The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), educates more than 21,000 of students every year in locations all over the world, including the Adirondacks. NOLS Northeast has been based at Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) since 2011.
Over the past five summers NOLS Northeast has brought together over 250 students in the Adirondacks while developing skills of leadership, stewardship, and minimal impact camping.
This August, NOLS Northeast, in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), hosted a service project trip specifically for NOLS graduates and family members. The group of 15 included two NOLS instructors and a trail specialist consultant from Snowhawk. In four days, the group helped repair a lean-to roof at Rodney Point on Long Lake, reconstructed several box privies, and restored an overgrown trail up nearby Kempshall Mountain, totaling over 300 hours of service.
Of the nine NOLS graduates on the service trip, three had previously taken a NOLS course in Adirondacks and decided to return. Many students and instructors came from nearby, including local instructor Bob Emery from Saranac Lake.
“As someone who calls the Adirondacks my home, it was especially powerful to be a part of this Alumni Service Project,” Emery said in an announcement sent to the press. “The Adirondacks are unique in their proximity to large swaths of humanity. On the positive side, this means a wilderness that is accessible to millions in a way others are not. On the negative side, this means heavy use and a huge need for organizations like NOLS to take a lead in protecting the space. I was both honored and proud to be a part of this inaugural Alumni Service Project in the Northeast.”
NOLS Northeast will host a 50th Anniversary Celebration for NOLS on September 26 at Heaven Hill Farm, 302 Bear Cub Lane in Lake Placid, from 4:30 to 7 pm. RSVP at [email protected].
Photo: Lean-to roof repairs at Rodney Point (photo by Dan Verbeten).