Basic Organization Information
National Outdoor Leadership School
- Also Known As:
- Physical Address:
- Web URL:
- Blog URL:
- NTEE Category:
B Educational Institutions
B90 Educational Services and Schools - Other
O Youth Development
O50 Youth Development Programs
C Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification
C60 Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs
- Ruling Year:
To be the leading source and teacher of wilderness skills and leadership that serve people and the environment.
- Population Served:
NOLS was founded in Lander, Wyoming with 100 students, and now operates in 13 areas spread over five continents, and, in 2010, had more than 15,000 students enrolled in NOLS programs worldwide. NOLS has nine branch schools across the globe and supports expeditions of 10 days to a full academic year in length.
NOLS offers opportunities for students from age 14 to over 70, and has alumni from all 50 states and 42 countries. Students learn seven critical skills of leadership on each NOLS course. Through working with a team, students develop and practice communication, self-awareness, tolerance for adversity and uncertainty, expedition behavior, vision and action, judgment and decision-making, and competence. Graduates, equipped with the proper education and skills, have learned to lead others not only in the wilderness, but also in their schools, jobs and communities.
In addition to NOLS' wilderness course offerings, the school also provides custom courses and consulting services for businesses, universities and organizations through NOLS Professional Training. This department designs courses tailored specifically for their clients ranging from native youth on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming to the NASA space shuttle astronaut teams, from Google, Inc. to the United States Naval Academy.
The Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS (WMI) brings yet another dimension to the school. Integrated into NOLS in 1999, WMI teaches wilderness medicine practices and protocols, and certifies students in first aid, first responder, and emergency medical technician training. WMI has trained more than 100,000 students, and actively works with a consortium of wilderness medicine providers to create standard operating procedures for the industry.
Program Long-Term Success:
Educated 10,000 students worldwide.
Program Short-Term Success:
Program Success Monitored by:
Program Success Examples:
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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit
The NOLS community-its staff, students, trustees, and alumni-shares
a commitment to wilderness, education, leadership, safety, community,
and excellence. These values define and direct who we are, what
we do, and how we do it.