7th Annual Wilderness Medicine and Survival Skills Conference

Friday, September 20 to Sunday, September 22, 2013

(Tentative dates for the 8th Annual Wilderness Medicine and Survival Skills Conference will be held on September 19-21, 2014. Please check back at our website for details on the 2014 course in the near future)

 Conference Itinerary
 Survival Workshop
 Kids' Course
 Registration/Contact Us

Sponsored by WellSpan York Hospital Emergency Medicine Residency Program

Friday September 20 to Sunday September 22, 2013
360 Deagen Rd., Hanover, Pennsylvania 17331

Free meals with registration (6 meals)
Free on-site camping or $25.00 per night for a rustic cabin
Family friendly: bring your significant other and/or kids!

For more information, click on the links below:

If viewing this website from a computer that blocks Internet content, some of the web links may not work

Conference itinerary
WellSpan York Hospital’s Emergency Medicine Residency’s
7th Annual Wilderness Medicine & Survival Skills Seminar: September 20-22, 2013
(Itinerary subject to change)

This year’s theme: Summer, SCUBA & Altitude and Summer Survival
2014 theme: Winter & Cold and Winter Survival
2015 theme: Travel & Tropical and Urban Survival

Friday, September 20, 2013:
1200-1700 Survival Workshop (click here) Kuipers
1700-1800 Dinner*  
1800-1900 Introduction to Wilderness Medicine Bowman
1900-2000 Lightning Benenson
Saturday, September 21, 2013:
0730-0900 Breakfast  
0900-1000 Dive Medicine Bowman
1000-1200 Workshops: pick two (1 hour each)
A: High Altitude
B: White Water Trauma
C: Survival Kits
D: SCUBA Gear & Gadgets
Scott/ Bowman
1200-1330 Lunch*  
1200-1330 Surprise Entertainment (relevant to a prior lecture topic) Bowman
1330-1630 Wilderness Mass Casualty Drill Bowman, et al
1630-1800 Dinner* Pig Roast (& Quesadillas)  
1630-1800 Another Surprise (I LOVE surprises) Bowman
1800-2000 Workshops: pick two (1 hour each)
A: Heat Illnesses
B: Duct Tape & Safety Pins: Medical Improv
C: Primitive Tools & Cordage
D: Ropes, Knots & Climbing Gear & Gadgets
Sunday, September 22, 2013:
0700-0830 Breakfast  
0830-0930 Marine Creatures (Trauma & Envenomations) Bowman
0930-1130 Workshops: pick two (1 hour each)
A: Plants & Mushrooms
B: Field Water Disinfection
C: Survival at Sea
D: Stoves & Kitchen Gear & Gadgets
1130-1300 Lunch*  
1130-1300 Let’s play with Gases Scott
1300-1600 Workshops: pick three (1 hour each)
A: Recreational, Professional & TEC Diving
B: Wilderness Procedures
C: Primitive Fire Starting
D: Knives, Multi-tools & other Sharp Gear & Gadgets
Kepner/ Stephens
1600-1700 Mini-MedWAR Competition (back by popular demand)
Breakdown (many hands make light work)
* Rappelling Platform/ Climbing Wall will be staffed during all Lunches and Dinners

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Eric Bowman, M.D., FACEP, FAWM, Course Organizer


Eric Bowman, MD, FACEP, FAWM, Course Organizer
He is the Director of the Wilderness Medicine Section within the Department of Emergency Medicine at York Hospital's Emergency Medicine Residency, York, Pa.  Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine; Wilderness Medical Society member; certified in Advanced Wilderness Life Support, Wilderness Advanced Life Support, and Outdoor Emergency Care; active member of the National Ski Patrol. Outdoor interests include downhill skiing, camping, backpacking, white water rafting, caving, cross country skiing and snowshoeing, and survival skills.  SCUBA certifications (PADI) include Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, Night Diver, Enriched Air (Nitrox) Diver, Equipment Specialist, Search & Recovery Diver, Underwater Navigator and Master SCUBA Diver.  (Photo: Doing a “Shore Dive” to check out Sea Turtles with niece Danielle at Tamarindo Beach, Culebra, P.R., July 2013).
Scott Kuipers Scott Kuipers, Survival Expert
He is a professional wilderness consultant and lover of wild places. He is an internationally renowned wilderness survival and wilderness medicine expert and long time wilderness guide. His background includes work in the fields of survival, team building, navigation, mountaineering, whitewater paddling, coastal kayaking, wilderness medicine, expedition planning, animal and man tracking. His clients include State and Federal land use agencies, the wilderness medicine community, schools, non-profit groups, military and law enforcement, families, individuals and the entertainment industry.

He is an avid hiker, climber, skier, paddler, bicyclist, equestrian and outdoor athlete. Scott’s main focus is reconnecting people to the natural world through outdoor adventures, trainings and programs that develop environmental literacy. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
(Holding a 13 pound bass while fishing with Uncle Bill)

Ron Benenson, MD, FACEP Ron Benenson, MD, FACEP
He has worked as an Emergency Medicine physician at WellSpan York Hospital since 1980. His interest in wilderness medicine was spurred by attending the National Conference on Wilderness Medicine in Santa Fe, NM several years ago. He enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, and visiting many of Pennsylvania’s State Parks and numerous National Parks from Maine to Alaska. (Hitting some Pow with the Xcountry skis)
Mike Weigner, MD Mike Weigner, MD
He is an Emergency Medicine physician and Assistant Residency Director at Lehigh Valley. Mike was a flight surgeon in the Navy where he was deployed to the Middle East and has practiced medicine in about 15 different countries. He has been on medical mission trips to Honduras, Tanzania, Jamaica and recently Haiti. Mike enjoys SCUBA diving, hiking, camping, and spotting eagles while canoeing the Delaware River. He is known for attracting severe weather during his outdoor activities and we kiddingly refer to him as an expert in tornadoes, lightning, flash floods and hurricanes. (Photo: Medical mission trip to Haiti shortly after the Earthquake)
Walt Schrading, MD, FACEP Walt Schrading, MD, FACEP
Walt is an aeromedical trained emergency physician, with over 100 flights during residency. He is a 25-year and founding member of the faculty of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at York Hospital. He has a long-term interest in wilderness medicine. He was a white-water raft guide on the Youghiogheny River in southwestern PA for 7 years and is expert in white-water rescue and safety. He is an athlete and outdoor adventurer.

He is a 7-time finisher of the Ironman triathlon - a 140.6-mile single day journey including a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike, and a 26.2-mile marathon run. He hopes to compete in Kona, Hawaii at the world championship one day by his continued participation in this ultimate endurance event. Endurance adventure races including map navigation, mountain biking, canoeing or kayaking, and trail running are also part of his outdoor diet. He continues to compete in other triathlon, running, and adventure races; many of which he participates with his brothers or his wife! (Photo is a shot from one of his many Adventure/ Ironman races)



Christopher W. Scott
Chris grew up camping, white water rafting Class V rapids, climbing and assisting with cliff rescues.  He was a member of the first Explorer Post that focused on EMS.  He spent much of his life in Germany where he had his first real taste of EMS: a Lufthansa plane crash (as a victim) where he was literally the last one off the plane.  He spent several of his years in Germany as an Army Cop where he received specialized combat training.  He served his country proudly in the first Gulf War.

Stateside, he joined Mountain Safety at Ski Liberty where he met the crazy Doc Bowman dude.  They met while rescuing a young unresponsive (and not breathing) skier deep in the woods (he survived his injuries).  They quickly became friends.

After moving to Florida several years ago, he got bit by the SCUBA bug!  He quickly ascended the ranks (and became a lot poorer in the process).  Some of his Certifications include Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver and Divemaster.  As if that’s not enough, he has expanded his dive training as an IANTD technical (TEC) diver.  He loves exploring wrecks and playing with Marine creatures like sharks and ‘cuda.  His logbook is filled with over 600 dives.  He has been to depths just over 200 feet.  Deeper to follow!  In a bit of “role reversal” he used his diving skills to assist in the rescue of a plane pilot who crashed in the channel in Port Canaveral.  He also assisted in the recovery of the plane.

Christopher now lives on “Solace”, his 25' Catalina sailboat in Port Canaveral, FL. He is the CFO for Amphibious Solutions, Inc. a veteran owned small business focused on marine services, with a professional SAR team, public safety dive training, inspections of cruise ships and hull work on military craft.  He is blessed by great family (including a grand daughter), great friends, and the love of a special lady: a Nurse.  Go figure!

If you enjoy our Pig Roast, give Chris a pat on the back.  He is the reason we have the means and the skill to provide you this delicious meal. (Click here for more about Christopher) (Photo: TEC diving in Florida)

Matt Stephens, MD Matt Stephens, MD*
Matt is a third-year Emergency Medicine resident at York Hospital who is currently pursuing the Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. Among his favorite outdoor activities are backpacking, camping, sailing, skiing, and shooting. (Photo is from a hike in Great Falls National Park)
John Rollhauser, EMT-B, OEC, Professional Ski Patroller and Co-Founder Adventure Med Rescue John Rollhauser, EMT-B, OEC, Professional Ski Patroller and Co-Founder Adventure Med Rescue
He is the professional ski patrol director at Liberty Mountain Resort and founder of Adventure Med Rescue. Adventure Med Rescue provides medical and rescue support to adventure races and other races in non-urban environments where access to standard emergency medical care is not readily available.

He is also an instructor for outdoor emergency care, lift evacuation, off-trail and rope rescue and climbing. He enjoys pursuits that take him into the outdoors. He is an avid rock climber, hiker, backpacker, mountaineer, mountain biker, kayaker, skier and caver. He believes one of the best sounds in the world is rain on his tent at night. (Celebrating the end of a short 2,000+ mile/ 14 States stroll in the woods)

  Andrew Kepner, MD, FACEP
He is an Emergency Medicine doc with special interests in surgical emergencies.  Academic interests include Resident and Faculty education involving Emergency Procedures & Immersion-based learning.  He is the Medical Director of WellSpan’s new state of the art Medical Simulation Center.  He’s a bit of a beer connoisseur… several worthy brews are always on tap at the Kepner abode (including one particular special order Belgian Lambic which can not be found on draft any where else on Earth other than his house). This may explain why the Residents love having their Journal Club at his house.  Outdoor interests include hiking, gardening, edible plants/shrooms, bird watching and fishing.  (Photo: a quiet moment with “Shigo” after a long day of grizzly bear tracking)
Richard Trierweiler, MD, MPH, FAWM and Stephanie Reighart, MA, A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Stephanie Reighart, MA, A.W.E.S.O.M.E.
Her Interest in the outdoors began with long-distance bicycling (and drafting skinny men in spandex) in high school. She expanded on her outdoor skills by joining the OSU mountaineering club with whom she learned to climb, boulder, mountaineer and signed up for a fateful ice climbing trip. She also spent a semester in the wilderness of the Yukon with the National Outdoor Leadership School, took a WFR course, raced bicycles for the Dartmouth collegiate team and decided to take a short hike on the Appalachian Trail from GA to ME.

Richard Trierweiler, MD, MPH, FAWM
His outdoor adventures began as soon as he was big enough to reach door locks, grasp sharp and dangerous tools (Read: play toys) from the garage and make a break for the woods. He went on to do the whole Boy Scout/Eagle Scout thing, work as a Ranger at Philmont Scout ranch, complete an Ironman, start a triathlon club at Dartmouth, join the Dartmouth Outing Club (to hike, trailwork, ice climb, eat a lot, backcountry ski, and lead ice climbing, canoeing and skiing trips), get his WEMT, mountaineer in Ecuador, join a search and rescue team, etc.

Next came medical school at OSU where he started a Wilderness Medicine Interest Group, joined the OSU mountaineering club (and led a fateful ice climbing trip, then learned to sport climb from a 5'2" brunette). And that made time for a short bicycle trip from San Diego to St. Augustine, an MPH at Dartmouth and residency at WellSpan York Hospital. Now he's a real doctor at Memorial. Together they enjoy adventure races and triathlons, hike, boulder, rock climb, ice climb, mountaineer, travel internationally, get vehicles stuck on (illegal) back roads in Iceland, sneak contraband produce across the US-Canada border, get pelted by rain while clutching the sides of a pickup careening down mountain roads between coffee bushes in Panama, etc. Next up: adventures in Alaska which will include, but will not be limited to, exploring glaciers -- and the inside of crevasses, avoiding Grizzly bears, trying not to run out of gas on Canada Highway 16 and bagging some peaks! (Photo: gotta love a chick with an ice axe on her backpack)

Veronica Coppersmith, DO Veronica Coppersmith, DO*
She is an Emergency Medicine Resident at St. Luke's University Hospital in Bethlehem PA. She loves anything and everything involving the outdoors, but her favorites are rock climbing, ice climbing, hiking, camping, running, swimming, biking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking... basically anything outside. She plans to pursue the Fellowship in Wilderness Medicine and work as an expedition physician. She believes the world would be a better place if people were as addicted to the outdoors as they are to their computers and smart-phones. She dreams of all awesome adventures… all the time. (Clinging to Crags always makes for an awesome photo)
Tara Assi, PA-C Tara Assi, PA-C*
She is a physician assistant at Gettysburg Surgical Associates. She is presently working on her FAWM. She is the proud mother of twins, who you will likely see running around at the conference. Her interests include hiking and traveling. (Nothing beats a good trail ride)
 Bill Gibbons


Bill Gibbons*
He is the founder and president of the GOALS Adventure Racing Association. He is aptly qualified through decades of search and rescue training and instructing with the Civil Air Patrol, the civilian auxiliary of the US Air Force. His skills as an instructor and athlete are what motivated him to form the non-profit adventure racing organization. Bill’s wife, Anne, also has an Expert rating in search and rescue and serves as the executive director of GOALS-ARA.

Over the years, Bill has attended the Air Force Academy Survival Course and participated in search missions in various parts of the United States. He teaches the technical skills involved in adventure racing including high angle ropes skills, navigation, basic wilderness survival, and basic bike repair. He has also participated in races lasting from 6 hours to 40 hours and has trained as the alternate for the nationally ranked GOALS-ARA team when they enter races that last up to 10 days.

Bill is also pursuing his goal to become a physician and is currently a 4th year medical student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He plans to specialize in Emergency Medicine, with an additional emphasis in Wilderness and Sports Medicine. (Race Director for a 24-hr. Adventure Race, Bill is in the middle)

Karry Goldhahn, MD

Larry Goldhahn, MD*
He is an alumnus of York Hospital’s Emergency Medicine Residency and a full-time attending at Gettysburg Hospital (also part-time at York Hospital). He loves getting into the outdoors whenever possible. He especially enjoys horseback riding, mountain biking, camping, fishing and even hunting from time to time. He also enjoys water related activities and, since serving in the Navy, believes the most beautiful location on the planet is where you can’t see land for 360 degrees. He’s a member of the Wilderness Medical Society and is pursuing the Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. (Ride’em Cowboy!)
Saulius Elertas, EMT-P, FP-C Saulius Elertas EMT-P, FP-C*
Saul is a flight paramedic with the Penn State Life Lion Critical Care Transport program. He is also a Medical Specialist with Pennsylvania US&R Task Force 1, and is certified in numerous technical rescue disciplines. As a member of the Wilderness Medical Society, he is working towards achieving a Fellowship in Wilderness Medicine, and enjoys both studying and teaching about wilderness medicine. Outdoor interests include hiking, camping, mountain biking and kayaking.(Saulius is sporting some pretty good gear in this photo)

* FAWM candidate: This seminar provides teaching opportunities for candidates who are working towards their Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine

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Pre-conference Survival Skills Workshop

Pre-conference survival skills workshopFriday September 20, 2013, noon-5 pm
Cost: $65

Limited number of registrants accepted for this small group survival skills workshop. Nationally known survival expert from Santa Fe will teach participants basics of surviving the unexpected.

Topics that will be covered include:

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Survival and outdoor skills course for kids

Survival and outdoor skills course for kidsCost: $60 (includes 6 meals)
Children under 8: No charge

Occurring simultaneously to the main course, there will be a special itinerary for children. The topics and Faculty for each session will
be posted at the beginning of the Conference.

Our talented Faculty will take turns teaching sessions. The kids will learn many survival and outdoor skills.

The kids survival/outdoor skills course is open to all kids older than 7 yrs old. It is geared towards children age 8-16. We found that
older teens prefer to sit in on the main course.

What about kids under 8?
Any kids “post-diaper stage” to age 7 are invited to attend our “Wilderness Daycare.” We have volunteers staff an outdoor program for the little tikes so the adults can enjoy the program. Some light activities will be provided. We ask that parents take over care during meal time and during any “moody moments.”

Kids still in diapers can be present on site, we just ask for continuous parental supervision.

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LodgingCamping: Free on site camping. The course is held on 10 acres of private forested land- pitch a tent anywhere- no charge! Last year, there were dozens of tents. It was very exciting to see so many folks camp on site.

Cabins: $25.00 per night are available one block away at a local Church Camp; rustic, one bedroom, toilet and sink in each cabin, separate shower facility (also rustic). This is a great option if you prefer a simple lodging option without the effort of setting up a tent.

Cabin Reservations and payment are handled by Stacey and Becky when you register for the course (see Registration/Contact us section).
Click here for more information on the Church Camp: Fellowship Camp

RV: electrical hook up available at the Church Camp for $20.00 per night

The two closest hotels:

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Free meals with registrationMeals: Free with registration (and they are REALLY good!!)

All meals from Friday dinner to Sunday lunch will be provided.

All meals are prepared outdoors over an open fire. Watch “Cook Bob” work tirelessly all weekend keeping the cook fire going. Enjoy his cast iron and dutch oven treats all weekend.

On Saturday there will be three separate fires ablaze: Pig Roast fire, Bob’s Cook fire, and the Campfire!
Saturday dinner will be a PIG ROAST! Enjoy watching the Pig Roasting process all day.

Ice Cream Bar Saturday Evening!!

Vegetarian options are provided for each meal. Examples include home-made Vegetable Soup (made from home-made vegetable stock),
Quesadillas, etc. There will be a posted menu for each meal. There will be a “V” next to each vegetarian option.

Picky Eaters:
We try to provide a gourmet touch to our outdoor cooking, but are aware of those with simpler tastes. Each meal will have some additional options for our picky eaters. Examples include PB&J, fruit, muffins, etc.

Additional Dietary categories:
Due to the complexity of pulling off such a complicated event, we will only be providing the options mentioned above. There should be enough food variety to accommodate most situations. If your dietary restrictions are complicated, you may want to bring some of your own food.

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CMEThis CME event is approved for 16 credit hours of Category 1 credit toward the AMA Physicians Recognition Award and the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

“WellSpan Health is accredited by the Pennsylvania Medical Society to sponsor continuing medical education credits for physicians. WellSpan Health takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of its CME activity. WellSpan Health designates this educational activity for a maximum of 16 AMA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the educational activity.”

All faculty participating in continuing medical education programs sponsored by WellSpan Health are expected to disclose to the program audience whether they do or do not have any real or apparent conflict(s) of interest or other relationships related to the content of their presentations(s).

If you wish to attend this CME activity and have a disability which may require special accommodations, please contact the Department of Emergency Medicine at 717-851-3070. Thank you.

Additional Educational Credits:

FAWM: Fellowship of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine- credits received at this conference will count towards fulfilling the requirements of the FAWM.

Application has been made for Nursing and Paramedic Continuing Education Credits.

For those needing Trauma CME: This course has 3 hours of Trauma related topics.

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Registration/Contact Us:

This is a non-profit course. Registration funds are used for food, supplies, rental items, and limited stipends. All of the physicians teaching at the course are volunteers.

We are pleased at the success of our unique course, but unfortunately there is a limit to our capacity. We do have to limit the number of registrants.

Physicians: $365
Nurses/ NP/ PA: $240
Paramedics/ others: $165
Medical Students: $45
Residents outside York Hospital:  $115
Spouses/ Children (each): $60
Children under 8: Free
Survival skills Pre-conference:  $65
Half price for single day attendance (in case you can’t attend the entire event)
WellSpan York Hospital Residents: No charge as the course is supported by the Residency

**Remember: Meals are provided at NO additional charge!! No charge for onsite camping!!

Fun for all!To register, please contact us at:

sroache@wellspan.org or call (717) 851-1392 and ask for Stacey
rbluett@wellspan.org or call (717) 851-3070 and ask for Becky
Emergency Department Administration: (717) 851-2450

For questions regarding the course content, directions, CME, FAWM, or anything else, feel free to contact the course director, Eric Bowman, at ebowman@wellspan.org

Make checks payable to "WellSpan York Hospital Emergency Medicine Education Fund"

Mail check to:
  Emergency Department
  c/o Stacey Roache
  WellSpan York Hospital
  1001 S. George St.
  York, PA 17405

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Additional Activities/ Entertainment:

Additional activities/entertainmentRappelling Platform and Climbing Wall:
Learn how to rappel off of our 30-foot high rappelling platform. Throughout the weekend we will have experienced climbers manning the platform. You
can even try it Commando/ Aussie style.

In addition to two lanes of Rappelling, we now also have a 30 ft. high/ 16 ft. wide Climbing Wall. The Wall has three lanes of climbing, each with more than one route. Our final addition to the Platform will be a professional level zip line. Not sure, but we may have this complete before the conference.

Friday and Saturday evening will feature a bonfire (we like our fires BIG), complete with S’mores.
Saturday evening may also include an ice cream bar.

Outdoor movies for the kids:
Each evening we will have an outdoor kid friendly movie. The movie will be projected onto a screen: better than a Drive-In!

Survival store:
During meal time, we will open a small “store” where you will be able to purchase a few items that you will learn about during the weekend (so bring some cash or a check - just in case). We usually have survival whistles, fire steels, SAM splints, hanks of para-cord, etc.

Meal time entertainment:
During Lunch and Dinner on Saturday and Sunday, we try to provide some form of entertainment. This year I am keeping the entertainment a secret.
You’ll have to wait to see what it is!

Survival Tricks:
At the beginning of each educational session, a survival “trick” will be demonstrated. Past tricks included: turn your wrist watch into a compass, how to remove a single strand from a section of para-cord, how to tell time using your fist, how to find the North Star, etc.

Back by popular demand will be a demonstration of Bear Spray (inside joke)…

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Conference Location and Directions:

Survival and outdoor skills course for kids360 Deagen Rd, Hanover, PA 17331

The entire course is held outdoors: please note- this is a Rain or Shine event!!

From York, PA: Rt. 30 west to Rt 116; take 116 through Spring Grove and almost to Hanover; Rt 116 is also known as York St when you get close to Hanover; turn left onto Deagen Rd (it looks like a parking lot for trucks, but it quickly opens up to a country road); 0.7 miles on Deagen to mailbox 360 on Left. Driveway entrance will be marked with a “Wild Med” sign. Take paved drive ¼ mile to log home- park into the woods (this will be obvious when you get here).

Take these phone numbers with you for any problems finding us:

Eric Bowman- 717-887-4387 (cell) 717-630-1161 (home- but try cell first)
Kat Bowman- 717-887-4388 (cell)

360 Deagen Rd
Hanover, PA 17331

Using GPS device?? Caution: We’ve been told from several folks in the past that they experienced GPS errors using our address. Please make sure your GPS device matches the directions above.

If you check out the directions on Google Maps first, it should be very easy to find the conference.

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Really good meals are free with registrationIf you have any questions that have not been answered in the above sections, please email the course director, Eric at ebowman@wellspan.org and we will add your Question below. It’s likely others may have the same question. Thanks.

Q: Who should attend?

A: Actually, anyone!
The main course is designed for the medically inclined, but has been enjoyed by non-medical persons.

The pre-conference survival skills seminar would be valuable to anyone!

The kids survival/ outdoor skills course is open to any kids older than 7 yrs old. It is geared towards kids age 8-16. We found that older teens prefer to sit in on the main course.