Wilderness First Responder near Orlando, Florida

NO LONGER OFFERED IN FLORIDA FOR 2025 AND BEYOND:  January 3-12, 2024 WFR course, held at Wekiwa Springs State Park. 
$875 for the public,  $695 for current Lewis & Clark undergrads. Lodging (in rustic cabins with heaters and overhead fans) is free if you’d like it.  An optional meal plan for omnivores and vegetarians is available for $275; (meal plan $165 for Lewis & Clark undergrads) 3 meals per day, plus snacks & coffee breaks.
We highly recommend, but don’t require, that you be up to date with your Covid-19 vaccinations to register for WFR courses.
Call/text 503 880-5387 to register, or if you have questions. You can also “Click for Registration form” on the link below.

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) is the medical course that has become the standard for back-country rangers, river guides, outdoor leaders, as well as NOLS and Outward Bound instructors. It’s also great for those seeking to be more prepared for personal wilderness adventures and potential natural disasters. The course is sponsored by College Outdoors at Lewis & Clark College, and taught by professional NOLS Wilderness Medicine instructors.



This 80-hour WFR course will meet 8 to 12 hours per day from 8  AM Wednesday, January 3th - through 5:00 PM, Friday, January 12th, 2024.  The course schedule (syllabus) may be found here:  https://www.nols.edu/media/filer_public/fd/c2/fdc2c48c-bcab-4f44-9793-9ef15b0561c3/nols_wilderness_first_responder_course_schedule_-_revised_april_2023.pdf

NOTE: There is one day off in the middle of the course, scheduled on Monday, January 8, 2024. You’ll appreciate this breather, as the course is fairly intense learning.  Canoeing, hiking, or snorkeling are among the options on this day off.

Class length is generally 8 hours per day, with two evening sessions (scheduled for day 3 and day 8 of the course) of an additional 3 to 4 evening hours.  We recommend you don’t have any other commitments while taking this course, as you will be busy!


We highly recommend, but don’t require, all participants be vaccinated against Covid-19 with the most recent booster. 


Fees for this course cover tuition, lodging in rustic cabins, books, and first aid materials for the scenarios. Meal plans are available for additional cost as listed below:

  • $875 - Tuition. ($695 for Lewis & Clark undergrads)
  • Lodging in rustic cabins, with heaters and ceiling fans, is offered free, at no extra charge. Cabins are located around a central bath/shower house.  We plan to place just 1 person per 10 bunk cabin at Wekiwa Youth Camp (we can place you in a cabin with your friends if you’d like- inquire if you’d like this), so there will be plenty of room, and you can choose your cabin mates if you’d like.  (We will have try to have separate cabins available for those who snore.)  
  • NOTE:  lodging is included, whether you’d like to use the lodging or not, because the camp we rented to teach this course comes at one set price, which includes the cabins.  However, this is about the average price, nationwide, for Wilderness First Responder tuition alone, so the lodging is a bonus if you’d like to use it.  If you’re a commuter, the lodging may be useful because it allows for free daily entry to the park (before park opens at 8 AM, via a gate code), and also covers lodging for you on the two nights of the evening sessions, should you decide to stay overnight.
  • Lodging opens as early as the afternoon of Monday, January 1, 2024 , and closes at 11 AM Saturday morning, January 13, 2024.  You can arrive before the WFR course starts, and leave the day after the WFR course ends, if you’d like.
  • $1035- Tuition plus Commuter Plan:  all lunches & 2 dinners** (including lodging if you’d like it some or all nights) This is an optional meal plan, designed for commuters. Includes all lunches plus 2 dinners on the days of the two evening sessions, plus all coffee & tea breaks daily.  (In other words, the option of just lunches, coffee breaks, and 2 dinners are $160 in addition to the $875 tuition.)
  • $1150 - Tuition with All Meals**, (including lodging): 3 meals a day, including coffee and tea breaks daily.  In other words, since tuition is $875, the meal plan for all meals & coffee breaks for 10 days is $275.  Meals are excellent  quality with an emphasis on healthy and delicious.  Past course participants have raved about the food. Both meat and vegetarian options are available at each meal.
  • No motor homes, tents, or camping trailers are allowed at the Wekiwa Springs State Park Youth Camp, where this course will be taught (this is a state park regulation, not Lewis & Clark College’s).  However, if you want to stay in your motorhome and book far enough in advance, you may be able to get a site for a motor home a half mile away in the Wekiwa Springs State Park campground, at a local KOA, or at Kelly County Park (Rock Springs) which is about 5 miles away.

**Group meal plans will accommodate both omnivore/carnivore (meat eaters) and vegetarian diets.

For vegan, gluten free, and other dietary restrictions, check with us, we may be able to accommodate some special diets.  If you don’t want to purchase the meal plan, please bring your own food, pots & pans, cooler, ice, camp stove, utensils, etc. to prepare your own meals (in other words, bring the same kitchen items as if you are car camping.) Picnic tables are provided.

Location Details:

The course will take place at Wekiwa Springs State Park Youth Camp in Apopka, FL, a NW suburb of Orlando, Florida. It is possibly the most scenic sub-tropical location to get your Wilderness First Responder certification in January.  (It’s usually warm & sunny, too.) 

Wekiwa Springs State Park encompasses 7,800 acres including palm, pine, wetland and live oak forest (the park boasts 22 distinct plant communities).  The state park has miles of trails and 70 degree F. water flowing year-‘round from crystal-clear Wekiwa Springs (a major tributary of the Wekiva National Wild & Scenic River).  Wekiwa Springs has an output of roughly 45 million gallons of water per day, making it one of the largest springs in Florida.  

Snorkel or swim in the turquoise waters of this giant spring over the lunch break, or the day off, and hike or run the miles of state park trails before or after class each day!

Motorhomes, camping trailers, or tent campers trailers may reserve a site at Wekiwa Springs State Park campground, at a local KOA, or at Kelly County Park a few miles away, but you must do this with ReserveAmerica (for Wekiwa Springs) or for Kelly County Park by phone directly, and the overnight camping fee is additional.  The campsites/motorhome sites book up very quickly for this time of year, so you need to reserve far in advance or be lucky enough to get a cancelation.

How To Register:

You can register by phone or email, or by clicking on the “registration form” below. 

PHONE: Please text or call the Joe Yuska, 503 880-5387, or if no answer, please try 503 768-7117.   (Remember, we’re on Pacific time, so before 10 AM Eastern time is too early to call or text, but from the East you can call to register until midnight Eastern time.)

We can accept credit and debit card payments over the phone. We can also accept checks made payable to “Lewis & Clark College” (Postal mail checks to: attn Joe Yuska, Lewis & Clark College Outdoors, 615 S. Palatine Hill Road, Portland, OR 97219.)  Americorps grants and 529 College Savings plan payments can be used for this course, plus your travel and meals, but must be processed no less than a month before the course start-  please inquire for details.

YOU CAN ALSO REGISTER BY EMAIL: Download this Registration Form fillable PDF (Google Chrome recommended) and “save page as” -before filling in the blanks!- on your computer.   Once the blank form is downloaded and saved, close this Webpage, go into the saved document on your computer, fill it out, and save it again so your information is retained.  Then email it to yuska@lclark.edu.

If you have trouble downloading the fillable PDF, simply print out the registration form on paper, fill it out with a pen, then scan it (or take a good picture with your phone) and email it in. If you prefer not to include credit card information on the form, you can email us the registration form, then make payment over the phone with a card, or by check as indicated above. 

__________________________________________________________________________________________      **Group meal plans will accommodate both omnivore/carnivore (meat eaters) and vegetarian diets. Cost for “All Meals” covers 3 meals/day, from breakfast on 1/3/2024 through dinner on the evening of 1/12/2024.

For vegan, gluten free, extreme food allergies, and other dietary restrictions, check with us.  We may be able to accommodate some special diets, but it depends on the specifics of each person’s restrictions.