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.
“...For our kids, skiing and being outside aren’t just rewards – they are part of our lives. We won’t pressure our kids to grow up to climb mountains or make films like their dad and mom, but we want them to be passionate about something. We also want them to be adventurous because to us, adventure is not just about exploring the physical realm – adventure is a state of mind…
For my niece’s 16th birthday and my nephew’s upcoming 16th birthday, I bought them each a National Outdoor Leadership School course as a present. When you come out of a NOLS course you know how to camp for the rest of your life. You know how to navigate the wilderness and take care of yourself. On a NOLS course – I taught them when I was in my early twenties – you learn that there are very clear, natural consequences to your decisions, and sometimes that’s a hard concept to teach. It is one thing to say to a teenager, ‘You made a bad decision, so this is going to happen.’ The concepts might not be as tangible in regular conversation; however, in the wilderness, if you don’t tie down your tent, it blows away. When it rains, you get cold and wet. It is a very clear way of teaching kids to make good decisions and to be good leaders. After all, you can’t really talk back to the weather.
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