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

Vermont’s Lieutenant Governor Inspired by NOLS Course

Posted by Brooke Ortel on May 20, 2018 1:20:16 PM MDT

David Zuckerman, Vermont’s lieutenant governor, took a NOLS sea kayaking course in Alaska before starting college, shortly after the Exxon Valdez ran aground. Observing the ecological consequences of the spill firsthand helped solidify his ongoing commitment to tackling environmental issues.

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Finding Refuge in the Wild

Posted by Brooke Ortel on May 18, 2018 9:09:46 AM MDT

A part of Colorado’s growing refugee population, Muna Oweidat went backpacking for the first time on a NOLS expedition for MBA students. She says that nature is the “place I go to reenergize and connect with life, just like when I was a kid but with more freedom and attention.”

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Adventure Sports Network Recognizes NOLS Instructor Jorge Moreno

Posted by Brooke Ortel on May 17, 2018 8:17:29 AM MDT

Jorge Moreno, NOLS instructor and volunteer for the nonprofit Latino Outdoors, brings irresistible enthusiasm and positivity to the field. Recognized for his efforts to make the outdoors a more inclusive place, Jorge is passionate about mentoring young people, especially those who face barriers to access.

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Idaho Rescue Training Brings NOLS Wilderness First Aid to Magic Valley

Posted by Brooke Ortel on May 16, 2018 9:05:58 AM MDT

Idaho Rescue Training recently hosted a two-day NOLS Wilderness First Aid course for Magic Valley residents. It’s a good way to prepare for outdoor recreation this summer, says senior instructor Paul Holle: “knowing what to do in an emergency, especially when you don’t have access to calling 911…is really important.”

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The Best Ways to Treat Water in the Backcountry

Posted by Brooke Ortel on May 15, 2018 5:27:50 PM MDT

In a recent article for The Casper Star Tribune, senior NOLS instructor Marco Johnson explains the top four methods for water purification in the backcountry and when to use them. Depending on your budget and the type of trip you’re taking, Marco recommends different strategies ranging from simply boiling the water to using chemical or UV treatment.

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Sleeping in a Tent: A Lifelong Love Affair

Posted by Brooke Ortel on May 10, 2018 8:26:32 AM MDT

In a recent Washington Post article, senior NOLS instructor Marco Johnson shares his thoughts on the value of something simple: sleeping in a tent. It’s an experience that sparks appreciation for a simpler way of living, as well as a stronger connection to nature and other people.

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Applying LNT Ethics: “Leave What You Find”

Posted by Brooke Ortel on May 9, 2018 8:28:25 AM MDT

Doug Schnitzspahn, editor of Elevation Outdoors, reflects on how the Leave No Trace principles he learned on his NOLS course apply to daily life. Building on the core concept of “leave what you find,” he articulates a LNT ethic that’s transferable to the front country.

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NOLS Sponsors Women’s-Only Southern Alps Traverse

Posted by Brooke Ortel on May 2, 2018 8:30:00 AM MDT

In November 2017, climber Inga Booiman and three friends set out on a 25-day adventure in New Zealand’s Southern Alps, dubbing their mission the “Girls Southern Traverse.” Funded in part by a NOLS grant, Booiman and her companions travelled from Arthurs Pass to Mt. Cook.

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Helping Young People Connect with the Outdoors

Posted by Brooke Ortel on May 1, 2018 10:02:13 AM MDT

Mayowa Ogunjobi, trip leader and WFR grad, is committed to helping youth from disenfranchised groups connect with the outdoors: “Nature is a place where all young people should be able to bridge the gap between who they are and who they want to be.” For that to happen, educators need to make their programs relevant to a diverse range of students whose communities continue to have limited access to outdoor spaces.

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“Camp Like a Girl” on a NOLS Adventure Course

Posted by Brooke Ortel on April 18, 2018 3:00:47 PM MDT

Despite her enthusiasm for traditional summer camp experiences, Georgie Stanley believes that the NOLS expedition model offers something more meaningful. She explains that a two-week backpacking adventure provides teenage girls like her daughter an unmatched opportunity to develop leadership skills while tackling real-world challenges in the wilderness.

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