• Since 1983.

    Child Survival

Lost in the Woods


This Child Survival program is presented to students, cubs, guides, parents and interest groups across North America. It is not a "Hug a Tree" program. It goes into more detail and adds more Rules for Survival . The presentation is about one hour and thirty minutes. The maximum group size is about one hundred and twenty (or whatever the instructor can handle). The film, "Lost in the Woods II" (re-produced by SARBC in 2005), is shown as part of the presentation. Experiments taken from the book, "Lost in the Woods" by Colleen Politano, are done during each session.
The Lost in the Woods Child Survival presentation Instructor kit includes:

  • Video - Lost in the Woods II, 24 minutes, by SARBC (DVD or VHS format)
  • Video - Lost in the Woods - The Two Calvins, by SARBC (DVD or VHS Format - Not available in Loaner Kit
  • Video - Lost in the Woods Instructor Demo - one of, in our opinion, the best instructors teaching a group of students, 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Video - Lost in the Woods Instructor Instructions - This video is to give an Instructor some ideas about presenting the material.
  • Book - Lost in the Woods by Colleen Politano
  • Handout - Illustrated 9 Rules, suitable for copying
  • Certificate - Sample, change and copy to suit
Overview of the presentation for Instructors
Note: Every child should receive the illustrated 9 Rules handout, the others are optional.
The cost for the kit is $75.00. Groups in BC may borrow the kit free of charge (not including shipping).

Discussing Feelings

by Gary O'Brien, SARBC
Because children have fears, which can be more intense than those of an adult, they are discussed by the instructor during the Child Survival lecture. The following words are addressed to the students, and elaborated. Talking about FEELINGS, and knowing how to deal with them, is very important.
Nobody likes being scared or frightened. Help yourself keep calm by singing, whistling or even telling yourself jokes or stories. Do anything it takes to make yourself feel better. Try using your imagination to pretend you are somewhere else that you really enjoy.
You usually do not have to worry about wild animals. They do not like to be near people. If they hear or smell you, they will usually run away. A good rule is Answer a Noise with a Noise. If you hear a noise in the woods, make a noise back. If it is an animal it will run away, if it is a searcher then you will be found.
The fear of dark can be easily overcome by memorizing your surroundings during daylight so that you can see with your memory when it gets dark. Nothing changes just because it gets dark. Try practicing in your bedroom.
There is no punishment for being lost and yet children have been known to hide or run away from searchers in fear of punishment. Children should not have any fear of returning home. Mom and Dad, or whoever is looking after you are going to be very happy to see you again. There will be NO punishment.
There are Friendly strangers who will help you when needed. Some of these are police officers, fire fighters, paramedics and Search and Rescue teams. Generally, these Friendly strangers always work in groups.

Child Survival Kit

During the presentation of this Child Survival lecture, the instructor would show the students each item and how it is made. For instance the reflector is tin foil pasted to cardboard (no sharp edges), and, the right and safe way to tear a face hole in the bright orange garbage bag is demonstrated. Make an Emergency Survival Kit (and practice using it)

  • A Zip Lock sandwich bag for the container (also used as a cup for drinking water)
  • A snack of high energy trail mix (contained in its own zip lock bag)
  • A whistle used for calling for help (three short blasts)
  • A signal flag approximately 10cm by 100cm (cut from orange plastic garbage bag)
  • A reflector for sending signals (use soft, flexible material)
  • A large, bright color garbage bag used as poncho (pre-tear slit for face opening - Do not "cut" hole)