JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A program in North Carolina is helping educate children on how to prevent getting lost and what they should do if they ever end up in this position. 

Each year more than 10,000 people go missing in the state alone. With programs like “Hug-A-Tree,” officials are working to get that number down.  

“We’re really just trying to get them to be aware that they need to think about things before they do them,” said Marci Anderson with Brunswick Search and Rescue. 

They did this by telling the kids a story about a child who got lost in the woods. Then, they answered questions. After that, they brought out four different K9 members of the Brunswick Search and Rescue team one by one. They had them locate a designated missing child for the kids to see the whole search process. 

“If they do happen to get lost in the woods, we want to be able to have them know what to do, how to stay safe until searchers arrive,” said Anderson.  

Seeing the dogs locate their missing friends is ultimately teaching the children an important lesson. 

“This is a way of saying stay where you are, we’ll come to you. The more you move, the harder it is for us to find you,” said Deputy Chief for Brunswick Search and Rescue Les Tubb. 

To read more about this program and any events they have coming up in the future – follow them on Facebook here.