Outdoor Leadership Adventure a Great Accomplishment for US Student
Tramping with a heavy pack for the better part of a day is physically demanding, but doing so up the side of a mountain is exhausting. Bel Air university student Wendy Cirko found that out the hard way on a 77-day National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) program, a three-part trip through New Zealand that included tramping, kayaking and 10 days aboard a 40-foot sailboat.
“It was totally worth it, and you realize that at the time, but you’re just like, ‘Why am I doing this?’” said Cirko, 21, a senior environmental studies major at Salisbury University in Maryland.
Even as the course challenged her and other participants, Cirko pushed forward, motivated by the encouragement of instructors and the other nine members in her group.
After an entire semester of adventuring through New Zealand, Cirko said of the course: “You never know what kind of challenge you’re going to face, but the fact that when we [got] to camp at night we could all look back and laugh about it,” Cirko said. “Because you just bond over that hard challenge that you faced earlier and you’re like, ‘We all made it. We’re all good.’”
Original article by Brian Compere, The Baltimore Sun, January 4, 2014.
Photo by Fredrik Norrsell.