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Best of NOLS Instagram in 2018

By Caleb Walker on Dec 21, 2018

Your favorite photos of wilderness, friendship, and leadership from NOLS Instagram.

Find a little inspiration as you start dreaming of your adventures for 2019… 

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Topics: NOLS Patagonia, NOLS Rocky Mountain, NOLS Alaska, Backpacking, NOLS Pacific Northwest, Live the Dream, river crossing, mountaineering, winter, tent, NOLS Three Peaks Ranch, photography, photos, stories

What I Learned About Resilience from Swimming an Icy Canyon Pond

By Maddy Eschholz on May 30, 2018


Photo by Lindsay Nohl.

Limb-numbing cold water drips down my shirt and pants. Uncontrollable, body wracking shivers. Shallow, quick breaths don't quite fill my lungs. Tears that I couldn't hold in any longer rolling down my cheeks. I hate this. I want to go home. Why do people think this is fun? Why am I so emotional? Why won't these tears stop?

These thoughts and feelings all came rushing into my head after swimming through a deep pond in a slot canyon on the sixth day of my NOLS course. It was November, and the water was the coldest thing I’ve ever felt—it was the kind of cold that made it hurt to take a deep breath. This was the hardest moment of my trip, but also the time when I learned the most about myself and who I wanted to be.

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Topics: Semester in the Rockies, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Live the Dream, NOLS semester, Utah, canyoneering, stories

New Courses for Fall 2017

By Molly Herber on Apr 10, 2017

Editor’s Note: We’re introducing six new courses to our fall lineup that are all 10 days or shorter. Enjoy!

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, NOLS Rocky Mountain, NOLS Southwest, NOLS Northeast

New Courses for Summer 2017

By Molly Herber on Feb 21, 2017

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

Thriving as Women Boaters on the Main Salmon River

By Liz Hardwick on May 24, 2016

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

Why I Moved 1,600 Miles to Intern at NOLS

By Sarah Zimmerman on Apr 6, 2016

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

Daily Gratitude: NOLS in the Frontcountry

By Scott Stewart on Mar 18, 2016

 NOLS taught me two of life’s most valuable lessons: humility and gratitude.

On my course, I couldn’t climb the 5.10 crack in Joshua Tree National Park, although my knuckles were bloodied and my fingertips were raw from the attempt. I couldn’t carry my equal share of weight after throwing out my back in the Wind River Range, burdening my teammates by adding more mass to their already 70-pound packs.

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Topics: NOLS Rocky Mountain, climbing, Backpacking, Live the Dream, NOLS Southwest, leadership

How NOLS Ruined the Old Me

By Erin Sullivan on Mar 1, 2016

The summer I was 19, I went on a thirty day Wind River Wilderness course.

It wasn't like I was outdoorsy. I never went to summer camp as a kid. I was in Girl Scouts, but I only lasted until we had to sleep in tents. Then I was out. I was not the kid playing in the dirt.

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Topics: Alumni, Lander, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Backpacking, Live the Dream, education, leadership

Why My Semester Group Thrived

By NOLS Blog on Jan 14, 2016

By Shannon Reiser, Outdoor Educator Semester '15

Dean squishes water out of his boots while Lucila looks on all smiles. Photo by Luke Fortezzo.

 

As I reintegrate into normal life after my NOLS Outdoor Educator Semester in the Rockies, I am frequently asked about the group of people I spent three months with. My group, cohort, squad, crew ... whatever you want to call it remained intact for the whole 90 days: no evacuations, few breaks from each other, and many tears shed when we said goodbye.

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Topics: Alumni, Semester, NOLS Rocky Mountain, adventure, Live the Dream, backcountry, leadership

Our Favorite Winter Photos

By Molly Herber on Dec 21, 2015

We know you might be busy working or studying right now, so here are some amazing photos to feed your soul until the next time you can play outside.

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Topics: NOLS Rocky Mountain, Live the Dream, winter, NOLS Teton Valley, backcountry skiing, snowboarding, splitboarding

Educator Expedition: Horsepacking through the Gros Ventre and Wind River Mountains of Wyoming

By NOLS Blog on Dec 14, 2015

By Kelsey Wicks, NOLS backpacking and horsepacking instructor

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Topics: horsepacking, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Three Peaks Ranch, Educators Notebook, instructor, backcountry

Why I Used the GI Bill for NOLS

By Kevin Wilson on Nov 11, 2015


The Outdoor Educator group in the Wind River Range. Photo by Cooper Davis.

NOLSies pay for their courses in all sorts of ways, from savings to scholarships to working a summer job through high school to take the trip of a lifetime when they graduate. Some students even use their veterans benefits to fund their course.

We spoke with Navy veteran and graduate from a Rocky Mountain Outdoor Educator course and a Wilderness EMT course, Kevin Wilson, to learn about how and why he used his veterans benefits for NOLS and what he learned from his NOLS experiences.

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Topics: Alumni, Wilderness EMT, Lander, NOLS Rocky Mountain, NOLS financial aid, National Outdoor Leadership School, climbing, wilderness medicine, WMI, Backpacking, Live the Dream, backcountry, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute

How an Outdoor Enthusiast Managed Two Decades in the City [Interview with Curtis Bartosik, Part 1]

By Alex Phillips on Nov 9, 2015

One of the most powerful statements on my NOLS course came from Morgan Hite’s essay “Briefing for Entry into a More Harsh Environment.” The last sentence reads: “You don’t need the mountains to do that.” Hite wrote the beloved piece in 1989, just weeks before Curtis Bartosik began his fall semester in the Rockies. In the years since, Bartosik, an American, has gone on to live in Japan, Hong Kong and now France, where he is an established entrepreneur, member of the board of the American Chamber of Commerce in France, general secretary of the American Legion in Paris and President of the Cornell Club of France. Bartosik’s life choices demonstrate that yes, it is possible to live in some of the most populated regions of the globe, and still connect with the natural world and maintain the values a NOLS course cultivates.

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Topics: Alumni, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Live the Dream, Gap Year, backcountry, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

What's in the Wilderness?

By NOLS Blog on Oct 21, 2015
Scouting a rapid. Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.
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Topics: Alumni, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Live the Dream, wilderness, backcountry, whitewater rafting

Fellowships at NOLS Create Pathways to Outdoor Careers

By NOLS Blog on Sep 28, 2015

By Molly Hunt, Alumni Relations Intern Summer 2015

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, NOLS Rocky Mountain, education, NOLS Teton Valley, leadership