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Wilderness training courses to be offered at Broadstone

Article Published: Jun. 19 | Modified: Jun. 19

When it comes to trekking and adventuring in the High Country, Rich Campbell, associate director of Appalachian State University Outdoor Programs, believes having wilderness training is essential.

“With the right training and right first aid kit, you could literally save somebody’s life on the spot,” Campbell said. “Not to mention the training also goes into a lot of preventative types of care. The main thing is taking care of yourself and preventing those types of accidents or illnesses occurring.”

What Campbell is talking about is a new partnership between university recreation’s Camp Broadstone facility in Valle Crucis and Landmark Learning, in which several medical courses will be offered for both the ASU and local communities.

The new program developed with Landmark Learning, one of the country’s leading wilderness medicine providers, will offer medical and outdoor education certification courses, such as Epinephrine Administration, Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder, Responder Re-Certification and a whole host of other certifications.

“Normally, people in the High Country that wanted those certifications would have to travel to Asheville, Cullowhee or other places,” Campbell said. “There are a lot of people that want those certifications, so we feel like offering those courses in Broadstone is going to help a lot of people.”
Though the courses are open and available to the community, ASU students will receive a small discount on course prices.

“One of the initiatives is that we’ll be able to serve anyone in the High Country,” Campbell said. “That’s really exciting because sometimes we’re limited in how we can serve the High Country community, but this is one way we can.”

The Broadstone facility has been used as a student outdoor training site and recreational space for years, but due to recent renovations, the site has become more adult-friendly and offers the perfect location for the type of training Landmark Learning will provide.

“It’s definitely going to be good for the High Country, and we’re really excited,” Katie Coley with ASU Outdoor Programs said. “Really, right now, if someone in the High Country wanted a wilderness course, Asheville would probably be the closest spot, so we’re offering these courses at a convenient location where there’s overnight lodging for people who might be interested and meal fees, as well.”

Classes will start in the fall, as Coley said tons of things are still planned for the site, while most of the cabin and lodging renovations have been completed.

“It’s ready to use now for courses,” Coley said. “We just wanted to push courses back to the start of the fall because we knew things were more low-key in the summer and figured fall would be best time to start.”

Justin and Mairi Padgett, owners of Landmark Learning, have worked with the Broadstone facility before, and Mairi Padgett said they’re very excited to be coming back to Broadstone in the way they are now through Landmark.

“I think it’s pretty ideal,” Padgett said. “Obviously, the High Country is a really nice little mecca of outdoor opportunities anyway. We’ve been teaching at Broadstone for years and its one of our favorite program sites.”

For more information on the courses to be offered at Broadstone in the academic year 2014-15, visit

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