Two families are feeling overwhelming relief after a pair of teenage girls who went missing in Algonquin Park returned home.

A major search began on Friday and involved choppers, planes and police dogs. It was the canine unit that ultimately led searchers to the girls just after noon on Monday.

One of the girls shouted to a camera filming her on her way home, "I'm feeling great! Never been better."

Marta Malek and Maya Mirota had last been seen on Thursday while on their way to meet up with their camping group.

"There were tears of joy, there was a lot of extreme happiness," says Bill Dickson with the OPP. "Because you could imagine, the girls were stressed and undergoing a tremendous ordeal."

The girls are part of the Polish Scouting Association, which says that, by age 15, most of the scouts have gained enough experience to venture out into the wilderness.

"They decided, very smartly, to stay put rather than keep venturing," Dickson says.

The national head commissioner of the association, Michael Sokolski, says he's proud that the girls were able to stay safe while they waited for help.

"It's comforting to know that the training and preparation that they've had led to the result that was there," he says.

Dickson says if you get lost, it's important to stay where you are instead of getting deeper into the woods.

He also recommends you always travel with a cell phone, and to take more food and water than you think you need.