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Final NZ Fall Semesters in the Field

NZ Fall Semesters NZSF4 and NZSF5 headed for the hills over the weekend to start the Backpacking section of their respective courses. Prior to getting their hiking boots on, both groups joined to complete a two day Cultural section at Te Awhina Marae in Motueka, where they were introduced to the Maori culture and traditions.

NZSF4 bagging rations for 77 days in the wilderness

NZSF4 hiked straight out of the NOLS NZ branch into Richmond Forest Park, starting a journey that will take them full circle around the north-east part of the South Island. Their hike will take them through to Nelson Lakes National Park where they will see the source of the Clarence River, the river they will paddle the lower reaches of in their Canoe Section. Upon reaching the sea, they will transition via the branch to Sea Kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds for their final section.

Instructor Jacqui leads one of the NZSF4 hike groups out into the field straight from the NOLS base!

Meanwhile, NZSF5's Backpacking section will explore the wonders of Kahurangi National Park (Kahurangi translates as "Treasured Posession"). The course will then Sea Kayak in the Marlborough Sounds before their Canoe section finale on the Clarence River.

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Sep 28, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

Join Us at the Dallas Travel and Adventure Show

For over 11 years and 54 shows, travel enthusiasts from around the country have been dreaming, planning and finding their next vacation at the Travel & Adventure Show. NOLS will be present at the upcoming event in Dallas, as well as shows this spring, and you can get a free ticket to join us here by using the code NOLS.

From African safaris to Caribbean getaways, rainforest adventures, and domestic experiences, you’ll meet hundreds of the top travel brands from around the globe, including NOLS. If you’re interested in talking to NOLS about an adventure of a lifetime for yourself or for a young family member, stop by in Dallas Oct. 25-26 this year. Hear from NOLS representatives, watch fun demos, and enter to win a free NOLS course*!

T&AS.Black (1)

While at the Travel & Adventure Show, explore the cultural stages: the Global Beats Stage invites you to get on your feet and dance to the music of far away lands while the Taste of Travel Theater will fill your nose with the aroma of some of the world’s most unique cuisines.

Or head to a session at the Destination Stage where the top travel destinations show you how to experience the best that they have to offer. At the Travel Channel Theater, find inspiration and how to travel like a local from our celebrity speakers including Samantha Brown, Rick Steves, Pauline and Arthur Frommer, Patricia Schultz, Roger Staubach, Travel Channel personalities and more. 

Located in seven markets across the United States, the Travel & Adventure Show is like walking through a guidebook contained under one roof. Join us this year in Dallas at the Dallas Convention Center Oct. 25-26 to dream it, plan it, and enter to win that NOLS course. 

For more information on attending the Travel & Adventure Show, please visit their new website at!

* Win a Free NOLS Course! Entry at the NOLS booth is required for eligibility. One winner will be selected from total entries at all 2014 Travel and Adventure Shows. The winner will be notified by November 30, 2014.

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Sep 26, 2014

Voice of America Visits NOLS to Profile YALI Fellow

This week Andrea Tadic and Philip Alexiou, journalists from Voice of America visited NOLS Headquarters and NOLS Rocky Mountain in Lander, Wyoming.

Based in Washington, D.C., Voice of America is an English language news program, which broadcasts internationally.


They came to profile Dziedzorm “JayJay” Segbefia who was part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). This program is run through the United States State Department, and this summer 500 fellows from all parts of Africa participated in the six-week fellowship program.

First the fellows were sent to different colleges where they took classes on public management, civic leadership, and business entrepreneurship. JayJay was sent to Dartmouth College to participate in a business program.

In Ghana, JayJay is the Expedition Leader for Bravehearts Expeditions. His company takes youth into the wilderness and pushes them to new limits.

“I applied for YALI because I saw in it an opportunity for coaching, personal development, and business education all in one category” said JayJay.


After the culturally engaging sessions at Dartmough, Segbefia was placed at an internship at NOLS Rocky Mountain. An employee at the United States State Department was a NOLS alumna and identified NOLS as an ideal fit for JayJay’s internship.

JayJay came to Wyoming and spent time working at NOLS Rocky Mountain in the issue room and food rations store The Gulch. 

When the film crew arrived in Lander, fellow JayJay had just returned from a Wind River Wilderness – Prime course. Tadic and Alexiou visited NOLS Rocky Mountain where JayJay gave them a tour and talked about his experiences both on the course and during his internship.


They also headed up to Sinks Canyon to shoot some footage of him rock climbing, a skill he developed and got passionate about during his time with NOLS.


JayJay plans to use his experiences and practices learned at NOLS back at his own company. 

VOM 12

While in Lander, the film crew also had the chance to speak with some NOLS employees about the school and their personal experiences in the field.

Stay tuned in the coming months for the pieces profiling both JayJay and NOLS!

Permalink | Posted by Kim Freitas on Sep 25, 2014 in the following categories: Alumni, In The News, Rocky Mountain

NZSF-3 Semester Begins

NOLS New Zealand Semester Three (NZSF-3 9-18-2014) students all arrived safely at NOLS NZ yesterday and are about to head out for their semester adventure. This semester begins with an over night stay at the Te Awhina Marae the local Maori meeting house.
The group will then attempt to Canoe 180 kilometers down the Clarence River, from the mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The Semester will then go Hiking and Mountaineering. 

77 days worth of field rations


P9170024Students enjoying the dining room and kitchen at the new
NOLS NZ facilities 


Semester Three Progression 

Cultural: 19-20 Sep
1 – Canoe: 20 Sept to 15 Oct
Branch switch:  15-16 Oct

2 – Backpacking: 16 Oct to 8 Nov
Field Switch: 8-9 Nov

3 – Mountain: 9 Nov to 2 Dec
Course ends: 3 Dec


Send Mail to 

(Students Name and Course Code)
4 Serpentine River Road
Aniseed Valley RD 1 
Richmond 7081
New Zealand 

Students will receive mail when they return to the NOLS NZ base inbetween sections




Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Sep 18, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

Odile Likely to Bring Some Rain

Hurricane Odile made landfall on the southern end of the Baja California peninsula last night, nearly 800 miles from the nearest NOLS students. The current forecast predicts the storm will turn away from the area in which NOLS students are currently hiking, the San Pedros in northern Baja California.

Though the courses will probably see some rain and winds as a result of the passing storm, it is likely Odile will diminish to a tropical depression by that time, reducing winds to less than 39 miles per hour.

We will continue to monitor the weather and will provide updates here.

UPDATE, 4:45 p.m. MST: Hurricane Odile has been steadily weakening as it travels over the southern end of the Baja California peninsula. Though courses will likely experience some heavy rain, forecasts still anticipate the storm tracking east of the course area in northern Baja.

UPDATE, Sept. 19, 9:15 a.m. MST: We have had contact with all NOLS Mexico courses in the field, and students are safe and well. There is rain in the mountain range but nothing of concern.

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Sep 15, 2014 in the following categories: Mexico

NZ Fall Semesters Spring into Action!

Fall Semesters NZSF-1-9/11/14 and NZSF-2-9/11/14 have got the New Zealand spring season underway with both groups now in the field for their 77 day adventures. NZSF1 left for the Arrowsmith mountain range to start their Mountaineering section in the majestic Southern Alps. Meanwhile, NZSF2 visited the Marae (traditional Maori meeting house) in Motueka to learn about NZ's Maori culture, before transfering to the Marlborough Sounds to embark on their Sea Kayak section.

A mountain of imminent mountaineers! Instructors Mitch and Lloyd will teach NZSF1 students the art of safe alpine travel in the Southern Alps.  

Some smiling soon-to-be Sea Kayakers. Instructors Mike and Ben will be teaching students how to keep their boats the right way up in the Marlborough Sounds.


Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Sep 15, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

Cutting Out Boxes

by Travis Welch, WMI Program & Retail Store Manager

The NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute is always looking for ways to improve. Many of our innovations come in the form of curriculum, delivered to thousands of students every year. However, we also have an operations side that is the “behind the scenes” part of the business and makes it possible to run 750 courses a year. On the surface, innovations on the operations side of things might not seem as exciting as curriculum delivery, but the impact can be significant. Recently, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute switched from shipping our gear in cardboard boxes to heavy-duty, reusable, plastic shipping totes. These totes, used for our Wilderness First Aid courses, will decrease our cardboard box consumption by over 1,000 boxes a year. This will also decrease the amount of other shipping materials that we use. The initial cost of these totes is greater than cardboard, but they will pay for themselves over the next several years. Although the fiscal payoff will take some time, the waste reduction and resource conservation are enough for us to count this change as an immediate win!

WFA shipping totes
WFA shipping totes ready for their next course.


Permalink | Posted by Karly Copeland on Sep 10, 2014

WMI Hosts Annual Staff Meeting


This week, NOLS Wilderness Medicine professionals flocked to Lander from near and far for the annual Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) staff meeting. 

Along with a large group of Lander residents, there were attendees from Colorado, Utah, Washington, and Eastern states. Those who traveled far were staying at the cabins at the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus, which is one of six LEED Platinum certified buildings in Wyoming.

This diverse group came together for continuing education opportunities in wilderness medicine. The schedule for the meeting includes medical professionals discussing how to best treat patients in the backcountry. Earlier this week, a three-day EMT refresher course was held for those looking to recertify their skills. On Thursday night, participants could take part in a CPR recertification class.


Yesterday morning, WMI Director Melissa Gray officially kicked off this three-day meeting with updates on the state of the school. She ran through some important facts about the past year at WMI.

Courses run this year were up 3.5 percent. Students took WMI courses as stand alone courses and as part of field courses. Many classes were taught through Landmark Learning and at REI stores. Two hundred and fifty instructors taught classes with the help of 22 support staff members in the office.

Today, topics will include: wilderness toxicology, dislocations, and neurological injuries. Forums are scheduled with the NOLS Executive Director team and the annual WMI curriculum forum. 

The meeting will conclude on Saturday with a hypothermia session and outdoor activities. Participants will choose between ALS skills, technical rescue skills and hiking.

WMI is looking forward to the start of another great year! 

Permalink | Posted by Kim Freitas on Sep 5, 2014 in the following categories: Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus

Teton Valley Ranch Camp and the WRMC

The latest installment of the WRMC blog series profiles Teton Valley Ranch Camp (TVRC), a Western style youth camp that has been operating in Wyoming for 75 years, and stands as Wyoming's most historic residential summer camp. In this interview we caught up with TVRC Executive Director Carly Platt.


Continue reading "Teton Valley Ranch Camp and the WRMC"

Permalink | Posted by Rahel Manna on Aug 28, 2014 in the following categories: Alumni, Leadership, Professional Training, Teton Valley, Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Risk Management Conference

Exploration Film Tour Celebrates the Spirit of Adventure

The first annual NOLS Exploration Film Tour features two and a half hours of exciting short films based on themes of wonder, discovery, curiosity, and the timelessness of the wilderness experience. 


For one night, come celebrate the wonder of the outdoors through film. NOLS believes these films will inspire viewers to get outside and have their own adventures.

Continue reading "Exploration Film Tour Celebrates the Spirit of Adventure"

Permalink | Posted by Kim Freitas on Aug 22, 2014 in the following categories: In The News

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