The Hamilton Outing Club (HOC) hosted a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course for around 30 of its leaders on Oct. 25 and 26.

In order to become a leader for the Outing Club and be eligible to take students out on trips, candidates must take part in a leader-training weekend that covers skills such as trip planning, wilderness cooking, group management and more, and hold a certification in Wilderness Medicine, WFA or higher.

Hamilton partnered with SOLO, one of the foremost educators in Wilderness and Emergency Medicine, to offer WFA. Wilderness First Aid comprises of two full days of training covering everything from the basics of assessing an emergency in the woods through building splints for broken limbs and even how to perform CPR. WFA is a valuable part of training students to lead trips as it not only gives new leaders the technical skills to adequately respond to many of the common issues they may encounter, but also builds leaders’ confidence and comfort in being out in the backcountry.

One group of students has already passed through both leader training and WFA while another group will take part in a leader-training course on Nov. 1-2. The Outing Club looks forward to hearing about the adventures these new leaders will have as they take their skills out into the world.

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