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For Immediate Release

May 30, 2007

Jeanne O’Brien, NOLS
Office: 307.335.2236
Mobile: 307.349.0595
Gene Meier, Ft. Washakie Charter High School
Office: 307.332.2400
Mobile: 307.349.2458

Fort Washakie Wilderness Expedition

Fort Washakie, WY – The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and the Fort Washakie Charter High School have partnered to take twenty students, four faculty and two community members on a wilderness backpacking course that will expose students to the Wind River Range, the very mountains in their backyards.

NOLS has worked with both secondary and higher education institutions across the country to customize programs suited to specific communities. However, the Fort Washakie Wilderness Expedition is the first to incorporate Native American traditions with western techniques of land use and travel.

“The community of Fort Washakie, FWCHS and FCSD #21 is once again pioneering new concepts in public education for Wyoming students, and have partnered with NOLS to develop and create a curriculum and a course for high school students. Students can earn up to three semester credits for completing the course, which will be taught by NOLS instructors, certified teachers and community members. It's a whole new high school/ summer school/ credit recovery concept!"

-Shad Hamilton, Principal

The first group of students will travel through the Wind River Mountains from June 6-12,followed by a second group from June 13-19. Students will finish the course with a better understanding of the land through the NOLS environmental curriculum with a special emphasis on the cultural and historical significance of the Wind River Mountains. Individuals participating in the courses will earn up to three high school credits for attendance and the completion of post-course projects. They will have the opportunity to share their experiences with the community at a public, post-course celebration.

The partnership between the Fort Washakie Charter High School and the National Outdoor Leadership School opens doors to greater community development as well as possibilities for cross-cultural training and experiential learning.

Fort Washakie Charter High School was founded in 2002 by the local school board in Fremont County, Wyoming to establish a new high school in District #21. As one of the premiere online high schools, the Wyoming E Academy of Virtual Education (WeAVE) seeks to educate students through both traditional and non-traditional formats. WeAVE provides a locally based, accredited, responsive, high school program for motivated learners. For more information visit our website at

Founded in 1965 by legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) is the leader in wilderness education and risk management and sets the industry standard for responsible, high-quality educational expeditions. NOLS provides an awe-inspiring, transformative experience that develops active, positive leaders with lifelong environmental ethics and outdoor skills to more than 10,000 students each year. A private, nonprofit school, NOLS runs 10-day to school-year-length courses on four continents. NOLS students, ages 14 to over 70, explore the most remote wilderness the Rocky Mountains, Idaho, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Alaska, Western Canada, Mexico, Patagonia (Chile), India, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Baffin Island have to offer. College credit and scholarships are available.  For more information, call NOLS at (800) 710-NOLS (6657).

Wind River Wilderness - This is the original NOLS course, and today it is still the most popular expedition we offer. For 30 days, you’ll explore the Wind River Mountains—a wilderness range renowned for its crystal clear lakes and rugged mountain beauty.
Photo: Bryan Palmintier
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