October 2012

The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers Pat & TJ Beezley recently brought the Leave No Trace message to Western North Carolina and were hosted during their stay by Jon Lowrance, Landmark Learning and Leave No Trace Master Educator instructor and his wife, Jenny, Leave No Trace Master Educator. The Traveling Trainers presented a couple of classes at Montreat College and also lead a Leave No Trace Trainer course for Montreat. Jon & Jenny were treated to a BIG surprise when BIGFOOT showed up at their house! Pat & TJ explained that Bigfoot enjoys traveling by foot through Pisgah National Forest while he's in North Carolina and Jon & Jenny's house was an easy stop since it's bordered by the National Forest. Bigfoot tends to follow the Traveling Trainers around the nation and occasionally makes appearances at outdoor events to help the Trainers spread the message of Leave No Trace. During his stay, he built the minimal-impact fire bowl that he & Jon are pictured with. Jon was quite impressed with the Bigguy, stating, "He's rather tall in person and very friendly! He really is a master at Leave No Trace - I guess he has 'been doing it for years' as the stickers say."  Pat & TJ, who are also both Landmark Learning and NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute graduates, are off on their way to present at the first-ever Boy Scouts of America Outdoor Ethics Conference in Little Rock, AR. You can find out more about their travels and ways that you might get a chance to meet Bigfoot at www.lnt.org/about/traveling-teams or their Facebook page: "Pat & TJ Subaru Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers." You can find out how to become a Leave No Trace Master Educator at Landmark Learning's website: www.landmarklearning.org/courses-leave-no-trace

Hello Landmark and WFR Family!

I took my WFR back in December 2011. Through college I studied bio geography and, for the past 2 1/2 years, have worked as a Biological Science Technician in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Medical Skills learned during the WFR course have been invaluable, as I've felt both equipped and comfortable in handling more common back country incidents like dehydration, insect stings, and mild hypothermia, as well as emergency situations, all of which we get plenty of in the Smokies. My plans were to continue my career with the National Park Service, however, the WFR course opened my eyes to my own passion for medicine. In fact, over the course of the past 12 months, it's become clear to me that pursuing a career in medicine is the right thing for me to do. So, I've decided to shift gears. I'm getting ready to graduate from a Certified Nursing Assistant program through the American Red Cross, and will soon begin classwork for an EKG certification for 12- and 6-lead, and an EMT-IV course. Long-term I would like to get RN certified through a BSN program. Paramedic school is also an option. My hope is to work in an acute care facility, like a hospital, where I get to spend a lot of time with patients. Either way, it was my experience at Landmark Learning that has made all of this a reality. Once again, BIG thanks to all at Landmark for you're superior instruction and friendly smiles.


Joshua W. Albritton

Biological Science Technician, WFR
Inventory & Monitoring Branch
Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Breaking through the early morning fog were two men in bright green racing t-shirts-ready for racing! Team Landmark Learning (with fresh racing jerseys) represented at the NCOBS River Bound Race 10k at the North Carolina Arboretum on Saturday October 6. It was a great crowd for a first year race; 77 racers were there for the 10k with another 69 for the 5k that also ran that day. The course started deceptively flat for the first mile or two and finished with four or so miles up and down the hills of the Arboretum and Bent Creek. After all was said and done, Justin Padgett, the fearless bandana-wearing director finished 8th in his age group with a time of 56:07.7, while the other teammate racing that day, Jason Carter, finished 2nd overall with a time of 39:58.7. Mairi Padgett and the Padglings were there to provide some race support and post race grub! It was a great race and a great crowd; a big thanks to NCOBS and the folks that put the race together!

As usual, folks from around the country have joined us at our base in Cullowhee, NC for our 21 day EMT Intensive program. This class is immediately followed by the WMI Wilderness Upgrade for Medical Professionals course. On week three, we polish skills, tweak details, practice and prepare for course completion. Spirits are high and students report that their clinical experiences have been rewarding as instructors spend time with students on this slower paced week. Another great group of medical care providers are about to hit the streets!

Hey Landmark Crew,

I recently attended a Wilderness First Responder course in Brevard, NC taught by Rob Barham  and Jason Carter. I'd first like to say that the class exceeded my expectations and the teaching style was perfect for the curriculum.
Rob and Jason made a perfect team and were super knowledgeable. I originally took the course because I tend to be inclined to travel/live in some very remote places and was needing some medical training for the confidence to go further and longer. I am also hoping to open some doors for being a trip leader/guide. Through taking the course, though, I have become extremely intrigued with first responder, pre hospital medical, and search and rescue practices and now plan on getting an EMT certification in the future. I've become very interested in the idea of relief medicine as a way to "give back," utilize, and hone my newly learned skills in assisting those who could use it under the guidance of more highly trained professionals. Jason had mentioned Mingai when discussing this with him. I finally got to check the website and look into their Medical Brigade project. It sounds like an amazing cultural experience and a wonderful way to truly help others in need.

Kyle Warden

On September 22nd,  The Mighty Landmark Leprechaun Kevin Williams and his equally infamous cousin Michael headed out to Todd,NC to compete in the Blue Ridge Mountain Throwdown. They had registered back in January for this epic 5 mile run. At 10:30 am, 99 racers lined up for a shotgun start. What began in a  flat cow pasture quickly changed terrine and the runners found themselves facing some very steep up and down logging roads. After scaling a  barbed wire fence, the runners ended up in yet another cow pasture at the top of the mountain. After making their way to the bottom, the journey was not over. Kevin and his cousin were made to run yet another hill and close in on the finish of the race by trekking an eighth of a mile up a creek. After the creek was the part of the run that make the course legendary. They were at the highlight, they were at what was dubbed "The Monster". The Monster was a large hill that required participants to ascend and descend on only their hands and feet. They made it up once, down once, up once more, down once more, and then across the creek and under the bridge at the bottom. With the most difficult leg of the race completed, Kevin and his cousin booked it across the New River to the finish line. They finished and posted a great time of 1:26:44, securing 43rd and 44th place out of 99 racers. The men wanted to  throw out a huge thanks to the Cooper Farm and folks over at Blue Ridge Mountain Throwdown for organizing one of the hardest races they have ever competed in.



Landmark instructors Rob Barham and Jason Carter got to head down to Brevard College for a Wilderness First Responder course on September 1st through the 9th. The students were comprised of  Brevard College's Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education immersion semester students. Trip leaders from the southeast and east coast were also part of the course. It was a great course with some amazing times on campus. Pictures are from the class assembled ready to tackle a Mass Casualty Incident and taking care of injuries on scene. Thee course prepared everyone to deal with everything from head and spine injuries to femur fractures. And naturally how to take care of any rescuers that got hurt on scene.  After the course ended, students  headed back to work wilderness therapy, take a month long section of the AT,  and planned on returning to hunt for outdoor jobs. Jason said, "It was an exciting group to spend nine days with and  I will always look forward to going back to Brevard to teach!"

Fall has finally arrived and so has our Crucial Beta Fall 2012 newsletter. Click here to see what's happening this season at Landmark Learning!