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Instructor Q&A with Rich Brame

By NOLS on Feb 19, 2010
What is your favorite class to teach?
Baking. Hands down. Cooking is a life skill and showy backcountry baking usually blows people's minds. Many students have this image of eating canned vienna sausages and hardtack on their course. Teaching someone that baking is easy, fun and delicious sets them up for a lifetime of success. I don't know if all my students will climb, hike, cave or fish again, but I'm damned sure they'll eat. What is your favorite course to teach?
I like working the mountain sections of the Rocky Mountain Fall Semesters. The students come committed to a lengthy, challenging experience, the weather is often fairly sporting, and there are few people and fewer bugs in the mountains at that time of year.

Give me your best backcountry recipe.
Crispy hashbrowns (fried, hydrated and then fried again) with black beans poured over. Topped with cheese and enough spices to send a Rottweiler into spasms. A close second is backcountry-made tortillas filled with a spicy, cheesy mix of bulgar, rice and cous-cous. Line your Fry-Bake with those burritos and slather with re-hydrated red sauce and its a pan o' heaven right in your camp.

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Topics: course, rich brame, baking, cooking, accomplishment, teach, achievement, Educators Notebook, instructor, q&a, skill, backcountry

Instructor Q&A with Matthew Hartman

By William Roth on Feb 12, 2010
Where did you get your start in outdoor education?
Wilderness Therapy. AYA Colorado. Hoods in the Woods. Made me realize that teaching outdoors can have a profound impact on students, but also me personally. I had worked before for some summer programs, but that was when I really decided to do it year round.What is your favorite course to teach?
I like teaching winter courses because it makes every other course type I have worked seem easy. It makes students very tolerant and respectful of the mountains. It also gives students a chance to experience mountains in a time of year that they likely won't see again.

Give me your best backcountry recipe.
The "Matt Zone" is a calzone that is the size of you face. Mix white and wheat flower and baking powder. Do not measure anything. Guess and you get whatever you get! About and pound of flour total will make 3 "Matt Zones". Pinch a little baking powder. Add water till you have a dry, hard dough. Cut into three even pieces, then half those pieces and roll then flat and thin with a nalgene. Remember, they must be thin and the size of you face. Mix tomato sauce, either paste or powder, cut cheese (pepper jack is my favorite), fry sausage from the wind river meat packing plant, and then make your calzone. Place all ingredients on one flat dough piece and cover with another. Use oil to roll ends together, put oil in frybake and fry, flipping after five minutes. Then walk around and brag that it is the size of your face.

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Topics: NOLS, Educators Notebook, instructor, outdoor education, q&a