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At Home in Red Canyon: WMI Settles In By Melissa Hemken, Foundation Relations Officer

long the southeastern flank of the Wind River Range 13 miles south of Lander, Wyo. lies the 4,745-acre Red Canyon, home of the new NOLS Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus. Designated as a National Natural Landmark of the U.S. National Park Service in 1980, the canyon is home to five species of large game—moose, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, and antelope. Ownership of Red Canyon is a mix of federal, state, and private lands, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management handles its portion as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern. Located along the Little Popo Agie River that flows through the canyon, the NOLS Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus is only impacting a small portion of the 243 acres the school acquired. NOLS’ choice to leave the majority of the land undeveloped is assisting in the conservation of valuable wildlife habitat within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. “The facility is achieving NOLS’ growth goals through expanding classroom access,” said Melissa Gray, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute director. “Having the outdoor space required to run wilderness medicine scenarios is taking the pressure off of our day-use permits on the Shoshone National Forest. The campus will also host events, provide school meeting space, and provide winter grazing for NOLS horses,” Gray said. The school is actively balancing simultaneous strategic goals of growth while reducing school-wide carbon-output 30 percent by 2020. As new facilities are purchased and built to meet programming needs, NOLS works to harmonize the additions with ongoing environmental sustainability efforts. “The campus is designed to be capable of net-zero

John Stoddard


The nearly complete Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus will see final touches in the coming year. Landscaping will continue over the winter, with a sprinkler system to be installed this fall to prepare for planting in the spring. WMI expects to host nearly 400 students at the campus in its first year.

energy use,” explained John Stoddard, Wyss Campus project manager. “We seriously considered energy efficiency at every turn in planning the facility. The highperformance buildings are models of how to use the least amount of energy.” The custom-built residential campus has state-ofthe-art teaching facilities surrounded by a diverse natural environment, providing the ideal classroom for rescue scenarios. With 280 user days already booked in its first year, the facility will host the inaugural Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician course in November. “We locally source as many contractors and mate-

rials as are available, providing an economic benefit to the Lander community,” said John Gans, NOLS executive director. “At the Wyss Campus, our students will be better served through a facility specifically designed for wilderness medicine education.” The educational benefits of the facility are many and varied, an acknowledgment of the importance that today’s leaders understand their sense of place and how our lifestyles impact our land. At the Wyss Campus, students will not only learn about wilderness medicine, but also about energy efficiency, sustainable building, natural resources conservation, and history of western landscapes.

Led by my fantastic instructors, who were knowledgeable, personable and upbeat, I developed the confidence to assist with wilderness—and frontcountry—injuries requiring first aid. WMI’s realistic scenarios and immersive techniques make the learned skills easy to retain and build leadership, critical thinking, character, and integrity. WMI students will benefit greatly from a permanent classroom, and the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus will be the perfect home.

— Jonathan Hughes, WMI graduate and named gift donor

Friends is for people committed to helping NOLS provide the world’s best education in wilderness skills and leadership. This newsletter aims to provide useful and interesting information on charitable gift planning and supporters of the school. NOLS is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advisory services. State laws govern wills, trusts, and many charitable gifts, and these laws vary from state to state. While NOLS welcomes and encourages inquiries about the material in this publication, individuals should consult with their professional advisors when planning their wills or deferred gifts.

Planting Seeds of Ethical Leadership Support NOLS in Your Will


he NOLS experience—based on challenge, the wilderness, leadership, responsibility, and fun—has changed countless lives over the decades. Our dedication to being the leader in wilderness education is only rivaled by a desire to perpetually improve and excel. As the school enters the final year of our strategic plan, Expedition 2013, we begin to look back and evaluate the progress we’ve made in addition to forming our plan for the future. We can’t predict the future, but NOLS founder Paul Petzoldt would say that we can prepare ourselves to nimbly handle unexpected outcomes. This rings true for estate planning as well as expedition planning. Like an expedition, estate planning can be a daunting experience, but with the right mix of tools, preparation, and experience, you can create a legacy that will benefit your heirs and the organizations you deeply believe in. Writing a thoughtful plan for the distribution of your assets is something many of us delay or avoid altogether, but a will is a document that will care for your heirs as well as your charitable interests. No estate is too small to create a legacy in wilderness education. Author, theologian, and educator D. Elton Trueblood once wrote, “It takes a noble person to plant a seed to grow a tree that will one day provide shade to those whom one may never meet.” 2 FRIENDS

Such generosity and foresight ensures that generations of students will be able to experience the immeasurable rewards of a NOLS education. When you list NOLS as a beneficiary in your will or estate plan you are ensuring a strong future for the school, planting the seeds for the next generations of ethical lead-

These gifts allow my wife and I to do a lot more in the long run for NOLS than we could ever do through a simple cash or stock gift today. There is flexibility, planning for the future, and a belief that long after I am gone from this earth someone else will be able to come to NOLS and wonder why they ever slept indoors to begin with.

–Wally Long, NOLS grad and former instructor, Summit Team member

ers. Furthermore, you are able to enjoy the full use of your assets now, still making a gift that will greatly benefit NOLS. A charitable bequest is a simple and powerful way to support NOLS. Tax laws favor bequests, providing a 100-percent charitable income tax deduction

for gifts made to NOLS through a will or estate plan. Bequests offer considerable flexibility, too, allowing you to tailor your gift so that you and your heirs can reap the greatest benefits. The sample language provided here is an easy way to begin building a bequest to NOLS. The provisions in your own will depend upon the type of gift you make, as well as your circumstances. Please consult your attorney when considering any legal matter. A bequest might read: I give to the National Outdoor Leadership School, a nonprofit corporation located in Lander, Wyoming, the sum of $____________ (or ______% of my estate; or the property described herein). The property comprising this gift may be used to further the charitable purposes of NOLS at the discretion of its trustees. At NOLS, we understand better than most that circumstances change—even the best plans can go awry on an expedition due to inclement weather, high water, or other unforeseen events—which is why you will be able to alter your gift should you need to. If you have already included NOLS in your will, please let us know. Not only will you help NOLS plan for the future, you will also allow us to celebrate

volunteerS in action

NOLS’ Armchair Adventures Alumni Book Clubs Take Wild Treks Through Written Words By Madeleine Friend, Alumni Relations Intern


he unique camaraderie of a NOLS experience can be difficult to recreate in the frontcountry. However, for graduates looking to connect with fellow alumni, a NOLS book club can do just that. We spoke with several graduates involved in these gatherings around the nation and combined their advice to help you jump-start your book club experience. Our book group gurus agree: a passionate leader is critical to a successful network. NOLS will help you send an email to graduates in your area (contact us at Using a book club-specific email address (e.g. and a Google document may be helpful when planning books to read and times to meet. As the leader of the group, you may choose to open your home for meetings. Although this is a large time commitment, you can spread the responsibilities by asking members of the group to provide refreshments (wine and light appetizers have been a big hit in other groups). Typically, NOLS book clubs focus on adventure and wilderness stories, such as River of Doubt, A Walk in the Woods, and Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town. New York City’s club spiced up their meetings by holding them at locations relevant to the book—for example, meeting in a Brazilian restaurant to discuss The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon. Although logistics may be a challenge, those who have taken part in these groups encourage you to stay positive and find out what works for your city. Connecting with fellow alumni allows you to share your unique experiences with other graduates. Special thanks to Melissa Chase, Elyssa East, Joelle Dent, and Greg and Patricia Wright for their input on the book clubs they have participated with in New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Rachel Curtis

Summit Team Profile

your legacy with you and inspire others to support NOLS. As the year comes to a close, we encourage you to join NOLS in reflection and planning ahead by updating or creating your will. A planned estate gift acknowledges the importance of the NOLS mission and secures your legacy as a steward of these core values. Your gift will help ensure that NOLS maintains the strength of vision and expertise necessary to remain the leader in wilderness and leadership education. Endow your long-term support of NOLS through a charitable bequest so that it continues beyond your lifetime. Like climbing a mountain, we realize that creating or updating your will can be a daunting route to take. That’s why NOLS’ development staff is here to help you through this critical process each step of the way. For more information on estate planning, contact us at (800) 332-4280 or

Dr. Cynthia Stevens Supporting Essential Wilderness Medicine Training By Madeline Friend, Alumni Relations Intern


transplant from Washington, D.C. to the Cowboy State, Summit Team member Dr. Cynthia Stevens had Lander, Wyo. in her heart for many years. Stevens first visited the home of NOLS’ International Headquarters and NOLS Rocky Mountain in 1978. “I fell in love with the people of Lander and the beauty and wildness of the Wind River Mountains,” said Stevens of her vacation to Wyoming. Stevens’ roots with NOLS extend to well before her transition to Lander or her first course. While teaching at the National Cathedral School in D.C. prior to attending medical school, she worked with NOLS instructors who informally introduced her to the NOLS curriculum. Since moving to Lander, Stevens has become a three-time graduate of NOLS Wilderness Medicine (WMI), having completed a Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Wilderness Medical Expedition, and a WFR-refresher course.

“The curriculum was intensive and the lessons intense, but wonderful,” Stevens recalled. “My experiences [with NOLS] helped me develop a more secure core identity that has allowed me to meet ongoing challenges.” An active medical professional with a private psychiatric and psychoanalytic practice in Lander, Stevens adamantly supports the WMI curriculum and believes it should be integrated into medical school. “Medical professionals are trained in high-tech, urban environments. NOLS teaches us how to approach situations when those systems aren’t operational or don’t exist,” Stevens explained. A belief in the efficacy of NOLS compels Stevens to be a part of the Summit Team. She expressed the simple reason behind her longterm commitment to the school: “NOLS and WMI stand perched to do amazing things, and I want to be a part of seeing their work continue.” The NOLS Summit Team, established in 1999, is a recognition society for donors who include the school in their estate plans or establish some other deferred gift to NOLS. For more information, contact NOLS Development at (800) 332-4280 or


Gifts at Work

philanthropic Tidbit

IRA Charitable Rollovers Yet to Be Extended By Larkin Flora, Communications Coordinator

Matthew Parent

Before Congress went into recess at the beginning of August, the Senate Finance Committee introduced a bipartisan bill extending many tax provisions, including the Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) charitable rollover, which expired Dec. 31, 2011. Should this provision be extended into 2013 (and retroactively into 2012), it will allow donors age 70.5 and over to make direct, tax-free donations of up to $100,000 per year from their IRA to a charitable organization. Donations must be made from a traditional or Roth IRA, and donors need not report the donated amount as income on their federal tax returns. It should be noted that IRA charitable rollovers cannot be used to fund gift annuities or other life income gifts. As the holiday giving season approaches, development professionals nationwide anxiously await Congress’ decision. The last time the IRA charitable rollover was extended retroactively for 2010, donors who gave in January 2011 could count their gift, and subsequent tax break, towards the 2010 tax year. It stands to reason that should Congress wait until after November’s election to pass this particular extender, the same would apply for January 2013 donations counting towards the 2012 tax year. However, it is still unclear whether or not the extender bill will pass Congress.

As part of extensive renovations and energy retrofits this past spring, NOLS Rocky Mountain added 40 photovoltaic, or solar, panels to its roof. The branch now has a total 124 panels.

NOLS Rocky Mountain Goes Green By Melissa Hemken, Foundation Relations Officer


xtensive renovation and energy retrofits were completed at NOLS Rocky Mountain this year through grant funding. The East Wing, which still had the look of the original Fremont Lumberyard, now has a re-designed layout for the Gourmet Gulch and program supervisor offices. The funding supported the installation of a groundsource heat pump system in lieu of natural gas air conditioning and furnace. The geothermal system uses renewable energy to efficiently manage the temperature of the wing. The building now only uses electricity produced by the 25-kW solar array adorning the roof. The renovated wing sports double-paned, glazed windows, and the balsam chip insulation was replaced with a minimum of three-inch spray foam creating a full building envelope. The Gulch’s many chest freezers are no longer, replaced by a full walk-in freezer and cooler.

The grant also supported the overhauling of the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system in Headquarters, with 30-percent savings in energy usage. New high efficiency windows and lighting energy retrofits in the Noble Hotel and a new furnace and lighting retrofits at Three Peaks Ranch in Boulder, Wyo. were also installed. This past May, the NOLS community gathered to dedicate the latest installation of solar panels on the Rocky Mountain branch. Attendees enjoyed sunshine and tours of the renovated facility, as well as information about the benefits of the solar project. The Rocky Mountain Power Blue Sky Program funded 80 percent of the two-phase project, with NOLS receiving funding from the same source for phase one. Crews installed the final 40 of 124 solar panels in March as the renovations were wrapped up.

National Outdoor Leadership School | 284 Lincoln Street • Lander, Wyoming 82520 • (800) 332-4280 Larkin Flora, Editor. To subscribe, contact: NOLS Development (307) 335-2276 • Friends is printed on 55% recycled, 30%-PCW FSC-certified paper.


Insider News

NOLS Ushers in New Leadership By Larkin Flora, Communications Coordinator

Every October, NOLS welcomes our Board of Trustees and Advisory Council to our headquarters in Lander, Wyo. for our annual State of the School meeting. This year, the board meetings will see new leadership as Tori Murden McClure steps down as chair, replaced by veteran Board Member Kate Gunness Williams. Williams started her NOLS career as a student on a Wind River Wilderness course in 1985, going on to take her instructor course two years later. In between spending time in the field as an instructor and raising a family, she has worked for the Trust for Public Land, High Country News, and is currently the executive director for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail—a 740-mile water trail tracing traditional Native American travel routes across New England. Having first joined the Board for a six-year term in 1999, Williams returned for her second term in 2009 before she was elected as chair. At NOLS, we are excited about the breadth of knowledge in the fields of outdoor education, conservation, and recreation management that Williams brings to our organization and are pleased to welcome her back to Lander as our new chair.


Endowing Our Core Values

our place on the map:

Dave Anderson

cam paign progrESS

A $20 million campaign made up of $15 million to strengthen our endowment and $5 million for annual philanthropic support.


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It’s important to take a look back at the progress we’ve made since the beginning of Campaign NOLS: Endowing Our Core Values, recognizing the tremendous amount of support we’ve received already. It will take teamwork and the whole community of NOLS supporters to bring us to our final goal of $20 million by the end of 2013.

Laying a Foundation for Leadership By Larkin Flora, Communications Coordinator


here’s no question that now, more than ever, the world’s communities need competent leaders. With over 80 percent of America’s youth living in or near urban centers, it is essential they get out into nature. What individuals learn about their own abilities and group dynamics at NOLS will spill over into all of their pursuits because they appreciate and adopt NOLS’ core values. Leadership, community, safety, excellence, wilderness, and education are at the heart of our institution, inspiring everything we do. We share a commitment to these values; they define and direct who we are, what we do, and how we do it. The largest campaign in NOLS’ history aims to endow these very values. Campaign NOLS’ goal is to raise $20 million by the end of 2013. Made up of $15 million to strengthen our endowment and $5 million for annual philanthropic support, it will help us achieve our immediate goals while

allowing NOLS to financially prepare for the future. Thanks to the generous support of our friends, family, and the greater NOLS community, we’re nearly there! With just over a year remaining in the campaign, we have under $3 million to raise before we receive a capstone gift, which will bring us to $20 million. We’re on schedule for a successful campaign, but we still have a lot of work to do. We need your help.

Building Tomorrow’s Leaders The unique intellectual and physical adventure of a NOLS expedition generates real leaders for today’s world: active and concerned citizens who are not only adept in the backcountry, but also conscious of the size of their footprint, can collaborate effectively with others, and exemplify strong leadership, passion, and self-responsibility.

Every day, thousands of NOLS graduates around the globe tap into perspectives and skills gained on NOLS courses: affection for wild places, the ability to navigate complexity, a practiced skill in providing generative leadership. These graduates make our shared world a healthier and more vital place. I am honored to serve as Chair of the Board at a time when NOLS is taking incredible strides forward to extend our excellent wilderness and leadership programs to a wide range of students. Your support  of Campaign NOLS fuels this momentum. Thank you for your generous support!

Contact us: Phone: (800) 332-4280 • Web: • ­Email:­

—Kate Williams, Chair of the Board of Trustees

C ampaign NOLS


NOLS leaders know the value of communication. They understand the importance of giving feedback constructively, embracing it actively, and keeping things positive, allowing them to prevent and resolve conflicts in their communities. Because our risk management program at NOLS is the best in the industry, students are able to push themselves beyond their perceived limits. Tolerance for adversity and uncertainty is central to the wilderness experience, stemming from direct and uncontrived interactions with nature. Paired with responsibility and strong communication skills, our students learn the confidence in their own abilities that allows them to face any form of uncertainty with grace.


Brews and Birding in the Big Apple Campaign Events Celebrate NOLS Community By Judd Rogers, Development Officer


ou may have noticed an increased presence of NOLS in your local community this past year. Volunteer regional steering committees have been working across the country to get the word out about Campaign NOLS by organizing and hosting awareness events. Generating support for the campaign, both through monetary contributions and increased volunteer activity, these unique events bring people together in fun venues to celebrate our core values like leadership and community in fun and unique ways. A few months ago, a crew of alumni organized a rooftop party in New York City. Classic NOLS trail food replaced the typical catering, and a local NOLS graduate brewer served up some of his finest ales. There was a spotting scope set up on the balcony where folks got a class on the hottest birding spots in Manhattan, and the NOLS spice kit was on hand

to enhance the freshly popped corn as attendees reviewed or learned about the 4:7:1 leadership model. In addition to bringing people together, the event was interactive, educational, and had a few of those touch points that bring graduates back to the experiences they shared in the wilderness while offering a glimpse of NOLS to friends and family. Dreamed up, planned, organized, and hosted by local friends and alumni who truly care about NOLS, the special touches show the commitment of volunteers to seeing the NOLS mission and core values endure. Our thanks go out to everyone who has participated as we embark on the final leg of this vital campaign to endow our core values. If you are interested in attending a Campaign event or want to help organize one in the future please let us know at

All Photos by Tiffany Wooley

Creating a Better World, One Leader at a Time None of this education and growth would be possible without supporters like you. The continued passion of the greater NOLS community has been critical to the school’s success through research and curriculum development, sustainability initiatives, and outreach programs. But most importantly, donations to Campaign NOLS help support our scholarship program, meaning more students can come to NOLS to learn and grow as individuals and leaders with strong environmental ethics. These skills translate into life after NOLS, impacting friends, families, and larger communities. There are many ways to give before Dec. 31, 2013, including a gift to the endowment, the NOLS Annual Fund, and through an irrevocable planned gift. To create a stronger global community and a healthy planet, we need leaders who know how to listen to and communicate with people from every background. We need leaders who can adapt to challenges presented by a turbulent market or a changing climate. At NOLS, we believe that positive, ethical leaders change the world, and that we are the best at developing these leaders. Join us in creating the next generation of leaders by making a donation to Campaign NOLS today.

R egional

NOLS’ New York City alumni and friends enjoyed an evening of camaraderie and Campaign NOLS. The night included an introduction to birding in the city and local brews, along with a NOLS leadership refresher.

Contact us: Phone: (800) 332-4280 • Web: • ­Email:­