Presentation Ceremony of Explorers Club Citation of Merit

Chief Cook George Basch (and the Himalayan Stove Project) received the prestigious Citation of Merit at the Explorers Club Annual Dinner (ECAD) on Ellis Island on March 25, 2017.

This award has been presented since 1962, and “may be awarded to an individual or a group, upon recommendation by the Flag and Honors Committee, by the Board of Directors in recognition of an outstanding feat of exploration or services to the Club”.

Prior recipients have included the American Mount Everest Expedition, 1963, R. Marlin Perkins, D.Sc., Gilbert M. Grosvenor, The Apollo F-1 Engine Search and Recovery Team  and many others.

ECAD featured Robert De Niro as host / speaker, who made a powerful speech criticizing Donald Trump’s climate policies.

Wade Davis was Master of Ceremonies, and legendary British Explorer Sir Ranulph (Ran) Fiennes was a featured speaker, who also echoed De Niro’s strongly expressed sentiments, all of whom were roundly applauded by the more than 1,200 Explorers Club members and guests in attendance in Ellis Island’s Great Hall.

The major awards (the Explorers Medals) were given to Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg who recently completed the first Round-The-World Solar Flight, powered only by the sun, with no fuel or polluting emissions, and to Nainoa Thompson for his historic work on Polynesian wayfinding and the Hōkūleʻa expedition

The video below  shows the “preview video” before the actual award presentation, and George’s acceptance speech.

Himalayan Stove Project Receives Citation of Merit at Explorers Club Annual Dinner from George Basch on Vimeo.


This is the actual award certificate


 This picture (taken by new team member Pamela Johnston at the Club) shows a slightly less serious “Chief Cook”


Felix captioned this picture (below) “The Badass Miracle Worker, Founder of the Himalayan Stove Project, George Basch is dedicated to preserving the Himalayan environment and improving the health of the people living there. The project provides clean-burning, fuel-efficient cook stoves as replacements to traditional stoves or open-fire pits which cause unsafe levels of indoor air pollution and use excess fuel.”

This picture was taken by the official photographer, Felix Kunze after the presentation, where he caught George “smiling”.

It was an amazing weekend, complete with “typical” Explorers hors d’oeuvres of deep-fried tarantulas, grilled cockroaches, scorpion, yak meatballs, and elk pemmican – mmmmmm!


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