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.


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.


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.


“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.


Whitman College Student Pushes Boundaries in the Canyons

Posted by Brooke Ortel on April 17, 2018 8:00:00 AM MDT

Florida native and self-identified city kid Reza Darvish recently joined 10 fellow Whitman College students on a week-long NOLS expedition in Utah's Canyonlands. For Reza, the trip was a transformative experience--the rapport he formed with his coursemates taught him important lessons in community-building and helped him successfully navigate the challenges of canyoneering for the first time.


UVA Students Test Limits in Patagonia Wilderness

Posted by Brooke Ortel on April 16, 2018 11:17:28 AM MDT

This past March, 12 students from UVA’s Darden School of Business embarked on a six-day backpacking trip in Patagonia. Professor Bobby Parmar notes that while some students were initially hesitant, by the end of the course, they were ready to “go out into business with the confidence that they can succeed in even the most uncertain and difficult circumstances.”


AmeriCorps Grad Uses Education Award to Explore Tanzania

Posted by Brooke Ortel on April 13, 2018 10:34:03 AM MDT

After a year of service at City Year Boston, Brenna Eaton used her AmeriCorps education award to fund her NOLS course in Tanzania. In addition to gaining confidence in her outdoors skills, Brenna enjoyed learning about Tanzanian culture and history from the local communities her group visited.


Wyoming’s Future Economy Will Need Protected Landscapes

Posted by Brooke Ortel on April 12, 2018 8:37:47 AM MDT

NOLS President John Gans speaks up in support of protecting Wyoming’s public lands from development, pointing out that Wilderness Study Areas have lasting economic relevance as well as value for local communities. These wilderness lands attract visitors with active lifestyles, contributing to Wyoming’s burgeoning outdoor recreation industry and boosting local economies.


No Phone Calls, No Emails, No Texts

Posted by Brooke Ortel on April 11, 2018 8:00:00 AM MDT

When her 14-year-old son went on a two-week backpacking course in the Wind River Range, Robin Noble realized something: in a world of constant communication, there’s value in disconnecting. Temporarily unable to call, email, or text his family and friends at home, her son developed greater self-reliance--and Robin learned the importance of letting go.


Outstanding High School Leader Happiest in the Wilderness

Posted by Brooke Ortel on April 10, 2018 9:20:03 AM MDT

A leader at school and in her community, high school senior Eleanor Asma of Lake Bluff, Illinois, says she is happiest “anywhere near a mountain.” Reflecting on her Wind River Wilderness course, she highlights the importance of teamwork to her group’s success in the face of adverse weather conditions. Eleanor plans to continue her outdoor education with a Wilderness First Responder course this summer.