The 12 Days of NOLS
We’ve found the perfect way to get you into the holiday spirit and fight the cold snap with a hearty laugh. Watch NOLS Creative’s newest (and possibly goofiest) release, “The 12 Days of NOLS,” a NOLS variation on the classic tune, to get a taste of the NOLS experience or reminisce about your course! Written with extensive input from the peanut gallery, shot and edited in less than 12 hours, and brought to you with only mild shame, we now ask you to watch the video and sing along.
On the first day of my course Paul Petzoldt gave to me ...
Windpants with a reinforced knee
Two trekking poles
Six dudes belaying
Seven miles a' shwackin’
Eight malt balls missing
Nine quickdraws clipping
Ten backpacks bulging
Eleven toasty hot drinks
Twelve students mapping
Happy Holidays from NOLS
Permalink | Posted by Casey Dean on Dec 10, 2013 in the following categories: Alaska, Alumni, Amazon, Australia, Books, Curriculum, India, Instructor News, Leadership, Mexico, New Zealand, Northeast, On The Net, Pacific Northwest, Patagonia, Professional Training, Rocky Mountain, Scandinavia, Southwest, Teton Valley, Wilderness Medicine Institute, Yukon
NOLS' Newest Book is a Perfect Holiday Gift: Canoeing
Effortlessly gliding through the crystal clear, smooth water, the canoes’ bow pierces the flat surface and sends ripples outward toward the shores. A single-bladed paddle silently dips into the water, propelling the watercraft further onward.
The simple, yet magnificent practicality of a canoe has been around for years. From the earliest cedar-ribbed and birch bark skinned hulls to the wood-and-canvas construction, and on to the modern-day myriad of ABS plastics, foam, and vinyl that are pressed together and known as Royalex. The materials, as well as the people using canoes, have changed drastically over time.
Nowadays canoes can be found splitting through Arctic waters bumping edges with mini icebergs, crossing the vast Pacific Ocean with help of sails and are still found on small lakes and ponds throughout the world. They are vessels for recreation, transportation, and scientific studies, among other things.
The new NOLS book, Canoeing, written by Alexander Martin and published by Stackpole Books, goes in-depth to explore and enhance the overall understanding of every aspect of canoeing—from planning an expedition and describing in detail the parts of a canoe to water science and river maneuvers and travel. Martin, a NOLS instructor since 2008, has a great understanding of a variety of canoe expeditions and was able to use past experiences and knowledge to create this all-encompassing canoeing book.
The book is the perfect gift for anyone with a passion for canoeing who would like to learn more regarding expedition canoeing, water travel and techniques, wilderness navigation, as well as advanced skills and other aspects that make up the world of canoeing. This book will serve as a great resource with colorful graphics and pictures to help demonstrate and teach skills and concepts. As everyone settles in for winter in the Northern Hemisphere, Canoeing will be a great companion. While the snow falls and the winds howl, read up on everything canoe related and gain more insight and excitement with each page. Then when winter finally loses its grip on the land and the waterways flow freely, unimpeded by ice, you can set off your own canoe expedition.
For those who wish to gain even more canoe experience and skills, a great avenue is a NOLS course. There are multiple courses with a canoeing component that will allow you to build a foundation and further your canoeing knowledge and experience. NOLS has taught canoe travel for the last four decades. Significant canoe components can be found at multiple NOLS operating locations including the Yukon, the Brazilian Amazon, Australia, American Southwest and Alaska. Any of these courses or locations would be greatly beneficial to anyone wishing to enhance their outdoor skills, leadership development, environmental studies and risk management techniques.
Taking Stock of the Government Shutdown
Tourists and wedding hopefuls weren’t the only ones disappointed by the closure of the National Parks and other public lands during the partial government shutdown. As barricades and closure signs adorned the normally welcoming entrances to parks and national forests, those in the outdoor education industry were, in some cases, left without a classroom. Several NOLS locations had to re-route courses at the last minute, quickly adapting and finding new locations for several courses.
- A Semester in the Northwest course had its hiking section moved from North Cascades National Park to the adjacent Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest and was able to run without further complications. Another Semester in the Northwest course was scheduled to run their coastal hiking section in Olympic National Park and instead they hiked on Nootka Island, off the west coast of Vancouver Island.
- NOLS Southwest had a canoeing section scheduled to run through Big Bend National Park in western Texas and had to relocate upriver to Big Bend Ranch State Park. During the two days of logistics and shuffling around the students were sent to a primitive skills camp just outside of Tucson. The students ran the same part of the river twice, as entrance downriver into the National Park was off-limits. A custom course with NASA at NOLS Southwest was also postponed.
- At NOLS Rocky Mountain, a climbing course scheduled for Devil’s Tower National Monument moved to Vedauwoo.
- NOLS Teton Valley was not affected, but if the shutdown had taken place during the river running season, a course that runs through the Salmon-Challis National Forest likely would have been re-routed.
Though public lands have re-opened, the shutdown will continue to have rippling effects as commercial outfitters try to regain the momentum they lost.
Stepping Out of the Classroom: Diversity & Inclusion at NOLS Rocky Mountain
Here at NOLS Rocky Mountain we often see many faces in a day. Courses come in and out, they ration food, issue and de-issue, brief and debrief, eat lunches and cleanup. It’s often easy to pass by without noticing many of the people that work to keep all of the operations at the branch running smoothly. There are two people in particular that always have a smile on their face, take due pride in their work, and perform essential functions to the branch’s operations. Freyja del Duca and Joel Harrington are two young adults with special needs. Freyja and Joel, both Lander natives, are exemplary staff members at NOLS Rocky Mountain and they work hard to serve the thousands of students that pass through this branch every year.
Freyja is 24 and has worked for NOLS for 5 years. You may have seen her in the Noble dining room with a white chef’s hat on and a huge smile. She also works in the issue room at the branch where she inventories and replenishes first-aid kits and repair kits. But her favorite job is in the Noble kitchen. When she began at NOLS, she worked as a prep cook’s aide. Over the past year, under the supervision of Stephanie Peterson, Freyja has been challenged to take on more and more tasks in the kitchen. She feels confident (and psyched!) to perform virtually all of the kitchen’s mainline tasks. Her work allows students and staff, while in-town, to enjoy a variety of delicious and nutritious meals. In her free time she enjoys photography and hiking in Sinks Canyon. She hopes to take a NOLS course one day!
Joel is 26 and has worked for NOLS for 6 years. He loves telling people about the latest obscure film he’s watched, he laughs easily, and works hard. As a map aide at the Rocky Mountain branch, he has expanded in his efficiency and uses tools that the branch has developed to help him sort hundreds upon hundreds of maps. His job involves making abstract judgments, a skill that can be transferred to a variety of tasks.
The Rocky Mountain branch is unique in utilizing the talents and developing the skills of Lander’s special needs community and we value the important services they provide for our branch. Glenda Brannan, the Rocky Mountain branch's Office Administrator states, "she is very proud of Joel and Freyja, they are productive team members of our branch where they perform much needed and valued tasks." NOLS strives to respect, challenge and welcome people of all groups, this initiative is reflected in our diverse staff and student body.
Clean up this weekend … anywhere!
Since 1991, Tony and Linda Brooks of Teton Village, Wyo. have invited family and friends around the country to “clean up—anytime, anywhere” to remember the earth and celebrate the life of their son Charley.
Charley graduated from a NOLS Mountaineering Course in 1990 and tragically died in a car accident soon thereafter. Since NOLS was such an important part of Charley's life, the Brooks family started the annual cleanup as a way to keep their son's memory alive while doing something good for the planet.
In addition to the cleanup, Tony and Linda also created a NOLS scholarship fund in memory of Charley, which exposes a new generation of NOLS grads each year to the wilderness skills and the conservation ethics that their son forged during his course.
Charley atop Gannet Peak.
This Saturday is the 28th, so as you begin to make weekend plans, think about what you can do to clean up in honor of a NOLS alumnus who cared passionately about the earth.
Elon University Gap Semester & NOLS
'An amazing experience'
By Nicholas Nerli, age 14
Growing up in Lander, Wyo., where NOLS Headquarters
and NOLS Rocky Mountain are located, experiencing a NOLS course has
been on my mind since I learned what NOLS is all about. Just the thought of
being in the backcountry during summer vacation was a dream. Furthermore, the
thought of going somewhere I had never been was fascinating, so after some
serious thought, I applied to take a course with NOLS Northeast.
I was so excited when I found out I would be going and, I admit, a bit nervous. For one, I had never flown. Second, I would be living in a foreign environment. I was committing to two weeks with strangers, but I knew I was going to have the time and opportunity of my life.
Learning new skills was very important to me. Throughout my course, I was able to engage in numerous learning activities, be it cooking and baking, first aid, navigation, or, most importantly, leadership. Being a leader was such an important role during my course, and the suggestions and guidance I was given when I was in a leadership role truly benefited me. I will never forget being leader of the day, for it was difficult, but as a team we succeeded that day. That experience will always stay with me and serve me when I face obstacles, big and small.
Climbing my first Adirondack high peak was stunning in a way I can't describe. The feeling I experienced looking over the green, lush landscape, Lake Champlain, and into Vermont was amazing! One morning, we awoke at 3 a.m. to climb Noonmark Mountain and watch the sunrise. The experience and view were breathtaking. Summiting each peak was beautiful in its own unique way. You must gain this experience to understand the pure adrenaline rush.
My instructors were knowledgeable, positive, and encouraging toward everyone, creating a healthy team. We grew from each other both emotionally and physically and shared experiences I can’t do justice to in writing. Through our friendships, we recognized our strengths and improved on our weaknesses in order to become the best we could be. Without my team, I would not have learned and gained so much.
Nearly three weeks have passed since I returned home. I brought with me memories, friends, and knowledge that I could not have imagined. I have come to miss my NOLS lifestyle and especially upstate New York, which I grew to love during my time there. I hope to once again experience the beauty and uniqueness of the Northeast. I also look forward to future NOLS courses and will use the knowledge I gained to be the most successful person I can be and strive for all I hope to be. NOLS Northeast was an amazing experience.
Drumroll, please ...
It has arrived. Thirty thousand copies of the shiny new course catalog have been unloaded and piled up at NOLS Headquarters, and another 30,000 will be shipped to potential students soon.
We thought we’d introduce you.
Like last year, the NOLS course catalog has a clean, square shape and inspiring personal accounts to make the NOLS experience relatable.
With this catalog, though, we have dedicated more pages to courses and NOLS locations, specifically for the upcoming season. In fact, it’s dedicated almost entirely to the winter and spring course offerings at NOLS because we are going to publish three seasonal catalogs a year from now on. This will allow us to tailor the information in each catalog to each season to give you more helpful information about our course offerings.
You can look forward to a summer course catalog in January and a fall course catalog in April. All three catalogs will be available iPad apps shortly after their publication.
If you haven’t already requested a catalog, do so here or keep an eye out for the app, to be released soon!
Permalink | Posted by Casey Dean on Aug 28, 2013 in the following categories: Alaska, Australia, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Northeast, Pacific Northwest, Patagonia, Professional Training, Rocky Mountain, Scandinavia, Southwest, Teton Valley, Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus
NOLS Rocky Mountain makes ‘back to school’ more fun
NOLS Rocky Mountain brought extra adventure to Lander Valley High School freshman orientation in this week.
NOLS facilitated two days of climbing for rising freshmen "to coalesce the incoming freshman class, experience problem solving through challenge and uncertainty, and provide a shared experience going into their four-year experience of high school," said NOLS Rocky Mountain Special Projects Manager Brian Fabel.
Over 70 students participated at no cost to them or to Lander Valley High School.
The program was documented by local news source County 10.
NOLS Rocky Mountain interns invite you to community event
Each year, the NOLS Rocky Mountain interns organize an event to benefit the Lander community. This year, NOLS, the Lander Children’s Museum, and the Pushroot Community Garden have partnered to provide a Lander Family Fun Day.
The event will take place in the community garden at 715 Amoretti Street on Saturday, Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The day will be packed with classes about gardening, composting, bees, and worms, as well as crafts, games, and face painting. Guests are encouraged to bring water, sunscreen, a swimsuit, and towel.