Daniel Brooks, 17, of Waynesboro, Va., recently completed a wilderness expedition traveling in the Rocky Mountains with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).
NOLS believes people thrive when challenged. During the Wind River Wilderness course, students did not have access to modern conveniences and were challenged to step outside their comfort zones. This is the course that launched NOLS nearly 50 years ago and still runs in the Wind River Mountains, a wilderness area hand-picked by NOLS founder Paul Petzoldt. A NOLS education stresses leadership can be learned and is based on the belief that the outdoors is a challenging environment where students will learn technical skills and about themselves.
For 30 days, Brooks, his 10 coursemates and three instructors went backpacking in the southern Wind River Range. Their travel route hiked through forest, high mountain passes, open meadows and steep slopes. Students were encouraged to practice good expedition behavior and develop tolerance for adversity and uncertainty. Instructors taught a curriculum focusing on outdoor leadership, navigation using topographic maps and compasses as well as natural history. On this expedition, Brooks and his coursemates all practiced minimum impact traveling and camping skills. Highlights of this course included two peak summits, fishing, successful off-trial travel, long hiking days and backcountry cooking. Overall this course traveled 130 miles and gained 19,060 feet of elevation.
Brooks’ Wind River Wilderness course was full of exploration and learning. He and his coursemates graduated as competent and responsible wilderness travelers and leaders. They join the NOLS alumni network of over 231,000 graduates.
About NOLS – The National Outdoor Leadership School
Since legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt founded the school in 1965, more than 231,000 students have graduated from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), the leader in wilderness education. Whether through field-based courses offered in some of the most awe-inspiring locations in the world or classroom-based courses, the school provides transformative educational experiences to students of all ages. Graduates emerge as active leaders with lifelong environmental ethics and outdoor skills. To discover the NOLS experience or to bring a course to your business or organization, call (800) 710-NOLS (6657) or visit www.nols.edu.