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WFA course interns assisting Robyn

SOLO LogoWilderness First Aid isn’t just for back-woods folks. It’s for everyday life experiences too. That’s what the Lookout Mountain Conservancy Leadership Interns and members of the community found out when they took a two-day, professional level, Wilderness First Aid Training hosted by the Lookout Mountain Conservancy, up on Lookout Mountain. Thanks to community support, we hosted this training in partnership with nationally respected Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO.

"I learned a lot. Not only about the wilderness, but about how you can also use this knowledge in real-life, every day," explained Melony Collins, a community member who participated in the course.

The training provided real-life, hands-on, scenarios related to remote, and every day rescue, and first-aid. For the Conservancy’s Leadership Interns, this was a chance to see medical training put to use, firsthand, while also seeing the benefit to their work on Lookout Mountain.

Opening up their eyes

WFA course

This type of training is both useful and inspiring for the interns to see how careers in medicine and rescue, including becoming Emergency Medical Technicians, are within their reach. All of the interns completed the intensive 16-hour course, in addition to a 2-hour CPR course.

The students and community participants then took a test to demonstrate their capacity to apply the training in real-time. As a result, they now hold a two-year certificate in Wilderness First Aid and CPR.

The Lookout Mountain Conservancy Leadership Intern program works to provide real-life applied education and enrichment activities like the first aid class—in addition to trail and habitat restoration work and paid summer and school break employment—using land and the Mountain as a tool for inspiration, change, and building a stronger community. As a result, the program’s students have all graduated from high school and have gone on to college, technical schools, the military, or full-time employment.

Building life skills and academics

Rather than see The Howard School students as a means to clear trails on the Mountain, the Conservancy is doing something different. The trails are used to teach trust, teamwork, academic success, community-partnerships, and social skills. The habitat restoration inspires a comfort for the out-of-doors that many students don’t have. The program, itself, provides a healthy, demanding yet enriching, model for life-work experience—and the first-aid program is a great example of that.

We couldn’t provide this program without the growing support of individuals like you, as well as businesses and foundations. It costs over $10,000 per student intern, per year, to provide the stipend to work all summer, and all school breaks, as well as provide the training and equipment they need.

Support to cover the enrollment fee for the Interns was generously provided by the UNFoundation. We want to offer a special thank you to them for understanding that this type of training is a game-changer for many people, especially our Howard School student interns.