“Who wants to be den leader?”
About three minutes after raising his hand, Danny Heitman knew he was in trouble.
He was flipping through some Cub Scout materials — handbooks, den leader guides, etc. — when he realized that a lot of the skills these Cub Scouts were supposed to learn he didn’t know himself.
“That’s when I knew, gosh, I’m really going to need some help,” he said.
The September 2015 CubCast has your back. In the latest episode of the monthly podcast, the hosts speak with Heitman, a journalist in Louisiana who is a self-proclaimed “Unlikely den parent.” He explains how to ask for help as a Cub Scout leader.
Heitman is no stranger to asking for help. As a journalist, he’s constantly turning to experts to use as sources in his stories. It’s what journalists do.
He approaches Cub Scouting in a similar way.
To teach the boys about recycling, for example, he invited the local waste-disposal company to bring a garbage truck to a meeting. The boys loved it.
For a lesson on safety, he invited someone from the local energy company. They set up a live wire — “in some very controlled circumstances” — and threw hot dogs at it to show the kids just how dangerous electricity can be.
For first aid, someone from the Red Cross showed the boys how to put on a bandage, and the Scouts practiced on each other.
“Half of them looked like mummies,” Heitman said.
What was the takeaway?
“We had a great time, but it really reminded me, this experience, that if you just ask for help, that there’s a world of help out there for you and lots of folks that are really willing and able to help your Cubs reach their full potential,” he said.
For more of this enlightening discussion, go here to listen to (or read a transcript of) the September 2015 CubCast.