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Putting Leadership into Practice: AmeriCorps and NOLS

By Travis Davis on 6/22/16 11:46 AM

Travis reflects on his experiences serving with AmeriCorps and his NOLS courses, thinking about how their intersection has helped him grow and develop as a leader.

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Topics: Alumni, Behind the Scenes, whitewater, AmeriCorps, education, leadership

Confessions from the Wilderness [Interview]

By Kim Freitas on 6/3/16 8:43 AM

Eli Marienthal’s final big-screen film role was in 2004’s Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. Since then, Marienthal has left acting behind and gone on to discover a love of the wilderness as an outdoor educator. He founded W.I.L.D., which stands for Wilderness Immersion and Leadership Development, and Back to Earth, where his longtime friend Jesse Sachs is his business partner, collaborator and co-trip leader.

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Topics: adventure, Live the Dream, education, backcountry, leadership

Thriving as Women Boaters on the Main Salmon River

By Liz Hardwick on 5/24/16 9:53 AM

NOLS instructor Liz Hardwick writes about learning new tricks on a familiar river.

Jen pokes me awake as I am drifting off, trying to sleep before the moon gets up above the canyon walls. “Do you think I can run Vinegar in a solo boat?” she asks.

We’re camped on the Main Salmon River, all white sandy beaches, steep dry mountains and fun, fun rapids. This is the night before we get off the river and Vinegar is downstream of us, the last big rapid and one of the most challenging ones on the river.

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Topics: NOLS Rocky Mountain, canoe, adventure, Educators Notebook, instructor, instructors, education, NOLS Teton Valley, IDF, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), leadership

NOLS Courses Are So Much Pun!

By Sarah Buer on 5/20/16 8:51 AM

We believe in the value of education—and in having fun.

Get your daily dose of humor with some of our favorite NOLS-related puns:

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

Quantifying the Unquantifiable: What I Learned after a Week in the Wilderness with the Archer School for Girls

By Jen Pontrelli on 5/9/16 8:10 AM

There I was in the middle of the Galiuro Wilderness in southern Arizona. Traversing a mountain trail at top speed for the terrain, sweating profusely in the desert sun, and humming Fergie’s 2007 hit “Glamorous.”

As a diehard Metallica fan, I didn’t expect this particular tune to be rattling around in my brain, but my fellow expedition members, 12 high school freshman girls, would not have it any other way.

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Topics: Backpacking, adventure, Live the Dream, NOLS Southwest, NOLS Professional Training, leadership, NOLS Custom Education

Educator Expedition: La Patagonia Desconocida - The Unknown Patagonia

By Marissa Bieger on 4/25/16 7:33 AM

… Perhaps when I say the word Patagonia, most of you will think of legendary places like el Chaltén or Torres del Paine, but here is the difference, my Patagonia is a land unknown to many and familiar to few. Yes, that is what I speak of, of that land that still has magical air to explore, that which hides in maps without information, mountains without name and routes that definitely do not exist.

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Topics: NOLS Patagonia, climbing, Educators Notebook, instructor, mountaineering, education, leadership

Keep Calm and Medic On: How a WEMT Course Can Transform Your Backcountry Experience

By Hadley Warner on 4/19/16 8:05 AM

I had been considering taking a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) course for almost three years, but something always came up to prevent it. In October of last year the idea finally became a reality and I found myself driving up a winding dirt road to the picturesque Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus on a sunny fall afternoon. The course offered by WMI combines urban and wilderness medicine while preparing participants to sit for the National Registry exam. I was not sure what the next 25 days had in store for me, but I knew the course would serve me well in the future.

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Topics: wilderness medicine, WMI, Educators Notebook, instructor, education, WEMT, leadership, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute

21 Quotes Guaranteed to Make You Crave the Outdoors

By Sarah Buer on 4/14/16 8:00 AM

We can’t put our finger on it, what exactly it is that makes the wilderness so touching and transformative. Perhaps it’s because there isn’t one thing alone that moves us to indulge in the outdoors, but rather a multitude of things combined to impact us all at once and change pieces of us along the way.

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Topics: Live the Dream, wilderness, leadership, photos

Leadership Reads for Housebound Adventurers

By Kim Freitas on 4/12/16 9:05 AM

It’s not always possible to take off on an adventure. Sometimes, life gets in the way. Picking up a book is a great way to escape your day-to-day routine, wind down, and relax.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, National Outdoor Leadership School, leadership

Recording Herding Songs of the Mongolian Steppe

By Dimitri Staszewski on 4/8/16 3:14 PM

NOLS graduate Dimitri Staszewski tells the story of his work recording the songs of Mongolian herders in this excerpt from the spring 2016 issue of The Leader.

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Topics: Alumni, Live the Dream, video, education, backcountry, leadership

Why I Moved 1,600 Miles to Intern at NOLS

By Sarah Zimmerman on 4/6/16 8:00 AM

When I decided to travel about 1,600 miles from home to the middle of Wyoming for an internship in public relations and marketing, my friends and family wondered why I couldn't do the same type of thing a little closer. Coming from a full-time position at a full-service PR and marketing agency in Tennessee, people also couldn’t see why I would choose an internship for my next career move. But what they didn’t understand was that I wanted to deepen my knowledge of PR and marketing within the frame of the outdoor industry, from the leaders in wilderness education.

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Topics: NOLS, Behind the Scenes, Lander, NOLS Rocky Mountain, National Outdoor Leadership School, education, leadership

WMI Employee to Wilderness First Responder

By Sarah Buer on 4/5/16 11:29 AM
Photo by Teddy Kelley.
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Topics: Wilderness First Responder, wilderness medicine, WMI, education, leadership, Wilderness Medicine

Educator Expedition: Kiwi Boot Camp

By NOLS Blog on 3/29/16 4:04 PM
A short paddle on the Landsborough River before the rains came: Aaron Reimer, Amy Christeson, Ben Weigl, Dulkara Martig (pictured left to right). Photo courtesy of Amy Christeson.
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Topics: NOLS Alaska, NOLS New Zealand, Educators Notebook, instructor, education, IDF, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), leadership, packrafting

Let the Mountains Teach Us—To Fail

By Colleen Wearn on 3/28/16 10:00 AM

Midway through leading a backpacking expedition composed of 15 college freshmen, I asked Claire — the nervous student designated to lead the day’s hike — if she had ever failed. At anything, ever. 

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Topics: Alumni, Live the Dream, NOLS Scandinavia, education, leadership

The Adventure Rolls On: Thriving through Adversity with Eric Thompson

By Sarah Buer on 3/25/16 9:45 AM
Photo courtesy of Eric Thompson.
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Topics: Alumni, Tolerance for Adversity, wilderness medicine, WMI, leadership, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Medicine