January 3-6, I jumped headlong into a Wilderness Advanced First Aid course put on by Wilderness Medical Associates at Chewonki. The temperature never inched above -10º for the four days we were doing simulations in thigh deep snow with a bombogenisis blizzard smack dab in the middle. Even for a Mainiac like myself...IT WAS DEADLY COLD and although I would probably not schedule a Forest Therapy walk in this kind of weather, the reality of people finding themselves in trouble at this time of year was not lost on me. They threw so much information at us about bodily systems and rescue protocals all simplified with acronyms so that at first I felt like I was learning a new language. But by the third day, after a minor meltdown, the pieces began to fall into place. I have the upmost respect for medical professionals everywhere but especially in the back-country! What an amazing four days of learning, vital information for anyone...my instructors were hilarious, and seriously skilled, and they got me through it with awesome stories and gentle coaching, which made it possible to retain the information in the right places. I am so grateful to have this under my belt, it created a yearning for a next step of the Wilderness First Responder...there's a course in May. After an eight day training from the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs in the Berkshires in June, and a six month intensive practicum, this was the final step for me to be a certified Forest Therapy Guide. I am now working on a schedule of walks for spring in the Mid-Coast of Maine and beyond. Watch for public walks at; The Reversing Falls in Newcastle, Hidden Valley Nature Center + Damariscotta River Association. Or contact me for private walks of groups or one on one. Looking forward to serving as your guide on this healing path.