AdventureSmart held numerous training sessions across the South Cariboo in the past week at schools as well as sessions open to the public.
The program started in B.C. over 13 years ago based on the fact that there are more search and rescue incidents in B.C. than in the rest of Canada combined, says Sandra Riches, the BC Provincial Coordinator. She says they reached over 650 children in the South Cariboo during the visit.
“We have over 1600 Search and Rescue incidents in the province of B.C. and there are 80 Search and Rescue groups and 2,500 Search and Rescue volunteers who respond to those calls.”
The purpose of the program is to increase awareness to help reduce the number and severity of those calls, according to Riches.
People don’t always know the steps to safely get out and back, says Riches. They also trained a number of presenters, which allows them to leave their message behind in a more substantial way, says Riches.
The event went really well according to Julia Franklin who helped organize the event.
Elementary schools had presentations on Thursday and Friday called Hug a Tree & Survive, according to Franklin.
“For us, the reason that we brought it into 100 Mile is because I belong to Girl Guides of Canada and we were looking to do some more training,” she says. “Everyone but Mile 108 was able to participate.”
“We had some fantastic feedback. I was downtown and was just chatting and a couple of little guys came and told me all about how they have whistles now and they knew they had to stay put and hug a tree. So it went exceptionally well. We were really really happy with not only the turnout but also the kids.”