The Wilderness Risk Managers Committee was formed while Jim was the Executive Director of NOLS. Jim, along with Tod Schimelpfenig, then Safety Director at NOLS, convened the first meeting of the committee in June of 1992. The original motivation for starting the committee was to increase communication within the profession of outdoor education about common risk management issues. The meeting marked the first time that professionals in this field gathered specifically to share resources and establish a communication network. The committee met again in 1993 and convened the first annual national risk management conference in 1994. The WRMC has gone on to educate thousands and has left a mark on outdoor and wilderness education.
In recognition of this Outward Bound, the Student Conservation Association, and NOLS sponsor an annual scholarship for a WRMC participant in Jim's name. The scholarship will go to either current instructor/practitioner of adventure education, or to adventure program administrator or director.
In 2012, the WRMC began offering coaching sessions to attendess of the conference. Proceeds from these sessions are generously donated to the WRMC Jim Ratz Scholarship fund by the risk management and legal coaches. Additional scholarships have been provided by members of the WRMC community.
If you would like to support the WRMC Jim Ratz Memorial scholarship fund, please contact Gabi Kilko-Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 307-335-2222.