National Outdoor Leadership School

Rating: 4.93 stars   28 reviews

Issues:

Location: 284 Lincoln St Lander WY 82520 USA

Mission: To be the leading source and teacher of wilderness skills and leadership that serve people and the environment.
Results: With courses ranging from 10 days to a full academic year, we attract highly motivated students who want to learn how to lead. NOLS graduates have everything needed to lead others in the backcountry, as well as the leadership ability to excel at work or in the classroom. We expect a great deal of our students. NOLS courses are demanding, because we believe people thrive when challenged. Our hands-on, learn-by-doing approach means our graduates get the skills they need to be competent, responsible wilderness travelers long after their course.
Target demographics: NOLS serves students from age 14 to over 70.
Geographic areas served: NOLS graduates are from all 50 states and 42 countries.
Programs: We believe positive, ethical leaders change the world. Based on this belief, NOLS has, over the last 46 years, become the leader in wilderness education. Founded in 1965 by legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt, NOLS takes students of all ages on remote wilderness expeditions and teaches them technical outdoor skills, leadership, and environmental ethics. What NOLS teaches cannot be learned in a traditional classroom or on a city street. It takes practice to learn outdoor skills and time to develop leadership. The backcountry provides the ideal setting for this unique, experiential education—NOLS classrooms are some of the world’s wildest and most awe-inspiring locations. We believe living in untouched places like our classrooms will teach students responsibility for all that surrounds us.
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EIN 83-0204184
1-800-710-6657
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

NOLS has changed my life in more ways than I ever imagined. It has provided me with technical skills that I can use back at home, but more than that it has presented me with a new way to look at the way I live, and the way others live. My NOLS semester gives me a beautiful, hopeful picture of the future. I found the importance of simplicity and minimalism, and compassion and respect. It is my greatest wish that everyone could be fortunate enough to experience what I experienced with NOLS.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

This organization changes lives, both young and old. It offeres experience and training unavailable anywhere else, and does so with an incredible integrity and commitment to its mission. I give both my time and my money to this organization because I believe it makes the world a better place, and enriches the lives of those who are fortunate enough to go on a NOLS trip.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have known NOLS sine 1989 when our eldest daughter attended "Spring Semester in the Rocky Mountains" - during her senior year in High School. While we were familiar with NOLS approach to the teaching of wilderness skills and ethics, we marveled at the affect this experience had on our daughter. I have often said, 'We brought a little girl to the airport in NY on the way to Lander WY, and 82 days later, a young woman greeted us on her return!". Our three other children have all done NOLS courses with identical results. I have taken 25 years and older courses as well as several alumni courses. I have found that NOLS unique approach to group dynamics through their focus on "Expedition Behavior" in not only successful in the wilderness, it works equally well at the family dinner table and the Board Room table. Pre-NOLS, I viewed the term, "Wilderness" and meaning government Land, now, it evokes the feeling of "My Land, My home to visit where ever I choose, as long as I leave it the way I find it!. I am happy and proud to commend to your readers this terrific non-profit, which also has an acute focus on fiscal responsibility and credibility. Sincerely, Fred J Kleisner

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

For more than 15 years, I have carried the leadership and technical skills training that I gained during my NOLS semester course into my personal life and professional career. Since then, I have gone on to take many more courses with the school, each time adding to my back country skills and improving my expedition behavior. And most importantly, each NOLS experience introduces students to a team of world -class outdoor educators.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

NOLS was the most significant semester of school I ever attended. The skills there have helped me succeed both personally and professionally as well as given me unique skills to enjoy new adventures into the outdoors.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Many years ago, I first heard of NOLS through a fellow Boy Scout leader, and filed the thought for a time when my daughters were older. A decade later my 15 year old daughter was having some problems at school that seemed to arise from low self confidence. I recalled my friend's comment about NOLS and after some encouragement and investigation my daughter decided to take a NOLS 30 day adventure course in Wyoming. The results were nothing less than amazing. My daughter departed as a self-centered child and returned as a self-confident young woman. Her love of the outdoors and the skills she learned from NOLS combined to become a life changing experience for her. After college, the same daughter went on a NOLS program to Tanzania. Through the Tanzania program reinforced the her self-confidence and outdoors skills and provided her a new and different perception of the world and strongly influenced her decision to get a master's degree in environmental science. From the time when I first dropped off my daughter in Lander, more than 15 years ago, I have wanted to personally participate in a NOLS program. The opportunity and my work load finally aligned and I was able to participate in a NOLS alumni program in Wyoming this past Summer. The time outdoors and the camaraderie were all that I had hoped for. I had a great time and heartily recommend NOLS programs for people of all ages.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

A wonderful school with committed teachers and administration. NOLS is a family tradition for me. I look forward to continuing this tradition as my family grows.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a 1996 Course Alum, 2005 Family Trip Alum & Current Volunteer for NOLS (whose husband & brothers are all grads, as is a nephew), I can honestly say NOLS is an amazing, well run, forward thinking, example setting Non-profit organization.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?