Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 45
Most of us had a very restless sleep last night. We were all on night watch to keep a watchful eye out for the hoodlums that are notorious for destroying camping gear and jumping on tents in the middle of the night. The torrent winds almost sabotaged our morning’s breakfast burritos but the gang managed to hustle and break down the gear before any major catastrophe. We drove to NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School, to gage a more comprehensive picture of what the organization does and how we can apply it to our classroom. The mission and values that propels NOLS is its commitment to wilderness, education, leadership, safety and the community ultimately creating leaders who better society. I feel like what I viewed today such as the ration room, the gear transition room, and the debriefing room had a sense of familiarity to it. In 1965 legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt founded NOLS during a similar economic recession and the Vietnam War. 45 years later we find ourselves in a situation where life is confusing, uncertain, and at times scary. These are the times when leaders are made, not born. These are the times when we need organizations like NOLS and programs like ECOEE to mold leaders that we have the strength and courage to get us through times such as these, and times such as then. We left NOLS and headed out for Yellowstone, just in time for the snow. Driving through the winding roads with aspen and pines hugging them, I looked down to see gray-blue water streaking through a canyon. I looked in front of me to see a few elk crossing the road. I looked to the side of me to see hazy mountains with snow covered tips. All around me there was beauty and amazement. Never in my life have I felt so blessed to live in such a beautiful place. America- with its amber waives of grain, Purple Mountain’s majesty, above the fruited plains, this is my home, and I will never take it for granted again. Thank you ECOEE.
Love, Kimberly Rose Janus

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