MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Mamaroneck resident Elliot Warner canoed, hiked and backpacked through hundreds of miles in the Australian wilderness during a semester-long expedition with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).
Warner, 19, traveled to the school in Australia with 14 other students in March. There, they embarked on a journey that required them to sacrifice modern conveniences and challenged them to step outside their comfort zones, according to a press release.
Three instructors joined the students on this expedition, which began with canoeing for 39 days in the Kimberly Region of Western Australia. This section included canoeing for 137 miles along the Drysdale River. They also experienced heavy rain, thunderstorms and Class III rapids. Along the way, the group encountered wildlife such as birds, bats and crocodiles.
After completing the section, the students spent 25 days backpacking and hiking 117 miles through tropical savannah grasslands with pockets of tropical rainforests. One evening, they witnessed a thunderstorm and flash flood.
The endeavor culminated with backpacking on a coastal expedition, where they met the Bardi-Jawi and learned about the indigenous peoples’ culture on Sunny Island. Three Bardi guides took the expedition team to historical sites and helped them make tools such as spears and boomerangs.
All 15 students successfully completed the expedition and graduated as alumni of the NOLS.
Founded in 1965 by mountaineer Paul Petzoldt, the NOLS offers wilderness-education experiences in outdoor settings and classrooms to students of all ages.
To learn more about the NOLS, or to bring a course to a business or organization, call 800-710-6657 or visit the school’s website by clicking here.