Outdoor Leadership Weekend

We spent last week getting our Wilderness First Aid certification and camping on the point. This was preparing us for our solos and being more comfortable outdoors. Half the group camped while the other half did training and then we switched. On the first day, we all woke up regularly, did chores, and had breakfast. If you don’t know already, it’s some of the best food here at Chewonki, but that’s a story for another time. Next, we began the class. It was exciting and engaging. I was very eager to learn some safety measures for being outdoors, due to the fact that I come from rural Wyoming where there’s nothing but cows and plains and some mountains. Well, I also spend some time biking and skiing. We started indoors. It was a dreary day. The sky seemed to want to let go of a torrent of rain, but it never did. By midafternoon we had already obtained so much information. We started to go outside and do hands-on exercises to see if we could diagnose a patient. I remember some physical scenarios where you could see the injury and mental ones where you had to interview the patient. We finished that day with these types of activities. After that, it started to become one of the nicest days we’ve had on the Neck yet, so I decided to ride my bike.

The following day we did the same thing that we do every weekday morning: do morning chores and eat some delicious breakfast. Then, we started our second and last day of the Wilderness First Aid. The second morning, we learned about anaphylaxis. We learned about all the types of allergic reactions and how to stop them. Then, we went outside and started the second day of hands-on training. We learned how to make splints. They looked like your leg was pressed in between two pieces of bread. That evening everyone was back from camping and we told stories around the dinner table.

The following day it was my half of the semester’s turn to go camping. We started off the morning doing low ropes course activities, and then we headed to our camping sites. Some of us were at Red Pines, and the others were at the Pinky. If you look at Chewonki’s neck, it looks like a hand. Pinky, you guessed it, is the pinky finger, and Red Pines are like the wrist. I was at Red Pines. We started to set up our hammocks and tarps. We were trying to wrack our brains for the memories of how to tie a Bowline and a trucker’s hitch from before spring break. Then came dinner. If you can’t already tell, I love food. We made pita pizzas over the fire and had apple crisps for dessert. Part of the weekend was doing a mock one-hour solo before our 48-hour one. It was cold, so I wrapped myself up like a cocoon in my sleeping bag, looked at the stars, and read my book. It was very peaceful not having to worry about big critters that live in my woods back home. Now I am ready to sleep anywhere and be ready for any “minor” medical events.

Flynn Ellis, Jackson Hole High School, Jackson, WY

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