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Jimmy Chin’s Journey from NOLS to the Oscars

By Brooke Ortel on Feb 3, 2020
Photo courtesy of National Geographic

It’s Oscar season once again—a great reason to celebrate Jimmy Chin, co-producer of the top documentary feature film of 2019. Not only is Jimmy a world-renowned skier, climber, and film-maker, he’s also a NOLS alum, former instructor, and current Board member. Years before he stepped into the international spotlight, Jimmy started his journey with NOLS.

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Topics: NOLS Grad, nols instructor, Live the Dream, rock-climbing, NOLS Alum, parenting, Free Solo, leaders of color, stories, alumni-stories

Learning Expedition Behavior With Kids: Winter Edition

By Alyssa Walker on Feb 28, 2019
Photo by Alyssa Walker

Winter is ripe for lessons in expedition behavior (EB) for everyone, especially kids. The season compresses EB’s basic tenets of self-care, leadership, and positive attitudes in some of the harshest, least EB-friendly conditions.

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Topics: expedition behavior, winter, kids, parenting, stories, alumni-stories

Why Car Camping With Kids Was Harder Than My NOLS Course

By Alyssa Walker on Sep 18, 2018


Photo by Alyssa Walker.

On our last family car camping sojourn, a three-day affair two years ago, we learned that two- and four-year-olds are too young for anyone to enjoy any aspect of car camping. There were diapers. There were legions of biting insects. There was not one, but two kid backpacks. There was a frog potty. There were tantrums. Everything was sticky. It rained. We were too close to our neighbors. Fun, but not. At all.

We took a break for a year, thinking two potty-trained kids, at a minimum, would help. This time, we resolved, would be better, more fun, the stuff of memories and traditions. Our children, at four and six, were ready. So were we.

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Topics: Tolerance for Adversity, Live the Dream, expedition behavior, kids, parenting, car camping, stories

5 Ways Expedition Behavior Helps You Raise Kids

By Alyssa Walker on May 3, 2018
Photo by Alyssa Walker

The most miserable and telling moment on my monthlong NOLS Alaska Outdoor Educator Course 13 years ago—descending a steep talus slope—taught me the value and beauty of expedition behavior, or EB. It also prepared me for an even bigger life adventure: parenthood.

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Topics: skills, Family, backpacking, expedition behavior, Alaska, Outdoor Educator, kids, parenting, stories, alumni-stories