as of lately with talk of graduation soon to be here, i have been pushed, encouraged, and pushed some more to really pursue photography and my love for the outdoors. my dad has always told me that if i am doing something that i love, then i will truly never have to work another day in my life. that doesn’t mean there won’t be days that are better than the rest or days that are harder to go through, but when you do what you love, is it really work?
about a week ago i went on a photography field trip that my dad was chaperoning (he still goes on the trips even though i’ve not been in this class for years now) with my high school photography teacher, mr. mittman, and his class. they were in birmingham for the day and doing everything you could possibly fit into a single day, filling it to the brim with plenty of great photo opportunities (a typical mittman field trip).
so once his students had snagged film for the day and scattered about the historical sloss furnace i finally had just a few moments to talk to mr. mittman. of course he asked the typical, you’re-almost-graduated questions: “what’s next? what’re you doing after college?” like myself, mr. mittman really loves the outdoors, is passionate about photography, and enjoys traveling. i mean, i don’t even scratch the surface compared to his talents and passions, but he understands what i love. both he and my father are people i look up to that i know i can talk outdoors, photography, and my future all in one without a skeptical look. with that said, mr. mittman pointed me in the direction of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), the leader in wilderness education which was created by paul petzoldt.
i had heard of NOLS before but never made an effort to really research the school and see what they were about, at least not until now. after reading their history i felt it completely appropriate to talk/blog about NOLS because they are striving to preserve the outdoors and educate people on the same things we cover in our national parks class. in the history tab, http://www.nols.edu/about/history/, the first few lines on the page read: “the year was 1965… the wilderness act was one year old. americans were beginning to turn more attention to the outdoors and the environment, pressing for laws to protect clean air and water and sparking a decade or more of environmental enlightenment.” is this not what we’ve been so intensely talking and reading about these last two months? here’s a video talking about the history of NOLS. i know it’s almost twenty minutes, but so worth the time!
needless to say that when mr. mittman told me that i should consider looking into the NOLS program and go somewhere amazing, get outdoor leadership skills while doing my photography and growing in it, and hopefully accomplish a few goals along the way (patagonia, maybe? either the company or the region of argentina would suffice), i was hooked immediately – line and sinker. and what’s more, you can never raise too much awareness when it comes to topics like these.