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Filling the Gap

Posted by Kim Freitas on May 25, 2016

Like a growing number of graduating high school seniors, including the president’s daughter Malia Obama, Conor Belfield ’14 took a year off before starting college in 2015.


Fall Semester Grad Savors the Outdoors

Posted by Kim Freitas on May 17, 2016

Liam Tuveson participated in an adventure of a lifetime as part of a fall semester program with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).

After graduating from Groton School, Groton, Massachusetts, in 2015, he embarked on the course from Aug. 28-Nov. 24, 2015. “In the weeks prior to the semester, I prepared by working out at Cook Performance, Batesville, and I spent some time looking at reviews and videos of the course online to prepare for what I might have to deal with,” he said.


How to Find the Best Campsites in the US

Posted by Kim Freitas on May 17, 2016

Whether you're swimming in crystal-clear lakes, taking in the stunning panoramic views of mountains, or frolicking in fields of blooming wildflowers, camping in nature can be one of the best ways to get out and enjoy the summer months.

But how do you pick a campsite in a country overflowing with natural beauty? Nearly 1 million square miles (2.6 million square kilometers), or about 14 percent of the U.S.' total landmass, is under some form of protection, according to Protected Planet, an international database of nature reserves and protected spaces worldwide. 


Forest Kindergarten Teacher Trained at NOLS

Posted by Kim Freitas on May 12, 2016

Forest Kindergarten Photo by Carol Simmons“For us, it’s a small stretch,” said Keaton, who has been the Antioch School’s Kindergarten teacher for 10 years, after beginning her career in public schools. Not only does Forest Kindergarten embody the school’s educational ideals, but it also builds on Keaton’s own classroom organization. “I’ve never had a day where we didn’t go outside,” she said. Also, her class, like others at the school, “has taken weekly hikes in the Glen for many years.”


Mountaineering Courses Promise Epic Treks

Posted by Kim Freitas on May 9, 2016

Imagine a class that backpacks through Washington’s North Cascades for 29 days. This is a reality with the North Cascades Mountaineering course offered through the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). In this course, 10 lucky students, with the aid of two instructors, travel through the North Cascades and encounter deep valleys, jagged peaks, vast glaciers, and cascading waterfalls.


The Gap Year Trend: What, Why and How?

Posted by Kim Freitas on May 5, 2016

What is a gap year?

Originally popularized in the United Kingdom, a gap year is a year students take between high school and starting college most typically to travel, volunteer or work.

Often, these students will have already been accepted into a college who work with admissions counselors to defer their starting dates. Some universities are more willing than others to do this, but its becoming a more accepted practice each year.


Filling the Gap

Posted by Kim Freitas on May 3, 2016

Even though going straight to college after senior year may still be the norm at Saint Thomas Aquinas, one student is taking a different path. Senior Wesley Weissend plans to take a gap year to pursue a year in a program after his graduation.

“My dad had told me about the organization [National Outdoor Leadership School] a long time ago and I looked into during one of their classic month long courses in the summer,” Weissend said. His original plan was just to do a program in the summer before his freshman year of college.


Results from National Gap Year Survey Show Positive Outcomes

Posted by Kim Freitas on April 26, 2016

The American Gap Association (AGA) released a report containing results from a new survey on gap year participation among college-age students. The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) is an accredited gap year provider through the AGA.


Graduation Brings a Time for Decisions

Posted by Kim Freitas on March 28, 2016
We spend so much time celebrating college entrance that we often forget to celebrate the students who choose other developmental opportunities. I have met students from the Student Conservation Association, AmeriCorps, Pathway Vineyard’s Heroic Leadership Institute, City Year, Outward Bound, the National Outdoor Leadership School, and all branches of the military, to name a few.

Truly, the best part about all of those choices is that students will often get credit for the experience when they do go to college.


Sudbury Native Spends Semester Hiking, Climbing, and Canoeing in the Rockies

Posted by Sarah Zimmerman on March 17, 2016

Over three months last fall Kevin Cadogan got a chance to hike 38 miles in the Wind River Range in Wyoming, rock climb in southern Idaho, and take part in an 84-mile canoe expedition on Utah’s Green River and San Juan River.

The expedition was the dream of a lifetime for the 20-year-old Sudbury native, who as a child summited several of New England's highest peaks with his stepdad, including Mt. Washington, Mt. Kathadin, and Mt. Mansfield.