Our first section of OLDS was a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification course. This course gave us instruction and training in backcountry first aid. Essentially, to quote our instructor Bailey, we were taught how to “do the best we can with what we have.” Believe me, this came in handy later on (even later that week).
We split our time up between learning about different types of injuries and illnesses in the classroom, and then going outside and putting these skills to practice during real life scenarios.
The medical field isn’t generally my chosen field of study, but it was fascinating to learn how to treat people using things you would have in your backpack for outdoor excursions. For example, I used sticks, my hammock, my hammock ropes, and a sleeping pad to make a splint for a broken leg. Our WFR class encouraged all of us to get creative and think out of the box of what normal first aid is.
Aside from the medical training, WFR week was spent getting to know each other. This was our first section on OLDS, our first time being together. Theres just something about being painted with fake blood and helping each other remember what AMPLE (allergies, medications, pertinent history, last ins/outs, and events leading up to the injury) means that brings people together. Aside from that, we bonded over dinners and teachings at the OLDS director’s house, trips to Walmart, movie watching, singing ( a LOT of singing), working together to “treat” each other during scenarios as well as being the victims, studying for our test, and ultimately passing our certification tests. This week also included a remake of the song Lean On Me (“…you might have a problem in the wilderness, we all need a WFR to lean on..”), and the creation of a dance for our instructor Randy, who told us we were the best class he’d ever had.
We also played a game similar to manhunt, where four people would be the “runners” and have to avoid getting tagged by the “chasers” on their way to a base. During this game I, one of the runners, ended up stepping in a hole and spraining my ankle. The next day I ended up passing out from the pain, but on the way to the ground I somehow managed to bang my face up. Lucky for me I was surrounded by a bunch of qualified enough almost WFRs who could help me out. Even before we entered the backcountry our skills were coming in handy. (I also found a fair bit of irony in hurting myself so badly during a week filled with learning how to fix stuff like that.) S/o to my girl Aleah for going through the triangle to make sure I was okay.
For our teachings during WFR we went through Ephesians 1:1-14. We studied through Ephesians all semester, so we got to dig in really deep. We began by emphasizing that we are Christ’s holy ones and faithful in Him. We would spend the semester learning how to be faithful to each other as the body of Christ (1:1-2). Next we looked at our identity and how it should be formed because we have been chosen by God, and how in being chosen we are made new and blessed with His spiritual blessing (1:3-4). In verses 5-6 we learned that He has adopted us into His family, making all of us at OLDS brothers and sisters in Him. In this section we also discussed how to reconcile that we are chosen by God, but also have to chose Him too. Through the rest of the verses the main thing to realize was that we have been redeemed by God, and because of that redemption we now can place our identity in Him, and not what the world says or thinks we are. Verses 7-12 sum this up nicely,
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he[a] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.11 In him we were also chosen,[b] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
We are His, and we must use this truth to glorify Him always (1:13-14).
Even as we spent everyday that week together bonding and learning and laughing, we had no idea how much further, in terms of our knowledge and abilities and relationships with one another, we’d come as the weeks went by.