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NOLS is a nonprofit global wilderness school that seeks to help you step forward boldly as a leader.
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4 Spring Break Trips You Haven't Considered

By NOLS on Feb 17, 2020

Photo by Molly Hagbrand.

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Topics: education, NOLS Expeditions, spring break

José González, Knight Campbell, & Kit DesLauriers on Their Trails To Success [Video]

By NOLS on Feb 13, 2020

Photo courtesy of José G. González

NOLS graduates are an inspiring bunch. Over the years, we’ve heard again and again that their NOLS courses impacted their trails to success.

Whether success means founding a nonprofit that empowers Latinx communities in the outdoors (José González), becoming the first person to ski the seven summits (Kit DesLauriers), or launching a company built around outdoor leadership training (Knight Campbell), NOLS courses can facilitate learning and growth along the way.

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Topics: Alumni, NOLS alumni, video, stories, #TrailsToSuccess

Watch: Yoga for Sea Kayakers

By NOLS on Feb 6, 2020

Sea kayaking in Baja. Photo by Lynn Petzold.

Looking for a complement to long days on the water? Yoga is a great opportunity to relax, stretch out tight muscles, and center yourself. In this step-by-step video, NOLS instructor Teresa Miller shares a yoga routine tailored to paddlers’ needs.

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Topics: Sea Kayaking, NOLS sea kayaking, Baja Sea Kayaking, kayaking, education, paddling

Wilderness and Identity: Q&A with NOLS LGBTQ+ Canyonlands Backpacking Grad

By NOLS on Jan 27, 2020

Exploring the out-of-this-world views of Utah on NOLS' first LGBTQ+ Backpacking Expedition. Photo by Emi Birch.
 
Mat is the Summer Program Manager at Summer Search—a nonprofit that empowers young people who face systemic oppression by providing a unique combination of social-emotional mentoring, post-secondary advising, and summer leadership experiences—such as a custom course hosted by NOLS. He has directed a summer camp that taught peace, social justice, and environmental stewardship. He has also engaged high school students in community service and led service trips to developing countries. 
 
Mat and his husband were part of a group of nine students that completed NOLS’ first LGBTQ+ expedition into the canyonlands of Utah. We caught up with Mat after his course to learn more about his experience.

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Topics: backpacking, hiking, adventure, canyoneering, LGBTQ, q&a, affinity, stories

Announcing New Expeditions for Summer 2020

By NOLS on Jan 16, 2020

Photo by Mara Gans.

This summer, kayak past Alaska’s towering ice-blue glaciers. Or go backpacking in the majestic snow-capped peaks of the North Cascades.

It’s the start of a new year, and we’re celebrating with seven new courses. Summer 2020 might be the perfect opportunity to pursue the outdoor adventure of your dreams!

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Topics: education, new courses, NOLS Expeditions, announcement, affinity

Celebrating NOLS in the New Year

By NOLS on Jan 9, 2020
Paul Petzoldt instructing a group of NOLS students in the early years of the school. Photo from NOLS archives.

January 2020 is a month of great reflection and celebration at NOLS. It marks the:

  • Welcoming of our first female president,

  • Paul Petzoldt's 112th birthday,

  • our 55th year educating students in the outdoors, and

  • 50 years of NOLS in homes across America.

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Topics: NOLS, anniversary, history, paul petzoldt, documentary, stories, Terri Watson, 55th anniversary

New Year, New Outdoor You

By NOLS on Jan 6, 2020
Photo by Rich Brame. 

It's a new year and 12 months stand before you with unlimited possibilities for adventure and learning. Alaskan summers have endless days to enjoy, the northern Rocky Mountains are yours to climb, and the refreshing ocean waters of Baja await your sea kayak. And have you been considering earning your Wilderness EMT? This can be the year to make it all happen.

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Topics: goal, education, trip planning, #optoutside

A Can of Calm: Applying Wilderness Medicine in Disaster Zones

By NOLS on Dec 19, 2019

A ShelterBox tent lit up with solar lights on the island of Barbuda after hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the Caribbean. Photo by Ned Morris.

NOLS Wilderness First Responder grad Ned Morris is a volunteer ShelterBox Response Team member (SRT). SRT members deploy to areas of natural disaster or conflict-based migration, and help families who have lost everything due to natural disaster or violence. ShelterBox provides shelter solutions, including tents or house repair kits, as well as water purification systems, solar lighting, cooking sets, and much more. There are just over 100 active Response Team members in the world; less than 40 in the U.S. Read the following Q&A to learn more about Ned's humanitarian work with ShelterBox and how his WFR helped prepare him for this role.

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Topics: Wilderness First Responder, wilderness medicine, NOLS Wilderness Medicine

Spring Break 2020: Get Ready for Adventure

By NOLS on Oct 1, 2019

Photo by Molly Hagbrand.

Make your spring break an adventure. Forget the crowded ski resorts or touristy beach vacation—it’s time to do something different.

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Topics: Baja Sea Kayaking, rock climbing, education, backcountry skiing, NOLS Expeditions, spring break

Welcome to NOLS India: Expeditions in the Himalaya

By NOLS on Aug 12, 2019

Written by Annalise Grueter and Manohar D'silva. 


Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.


A line of solemn, snow-capped giants stretches across the three northernmost states in India.

These soaring peaks belong to the world’s highest mountain chain: the Himalaya.

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Topics: Himalayas, Himalaya, Educators Notebook, NOLS India, cultural expedition, stories

Start Dreaming: Summer 2020 Expeditions Now Online

By NOLS on Jul 31, 2019

Camping on a summer day in the Yukon. Photo by Ari Bruns. 

Dreading the end of summer? We are too, just a little.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, Adventure Courses, NOLS semester, education, announcement, classic courses

Winter & Spring 2020 Expeditions Now Online

By NOLS on Jun 11, 2019

Kayaking in New Zealand. Photo by Lisa Moen.
 

Summer's here, and we want you to savor every single late-evening walk and early morning paddle.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, education, backcountry skiing, Prime, splitboarding, announcement, spring break, affinity

Instructor Expeditions of 2018

By NOLS on Mar 25, 2019

How do you become a better educator? There’s no one best answer, but continuing to be a learner yourself is certainly up there.

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Topics: whitewater, Training, kayaking, Educators Notebook, instructor, mountaineering, rock climbing, education, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), Instructor expedition

Your 8 Favorite Wilderness Medicine Posts of 2018

By NOLS on Dec 19, 2018

While wilderness medicine is a constantly evolving field, some things stay the same—like people wondering whether it’s really ok to suck out snake venom, or the steps of the Patient Assessment System.

As 2018 wraps up, our team gathered this year’s most popular wilderness medicine topics from the NOLS Blog. Take a look to refresh your skills and get ready for whatever comes your way in 2019!

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Topics: first aid, wilderness medicine, Live the Dream

NOLS President John Gans Announces Retirement

By NOLS on Nov 30, 2018

NOLS President John Gans announced on November 28 his plans to retire at the end of 2019. He is the fifth president in the school’s 53-year history and longest-serving leader. Gans has been a part of the school for 38 years and at the conclusion of 2019, he will have served as the school's executive director and president for 24 years. He started his NOLS journey as a scholarship student in 1979 on a Semester in Kenya, later serving as director of NOLS Alaska, admissions and marketing director, and operations director before assuming the role of president in October 1995.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, John Gans, stories