April 30, 2015 - Issue: Vol. 161, No. 64 — Daily Edition114th Congress (2015 - 2016) - 1st Session
NATIONAL OUTDOOR LEADERSHIP SCHOOL 50TH ANNIVERSARY; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 64
(Senate - April 30, 2015)
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[Page S2562] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] NATIONAL OUTDOOR LEADERSHIP SCHOOL 50TH ANNIVERSARY Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, this year we commemorate the 50th anniversary of NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School. What started in Wyoming has now grown to 14 locations worldwide on six continents. NOLS locations stretch from the fjords of Norway and the Indian Himalayas to the Yukon and east Africa. In the last 50 years there have been over 250,000 graduates ranging in ages from 14 to over 70 years old. They come from all walks of life, from all 50 States, and numerous countries around the world. They come to learn mountaineering, kayaking, horse packing, sailing, backcountry skiing, caving, and wilderness medicine skills, just to name a few. As a doctor, I appreciate the importance NOLS places on outdoor medicine. The Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus was designed and located to create an optimal learning environment for students of wilderness medicine. At the campus, classroom experience extends to the outdoors with real-life simulations in wild and realistic terrain. I find it very appropriate NOLS has its beginning in Wyoming. Like Wyoming, NOLS supports a diverse economic portfolio that benefits from energy, agriculture, hunting and fishing, tourism, and outdoor recreation and education. Wyoming and NOLS both work towards a balanced approach to natural resource management that provides opportunities for a diversified energy portfolio while caring for Wyoming's world-class wildlife and wild places. One need not look any further than Lander, WY, for an example of balanced natural resource management. Lander is home to NOLS and gateway to the Wind River Range. At times, Lander has been a steel town and a supply hub during the gold boom. Today, Lander continues to be rich with energy and agricultural production. Wyoming and NOLS have shared strong leaders who work to find pragmatic and inclusive solutions to land management challenges. John Gans is one of those leaders. John has successfully carried on the tradition established by Paul Petzoldt, the founder of NOLS. After 20 years at the helm, he is the longest serving executive director of NOLS. Under John Gans' leadership, NOLS has been recognized nine times as one of the best places to work for. In 2012, he was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for his commitment to youth, wilderness and leadership. While NOLS' international programs have grown immensely during his time, John values the connections that exist between the town of Lander, NOLS staff, and graduates. Phil Nicholas, Marc Randolph, and Tori McClure are just a few examples of many graduates who have gone on to become successful businesspeople, educators, and leaders in the community and the Nation. Phil Nicholas is the current Wyoming Senate president and a former NOLS instructor. Tori McClure was the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean and the first woman to ski to the South Pole. Marc Randolph is a Cofounder of Netflix. One of the things that make NOLS alumni so successful is they have learned how to make decisions and face adversity. NOLS students suffer through extreme heat and cold and all types of weather conditions. NOLS students make decisions with consequences, and they apply these lessons to their lives. They come home with a new perspective on the world around them and their role within it. In this day and age of selfies and instant gratification, we need more people--and especially the youth--to realize they may not be the center of the universe. A perspective of hard work, sacrifice, and an appreciation and respect for nature needs to be taught and needs to be learned. In previous generations, this perspective was provided on family farms and ranches across the country. Gratefully, thanks to all the hard work and dedication of the NOLS staff, NOLS courses continue to provide this perspective to future leaders. I am confident in the future leadership of our communities and Nation because I know tomorrow's leaders are receiving NOLS instruction and experience today. Mr. President, I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating the National Outdoor Leadership School on their 50th anniversary. We are looking forward to another 50 years of success. ____________________