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Sydney H.

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1 reviews

Review for National Outdoor Leadership School, Lander, WY, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I completed a Wind River Mountaineering course and a Wilderness EMT course through NOLS and WMI. NOLS generates active and concerned citizens who are not only
proficient in wild places, but who care for the environment, leave a
small footprint, and know how to effectively collaborate with others.
I believe NOLS graduates go out into the world and show others how
to live similarly. I see this very clearly among fellow graduates and lifelong friends from NOLS and WMI, who all embody good leadership, passion, and self-responsibility among
their peers.

On day three of our mountaineering course, the first day we traveled off-trail, a
massive snowstorm hit. We quickly learned about “post-holing”,
route finding in zero visibility, and what to do if you can’t find
the “x”. I am so grateful that one of the worst weather days came
early in the course. There were so many challenges at one time, it
did me absolutely no good to complain or cry. I could only focus on
learning how to light my MSR stove and properly set up the tent. I
learned to cope by controlling what I could about the situation and
accepting what I couldn’t. It does not serve any purpose to point out
the hailstones pummeling you in the face, because everyone else has
clearly noticed them as well.

My instructors set great examples to keep a positive attitude, and
optimism remains my main strategy towards overcoming challenges
in the front-country. Cold conditions were fun because they meant we
constantly did the Tazmanian Toe Tap or held Push-Up Contests to
keep warm. After four weeks I came to view
adversity as a natural part of the process. I looked forward to arduous
moving days—now, I think short on-trail hikes are even a bit boring!
Today, when I face
stressful times, I recognize that dwelling on the problems prevents
me from solving them. Life will always throw us challenges, but NOLS
taught me how to enjoy the opportunity to grow and learn.

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