In preparation for the arrival of over 30,000 Scouts and Venturers at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, the search and rescue teams conducted drills to assure their abilities to find participants, staff members or visitors lost in the Summit Bechtel Reserve's expansive wilderness. Those teams work in conjunction with the jamboree's fire service, EMS and security department, as well as with the National Guard.
Search and rescue team director Kenneth Larsen, of Austin, Texas, offers this advice to anyone who becomes lost:
- Stay where you are. Larsen urges that anyone who realizes he or she is lost stop walking. Staying put will make it easier for teams to find lost campers and visitors.
- Find a clearing. If there is an open space or tree line nearby, move to that area and stay there. This will make the lost individuals more visible from the sky, says Larsen.
- Take out your phone. If cell service is available, call 911 and inform emergency services of your estimated location.
- Be visible. When a helicopter passes overhead, lay out on the ground or create a large, visible surface area for it to see. Use stones, large sticks, or footprints to form a large 'X' or an arrow to indicate your location.
- Make noise. Responding to the sounds of a nearby rescue team will make it easier for them to head towards you. Carry an emergency whistle; sound it in groups of three to signal that assistance is required.
Jamboree participants and visitors should plan their routes before leaving their campsites to avoid becoming lost. Always travel with a buddy and tell someone where you're going and when you plan to return.