NOLS: National Outdoor Leadership School Home
1- to 3-day Outcome-based Curriculum

Photos: Brad Christensen and Brian Fabel

The Leadership Navigation Challenge helps teams develop targeted leadership skills through interactive classroom work. Classroom work can focus your team on current priorities from facilitation and peer problem-solving to examining perspectives on risk or decision making.

The theory is then applied in an experiential context through an outdoor Global Positioning System (GPS) orienteering course. Real-time coaching as groups navigate the course, as well as facilitated debriefings, focuses learning for this practical experience in situational leadership.

Course participants are exposed to theory and discussion of leadership and communication topics most pertinent to your current goals.

Each participant is expected to:

  • Actively practice group decision-making, leadership, and communication skills to reach group goals
  • Learn critical briefing and debriefing techniques to build and manage effective teams
  • Learn intervention skills to mitigate group and interpersonal problems
  • Learn to set and maintain an optimum work environment


Course Schedule
Two days | recent client: Bering's Retail Store
Day 1 of 2
Introduction, 30 minutes
• Meet and greet
• Explanation of purpose
• Alignment of NOLS' goals with those of the organization
• Explanation of expedition simulation

Morning curriculum, 5.5 Hours
Choose three of the following topics:
• NOLS 4-7-1 leadership curriculum
• Continuums and self-inventory of how you see the world
• Extracting and learning about personal leadership styles
• Decision-making module
• Conflict models
• Communication models
• Team dynamics in high functioning teams

Expedition Simulation GPS Course, 2.5 hours

Small group debrief, 30 minutes
• Facilitator shares observations
• Participants talk about behaviors from the GPS course vs. their regular work patterns
• Explore similarities or differences with work interactions

Large group debrief, 30 minutes
• Role analysis and observation: how decisions were made, general communication patterns, group interaction toward common goal
Day 2 of 2

Morning review, 6 hours
• First day check-in and review
• Situational decision making
• Advanced communication skills
• Facilitation skills
• Leadership styles and conflicts

Afternoon Curriculum, 3 hours
• Client Organization’s Growth Goals
• Action planning and implementation of client organization’s strategies
• Active discussions on group action-planning, concrete steps for the future

Additional curriculum options
• Instruments
• Thomas-Killman Conflict Styles
• Brain Map
• Experiential component
• House of cards

The NOLS leadership cirriculum produces results.

Photo: Brad Christensen

"If it weren’t for the NOLS training, we would have been hit really hard by the economic downturn."

Augie C. Bering V
Executive Vice President
(read the full story here)


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