This class centers on a 10-day field-based training that teaches leadership (as well as ecology and outdoor skills) in Chilean Patagonia, one of the world’s most beautiful and diverse mountain environments and a growing site of ecotourism. The expedition is led by experienced instructors from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Students will learn technical outdoor skills, environmental practices, and leadership skills through structured lessons from the NOLS curriculum. They also learn by responding to the dynamic situations that arise exploring unfamiliar mountains in unpredictable weather with a diverse group. When acting for a day as leader of a climbing team, students have make decisions in ambiguity and maintain morale under often challenging conditions. When in the role of team member, students will have to practice “active followership,” acting to support the leader and the team. NOLS instructors will guide learning from these experiences through individual and group discussions before and after each day’s hike (a daily cycle of think, do, reflect). The expedition becomes a laboratory for expanding one’s leadership repertoire because each student is placed in different roles and receives granular feedback from the instructor and from peers every day.
This opportunity to focus on one’s teamwork skills with few distractions enables powerful and lasting self-insights, which students in past years have called “life changing.” As for practicalities, the trip will take place on December 13-22, 2014, preceded by three campus sessions in the B term. The cost of this program is $2450, which covers program costs from the 13th through the 21st, but does not include international airfare, lodging the night of the 12th or the 22nd, or the gear required to camp during the program.
Please note that this course is physically demanding; students will hike and camp for nine evenings, sleeping out on the mountain and preparing their own meals. A medical will be required for review by the NOLS team to ensure there are no risk factors that could hinder successful participation. Attendance both in New York and in-country and regular participation are a crucial part of the learning experience and as such attendance is mandatory. Students who miss the first class meeting may be removed from the course, and will not have their program fee refunded to them.
No program fee refunds will be given after the add/drop period has closed. On campus class meetings will take place on the following Mondays 12:30-3:45; October 27, November 10 and December 1.