· Scouting

Teach young people what to do when lost


By Steven Scheid


Our Scouting ministries partners have millions of members, most of whom are youth. The programs provide opportunities for fellowship and great activities, especially outdoors. As a result, Scout leaders and the Center for Scouting Ministries are deeply concerned about safety. We use simple tools to remind young people what to do in potentially dangerous situations; one example is the mnemonic “STOP”.


If you become lost:


Stop! Stay in one location. Realize that help is available and on the way. Your chances of being found are better if you stay in one place.

          “Wait upon the Lord” (Isaiah 40:31).


Think! Take time to collect your thoughts and evaluate the situation. Remember that we all lose our way sometimes. Making a mistake does not make us any less valuable. Don’t’ hide from searchers who are looking for you.

          “Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works” (Psalm 119:27).


Observe your surroundings. When you look around it is not as bad as you think. Make yourself visible. Signal for help. Prayer is a call for help from the one who made your surroundings.

           “My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:12).


Plan for your own safety. Look at the things you already have. How will you use them to keep dry, out of the wind and insulate yourself? Get shelter and clean water. Plan how you will thank your rescuers when they find you.

           “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?” (Matthew 18:12).


Steven Scheid, director of the Center for Scouting Ministries

General Commission on UM Men



Back to News Articles