Santa Rosa County FL Citizen Corps

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Santa Rosa County FL Citizen Corps
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Advanced CERT Wilderness Academy

May 31 - June 2

We’re excited to announce, at no charge, our Advanced CERT Wilderness Academy Friday May 31 through Sunday June 2, 2024.  Students are highly encouraged to stay onsite and participate in the primitive/tent or RV camping to simulate a deployment type environment as training will continue into the evening hours as well.  Primitive/tent camping sites are included at no charge.. Registration is required available online.  Only 60 spots are available so make sure to register early to lock-in your seat in the academy.  This event is very hands on and intensive to include numerous exercises and training.  Completion of the basic CERT class or relevant experience as a first responder, etc. is highly recommended as a pre-requisite.

For those wishing to stay in an RV, you will need to book your own campsite using Reserve America’s website.

The consumption of alcohol or illegal substances is strictly prohibited in Florida State Parks and during our event.

For those who do not wish to stay on-site, your closest hotel options would be in either Crestview or Milton.  Adventures Unlimited is about 15 minutes away but, during this time, they require a 3-night minimum.

To get the most out of the training and obtain a certificate of completion, students must attend all sessions.  Please be respectful to our instructors & agency representatives who have taken their weekend to put on this event.

Please click here for the suggested gear list.  At minimum, a flashlight or headlamp is required.

All participants must sign and complete a liability waiver to participate.  You may print and bring with you, or we will have some printed out at check-in.  Please click here to download the waiver.

Friday May 31

  • 1500-1830 – Check-in/campsite setup
  • 1800-1900 – Dinner
  • 1830-1900 – Event kick off/guidelines for the weekend
  • 1900-1945 – Low light first aid
  • 1945-2000 – Break
  • 2000-2030 – Project Lifesaver overview
  • 2030-2100 – Clean water in the wilderness/portable meals

Saturday June 1

  • 0800-0900 – Breakfast
  • 0845-0900 – Day 2 overview
  • 0900-1000 – Wilderness first aid
  • 1100-1115 – Break
  • 1115-1230 – Basic survival skills
  • 1230-1300 – Lunch & Lost person behavior/searching for special needs
  • Breakout sessions – These sessions will run 3 times.  Students will be broken up into 3 groups.  The 3 breakouts are: Land navigation, low angle rope rescue, and cribbing.
    • 1300-1400 Breakout 1
    • 1400-1415 Break
    • 1415-1515 Breakout 2
    • 1515-1530 Break
    • 1530-1630 Breakout 3
  • 1630-1730 – Tempest program drone demonstration
  • 1730-1830 – Dinner
  • 1800-1830 – Proper clothing for wilderness searches
  • 1830-1930 – Tracking
  • 1930-2030 – Low light search techniques

Sunday June 2 – Main Exercise

  • 0700-0800 – Breakfast
  • 0730-0800 – Exercise/safety briefing
  • 0800-1100 – Exercise
  • 1100 – Aircare 3 helicopter landing & tour
  • 1130-1200 – Event/Exercise closeout

Meals are included along with basic drinks such as coffee, water, and soda.  Unfortunately, to keep the event free, we cannot cater to each person’s individual dietary needs.  If you have any special dietary concerns, you are responsible for bringing the food & beverages that is safe for you.

Frequently asked questions

  • Where is the event?
    • The event is at Bear Lake Campground.  The majority of the training will be inside or outside the pavilion space. (30.860551, -86.833237)
    • Primitive campsite attendees can park in the primitive campsite area.  Attendees not camping with us can park at the main pavilion.  A map is provided below.
  • Where do I check-in?
    • At the Bear Lake Campground pavilion – 30.860551, -86.833237
  • What if I’m late?
    • As long as you arrive before 1930 on Friday night you may still receive a certificate.
  • Can I bring children to the event?
    • For the safety of everyone involved, this event is for adults (18 and older) only.
  • Can I bring my pet?
    • You may bring you pet to camp with you, however, they may not participate in any exercises or classes due to liability.
  • Will food be available for my dietary needs?
    • As mentioned above, unfortunately, to keep the event free, we cannot cater to each person’s individual dietary needs.  If you have any special dietary concerns, you are responsible for bringing the food & beverages that is safe for you.
  • Will there be a lot of physical activity?
    • Short answer, yes. This is a VERY hands-on event. The event is located in the Blackwater State Forest. The area is wooded and is not level. Portions of this training will involve walking trails.
  • What do I need to bring with me?
    • If camping, any supplies you need to camp.  Please remember, space is limited so campsites should be kept to a minimum amount of space.  Each campsite is being split into 2-3 spots to accommodate all of our guests.  A flashlight or headlamp, at minimum, is required.  If you have any special dietary needs, you must supply your own food.  A full gear list of recommendations can found via this link.
  • When will I know my campsite?
    • Campsite information will be provided at check-in
  • Can I build a fire?
    • There are fire rings at each main campsite but, please remember, each campsite will be shared amongst 2-3 other campers.  There is also a communal fire pit near the bath house.
  • Is there a bath house facility?
    • Yes, it is located in close proximity to the primitive campsites.
  • Can I bring my camper?
    • Yes, please see above as you will need to reserve your own campsite as we are not providing those for free.


May 31
June 2
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Arc – W4CPD
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Bear Lake Campground
11650 Munson Highway
Milton, FL 32570 United States
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