“Hug a tree and survive”

Four members from the Brandon Regional Search and Rescue Association, out of Brandon, attended Oak Lake Island Resort on the afternoon of Jul. 8 to teach children part of the “Adventuresmart Program”.

“Hug a tree and survive”, teaches children how to prevent getting lost or what to do if they do get lost in the woods. “If a child should become lost in the woods, hugging a tree can help them stay safe, and be found. Staying near a tree offers some protection from the elements, and keeps lost children in the same place, which makes it easier for searchers to find them,” states the Adventuresmart website.

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Bruce Bumstead, dog handler – Leon Flannigan, Sandy and Darby McDonald showed a video for over 40 children ages 5–11 at 1:00 p.m. on the south side of the Oak Lake Island Park. After the video there was a discussion about survival and safety.

Bumstead reminded the children about the four key rules to keeping safe should they get lost. They are: tell an adult where you are going, if you are lost “Hug-A-Tree” and stay put, keep warm and dry, and help searchers find you by answering their calls. Bumstead also displayed how to use an emergency shelter (a small packet, that when opened up is a tinfoil-looking blanket to wrap around oneself, designed to hold heat and keep warm if lost in the woods). Each of the children attending received an emergency shelter packet at the end of the class.

Bruce Bumstead, Brandon Regional Search and Rescue Association member, shows children how to use an emergency shelter.


(l-r) Leon Flannigan, Bruce Bumstead, Sandy McDonald, and Darby McDonald teach children “Hug a tree and survive”.

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