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New Courses for Summer 2017

By Molly Herber on 2/21/17 9:50 AM

When we decide to create a new course, it comes from a combination of our faculty’s passion for the area and constant desire for growth, and from what students say they want to see more of.

So, here’s a peek at the new courses you can take starting the summer of 2017. You can focus on service learning, explore the far north of Norway, or walk through the heart of Alaska’s Talkeetna Range.

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Topics: service, Behind the Scenes, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Sea Kayaking, NOLS Alaska, Backpacking, NOLS Scandinavia

Our 10 Favorite Books about Leadership by Women

By Molly Herber on 2/9/17 11:04 AM

[Editor’s note: When I asked folks at NOLS’ headquarters for book recommendations, a small and steady flood of suggestions hit my inbox. The request expanded from a small circle of coworkers and friends to include folks I’ve never met—so many that they couldn’t all make the list.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, Books

How to Connect Leave No Trace to Your Daily Life

By Molly Herber on 2/6/17 8:02 AM

Leave No Trace is part of the camping mindset—when you’re out in the woods, your environmental impact is easy to see. But how do we bring that ethic back home with us?

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Building and Rebuilding: What I Learned on an Alumni Service Trip

By Haley Cushing on 1/10/17 4:09 PM

On the first day of the 2016 Service Trip in the Adirondacks, I remember thinking that our motley crew of highly motivated yet enormously unskilled laborers had quite an impossible mission before us. It was our goal to revamp a bridge and, looking at the bridge spanning across Moose Creek, it looked like a daunting task.

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Topics: Alumni, Behind the Scenes

Looking Back, Looking Ahead: The NOLS Logo

By Molly Herber on 12/13/16 9:04 AM

On the very first NOLS course, students walked into the mountains wearing the same outfit. A single patch decorated every shirt: the stars and shield logo that represented the National Outdoor Leadership School.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Climbing Higher: The New NOLS Look

By John Gans on 12/12/16 12:15 PM

NOLS looks a little different today.

For the past year, we've been developing a new look and logo for NOLS, and today I'm delighted to share the behind-the-scenes action that created this look and what's ahead.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

22 Ways You Know You’re a NOLSie

By Rachel Dranoff on 11/8/16 6:54 AM

Reflections on returning to society after a NOLS course…

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Pursuing a Passion: Choosing an Outdoor Gap Year

By Eugene Buchanan on 10/26/16 12:33 PM
Gap year parent Eugene Buchanan writes about his daughter's surprising decision to take a gap year.

The NOLS Decision

“You what?” I asked my 17-year-old daughter, Brooke.

“I’m going to graduate early, a semester, my senior year. I want that to be my gap semester. I want to do a NOLS course.”

Accepting the independence of a teenage daughter is hard enough; seeing it come at the sake of a promising soccer career—one making you a doting soccer parent for over a decade—was perhaps even harder.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, Gap Year

Blood, Sweat, and Cheese: An Epic Adventure

By Liz Blair on 10/18/16 12:30 PM

23 days, 12 students, 4 instructors, and 1 epic adventure. This fall, I participated in an Outdoor Educator course with NOLS in Lander, Wyoming.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, Outdoor Educator

Big Agnes Co-Owner Len Zanni: Finding His Way in the Outdoor Industry

By Molly Herber on 9/13/16 11:59 AM

At last summer's Outdoor Retailer event, we were able to connect with Len Zanni, co-owner of Big Agnes, Inc. and a NOLS grad! Len talked with us about what he’s learned from NOLS and from his years of working in the outdoor industry.

Len Zanni first found the outdoors when he headed to Colorado for college. Finding himself in one of the West's best places for the outdoors just after finishing a Wind River Wilderness course in Wyoming, he drank in everything he could.

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Topics: Alumni, Behind the Scenes, education, leadership

How to Create an Eye-Catching Resume by Talking about Your NOLS Course

By Kim Freitas on 9/1/16 9:33 AM

A resume is a tool to introduce yourself to a potential employer. It’s challenging to clearly and concisely articulate your work history on one page. Not to mention when you have to explain something like a NOLS course!

Whether you took a two-day Wilderness First Aid course or a three-month gap semester, you can use this experience to stand out on your next application.

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Topics: Alumni, Behind the Scenes, adventure, education, leadership

5 Things You Learn from Climbing (That Also Matter in Real Life)

By Molly Herber on 8/19/16 8:47 AM

Like with most sports, it's not just about getting to the top. Read on to see some of the best lessons you learn from rock climbing.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, climbing, adventure, education, leadership

3 Tips to Improve Your Outdoor Photography Game

By Will Harrison on 8/12/16 8:00 AM

Taking photos in the wilderness is a great way to capture memories you will hold for a lifetime. There’s nothing better than coming home with a camera full of your favorite moments—laughing around the campsite with friends, the delicious pizza you managed to perfect (albeit the third attempt), and the breathtaking vistas of the alpenglow on Bastion Peak in the Wind River Range.

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Topics: Alumni, Behind the Scenes, Backpacking, adventure, mountaineering, backcountry, photography

Netflix Co-Founder Marc Randolph on Leadership and How to Learn It

By Marc Randolph on 7/28/16 8:06 AM

We caught up with Netflix co-founder, executive mentor, and Chair of the NOLS Board of Trustees Marc Randolph to hear his thoughts on how learning resilience in the wilderness helped him build the grit to be a business leader.

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Topics: Alumni, NOLS, Behind the Scenes, education, leadership

Reasons to Take a Longer Trip

By Shelby Cranshaw on 7/12/16 1:47 PM

Spending an extended period of time in the backcountry can seem challenging even to the most experienced of wilderness travelers, but you can learn a lot of humorous and valuable lessons when you're removed from civilization for a long time.

Here are few reasons why you should go into the wild for more time than you think.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, cooking, adventure, Gap Year, education