Phil Henderson, senior NOLS field instructor, has worked for the school for the past 18 years. He has been in his current position as NOLS Rocky Mountain River Program Manager for 11 years. Phil has worked most his adult life in the recreation industry, and his career stops have included 16 months at NOLS East Africa, guiding Denali in 2005, and four tours in Nepal.

Phil was born and raised in San Diego, Calif., and he has always been involved in the outdoors. Fishing was his first hobby, and he started skiing at age 20. Due to a football injury in college in 1987, he started gravitating toward hiking, climbing, and other non-traditional sports.

Phil has also volunteered his time to outdoor programs all over the world and sees that as an important role he has played as an outdoor professional.

Some of his most memorable experiences were during the time he spent in East Africa. For the first time in his life, he was not considered or treated like a “minority.” This experience gave him the greatest insight for the need to disperse personal time, resources, and education worldwide to hungry minds.