Backcountry Film Festival
For the second year in a row, NOLS is a title sponsor for the Teton Valley Backcountry film festival. There will be a raffle with lots of cool prizes and films highlighting the world of non-motorized backcountry travel. For $5, you can't go wrong with this fantastic event. Come out and join us on the 16th of January-Dan
Campaign NOLS: Explaining Our Core Values, Part 6
NOLS’ core values are at the heart of our institution. Leadership, community, safety, excellence, wilderness, and education inspire everything we do. We share a commitment to these values; they define and direct who we are, what we do, and how we do it.
We seek excellence in all we do. We recognize that maintaining excellence requires that we question decisions, learn from failures, and celebrate success. We are committed to high quality experiences where every moment and every relationship counts. We evolve and adapt with new technology, changing techniques and differing circumstances.
Luis Rosario, 2009 Pacific Northwest Trip Leader alumnus.
Luis Rosario on Excellence
Around the office, I’m known as GSD (Getting Stuff Done). That’s because when a project needs a hard-hitter, I will implement my do-whatever-it-takes (DWIT) attitude to get it done.
Flash back to 2007. Like so many young adults growing up in urban areas, I had never experienced true wilderness. When I read about NOLS in a student travel magazine, it sounded like an exciting challenge. I pinned the article to my dormitory wall as a reminder of my new goal. Two years later, after graduating from Florida Atlantic University, my dream became a reality with the help of a scholarship.
Enjoying the wild mountaints of the Pacific Northwest.
And so I traveled from suburban southern Florida to the wildlands of Washington, where I found myself a little out of my comfort zone. I’ll admit that heading into the woods with a bunch of other people you don’t know, into a place you’ve never been, without any outside contact or communication, was kind of worrisome.
Luis and coursemates high in the Cascades.
Yet, by taking risks and taking the lead, I opened doors of understanding for opportunities of that nature. As the course progressed, and I learned the tricks to pack packing and keeping a clean camp, I even began to thrive. I realized that there are many things in life we avoid because of uncertainty and that when you overcome fear, it opens up doors.
Before my course, I would have been willing to settle for a normal nine-to-five job for the security. Instead, I’ve taken a calculated risk by accepting a job as the Director of Business Development with The Alive Foundation, a young organization that promotes changing consciousness for the better. Everyday I get to use my NOLS skills of overcoming uncertainty by implementing my DWIT philosophy.
There’s a quote out there that says, “One bite at a time.” I learned that during my course, but it’s the same in life. It’s a good reminder whenever I become overwhelmed.
Luis uses the lessons he learned at NOLS daily, which is why he's chosen to give back through the NOLS Annual Fund.
To support the NOLS Annual Fund and Campaign NOLS, please consider making a gift today.
If you keep an eye on the NOLS blog, you will have noticed the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus (WWMC) popping up time and time again. From breaking ground in Red Canyon two years ago to the transformation into a fully functioning campus, it has been an exciting journey. NOLS, along with High Plains Architects, P.C., is proud to announce the most recent milestone in that journey. As of December 3, 2013, the WWMC is LEED® Platinum certified.
The WWMC is certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for New Construction and Major Renovation v2009 rating system. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, ratings take into account six main categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. In obtaining this certification, the WWMC became the second building in Lander to receive a LEED certification and the fifth building in Wyoming to receive a LEED Platinum certification.
At NOLS, we foster a culture of sustainability in which environmentally responsible decisions are an integral part of life. The WWMC was designed with these values in mind. The campus is highly water and energy efficient and is well adapted to its arid environment. Additionally, students are encouraged to make decisions and behavioral changes that minimize their footprints while at the campus and in their everyday lives. Together with other NOLS facilities around the world, we are part of a truly global effort to promote sustainability.
You can read more about this achievement here, and more about NOLS’ commitment to sustainability and stewardship here. To all the folks who helped us reach this goal, thank you and congratulations! We did it!
Winter 2013/2014 Has begun at NOLS Teton Valley
We are excited to kick off another winter here at NOLS Teton Valley. Early season storms have deposited over 100 inches of snow in the Tetons thus far, making for some excellent skiing and riding. Instructors have been working on getting their ski legs stronger and avalanche assesment skills honed. Our outfitting manager continues to unpack boxes of new winter layers that will be available for participants to rent this winter. Check out this video below to learn some helpful info on how we stay warm when camping in the backcountry.
NZSF 4 concludes semester with canoeing and graduation
New Zealand Semester in the Fall section 4 has just spent the last 20 days canoeing on the Clarence River. They travelled approximately 200km and experienced class two canoeing in technical, low water. They were able to negotiate a range of white water features and hazards by paddling, lining, stage lining and portaging. Moreover, they built on the paddling skills they developed in the sea kayak section, including the skills required to roll a boat in moving water.
Thank you to student Leopold Ledman for these photos from the field.
As well as learning technical whitewater skills, the curriculum focused on environmental studies, LNT and leadership skills. All students had the opportunity to serve as the Leader of the Day (twice or three times) and to try their hand paddling a solo canoe. Stopping out Muzzle Station, a remote sheep farm along the river, they completed a half-day service project and got to experience high country station life. They also interacted with the various animals living at the farm: lambs, horses, chickens and roosters, honeybees and more.
After the canoe section, the group came back to the branch for de-issue and graduation.
We ask students to complete an online survey when they are finished. Here are a few comments from this group:
Regarding the most rewarding aspect of the course:
"I definitely feel that I gained a lot of confidence during this semester. I feel more certain of myself as a person and a leader."
"I loved going to bed every night feeling accomplished and realizing that I learned new things everyday. Also when leaving for the solo, I realized that I am 100% comfortable in the outdoors and the idea of being alone in the backcountry for a night wasn't at all daunting, but exciting."
"I became way more confident in myself and learned how to lead others in an effective way. I did things that I never thought I would, or could do and I succeeded."
"I really like having specific mentors for each student. We grew just as close with each instructor team as with each other on the course."
"I learned that I was a strong person who can face physical, mental and emotional challenges. I learned the importance of a supportive group, and learned to trust and be comfortable with the team."
And with this semster's graduation, that's the end of the Fall season for us in New Zealand. We'll be back after the holidays with more news about our new branch, updates about our Spring semester groups, information about our standalone 28-day backpacking courses and maybe a review of the second Hobbit movie. Cheers!
Saludos desde Patagonia
In the southern hemisphere we are getting ready to receive the summer, bees are flying around the campo flores, the Lengas, native beech of Chile, are finally full of leaves and the Semester courses Patitas y Navegantes (SSPM 9/25 1 y 2) are on their small group travels, the last section of the 80 days expedition. Both semester did a Kayaking Section and Mountain Section, traveling in places like Cerro Colmillo, Archipielago los Chonos, Canal Moraleda and Volcan Melimoyu
Chunchos y Concones (Patagonia Year 1 y 2) just finished the mega section of Hiking and Mountaineering, 45 days traveling by foot, now at the Noels Patagonia ranch they are doing a Wilderness First Responder course (WFR). Chulengos (Patagonia Year 3) are having a different program, they already did a WFR, now they are hiking and in a few days they will start the Cultural section of their course. Places were they hiked are Cordon Chacabuco, Glaciar Cañal and Cerro Blanco, all this near the town of Cochrane.
All this is happening while the Nols Patagonia In town staff gets ready for the last transition of the Arqueros y Lanceros (SSPM 10/2 1y2), planed to be done at a campground area near Cochrane. This semester course will soon start the Small Group Travel, meaning that their will hike in different groups for 8 days, throw different places of Patagonia. Places where they hiked and Paddled are Cerro Castillo range, Fiordo Aysen, Monte San Lorenzo and Bahia Exploradores.
Also a LNT Trainer course for Inacap (local outdoor School) just finished after 3 days in the Reserva Nacional Rio Simpson, Cerro Huemules area.
Anyway, the summer its here and we are all working hard to make sure that our Students, Instructor and in-town staff are having a great time in Patagonia.
We are looking forward have all our students back in the Nols Patagonia ranch and hear all the great histories and experiences that they have to share.
The Mountains of El Colmillo range Martin Arteaga M.
Paddling in the Patagonian Fiords Edmilson M. Fonseca
The Mountains, an awesome enviroment, a great classroom Martin Arteaga M.
Beachs breaks, a good place to rest, have some water and take some group pics! Edmilson M. Fonseca.
LNT Trainers!! Martin Arteaga M.
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 Adams 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
NZSF 3 Graduation
NZSF 3 came back to the NOLS New Zealand base on Monday after the last section of their semester. They hung up their mountaineering boots and packed their tents away for the last time. Some couldn't bear to part with their beloved tents so they purchased them for future adventures. They wrapped up their semester with a kiwi BBQ. Then legendry instructor Jim Chisholm recounted the time he fended off hyenas with a bicycle while on a personal expedition.
Students are now all on their way home or enjoying some rainy New Zealand weather.
Check out the Blog post by Instructor Jared Spaulding for stories specific to the mountaineering section
Another Day, Another Dollar
Congratulations NZSF-3 (The Unicorns)
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.
NZSF 1 & 2 Semester Graduation
NZSF-1 9/12/13 and NZSF-2 9/12/13 finished their hiking sections and came back to the NOLS NZ base on Tuesday. The semesters ended with a rewarding Independent Student Group Expedition.
The groups finished their semesters feeling very successful in their personal and group accomplishments. When looking back on all three sections they appreciated the different opportunities each skill type offered including leadership roles and personal challenge.
Throughout their hiking sections both groups enjoyed ideal New Zealand summer weather until the last night in the field when it bucketed down rain.
Both groups were dropped off in Nelson Wednesday afternoon happy and healthy.