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You Don’t Always Have to Know the Answer: Vulnerability in Leadership

By Carolyn Highland on Mar 25, 2020

Photo by Carolyn Highland.

The thunder rolled, the lightning cracked, and I knew I could never lead students in the backcountry on my own.

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Topics: Leadership Skills, Outdoor Educator, NOLS Expeditions, Covid-19

Creating Space: Why All-Women's Expeditions Matter

By Brooke Ortel on Mar 5, 2020
Photo by Nadine Lehner

“In a lot of ways, it’s just a normal NOLS course. But there’s also an aspect of recognition that the outdoor world is still predominantly male, and it’s cool and empowering to be out here with a bunch of women who historically haven’t always been accepted in this realm of work and play.” —Katie Oram, NOLS Instructor

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Topics: Leadership Skills, Research, all-women, female leaders, inspiring women, NOLS Expeditions, affinity, Leadership

How Outdoor Adventures Set Teens up for Life Success

By Brooke Ortel on Mar 2, 2020
Photo by Kirk Rasmussen

In today’s world, students find the idea of failure appalling, intolerable. It’s like standing on the edge of a looming precipice or swift-flowing river with no guarantee of a safe crossing. But in reality, the prospect of failure isn’t (usually) a looming gorge—it’s a botched exam, lower-than-desired SAT score, getting cut from the team, losing the race for class president.

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Topics: Leadership Skills, teens, Adventure Courses, Research, education, NOLS Teton Valley, NOLS Expeditions, Leadership

5 Myths About a NOLS Gap Year

By NOLS on Feb 20, 2020
Photo by Photo by Nick Garrett

It's common for students to seek out gap year opportunities that will position them as exceptional college applicants and job candidates.

NOLS offers students the best of both worlds through its gap year expeditions, providing unique travel destinations with a structured leadership curriculum. Learning hands on, in the outdoors, teaches skills that prepare students for college and beyond.

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Topics: Study Abroad Stories, Gap Year, education, myth, NOLS Expeditions, Stories

4 Spring Break Trips You Haven't Considered

By NOLS on Feb 17, 2020
Photo by Molly Hagbrand

Which of these items is on your spring break wish list?

  1. Snorkel beside a coral reef.
  2. Ski untouched powder.
  3. Climb a towering granite crag.
  4. Wait in a long lift line and at overcrowded ski resort.
  5. Wade through litter and hordes of people at a touristy beach.
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Topics: Skills, education, NOLS Expeditions, spring break

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: Events, education, new courses, NOLS Expeditions, Announcements, affinity

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: Skills, Baja Sea Kayaking, Kayaking, Rock Climbing, education, backcountry skiing, NOLS Expeditions, Announcements, spring break

Business Undergrads Look to Wilderness Expeditions for Leadership Training

By Stephanie Cantu on Aug 26, 2019

Dozens of candidates from undergraduate business and MBA programs across the U.S. go on wilderness expeditions with NOLS each year. Stephanie Cantu, Senior Student Program Coordinator and academic advisor for the Canfield Business Honors Program at The University of Texas, shares what she sees her students gain from these expeditions, and how they’re set up for success in the ever-changing business world.

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Topics: Leadership Skills, wilderness education, Business School, students, MBAs, wilderness, NOLS Custom Education, NOLS Expeditions, Leadership

Start Dreaming: Summer 2020 Expeditions Now Online

By NOLS on Jul 31, 2019
Photo by Ari Bruns

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

But don’t despair: looking forward to next year’s outdoor adventures is a great way to shake off the end of summer blues.

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Topics: Events, summer, Adventure Courses, NOLS semester, NOLS Expeditions, Announcements, classic courses

Winter & Spring 2020 Expeditions Now Online

By NOLS on Jun 11, 2019
Photo by Lisa Moen

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

But don't be fooled—fall and winter will arrive sooner than you think, and you don't want to be the person finishing out summer with nothing to look forward to until next year!

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Topics: Sailing, Events, climbing, Skills, Kayaking, Rock Climbing, backcountry skiing, snowboarding, NOLS Expeditions, Announcements, spring break, affinity

Taking a NOLS River Expedition

By Rob Motley on Jun 5, 2019
Photo by Austin Danicic

“It’s impossible to be bored running a rapid,”according to Fabio Oliveira.

He would know. Despite spending 289 weeks in the field as NOLS instructor, he’s never gotten tired of leading river expeditions. A long-time instructor from Brazil, Fabio has spent the last five years primarily teaching whitewater courses that are full of rapids, cheering, and giggling.

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Topics: Canoeing, whitewater, Skills, Kayaking, River, education, whitewater rafting, NOLS Expeditions

5 Things I Learned from Going on a Paddling Expedition with My Spouse

By Ashley Drake on May 13, 2019

Going on an expedition is one thing—going with your spouse can be something else entirely. NOLS Instructor and Custom Education Account Manager Ashley Drake shares how, with intentional planning and plenty of good humor, adventuring with your spouse can be some of your best time spent outdoors.

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Topics: Skills, River, nols instructor, Becoming an Instructor, inspiring women, whitewater rafting, NOLS Expeditions, Stories, Rafting, Instructor Stories

My Semester in Baja, as Told in Food and Sunsets [Photo Essay]

By Claire Burgeson on Jan 22, 2019

On the seventh day of my Spring Semester in Baja, we bought a goat.

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Topics: Sailing, Skills, Backpacking, Kayaking, culture, photos, Semester in Baja, NOLS Expeditions, Stories, Student Stories

New Courses for Fall 2018

By Molly Herber on May 16, 2018

Planning a trip always represents new possibilities: Where will we go that’s new? And where will we return to in a way that’s radically different?

With the new courses starting this fall and into December of 2018, we’re offering more experiences designed for adults to spend time outside between work and family commitments, and more opportunities for students to combine their passions.

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Topics: Events, expedition, Adult courses, new courses, NOLS Expeditions, Announcements

New Courses for Summer 2018

By Molly Herber on Jan 29, 2018

Putting a new course together is good practice for tolerance for uncertainty. We try to answer questions like, will folks be excited about canoeing the Adirondacks this year? Or would they rather go on an all-girls backpacking expedition in the Olympic National Forest? In the end, we have to do the same thing we do in the backcountry—use the information available to make a decision, and then see what happens.

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Topics: Events, new courses, NOLS Expeditions, Announcements