The Lander Valley Leadership Expedition has become a tradition for upcoming seniors at Lander Valley High School who elect to serve as 'Senior Mentors'. There is a longstanding relationship between LVHS and NOLS. Both believe in the importance of leadership and the immense impact it can have on everyone. Particularly incoming students.
The funding for this program is in part due to NOLS’ participation in the annual Challenge for Charities campaign—in other words, it is made possible by the town of Lander. This allows for each student to participate free of charge!
This year eight incoming seniors from Lander Valley High school participated: Darwin St. Clair, Keegan Harrison, Daniel Lobera, Joshua Rohrbacher, Sadie Thatch, Taylor Pereda, Rachel Kauffman, and Jenny Nielsen. And two instructors: Kyle Fleming, and Taylor Huntley.
Over the course of the 8 day expedition the group explored the Cirque at Stough Creek Basin, crossed the Continental Divide over the (in)famous off-trail “Coon Lake sneak", practiced “active followership” and “peer leadership”, and summitted Wind River Peak (13,192 feet) from Tayo Lake. Phew!
Kevin Fleming, course leader of the 2016 LVLE, commented on their expedition, "This year’s Leadership Expedition was the adventure of a lifetime. Students bathed in icy mountain lakes, battled wind and hail, dined on grouseberries and fresh-caught lake trout, navigated by map and compass, and woke up at 3:30 AM to summit Wind River Peak."
Being put into a leadership role during intense outdoor conditions or long days carrying a heavy pack will make the transition of leadership in the classroom that much easier.
Sadie Thatch, LVHS Senior Mentor and LVLE participant had an important takeaway from the course, "One person simply believing in another can diminish fear and ultimately be a factor for their success. I know that as a mentor, by believing in the freshman, and expressing this to them, I can also be the difference of whether they climb their own mountain or turn away.”
Looks like the incoming LVHS freshman class has a great group of seniors to look up to!