Hiking with Kids – Part 2 – Hug a Tree and Survive

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The goal – common safety messaging for people heading off to enjoy the great outdoors.  Several well designed courses are available to train volunteers to do the work through trainings in a variety of contexts, including but not limited to trailheads, schools, community groups, workplace lunch n’learns. 

The Wild About Outdoor Learning Society is in full swing planning the Tidal WAV ’23 – Wild About Outdoor Learning Festival happening in Stanley Park on Saturday, May 27th.  One of the groups I have connected with is AdventureSmart.   The group started in British Columbia with Sandra Riches as its Executive Director, 18 years ago to reduce the number and severity of Search and Rescue operations.   It was such a success that is expanded across Canada.

One of the courses I was trained on this week was the Hug a Tree and Survive Program that came into being when little Jimmy Beveridge was separated from his parents, on an outdoor adventure in California over 40 years ago and died of hypothermia before Search and Rescue could find him.    The tragic event resulted in in the development of this program that focuses on four key rules:

  1. Tell an adult where you’re going
  2. Hug a tree and stay put
  3. Keep warm and stay dry
  4. Help searches by answering when they call.

A podcast, games, and colouring sheets are some of the things that support the key messages.  The online training took 2 hours and left me equipped to teach Hug A Tree and Survive targeting kindergarten to Gr.6 students), Survive Outside (secondary and adult target group), and PaddleSmart.  At this point in my career I have taken and given many lessons and training sessions, but these sessions were invaluable in the safety information that should be reviewed regularly and the organization and repetition in of key messages in novel ways.  I highly recommend it.  Check out the link above.  

Reminder: The Wild About Outdoor Learning Society Vancouver Outdoor Festival – Tidal WAV’23 (Wild About Vancouver) is on Saturday, May 27th in Stanley Park.

Hikes with the Lead Park Ranger, Chris Penton, and Indigenous host, Lori Snyder, will leave from the Park Ranger Station in Ceperley Park, right beside the Second Beach Concession Stand. starting at 10 am. 

Hope to see you there!

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