The first annual National Outdoor Leadership School Faculty Summit wrapped up last Thursday, and responses are rolling in that it was a huge success. The three-day professional development and community-building conference was held in Lander, WY from May 10-12.
Targeted at NOLS instructors, the summit featured a host of speakers, workshops, networking events and training opportunities. Speakers included NASA astronaut John Grunsfeld, explorer Tori Murden McClure, USDA deputy undersecretary Ann Mills and journalist Mark Jenkins. Workshop topic ranged from the NOLS curriculum, risk management, educational strategies to creative writing and packrafting.
The Faculty Summit was attended by over 165 NOLS instructors and another 20 special guests, speakers, and crew. Combined, these instructors have over 280 years of field experience. Our most senior instructor has 620 weeks of field experience, equivalent to 12 consistent years in the backcountry. We had an instructor who began teaching for the school in 1971, and instructors who have just worked their first course – a 40 year difference!
These instructors teach a variety of skills, including hiking, climbing, mountaineering, ski/snowboarding, river skills, sea kayaking, sailing, horse packing and wilderness medicine. Attendees came from Mexico, Chile, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and across the US.
We are looking forward continuing this event next year to motivate and inspire our instructors to be the leading source and teacher of wilderness skills and leadership that serve people and the environment.
A special thank you goes out to all our event sponsors, who helped make this event a success: Adventure Medical Kits, All Terrain, Asian Cuisine, Breadboard, Camp USA, Chunks of Energy, Cloudveil, Crazy Creek, Deuter, Dr. Bronners, El Sol de Mexico, Elemental Training Center, Five Ten, Gannett Peak Sports, Gear Aid, Grand Targhee, GSI, Honey Stinger, Icebreaker, Lander Bar, Lander Brewing Co, Larabar, Leatherman, Mountain Khakis, The Mountaineers Books, Mr D’s, Nemo Equipment Inc, Old Town Coffee, Optic Nerve, Osprey, Outdoor Research, Patagonia, Paul Thompson Sports Inc, Princeton Tech, Rock and Ice, Sanuk, and Wild Iris.