It has been on my mind for quite some time to take a first aid course. I figure that since we spend so much time in the outdoors, away from 911 and ambulances, that it would probably be useful to have some clue as to what to do if (when?) things go wrong.
The student outdoors club at the college where I work recently announced that they would be organizing a wilderness first aid (WFA or wiffa as they say) course. I jumped at the opportunity and also asked my 10-year-old daughter if she was interested in joining me. Much to my delight, she said she was! How often does one get to combine outdoor adventure, father/daughter relationship building, homeschooling, emergency preparedness, health/wellness, and meeting new people into one activity? I am always on the lookout for ways to integrate multiple goals into a single activity, and this seemed like an especially good opportunity.
The course consisted of two eight hour days of instruction. Approximately half of the time was spent in the classroom learning and the other half was spent in the outdoors practicing scenarios. I was very interested to see how my daughter would respond to this type of setting. She hasn't spent any time learning in a classroom, never mind with a group of college kids nearly twice her age.
At first things started off rather tentative: she was very quiet and whenever we were asked to break-up into partners for practicing the scenarios, she wanted to be with me. By the end of lunch on the first day it was like a switch went off, she completely changed: she was confidently participating verbally during the lecture sessions, partnering-up with different people for the scenarios, and even volunteering to act as a victim for in-class demonstrations.
Testing consisted of 3 multiple-choice quizzes as well as continual evaluation by the instructor over the course of the two days. On the final quiz, she kicked-my-butt by getting 100% correct while I managed to get a rather surprising number of questions wrong. She has an amazing ability to retain information, some of the answers to the questions on the final quiz were not covered during the class but she learned them inadvertently while flipping through the instruction book.
Needless to say, she earned her WFA certification and made her father proud. Congratulations Celine!