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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.