Risk, Resilience, and Other Related Variables: What Does Research Tell Us About the Relationships?

Alan Ewert, PhD., Indiana University
This presentation will seek to provide a research base that is integrated into actual practice and will draw heavily on the experiences of the audience as well as their ideas and input. Participants will be able to:

  • Identify what is meant by terms such as: resilience, hardiness, sense of coherence, and self-determination and how activities featuring risk-taking can impact those concepts.
  • Describe what we mean by risk and how do risk-taking activities can serve as catalysts or barriers for the development of issues such as resilience.
  • Expand our thinking about how settings, particularly natural environments can assist specific activities such as those involving risk, to develop resilience, hardiness, and other variable.

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Case Studies and Judgement in Wilderness Medicine

Eric Barnard, NOLS Wilderness Medicine
This workshop will explore medical decision making through discussion of illustrative NOLS case studies. We will look at how medical protocols can be used to guide decision-making and the reality of clinical judgment in the field.

  • In WFR courses patients have classic symptoms, treatments usually work, and time is compressed. In the real world patients aren’t “textbook” and changes in presentation can occur slowly.
  • In WFR courses there is usually adequate information to make a “correct” decision. In the field, you must prepare for making decisions in an environment of uncertainty.
  • In WFR we focus on protocol-driven medical decisions. In the field, your decisions are additionally influenced by weather, logistics, and terrain.
  • In WFR courses we often stop at the EVAC decision. In the real world, evacuation can be difficult, lengthy and stressful and long-term care is a reality.

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Active Shooter Preparedness and Survival

Joe Malhoit, All Points North
How to Avoid and Survive Violence covers:

  • Why we need to plan ahead to be safe 
  • Situational Awareness
  • Personal Safety
  • Active Shooter Facts
  • Pre-Event Indicators
  • Takeaways from past violent events 
  • Run - Hide - Fight

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Vector-borne disease prevention and backcountry water treatment

Stephanie Gretsch and Jenna Bjork, Minnesota Department of Health

Diseases spread by ticks, mosquitoes, and water are significant risks to outdoor enthusiasts in Minnesota. In this presentation, epidemiologists from the Minnesota Department of Health will discuss important vector-borne and waterborne diseases that you should be aware of and how to best protect yourself from them. In particular, by the end of the presentation you will know how to identify the three main ticks of public health concern and the effectiveness of  various treatment methods in removing or killing parasites, bacteria, and viruses that may be present in backcountry water.

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What To Do When it All Goes South. Risk Management Primer -Learning to Identify Negligence, Inherent Risk, Release Documents and How to Defend your Entity.

Tracy Knutson, Knutson & Associates
This is a core concepts or ‘primer’ type of session.  We want to talk about the meaning of phrases like negligence (simple and gross), inherent risk, assumption of the risk (express and implied), release contracts vs. ‘VAR’ style documents, foreseeable risks, civil vs. criminal contexts, etc.  We want to define concepts, provide foundation and ground attendees’ knowledge in the important legal concepts that inform all our risk management and legal analysis in recreation law.   The intent of this session is to give participants a solid basis that allows them to think their way through administrative and operational aspects of their recreation business, school or teaching situations. This session will also increase participant’s ability to understand which risk management issues they should be focusing on in their own businesses and programs.

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Risk and resilience, getting everyone outside

Abigail Lucas, Wilderness Inquiry
Wilderness Inquiry has been bringing people of all abilities, ages, and backgrounds together in inclusive outdoor adventures since 1978. Through the use of the Universal Program Participation Model (UPPM) each activity or trip is optimized for specific populations to achieve individual and group goals in a way that combines group interest, ability, and risk management.

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“We’ve been paddling there forever. What could go wrong?”

John Bussey, YMCA Camp St. Croix and Dave Golden, Wilderness Water Safety
Bring your staff manuals and come prepared to think critically about water! In this presentation, Dave and John will present a framework for managing brown water activities, from swimming at your camp waterfront to remote wilderness tripping (and most importantly the stuff in between). Included will be a refresher on common standards, an overview of how some organizations manage participants’ water activities, and some really great case studies. It is Dave and John’s goal that by the end of the session all participants have the drive and the resources to review (maybe overhaul?) their water safety policies and training programs.

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A look at wilderness tripping and the challenges of reintegration from an applied neuroscience filter

Kris Henker, Freelance Facilitator & Master’s Degree in The Neuroscience of Leadership

Have you ever noticed that after a few days of being in the wilderness something happens to your mindset, a sort of shift in perspective?  During this workshop we will explore that shift in perspective from an applied neuroscience theory and discuss how it may play a key role in the personal development that occurs while on trail and why that same shift may create emotional challenges when resuming life in the front country.   The session will end with a discussion about strategies that may ease the transition back to ‘normal’ life.

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Assessing Risk in Your Organization: Where Do I Focus and What Do I Do Next?

Andy Leider, Outdoor Safety Institute

This workshop focuses on helping organizations identify their risk management challenges, the roots of those challenges, and develop a plan to address them in a positive, proactive manner. Through a combination of presentation, peer-to-peer collaboration, and individual planning time, each participant will leave the workshop with a strong idea of where to begin making the changes they identify need to be made. The workshop will include elements of Outdoor Safety Institute's updated 10 Steps to Better Risk Management presentation, and amplify on that framework through a mini risk management self-assessment completed by participants during the workshop. We will discuss some of the common challenges and solutions that participants identify and conclude by developing an action plan based on each participant’s learning from this presentation and the Symposium overall.

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