Program History

The Hug-A-Tree and Survive Program was conceived in the mountains near San Diego, California, after a search for a nine-year-old boy that ended in his tragic death.  Afterwards, a small group of those who searched for him developed this program to teach children what to do should they get lost in a wilderness setting.  The program was developed to educate children in a select few of the most basic and vital survival principles.  Volunteers for Red Rock Search and Rescue adapted this program to better fit our desert environment. 

We all sincerely hope that no child ever needs the information.  However, we want to share this program with as many children as possible in the hope that, if a lost child knows what to do, that could make the search short and successful.  Many children are alive today because of their experience with the Hug-a-Tree and Survive program.  This program is dedicated to the memory of Jimmy Beveridge.

Premise of the Program

The basic principles of Hug-a-Tree are:

  • Stay where you are, find shade if you can
  • Find a large tree or boulder as a landmark and temporary company
  • Signal for help with a whistle using three bursts
  • Use rocks or sticks to write “SOS” or your initials really big
  • Remember, we are on our way!

Request a Presentation

Red Rock Search and Rescue provides this presentation free of charge to groups in the community!  We have presented for Emergency Preparedness Fairs, the American Heritage Girls, and Boy Scouts.  Our trained volunteers would be happy to visit youth-oriented groups and classrooms.  The Hug-a-Tree curriculum meets certain health standards and is a great companion lesson for the national Every Kid Outdoors initiative. 

To request a presentation, please complete and submit the following form.  We will communicate with you as soon as possible to confirm the details.

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