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.
“Stick anyone in the wilderness for weeks on end and character is not only built, but tested. ‘My biggest learning came from the less glamorous accomplishments,’ said Liz. ‘The 14 hour days, when I was hungry, tired, cold and didn’t think I could push any further—but did. The days when my feet bled, my lips chapped and my eyes burned from the sunlight reflecting off the snow—and I kept climbing.’
Sophia had a similar inspiring experience. ‘Climbing mountains is not for everyone, but at some point in our lives we’ll face challenges that are equally, if not more daunting than a snowy peak looking down on you,’ she said. ‘So, when you find yourself climbing your mountain, whether it be a literal one or not, go climb it, because no one else is going to climb that mountain for you and no one else will be able to experience the thrill of reaching the top like you will!’”
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