazy, huge fulfillment!
Coming to Sweden was a no-brainer! If we were going to launch this Thruster Model, we knew that going to every base was part of the deal. Our role is to support, train, and push the base leaders to be personally equipped as well as have their base ready to handle people, systems, and the STN DNA! The transition here has been nothing short of amazing and fulfilling. In addition, the winter culture has reignited a new passion in me to continue adventuring with my family and even push myself into new sports as a way to connect and serve others.
Moving to Sweden was actually a super hard transition. You would think moving to another 1st world country would be pretty easy, but I found that there is almost even more to do because of all the documentation and requirements. Between lost luggage and cars breaking down the day I bought them, I have been met with the utmost hospitality all across Sweden.
What Alumni Adventure is and everything it entails. We are most stoked about…
The Alumni Adventure is the new STN Sweden’s first event to rally ANY type of STNer from the past or present to come help. The purpose and intentions behind this adventure are:
- Celebrate a grand opening of the new STN Sweden headquarters
- Support the awesome Eriksson family who is leading the charge
- Reunite old and new friends
- Have fun
- Cast the new STN vision
I’m stoked about the fact that we have an event that brings multi-generational people together to help pound in some spiritual stakes into a new city to be transformed with awesome people from all over the world. It is open to ANY STNer from ANYWHERE, but we are targeting Swedes specifically! I’m also stoked that we are going to be doing some rad winter adventures.
The Alumni Adventure is the official grand opening of STN Sweden. While we are excited about that, it’s also an opportunity to get the ohana back together again here.
The Standard package includes: one day of skiing, a chance to meet some sled dogs, and a pool/sauna day.
The Adventure package holds: skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding. Both packages include skiing, housing, food, and the first ever Ski Church. I am incredibly excited for Swedes to come together as well as meeting some of the legends I have only heard about since joining STN.
New opportunities you have been given to grow your passions while developing this base.
I have been given the opportunity to reignite my passion for snowboarding while helping develop this base and connecting with the locals!
Most of my passions are winter sports/adventure based. Joining this team has given me the opportunity to rediscover these passions and really invest some personal time into growing as a skier. It’s been amazing to volunteer up at the ski hill and love on the community of Sarna.
Ways you have grown as a leader in your new role.
The ability to learn in new situations is something that never gets old or easier. In addition, pioneering is tons of fun, loads of planning, full of creativity, and hard work but so worth the end result!
I have been taken out of my comfort in many ways than ever before. It has stretched me both as a person and as a leader. Being adaptable is a major quality that any leader should have.
Elaborating on the vision for STN Sweden’s grand opening and future Training programs.
I am thrilled about the grand opening and putting STN permanently in Europe! Whether there are 50 people here or 5, we are expecting the right people here for the right reasons! Starting something worthwhile is always worth taking a risk. I was once told that if you are presented with a great opportunity and you don’t know if it’s possible; take the chance and do it and figure out how to make it possible along the way! To me, this embodies pioneering and the heart behind the grand opening of STN Sweden. Future Training programs will consist of Internship, LTP, and Summer & Winter Challenges!!! Same STN DNA but with a new mountain and arctic twist!
We all, in some way, have had our lives changed by STN and we aim to bring that same culture here. The Grand Opening is about making the statement to our alumni that we are here and we are actually doing this. It isn’t just a dream, it’s completely a reality now. We have an Internship coming this summer and an LTP coming in the fall, along with another Internship. We aim to model our programs off of the programs in Hawaii, just with a Scandinavian twist.
As a base, what are you most excited about and in what ways have you been able to develop deeper connections within the community?
I am most excited about breaking new ground with new people and bringing life-changing programs and community to a new location! I have already been able to connect with people that are so excited to hear there is something like STN coming to them. In addition, I have personally been able to connect with snowboarders and surfers that I would have never thought would be in this area. The fact that STN is located in Hawaii is such a great talking point and really allows barriers to be broken and new and intriguing conversations to be engaged! My favorite connection so far has been befriending a South African surfer from J-Bay while at the local ski mountain. He snowboards, has formerly captained yachts, and is now running a snowkiting business (similar to kitesurfing but on the snowy tundra). I felt as if a long lost friend had been placed in this remote little ski village all for us! Exciting times!
We honestly feel very honored to be in this city. People have been so incredibly welcoming and super helpful. I have gotten my car stuck, broke keys inside of locks, and have gotten lost on a snowmobile, yet in all these situations I have experienced such hospitality. Even through all the planning of the Alumni Adventure, I have made a lot of connections and friends. I really enjoy it here and honestly would love to live here after my time with STN, if I could find work haha.
Link to apply!