Position at NOLS: Alumni Development Director, Lander, Wyoming
NOLS Instructor since: 1992
Pip Coe, who says that she grew up with a paddle in her hand, has been working for NOLS since 1992 in many different capacities. Coe took her Professional Instructor Course in 1991 and has been instructing, mainly whitewater courses, for NOLS since 1992 in locations including the Southwest, Yukon, Pacific Northwest and Teton Valley. Coe now serves as the alumni and development director at NOLS Headquarters in Lander, Wyoming. Previously she was the co-manager of the NOLS river base in Vernal, Utah for four years, the operations manager of NOLS Kenya from August 1997 until October 1998, and has worked in the Alumni department in Lander since March 2000.
As an organization, NOLS continues to be successful, Coe believes, because it “stays true to its mission.”
“We continue to do what we do best, which is provide quality student experiences in a wilderness setting that result in positive outcomes for individuals,” Coe says.
Coe says that working in the Alumni department she hears all the time from people who took a course one year ago or 30 years ago that the NOLS experience changed their life. “People say ‘I still use the leadership skills or communication skills that I learned on my NOLS course,’” she says.
Before coming to NOLS, Coe worked at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina as a raft guide and canoe and kayak instructor for ten years and lived in Idaho for five years working on the main Salmon and Middle Fork Rivers. She says that she likes to work on rivers because you get into a “craft and go down stream and run into challenges that you have to maneuver your way out of.”
“And there is something very calming about being on the river bank,” Coe says.
Busy working for the Alumni department, Coe says that she still tries to work a few weeks in the field instructing courses because “that’s why we are all really here.”