September 2016

Canoe Instructor photo

It wasn't until I was a sophomore in college that I started truly thinking about my life goals and aspirations. I had just finished transferring from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire to Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. I knew that I wanted my future to involve working with people in a ministry setting. I was-- and still am-- very passionate about being involved in the the public ministry. Around that same time, I had started co-leading trips for a camp: rock climbing, caving, canoeing, etc. I wasn't expecting to fall in love with all the details of leading trips. So during the cold Minnesotan winter months I would spend my free time looking at different places I wanted to take groups and different places I could go work for and get training.

Google truly is a college student's best friend and thus following a random internet search in 2013 I stumbled across Landmark Learning and their Landmark Semester. My first thought was that it was too good to be true. It offered everything I needed and more to truly get my foot in the door in the outdoor industry. For a guy that majored in Biblical Hebrew and Classical Greek it can be difficult to find work based solely on experience. But Landmark was my answer.

Working through college and being determined to give it my all led me to put off pursuing training in the outdoor field. At the time I couldn't see how I would be able to use these skills as a pastor. However, plans change and shift. I still strongly desire to work in an area of ministry and so after careful deliberation I made the decision to combine my passions. My plan is to work in the outdoor industry, gain experience, and become the best at what I do. When I have thoroughly mastered my skills I plan on opening my own business. Providing an opportunity for people to experience nature to the fullest extent and also have the option for those that are interested to strengthen their relationship with God with Bible studies, devotions, and the opportunity to develop a plan to make good habits for their spiritual lives as they go home. The dream is still in development but feels far more attainable than it ever, thanks to Landmark.

I was drawn to the Landmark Semester because I wanted to be a certified WEMT. Landmark offered the best prices I could find and also added other courses and certifications that I had on my list. I expected to attend the course and find work in the outdoor industry. Never in my life have I been more pleased with a company. The level of instruction was unparalleled. Every instructor was approachable and had an unwavering concern for the success of the people they taught. Everyone at Landmark wants nothing more than to set you up for success. I certainly received the instruction for which I came, but I left with more than I expected. I became great friends with people from all over, who I plan to keep in contact with my whole life. The skills I learned became ingrained in me and the skills I already had were honed. I learned how to refine my teaching techniques and implement new ones. I know that at any time I can reach out to Landmark for advice and they will eagerly follow up. 

The quality of the courses and programs at Landmark is the best, and I plan to return in the future to continue my development. I can without a shadow of doubt say the Landmark Semester was one of the single greatest experiences of my entire life. If you have the chance to come here, you will be more than satisfied. There is no better decision you could make.

-Kyle Heise
Landmark Outdoor Educator Semester 2016