Mexico Winter Meeting hosted by Hannah Darrin

Thursday, February 02, 2017 1:43 PM | Dave Durant (Administrator)

Location: NOLS Mexico branch

Date: February 2nd, 2017

Meeting facilitated by: Hannah Darrin

Notes by: Hannah Darrin

Notes edited by: Allie Maloney, Dave Durant

New members: 2


Present: Ken Olivier, Curtis Tronolone, Tom Oxnard, Joan Travers, David Swope, Hayden Emerson, Dalio Zippin, Jim Chisholm  


The meeting began with a short introduction of the NIA, and a quick review showed that all participants were familiar with the NIA, had attended meetings, or were lifetime members. Hannah introduced the recently produced results of the Field Faculty Lifestyle Survey. 


Hannah began the meeting by asking: What are people's favorite aspects of working for NOLS? (Much laughter ensued.)


*The initiatives for diversity and inclusion, and the seminars to continue the education of the faculty at NOLS

*Community of hardworking, interesting, intelligent, creative, and kind people. One specific example was from the help of a senior NOLS instructor offering emotional, professional and mental support through a traumatic, non-NOLS related incident for another instructor - continue opportunities for instructors to bond, relate and spend time together outside of courses

*Love for seminars (biased population? We just ran a terrific Sail Seminar Clinic!)

*The ability to create curriculum that follows the mission of NOLS, and yet there is ownership for each instructor’s own development and tailoring of their own course and curriculum. We enjoy the guidelines that are in place, as well as the freedom to expand.


Some changes that instructors recommended that would benefit the whole instructor pool:


*Including the content of FAD's and D&I seminars in the ICs, so that they are mandatory curriculum.  (It seems as though this is happening after the recent Field Faculty Training Review -Ed.)

*Ability for instructors to have more resources for marketing via word of mouth. Perhaps seminars to call in the instructors to advocate for others to enroll in the experience. Perhaps hard materials to give presentations in their own communities (clubs, schools, communities etc.).

*With the recent closing of the Australia branch and the Brazil branch, several instructors voiced a few ideas. A desire to have more ownership and voice in the closing of branches. This would help to facilitate us not being caught off guard, and also in a timeframe that may allow for instructors to help revive a branch. Assets could also be purchased in the liquidation processes. 

- "the closing of the two branches is reminiscent of Outward Bound in 2008 with the hasty closing of several of their branches" - one instructor cautioned their impression of the swift and possibly surprising closing of the Australia and Brazil branches. They questioned which branch will be next?

*NIA representatives present at the end of IC's to talk to and enroll participants as NIA members, and possibly in the mentorship program.

This seminar group with a wide variety of weeks in the field, 3 to 60 to 200 to 700+ ended the with a feel good conversation about staying in touch and working with each other as informal mentors - perhaps this could be the next link for mentorship, through Seminars and connections made in the more intimate setting in the field, rather than online.


Flamingo Fund ideas:

clothespins for the drying lines at the branch.

Better internet access for visiting instructors at the NOLS Mexico branch.



Think creatively.

Act collectively.

Join the NIA.

The mission of the NIA is to communicate and advocate instructor views and to work within the NOLS community to promote the school's mission and values

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