Lost! … but Found, Safe and Sound

Program Run Time: 12 minutes
Ages 5 to 12

Points covered in this program:

  1. When outdoors camping or going anywhere near woods, keep a backpack with you that contains the following: trash bag for warmth or protection from rain, whistle to call for help, water, snacks, bright bandana. Always wear a brightly colored shirt.
  2. Always stay near your parents or supervising adults. They need to know where you are at ALL times.
  3. The second you realize you are lost, STOP! Don’t run, STAY where you are.
  4. Look around for a close by comfortable place to wait, such as by a shady tree.
  5. Do not worry about your parents getting mad at you—they will be glad to find you!
  6. If you have your bright bandana, tie it to something high so searchers will see. Blow your whistle every few minutes to attract attention. If you hear voices, blow your whistle even more. If you hear a plane or helicopter flying low, get where they can see you and wave your arms.
  7. Don’t worry about animals—almost all of them are more afraid of you than you are of them, and they will avoid you. If you see one coming your way, just make noise and they will run away.
  8. It night comes, STAY where you are. If you move around it will be harder to find you!


  1. Make sure your child has the backpack listed above and that he/she keeps it with him/her.
  2. Make sure your child wears brightly colored clothes on any outing. Even at places such as amusement parks this makes sense.
  3. Keep a close eye on children as they can be easily distracted and wander off.
  4. Once at the camping site take and keep a picture of your child (to remember clothing worn) and the bottom of your child’s shoe to have a record of its track print. This is easy to do with cell phones.
  5. Once you notice a child missing, notify authorities immediately—don’t wait! Leave someone with the child’s pictures in the location to meet the authorities, and be careful not to get lost yourself while looking!
  6. Many searchers use search dogs, so it would be a good idea to have a scent article for every member of your group on trips. Using clean Ziploc bags, you can label one bag for each person and have each person drop his/her dirty sock or other clothing into his/her own bag as labeled. Each item should have only the scent of its owner! If you don’t have these, dog handlers will help you find the best scent article available.