NOLS Blog

Browse by Category

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.

Read More

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

Beyond Limits and Proud: LGBT & NOLS Wilderness Medicine Experience

By Emily Ambrose on Jun 9, 2016

I entered the Wilderness First Responder course nervous.

It was January, four months prior to my first season as a rafting guide on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon for AzRA Discovery. The WFR certification through NOLS Wilderness Medicine would grant me the final two certifications I needed.

I was nervous for a couple reasons: First, my medical knowledge was limited to watching Grey's Anatomy on TV prior to the course; second, I was unsure how I would be triggered or invalidated in my Queer identity through the nine-day course.

Read More

Topics: diversity and inclusion, Wilderness First Responder, wilderness medicine, LGBTQ, whitewater rafting, Wilderness Medicine