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Route Completed: Campaign NOLS Raises Nearly $1.2 Million Over Goal By Larkin Flora, Communications Coordinator


n December 31, 2013, NOLS wrapped up a four-year campaign initiative, bringing in an incredible $21,187,500 toward the endowment and annual fund. The successful completion of Campaign NOLS: Endowing Our Core Values is a landmark accomplishment. Through the support of the NOLS family—our alumni, parents, friends, and staff—we have strengthened our programs and will continue to produce the competent, ethical leaders the world’s communities need. By tapping the tremendous commitment, vision, and creativity of our supporters, we have ensured that we will remain an organization dedicated to our core values of leadership, community, safety, excellence, wilderness, and education. We are deeply grateful for the many supporters who generously gave to Campaign NOLS. Thank you! In continuing a tradition of excellence, we recognize that financial stability happens over time, not overnight. We also recognize that what we have done to put the right pieces into place over the past four years will foster such stability down the road. Since the fall of 2009, the NOLS community has striven to raise a record number of philanthropic dollars. During that time, we not only met, but exceeded, three out of the four fiscal years’ annual fund goals; we educated a record number of scholarship students on NOLS field and WMI courses (2,600 since the fall of 2009); we fully funded and completed construction of the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus with the generous support of Mr. Hansjörg Wyss; and an internal Staff Steering Committee, committed to creating a culture of giving within NOLS, increased staff participation in philanthropy from 18 percent to just under 40 percent. Over the course of the campaign, a special


Thanks to you, our supporters, we’ve exceeded our goal for Campaign NOLS, helping to minimize the long term risks that could affect the school.

group of external NOLS volunteers have worked hard to ensure its success. Our gratitude goes out to all of them for their ongoing support of, and belief in, the NOLS mission: to be the leading source and teacher of wilderness skills and leadership that serve people and the environment. This commitment to the future stems from our community’s steadfast belief in our core values. With over 80 percent of America’s youth living in or near urban centers, our community understands that it is more important than ever to get them out into nature. At NOLS, what

our students learn about their own abilities and group dynamics spills over into all their pursuits because they understand the importance of these NOLS values. 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. Thank you for helping us develop these leaders.

The resounding success of Campaign NOLS is not only an invaluable investment in the future of NOLS, but also an enormous tribute to the the power of NOLS’ supporters. The donors who participated in this campaign are the critical fuel that powers the school’s ability to make our programs available for a diversity of students for generations to come. I couldn’t be more grateful.

—Kate Gunness Williams, Chair, NOLS Board of Trustees

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.

Sustainable Giving It’s Never Been Easier to Make Recurring Gifts to NOLS


o you want a way to make a large impact over time without stretching your wallet today? You might not have the means to make a significant gift at the end of the year, and you probably think that your small gifts to NOLS won’t really make a difference in the big bucket. Think again. You can help provide scholarships for deserving students without breaking the bank.

Budget-Friendly Giving As you’re evaluating your monthly budget, consider adding in an extra line item under expenses: philanthropy. Many donors have found that recurring gifts are an easy way to give more over the course of a year than a one-time gift in December. Take Paul and Casey Velky, for example. The two have been sustained monthly donors for more than 12 years. “We chose to support NOLS philanthropically to help move forward the timeless and invaluable pearls of NOLS lessons. Time and again along life’s adventures we utilize those gems. Whether it is expedition behavior along the path of life or simply storm proofing our backpacks at day’s end, 2 FRIENDS

NOLS experiences have proven to be life-long influences. We desire to push that forward,” the Velkys explained.

More Bang for Your Buck While some donors give $10 per month, others are able to donate $100 monthly. Like all forms of donating, the amount matters less than the continued support; you can find which option best fits you. Even $10 each month will add up to $120 a year! It still may not sound like much, but if even a quarter of our more than 200,000 graduates did this, it’d be significant. Over $6 million in fact. That’s enough to meet the needs of all of our scholarship students while still leaving enough to support outreach, curriculum development, and sustainability initiatives.

Ongoing Support for Ongoing Projects Just like a re-ration on your course keeps you going, your automatic monthly gift can help provide the

sustained resources needed to support NOLS students and operations through any season. If you want to make regular, annual gifts to NOLS, sustainable giving makes it all the more convenient! Whether you choose monthly, quarterly, or annual recurring gifts, all you need to do is enroll and NOLS will take care of the rest. “We chose to enroll in the monthly giving program because it was an easy way to give,” stated the Velkys. “We have a great desire to support NOLS, and working it into our monthly budget keeps our support steady and consistent while keeping it within that budget.” Your sustained support makes a difference. See the impact you can have. Together we can ensure that all students have access to unparalleled wilderness education, regardless of their financial background. It’s easy to give monthly, quarterly, or annually; just sign up for the program with a few clicks on NOLS’ secure, online giving form at edonate or by calling NOLS Development at 800332-4280. Your donation will be charged to your checking account, debit, or credit card on the day of the month you choose.


Mandy Pohja

Creating an Internal Culture of Giving Back By Melissa Hemken, Foundation Relatoins Officer


ampaign NOLS consisted of some unique, experiential fundraising events for staff. As co-chair for the Campaign NOLS Staff Steering Committee, Mandy Pohja learned a lot about philanthropy systems, how to ask for donations from peers and co-workers, and gambling laws in Wyoming. Mandy holds an MBA from the University of Wyoming and is a graduate of a 2007 Rocky Mountain Outdoor Educator course. Since 2008, she has been instructing hiking, climbing, and winter courses, along with working in town as the research project manager overseeing nutrition, group function, research, the course quality survey, and glacier photography. The Staff Steering Committee was in place for three years and educated staff about philanthropy along with creating opportunities for staff to contribute to Campaign NOLS. The committee raised staff participation from 18 percent annually to a high of 55 percent.

“It was impressive not only how many staff donated, but how much they gave,” Pohja said. “The Staff Steering Committee was an infusion of new ideas and excitement for fundraising from staff outside of the Alumni and Development department. Staff really care about NOLS and our ‘fun raisers’ were non-intimidating ways to educate and ask at the same time.” The Staff Steering Committee supported one large event each year, collaborating with departments around the school: the WMI-led “Tod in the Buff Challenge” in 2012 raised funds for the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus; the 2011 NOLS Professional Training “Cart of Thanks” during the winter holidays encouraged staff to support NOLS; and the Casino Night during the October 2013 Board of Trustees meeting raised funds for the Staff Endowed Scholarship, which surpassed its goal of $50,000 by the end of 2013. Whether it was learning about blackjack rules or talking to staff about giving, Pohja shared, “I am thankful to work for an organization that encourages its staff to repeatedly get out and try new things.”


Gene and Susie Tremblay Returning to Something Good By Larkin Flora, Communications Coordinator


start, change, or stop your gift at any time.

• You’ll receive less mail because we

don’t need to send you reminders— which means more of your gift goes directly to support our students.

• You’ll receive a copy of Friends, the

newsletter of the NOLS Development department.

• Best of all, as a sustainable donor,

you’ll maximize the impact of your support to create the world’s future leaders.


familiar name around NOLS headquarters, NOLS parent and Chair Emeritus Gene Tremblay and his wife Susie are responsible for the estate gift that pushed Campaign NOLS to our goal. Gene joined the board in 1992 during a time of critical change at the school. The graduate of Harvard Business School worked extensively with the NOLS Finance department in the early ‘90s, as well as honing NOLS’ marketing strategy. A few years prior, the couple’s daughter, Jennifer, had taken a Baja Sea Kayaking course at the urging of her athletic teacher. Her brother, Matt, always loved the outdoors and followed in his sister’s footsteps with an Adventure Course when he was old enough. “I was so impressed with the transformation in both of our children,” Gene reflected. “Jennifer gained a level of self confidence that gave her the ability to be a leader. Matt gained a level of responsibility and accountability that added to his love of the outdoors.” Gene felt that if NOLS can give this gift to young adults, he wanted to get involved, support

it, and work to make it grow to include as many individuals as possible, which is why he joined the NOLS Board of Trustees. “Working with young people to teach them the responsibility they have for themselves and their ability to do things they never dreamed they could do are the most important things NOLS does.” In the fall of 2013, the Tremblay’s decided to include a more significant gift to NOLS in their estate plan, supporting the future of NOLS’ work. To foster an ongoing connection in the next generation and as a testament to the importance of NOLS to their family, the Tremblay children will present the gift to NOLS in person. “I have a philosophy that the first third of life you’re learning, the second you’re earning, and the third you’re returning,” Gene explained. “This is my way of returning to something good.” FRIENDS 3




NOLS’ Newest Corporate Partner Gives Back

By Melissa Hemken, Foundation Relations Officer

By Larkin Flora, Communications Coordinator


t’s no surprise that NOLS often partners with like-minded companies, those with a mission to explore, to push boundaries, and encourage others to get out there. Our partners choose to support the shared passion for outdoor pursuits by giving a percentage of their profits to the NOLS Annual Fund. The most recent company to join forces with NOLS is Frontier Bites. When Frontier Bites was originally created, founders Matt and Nate Oscamou were focused on putting together a lightweight, natural snack product to fuel all of their outdoor activities. From backpacking to fly fishing to skiing, they found themselves tired of the typical energy bars they brought on their adventures. So they decided to do something about it, creating their own real-food, crunchy bites made with only eight ingredients. Even better? They taste great and won’t freeze in the backcountry. Matt explained that as their company started to grow, he began thinking about

ways to put their motto of “your next frontier awaits” into action. “The mission became simple—how can we help encourage others to get out there, try new things, and build the same love for the outdoors that we’ve been fortunate enough to have ourselves?” he said. “It was clear that partnering with NOLS, the premier outdoor education school in the country, would be an incredible way for us to do this.” By sharing one percent of profits with NOLS, Frontier Bites hopes to help open the eyes and hearts of students who otherwise may not get the opportunity. “We feel that the NOLS/Frontier partnership will develop love and respect for the outdoors, the foundation for creating the next generation of stewards of our planet,” Matt added. At NOLS, we couldn’t agree more, and are looking forward to the unfolding of a wonderful, and tasty, relationship.

Interns are the unsung heroes of an organization: they work enthusiastically for a small stipened, seeking professional experience and skills. NOLS Headquarters recently welcomed three new heroines to Lander: Christina Sallis of St. Paul, Minn., CC Camilliere, a native of Amesbury, Mass., and Caroline Henley representing the South from Montgomery, Ala. “After my course, I really wanted to stay involved with NOLS,” said Sallis, a 2011 Yukon Backpacking and Whitewater Canoeing grad, who works with diversity and inclusion initiatives including Expedition Denali events. NOLS supports interns in most Headquarters departments and at branch locations to develop our communities’ future leaders and provide career experience to aspiring outdoor education professionals. The interns themselves contribute fresh perspectives gained from their varied experiences. Camillier was a special education teacher in her hometown before interning for NOLS and spent the past two summers working at Chewonki Foundation in Maine leading canoeing and backpacking trips for girls. “Working at Chewonki made me fall in love with outdoor education,” said Camillier, the Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability intern. “I enjoy seeing how people can be transformed by time in the outdoors.” This year is the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, and Camillier will be organizing commemoration events. “I knew nothing about NOLS before applying for the internship,” admitted Henley, a 2013 graphic design and drawing graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design. “I grew up doing outdoorsy things like hunting, fishing, and horseback riding, and I’m excited to learn more about the outdoor industry.” Henley is designing NOLS merchandise and did the layout for this issue of Friends.


NOLS ADDS NATURAL GAS TRUCK TO FLEET By Melissa Hemken, Foundation Relations Officer





Look for Frontier Bites—with this seal—at and REI stores nationwide.

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 100% recycled, 60%-PCW FSC-certified paper.


NOLS Transportation is exploring utilizing alternative fuels with the purchase of a bio-fuel truck that runs on gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG). Because CNG burns cleaner than petroleum, replacing an older vehicle with a CNG-compatible truck can reduce tailpipe emissions up to 90 percent, including a 25-percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. This truck is a pilot to determine the efficacy of CNG vehicles in the NOLS fleet; the additional cost of the CNG technology is funded by a grant from Encana Oil and Gas. “Employing alternative fuels is a baby step for us,” said Steve Matson, NOLS Rocky Mountain transportation manager. “We need the vehicles to be reliable and to have fuel sources available where we are driving. The CNG truck will be located at the NOLS river base in Vernal, as Utah has a large network of CNG stations.” Historically, CNG prices have been more stable than gas or diesel and are approximately $.25 to $1 cheaper per gasoline gallon equivalent. CNG is a domestically produced fuel and has the same miles-per-gallon as a conventionally fueled vehicle.

Friends Spring 2014  

friends spring 2014

Friends Spring 2014  

friends spring 2014