In Case of Emergency

FOLC Farm offers the opportunity to learn wilderness first aid and other helpful outdoor skills.

Written By Cynthia McFarland

Heat exhaustion. A broken leg. Snake bite. A cut that is bleeding profusely. 

If you were on a camping trip or hiking far from home, would you know what to do in a medical emergency?

You’ll have the comfort of knowing exactly how to respond in these scenarios—and many others—if you take the Wilderness First Aid course at The FOLC Farm. 

Located within walking distance of Payne’s Prairie, The FOLC Farm is a homestead and learning center that has offered courses for both adults and children since 2018. FOLC stands for Florida Outdoor Learning Collective.

Photo courtesy of FOLC Farm

Courses include self-sufficiency skills, health, outdoor education, sustainable environmental practices and more. Some courses are one-day events, such as the Kids’ Survival Skills, gardening and foraging classes. 

Open to ages 13 and older, the Wilderness First Aid course is the most popular class offered. The 17-hour, two-day program is taught over a weekend.

“Some of the participants are outdoor leaders and guides, and many are outdoor enthusiasts, but anyone and everyone would benefit from taking a Wilderness First Aid class,” says Catherine Jean, owner of The FOLC Farm and one of the lead instructors.

“This course teaches all the essentials of first aid and emphasizes adaptability to your environment and creativity in what materials you use,” she notes. “The life-saving skills learned in this course can help save a family member at home, a neighbor at the park, a co-worker in the office or a friend on vacation.” 

Someone wanting more extensive knowledge on how to handle medical emergencies in remote environments would benefit from the intensive Wilderness First Responder. 

“That is an eight-day, 70-hour course. We get people from all over the United States and other countries who come to The FOLC Farm to earn their WFR certification,” says Catherine.

Wilderness First Responder participants must be 16 or older. CPR courses are available for those age 13 and up. Kids’ Survival Skills classes are geared toward ages 7 to 13. 

“We regularly have new class offerings throughout the year,” says Catherine. “In addition to outdoor education courses, we hold free community events several times a year for all ages—potlucks, holiday gatherings, music around the fire.”

Wilderness First Aid courses are taught monthly with dates posted for the year. For non-medical courses, check the website and Facebook page for events that happen throughout the year at various times. 

The FOLC Farm

3625 SE 15 Street, Gainesville

(352) 278-0725