Payday avalanche

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On-course diet, hygiene, faith, groups

There are a number of quality outdoor education programs available. Being a nonprofit (501(c)(3)) school, as opposed to an adventure guide service or troubled youth program, NOLS separates itself from the rest with its curricular focus on technical skills, leadership techniques, and knowledge to lead others in the backcountry safely, comfortably, and ethically. These same skills are invaluable when leading yourself and others through the expedition of life.

This focused approach, the quality of our students and staff, the length of our field courses, NOLS curriculum, the college credit program, and the fact that we are centrally run and locally operated are just a few of the things that separate NOLS from other outdoor organizations.

No Experience Necessary

NOLS students come to us from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some have quite a bit of outdoor experience; many others’ greatest outdoor accomplishment has been sleeping out in their backyard. If you are in good health physically and emotionally and are motivated to learn, you can excel on a NOLS course. The desire to learn and participate is the most important factor for success.

Every NOLS course presents unique challenges depending on the course's environment and activity. Some courses will present physical challenges in terms of self-care, while others may demand more strength and endurance. The environment, activities and challenges of each NOLS expedition are described in its detailed Course Description document. You should read the Course Descriptions carefully for the courses that interest you. Call the admission office to discuss attributes of different courses. Informing yourself about the nature of course environments and activities will help you select the course that best meets your desires and abilities.

The health and the well being of our students and staff are of the highest priority at NOLS. However, it is important to recognize that there is, and always will be, a certain degree of risk in the very nature of a NOLS course. Our students and staff travel deep into the wilderness on extended expeditions, where they may be hours or even days from advanced medical care. We feel that the risks are manageable and that no organization is better equipped to manage them than NOLS.

Our full-time risk management director is the lead editor and author of the Manual of Accreditation Standards. As an organization, we are the lead sponsor and founder of the annual Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WMRC) ; we also serve on the Board of Directors for both the Wilderness Risk Management Committee and Wilderness Medical Society. Additionally, as the home of the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI). we are the world’s leading provider of wilderness medicine training and certification.

Our leadership in the outdoor field is so widely recognized that we provide risk management training and consulting to organizations worldwide.

Risk and risk management are important considerations. It is important to us that you have all of the information you need to make an informed and appropriate decision. As such, please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions, concerns, or if you’d simply like more information.

A report on NOLS risk management and history is available here .

The group sizes and student to instructor ratio vary depending on the terrain and the skill being taught. Student groups range from 6 to 17, with the most common group sizes being 12 or 15. Instructor to student ratios are typically between 1:4 to 1:6.

In the past few years, NOLS has seen a 15-percent increase in the number of students who enroll on a course as part or all of a gap year. Currently, nearly 20 percent of our semester students are taking time off between high school and college. While we do offer a Gap Year Semester specific to 17-19 year-old students, we see gap year students on all NOLS semester courses. The curriculum and expected student outcomes are identical for every semester course we offer.

Our youngest students are 14 years old, and we do not have an age maximum. Students over 50, or those with certain medical histories, must submit an electrocardiogram (EKG) test as part of their medical evaluation.

If you are interested in working as an outdoor educator, wilderness guide, ranger, or otherwise within the outdoor field, a NOLS course is a great place to start or advance a career. The knowledge, skills, and experience developed on a NOLS course are valuable to you as an outdoor professional and extremely attractive to employers of all types.

If working for NOLS is what you’re after, there are approximately 140 year-round, full-time positions at NOLS. We periodically offer employment opportunities in the fields of development and alumni relations, information systems, admissions and marketing, public policy, research, finance, risk management, and human resources. We also have internships available, as well as over 100 seasonal support staff positions.

Although there is no universal certification for working within the outdoor industry, having completed a NOLS course is very highly regarded by outdoor professionals worldwide.

As the Leader In Wilderness Education, NOLS provides its students with the opportunity to obtain on-course certifications in the following areas:

  • Wilderness First Aid (WFA)
  • Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA)
  • Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
  • Leave No Trace Master Educator Certification
  • Leave No Trace Trainer Certification
  • Level I Avalanche Certification
  • Defensive Driving Certification

Requesting a catalog is easy! Click Request A Catalog. fill in the required fields, and in five to seven days you’ll be on your way to choosing the right NOLS course for you. If you are currently receiving the NOLS catalog, there is no need to request another. Our course catalogs are printed each year in mid-fall and are shipped out shortly thereafter to our graduates and those on our mailing list.

There are a number of quality outdoor education programs available. Being a nonprofit (501(c)(3)) school, as opposed to an adventure guide service or troubled youth program, NOLS separates itself from the rest with its curricular focus on technical skills, leadership techniques, and knowledge to lead others in the backcountry safely, comfortably, and ethically. These same skills are invaluable when leading yourself and others through the expedition of life.

This focused approach, the quality of our students and staff, the length of our field courses, NOLS curriculum, the college credit program, and the fact that we are centrally run and locally operated are just a few of the things that separate NOLS from other outdoor organizations.

NOLS attracts highly motivated students who want to lead. We teach the students backcountry skills and leadership skills they will use to lead expeditions, as well as in the classroom or workplace. NOLS is not a remedial or therapeutic institution, though students discover their own strengths and find confidence on NOLS courses. Prospective students are vetted through a thorough application process.

The health and the well being of our students and staff are of the highest priority at NOLS. However, it is important to recognize that there is, and always will be, a certain degree of risk in the very nature of a NOLS course. Our students and staff travel deep into the wilderness on extended expeditions, where they may be hours or even days from advanced medical care. We feel that the risks are manageable and that no organization is better equipped to manage them than NOLS.

Our full-time risk management director is the lead editor and author of the Manual of Accreditation Standards. As an organization, we are the lead sponsor and founder of the annual Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WMRC) ; we also serve on the Board of Directors for both the Wilderness Risk Management Committee and Wilderness Medical Society. Additionally, as the home of the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI). we are the world’s leading provider of wilderness medicine training and certification.

Our leadership in the outdoor field is so widely recognized that we provide risk management training and consulting to organizations worldwide.

Risk and risk management are important considerations. It is important to us that you have all of the information you need to make an informed and appropriate decision. As such, please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions, concerns, or if you’d simply like more information.

A report on NOLS risk management and history is available here .

NOLS has the most experienced, well-rounded instructional staff in outdoor education. Most NOLS instructors get their start at other organizations, and they all take the NOLS instructors course and serve as an apprentice on a course before being certified to teach for NOLS. All NOLS instructors are certified in wilderness medicine and CPR. There is continuing education, including 60 instructor seminars each year. The availability of year-round work keeps our instructors engaged. No one else comes close to the training we do with our instructors or keep their field staff as long as we do.

The group sizes and student to instructor ratio vary depending on the terrain and the skill being taught. Student groups range from 6 to 17, with the most common group sizes being 12 or 15. Instructor to student ratios are typically between 1:4 to 1:6.

Our youngest students are 14 years old, and we do not have an age maximum. Students over 50, or those with certain medical histories, must submit an electrocardiogram (EKG) test as part of their medical evaluation.

Schoolwide, NOLS’ male to female ratio is 65:35. It varies on every course, though we always attempt to achieve a reasonable balance. Although we reserve the right to make a course single gender based on the overall ratio, this is something that each student will be notified about.

A key element to a NOLS education is time spent in wilderness. The benefits of this include being closer to nature, time away from society and civilization, and being in an environment where natural forces predominate and students have the opportunity to develop judgment and practice self reliance. To achieve these aspects of a NOLS course, we seek to limit the opportunities for distraction that personal cell phones would create. Students are not permitted to take personal communication devices such as cell or satellite phones or satellite trackers (Spot) or EPIRBS on NOLS courses.

If your student has an urgent need for an item, we can typically get it to him or her within the next ration period, depending on the location. Contact the admission office at (800) 710-6657 ext. 1 for specifics and directions.

Although there is no universal certification for working within the outdoor industry, having completed a NOLS course is very highly regarded by outdoor professionals worldwide.

As the Leader In Wilderness Education, NOLS provides its students with the opportunity to obtain on-course certifications in the following areas:

  • Wilderness First Aid (WFA)
  • Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA)
  • Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
  • Leave No Trace Master Educator Certification
  • Leave No Trace Trainer Certification
  • Level I Avalanche Certification
  • Defensive Driving Certification

No. NOLS is the leader in wilderness education, and we employ our expertise, extensive experience, and research on our courses.

Requesting a catalog is easy! Click Request A Catalog. fill in the required fields, and in five to seven days you’ll be on your way to choosing the right NOLS course for you. If you are currently receiving the NOLS catalog, there is no need to request another. Our course catalogs are printed each year in mid-fall and are shipped out shortly thereafter to our graduates and those on our mailing list.

If you are motivated and in good physical and emotional health, you can excel. NOLS students come to us from a wide variety of backgrounds. The desire to learn and participate is the most important factor for success on a NOLS course.

Requesting a catalog is easy! Click Request A Catalog. fill in the required fields, and in five to seven days you’ll be on your way to choosing the right NOLS course for you. If you are currently receiving the NOLS catalog, there is no need to request another. Our course catalogs are printed each year in mid-fall and are shipped out shortly thereafter to our graduates and those on our mailing list.

Asking yourself the following questions will help to put you on track for choosing the perfect NOLS experience.

  • How old will I be at the start of my course?
  • What is my time frame (both length and time of year)?
  • What technical skills am I interested in learning (backpacking, sailing, rock climbing, etc.)?
  • What NOLS location am I specifically interested in traveling to?

The more pre-course preparation you do, the more you’ll learn and the more fun you’ll have on your course. While you don’t need to be a superstar athlete to excel on a NOLS course, you should be in good cardiovascular condition. We recommend that as a minimum you participate in a cardiovascular workout at least three times a week for one hour per session. This could be running, biking, cross-country skiing, basketball, etc.

In your NOLS Enrollment Packet, you’ll receive a reading list that will contain titles that you may wish to read before your course.

As part of your enrollment packet, you’ll receive an equipment list telling you about the gear you’ll be using. Some items you’ll have to purchase prior to the course; others you can rent or purchase from NOLS.

Don’t worry! Everyone is apprehensive on the first day of a NOLS course. With more than 40 years of first days, NOLS has it down. Each course starts out with a meeting where you’ll get to know your coursemates and instructors. Afterward, one of your instructors will go through your equipment with you. You’ll then head to the issue room to pick up any extra gear you may need. From there, you head to the rations room to pack your food for the course. That done, you’ll have

a pack-packing class, load up the NOLS bus, and be off. Your course will progress slowly for the first few days, allowing everyone to adjust to the altitude and the new activities.

Simply submit your NOLS application. This can be done in a variety of different ways. The most popular option is to apply online. You can also download a copy of the NOLS Application and fax it to us at (307) 332-1220 or send it via postal mail to 284 Lincoln Street, Lander, WY 82520. The fastest and easiest way to apply for your NOLS course is over the phone at (800) 710-NOLS. This process takes about 20 minutes to complete. Please make sure you have a Visa or Mastercard available for the $65 application fee.

As long as there is space available on your first-choice course, you will be enrolled the next business day. Once you have been successfully enrolled on a NOLS course, you will receive an enrollment packet in the mail.

We accept Visa, Mastercard, personal check, and wire transfer.

We recommend applying four to six months before the course begins. NOLS courses tend to fill quickly, so the earlier you can apply, the better!

It is never too early to apply for a NOLS course! Exact dates and tuition costs are subject to change. Should you choose to apply now, NOLS will notify you as soon as those dates have been finalized.

Yes. To be placed on a NOLS waitlist, you must officially submit your NOLS application and $65 processing fee. You can gain priority on a waitlist by returning the required forms and $500 tuition deposit, to NOLS within two weeks of having received your enrollment packet. If a space should open on that course, an admission officer will contact you.

We encourage you to pick a second choice course. If your first choice course is full, you will be wait-listed and enrolled on your second choice. By doing so, you’ll be sure to join us soon!

Tuition includes quality instruction, good food, well-maintained group equipment (tents, boats, ropes, cook sets, maps, compasses, etc. certifications when appropriate, transportation during the course and permit costs. Additional costs you’ll need to factor in are: transportation to and from the course location and personal equipment (the things that only you will use and/or wear). At NOLS domestic locations you can rent most of the needed gear. Optional fees include tuition protection and college credit fees from the University of Utah.

The Tuition Protection Plan is completely optional and works out to be approximately 6 percent of your total tuition cost. The program is offered through Berkley Care and helps to protect against losing your tuition money where the NOLS cancellation policy does not.

If you injure yourself (i.e. a broken arm) or have a death in your immediate family within 30 days of the start of your course and have to cancel, the Tuition Protection Plan will reimburse lost tuition. Or, if you are injured while on your NOLS course and have to leave, Berkley Care will prorate your tuition and refund you the balance. Additionally, this program helps to pay for evacuation costs while you are in the field.

Absolutely! Each year, NOLS awards students with over $1 million in financial assistance to our students. NOLS offers partial scholarships, which are awarded based on need as well as merit and are given on a first come, first served basis. In order to apply for a NOLS scholarship. you must currently be enrolled on a NOLS course.

Yes, you can use your Americorps Education Award to help you pay for your NOLS course. For more information on utilizing your Americorps Education Award please visit this page .

Yes. However, only courses based out of Wyoming are eligible for approval through the Veteran’s Affairs (VA). For further information on utilizing your VA Benefits for a NOLS course please visit the Financial Aid section of our web site.

NOLS Cancellation Policies

For all semesters, academic years, and courses in India, if you cancel or leave for any reason:

  • between 30 and 60 days from the course starting date, NOLS will retain 25 percent of the course tuition.
  • between 15 and 29 days from the course starting date, NOLS will retain 50 percent of the course tuition.
  • less than 15 days prior to the course starting date and once the course has begun, there will be no refunds.

For all other courses, if you cancel or leave for any reason:

  • between 15 and 29 days prior to the course starting date, NOLS will retain 25 percent of the course tuition.
  • between 8 and 14 days prior to the course starting date, NOLS will retain 50 percent of the course tuition.
  • less than eight days prior to the course starting date and once the course has begun, there will be no refunds.

NOLS Transfer Policies

For semesters, academic years, and courses in India, if you transfer from one course to another:

  • more than 60 days prior to the course starting date, there will be a $25 processing charge.
  • 60 days or less prior to the course starting date, regular cancellation, and refund charges will apply.

For all other courses, if you transfer courses:

  • 30 or more days prior to the course starting date, there will be a $25 processing charge.
  • 29 days or less prior to the course starting date, regular cancellation and refund charges apply.

Although we rarely need to do so, we reserve the right to cancel a course or change a course duration, tuition, or location. NOLS is not responsible for costs associated in these cases. We recommend that you consider refundable airplane tickets and tuition insurance.

Your tuition covers transportation during the course, but you are responsible for transportation to and from the course location.

Our Outdoor Educator courses are geared specifically for those who are currently working as or aspiring to become outdoor educators. Not only will you learn the NOLS curriculum of technical skills, leadership techniques, and environmental ethics, but you will also learn many different teaching styles to help you teach these skills to others. Outdoor Educator students prepare and deliver classes during which they receive extensive feedback from instructors and peers.

In order to work as a NOLS instructor, you will need to apply for and complete a NOLS Instructor Course (IC). We are looking for individuals with a current 72-hour Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification or higher, as well as a significant amount of both personal and professional backcountry experience. During your 35-day course, you’ll acquire the tools necessary to teach the next generation of NOLS students: in-depth instruction on teaching the NOLS core curriculum and training of NOLS protocols. Although taking a NOLS course or an Outdoor Educator course alone is not enough experience to make you a qualified IC applicant, it is a great way to start building the skills that you will need.

If you are interested in working as an outdoor educator, wilderness guide, ranger, or otherwise within the outdoor field, a NOLS course is a great place to start or advance a career. The knowledge, skills, and experience developed on a NOLS course are valuable to you as an outdoor professional and extremely attractive to employers of all types.

If working for NOLS is what you’re after, there are approximately 140 year-round, full-time positions at NOLS. We periodically offer employment opportunities in the fields of development and alumni relations, information systems, admissions and marketing, public policy, research, finance, risk management, and human resources. We also have internships available, as well as over 100 seasonal support staff positions.

NOLS has been offering college credit through the University of Utah since 1980. Ultimately, it is up to your college or university to decide which and how many of these credits will transfer into your specific program. Students need to make their own arrangements in transferring credit. A great place to start is with your academic advisor. It often helps to stress that these credits are coming from the University of Utah and to bring along a copy of your detailed course description. Additionally, bringing along the course syllabi can also be helpful. Keep in mind that not all University of Utah credits are available for every NOLS course, so it is important to make sure that the syllabi match the credits available for your specific course. Find more info here .

More than 400 Colleges and Universities around the world accept the transfer of NOLS/University of Utah credit. Numerous others have also offered their own credit for a NOLS course. A list of these institutions can be found here. If you don’t see your school on the list, don’t be dissuaded. It probably just means that no one has tried to transfer credit to your institution. Go ahead, be the first!

Although there is no universal certification for working within the outdoor industry, having completed a NOLS course is very highly regarded by outdoor professionals worldwide.

As the Leader In Wilderness Education, NOLS provides its students with the opportunity to obtain on-course certifications in the following areas:

  • Wilderness First Aid (WFA)
  • Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA)
  • Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
  • Leave No Trace Master Educator Certification
  • Leave No Trace Trainer Certification
  • Level I Avalanche Certification
  • Defensive Driving Certification

While we do allow friends and family members to attend courses together, we want them to be sensitive to the overall group dynamic and realize that they will be expected to interact fully with all expedition members.

It is important for you both to understand that even though you are on the same NOLS course, you might not be spending very much time together. While in the field, cook groups, travel groups, and tent groups constantly change as the course progresses.

Once you or someone you know graduates from a NOLS course, you will be eligible for a NOLS Alumni Trip. where friends and family are strongly encouraged to travel together.

In the past few years, NOLS has seen a 15-percent increase in the number of students who enroll on a course as part or all of a gap year. Currently, nearly 20 percent of our semester students are taking time off between high school and college. While we do offer a Gap Year Semester specific to 17-19 year-old students, we see gap year students on all NOLS semester courses. The curriculum and expected student outcomes are identical for every semester course we offer.

After over four decades of experience and more than a million meals prepared in the wilderness, NOLS has mastered the art of backcountry cooking. The NOLS system of bulk rationing and planning ensures that you’ll pack light and still have enough fuel and nutrition for the physical demands of a NOLS course.

In most cases, NOLS is able to accommodate any diet you are following. There is space on your NOLS medical form to address dietary restrictions and allergies. It will be important for you to let your admission officer know so NOLS can be prepared for you when you arrive for your course.

It is possible to eat kosher while you are on your NOLS course; however, you will be responsible for carrying your own cookware to make this happen. NOLS Rocky Mountain has the most resources to accommodate students. The NOLS Admission Office can help you decide which NOLS course would best for your specific dietary need or restriction.

On a standard NOLS course, accomodations for Sabbath cannot be guaranteed. However, NOLS Professional Training offers the Kosher Wilderness Leadership Expedition . which is kosher and sabbath observant. For further details click here.

Observing the Sabbath can be difficult on a course. Due to changes in course route, it is not always possible that your course rest days will fall on the Sabbath. Also due to unexpected weather, injury, etc. it is possible that students will move camp on rest days. Living in the backcountry can be unpredictable at times, and the safety of our students and faculty is the top priority.

On a standard NOLS course accommodations for Sabbath cannot be guaranteed. However, NOLS Professional Training offers the Kosher Wilderness Leadership Expedition . which is kosher and sabbath observant. For further details click here.

Our youngest students are 14 years old, and we do not have an age maximum. Students over 50, or those with certain medical histories, must submit an electrocardiogram (EKG) test as part of their medical evaluation.

Schoolwide, NOLS’ male to female ratio is 65:35. It varies on every course, though we always attempt to achieve a reasonable balance. Although we reserve the right to make a course single gender based on the overall ratio, this is something that each student will be notified about.

The group sizes and student to instructor ratio vary depending on the terrain and the skill being taught. Student groups range from 6 to 17, with the most common group sizes being 12 or 15. Instructor to student ratios are typically between 1:4 to 1:6.

Yes, contact lens wearers should also bring a pair of prescription glasses as a backup. Prescription sunglasses are also a nice item to have.

Many women feel some anxiety before their course concerning hygiene in the backcountry. However, most women find it’s much simpler than they thought. All NOLS instructors, male and female, are trained to handle hygiene matters in a professional and sensitive manner. All women enrolled on our courses will receive a Health Information For Women On NOLS Courses document in their Enrollment Packet. Additionally, students will discuss how to manage backcountry hygiene before their course starts.

A NOLS admission officer can give you further information about prepping for your course or put you in contact with a NOLS alumni representative. Give us a call at 800-710-NOLS.

Source: www.nols.edu

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