Near Nature Park, there’s a small campground called Eagle campground that you can stay the night at for $10. The campsites are close to the river which during the spring is a great place to wade in. It’s about a foot deep and has crawfish in it if you enjoy fishing.
It’s similar to Nature Park, with the number of trees and how it feels more naturally wooded than other places in Rexburg. There’s a lot of tall grass, so if you leave the main areas of the camp then you could run into ticks, so make sure to bring bug spray if you want to wander off the trails.
I have been there multiple times over the last couple of years with my roommates and once for Wilderness First Aid which I took as an elective. When I went for my class, it was for the final. We had spent the whole semester studying different ways to help in an emergency if we were an hour outside of definitive care. For the final, we had to take everything we had learned and go to the campground to help everyone who was in an “accident.”
It was the middle of December. We split ourselves into groups and were excited to see how much we would remember from class. After swapping numbers, we came back during the night bundled in our warmest clothes with flashlights in our pockets. We knew there were going to be three people we needed to get to as quickly as possible once we hit the scene. Two amputations and one with an internal injury.
Piling into cars, we were off to attended to the actors, our patients. It was 6:30pm, a blanket of snow laid on the ground with our patients lying on top of it. Barreling out of the cars, we grabbed our equipment. Blankets, bandages, tarps, sleeping bags and a spine board. On the field, we split up, some began building a fire and others wandered the camp looking for people.
Other groups had found an injured person and stayed with them while someone ran back for the gear. My group scaled the park looking for anyone that might have been missed. As I walked through the unkempt portions of the campgrounds, I collected burrs and thistles on my clothes. Luckily no one was out that far. It wouldn’t have been a fun place to stay for an extended time.
Returning to camp, we passed by one of the amputees. She had a rag covering her wound with a strap above the elbow to stop the bleeding. In the dark, bandaged, it looked nearly real. Behind me, I heard someone who was with the other amputee.
“Hey, I found your leg!”
We found them. As a class, we were going to pass. My group jumped into help bringing people back to the base camp to get them warmed up. We were out there for about 30 to 45 minutes; however, all the actors were out there longer, so it was important that we got them by the fire as soon as we could. After we had found everyone, it wasn’t long till we were all by the fire thawing off.
It took even less time for us to get all the injury reports filled out, packed up and back to campus. There we were informed over pizza that we had passed. We only had one fatality, the person with the internal injury. Which was to be expected because there was nothing we could do for that kind of injury in the woods. It was an exciting night, and definitely tested what we learned through the semester. A friend from class and I spent the last bit laughing about the hidden burrs on our clothes. As we plucked the burrs off our sweaters, we talked about the next semester maybe being actors for the class.
If you’re in Rexburg and want to get your camping fix without going very far, Eagle campground is great. It is one of the places that helps me to feel away from the city when the city becomes too much. Also if you guys like my photography, you can now take it home!