A Cub Scout lesson on the potential danger of strangers may have saved two boys from abduction.
Two 8-year-olds from Ogden, Utah, were waiting for a ride home from a Cub Scout meeting when a stranger approached in his truck. The man got out and said, “Your mom told me to come and get you. I’m supposed to take you home.”
One of the boys said, “No, you’re not. What’s the password?” The man pushed that boy to the ground and moved on to the second boy, who also asked for the password. When the stranger didn’t know the right secret word, both boys ran back to the church where adults were waiting.
This is no overstatement: Lessons these boys learned in Cub Scouting may have saved their lives.
As this Deseret News article explains, police are crediting the boys’ Cub Scout training with saving them from potential abduction.
“You gotta love the Scout program because the Scout program teaches that,” Ogden Police Lt. Danielle Croyle told the newspaper.
The family had only recently set a secret password, which is an abduction-prevention method where parents give their children a secret code word known only by authorized individuals. That way if someone unexpected does indeed need to pick up the child, a “stranger” has a way of identifying himself as a trusted friend of the family.
The Utah family, which will remain anonymous to protect the boy’s identity, learned about the password idea in Scouting, the boy’s mother said. She told the newspaper that part of her son’s Scouting homework was to talk about “stranger danger” with his parents. She never expected to need or use the password.
“I did it just kind of last minute, honestly, just trying to rush through it and get the lesson done,” she told the paper. “I really believe it possibly could have saved them both.”
This is exactly why the BSA’s mandatory Youth Protection training, for both youth and adults, is so critical. Take these lessons seriously, and you just may save someone you care about from tragedy.