Brooke Ortel

Brooke is a runner and writer who enjoys finding adventure in the everyday. True to her island roots, she loves sunshine, that salty ocean smell, and the sound of waves against the shore.

Recent Posts

Naval Academy Midshipman and NOLS Grad Receives Rhodes Scholarship

Posted by Brooke Ortel on November 30, 2018 1:42:34 PM MST

Photo by Kiira Antenucci

U.S. Naval Academy senior and NOLS Alaska grad Margaret Dods was recently awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in recognition of her academic achievement and excellent leadership skills. The Naval Academy’s 52nd Rhodes Scholar, Dods will pursue a masters in philosophy at Oxford before completing her service in the Marine Corps.

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The Power of Active Followership—On the Ocean and in the Office

Posted by Brooke Ortel on November 26, 2018 10:27:49 AM MST

NOLS grad Meredith Lind discovered the power of active followership while sea kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds during her semester in New Zealand. Now a software consultant and developer, Meredith frequently applies the concept of active followership in the office, recognizing that sometimes asking thoughtful questions can be just as informative as years of experience.

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NOLS Cookery Wins 2018 National Outdoor Book Award

Posted by Brooke Ortel on November 20, 2018 4:39:28 PM MST

The NOLS Cookery, edited by NOLS Rocky Mountain Rations Manager Claudia Pearson, won the “Classic” category of the 2018 National Outdoor Book Awards. Now in its seventh edition, the Cookery is chock-full of iconic NOLS dishes like backcountry pizza and cinnamon rolls—as well as tips on nutrition and backcountry cooking techniques.

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Branksome Hall Students Build Character and Climb Mountains with NOLS

Posted by Brooke Ortel on November 19, 2018 4:09:11 PM MST

This summer, two rising seniors at Branksome Hall school received scholarships to fund month-long NOLS expeditions of their choice. One student learned to mountaineer and whitewater canoe in the Yukon, while the other backpacked and sea kayaked her way across Alaska. Both returned home with newfound confidence in their leadership abilities.

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Winterline Students Reflect on Their NOLS Experience

Posted by Brooke Ortel on November 15, 2018 11:07:49 AM MST

As part of their 2018 gap year experience, Winterline students backpacked through the Gila National Forest on an eight-day NOLS expedition. Reflecting on their course, students touched on themes of leadership, tolerance for adversity, appreciation for the natural world—and fun.

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NOLS Med Kit Rated Top Gift for Outdoorsy Friends

Posted by Brooke Ortel on November 2, 2018 8:34:43 AM MDT

For former park ranger Mark Kaufman, the NOLS Med Kit 4.0 makes the short list of recommended gifts for outdoorsy friends. Like wool socks, a good light, and water filtration devices, a NOLS med kit is a must-have for backcountry trips.

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NOLS Rocky Mountain Assistant Director Comments on the Value of Wyoming’s Wilderness Study Areas

Posted by Brooke Ortel on November 1, 2018 2:37:06 PM MDT

Three Wyoming counties recently opted out of a collaborative process allowing local stakeholders to partake in land management decisions surrounding wilderness study areas. NOLS Rocky Mountain Assistant Director Andy Blair commented that lifting protections in these areas and opening up them to energy development would disrupt student experiences in valuable wilderness classrooms.

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Ride the Wind: Szu-Ting Yi’s Wind River Traverse

Posted by Brooke Ortel on October 11, 2018 11:53:40 AM MDT

Alpinist, writer, outdoor educator, and former NOLS instructor Szu-ting Yi reflects on her 2017 traverse of the Wind River Range and its impact on her personal growth as a climber. She and her husband, Dave Anderson, also a former NOLS instructor, managed to climb 33 peaks in the Winds over the course of 20 days despite challenging conditions.

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Recognizing Indigenous Leaders in the Outdoor Industry

Posted by Brooke Ortel on October 8, 2018 8:56:50 PM MDT

In honor of Indigenous People’s Day, SNEWS recognized five outstanding indigenous leaders in the outdoor industry, including NOLS Instructor and Senior Marketing Representative Erica Nelson, who’s also an ambassador for Brown Folks Fishing. In Erica’s words: “Our tribes were the caretakers and protectors of the land. I hope in my travels, I'm honoring their work.”

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How to Raise an Adventurer

Posted by Brooke Ortel on October 4, 2018 8:17:56 AM MDT

Former NOLS instructor Jimmy Chin and his wife believe that adventure is key to successful parenting. A climber, alpinist, skier, photographer, and filmmaker, Jimmy is committed to empowering his kids in the outdoors—for them, preschool is synonymous with ski school.

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