Kip Rand instructed American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education (AIARE) avalanche education courses for Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & Education (SOLE), and also served as the Director and lead avalanche forecaster for the Wallowa Avalanche Center (WAC). Tragically Kip was killed by an avalanche in 2016 in the very mountains that he called home just outside Joesph, OR. In 2016, SOLE created the Kip Rand Youth Avalanche Education Scholarship Fund as an effort to honor his legacy of educating others — especially our youth! Funds dedicated to this on-going fundraising campaign will be specifically ear-marked so youth can participate in SOLE's avalanche education courses despite financial barriers, which might exist.
The pre-frontal cortex generally completes its development at the age of 25. This portion of the brain is directly responsible for navigating the seemingly complex process known as critical-thinking and decision-making – essential tools when preparing for, and traveling in avalanche terrain. Despite the proximity, many local area youths are without the necessary means to take a Level 1 avalanche education course. It is our aim to minimize this barrier through awarding scholarships to our Level 1 courses to individuals between the ages of 16-25 y/o.
In addition to the socio-economic barriers present, it has been shown that individuals between the ages of 16 and 25 take on more risk-taking behaviors than any other age groups due to their cognitive development. We can mitigate many risk-taking behaviors (and save potential lives) by educating these individuals on brain development and how it relates to developing and executing effective decision-making, as well as, how to adequately prepare for, and how to minimize risk when traveling and skiing or riding in avalanche terrain.
SOLE will provide intentional and transformational experiential curricula centered on our avalanche education program and cognition. In addition, to our avalanche education curriculum, there will be additional coursework tailored to educate adolescents on brain-development and how that affects decision-making and critical-thinking, risk-taking, and other behaviors in avalanche terrain.
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Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & Education (SOLE), Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. EIN: 27-4704091