By Darryl Alder
Oct 10, 2017

Cub Scouts Save Lives Too!

You never really know when a Scout of any age might need to “Be Prepared,” but it sure looks like it paid off big time when Catherine Davis, a den leader in Chatham, IL, taught her den first aid—it paid off for a member her den and his family.

Hayden and other members of the den had taken training just a week before this incident. His den leader Catherine recounts: 

“The siblings were at their great grandmothers house playing. There is a small bridge that goes over a creek. They were skipping rocks when Drew fell off the bridge. His brother Hayden, who is in my den, didn’t panic at all. He immediately went for help. Because of that, they were able to quickly get him to the hospital and assess his serious injuries.”

A Webelos Scout, Hayden is just ten years old and a hero to his family. Bravery played a roll, but without the training Catherine gave those Scouts, things might have been worse. 

“The first thing we teach the kids is to remain calm and seek help,” Catherine said.

If you want to teach your Cub Scouts to “Be Prepared.” Try these activities:

  1. Tell what to do in case of an accident in the home when a family member needs help.
    Discuss, then act out, what to do in case of the following: Person falls and is clearly hurt.
    Have a leader act out the hurt (you can change the injury from Scout to Scout).

    Memorize the courage steps:
    Be brave, be calm, be clear, and be careful.
    Tell why each courage step is important. How will memorizing the courage steps help your Scouts be ready?

  2. Stay calm, comfort the person (but don’t try to move him or her).
    Get help (from a neighbor, call 911). You can practice the call in the meeting.
    Stay with the person. Keep them warm.
  3. Someone’s clothes catch on fire
    Stop, drop and roll!
    You might show the impact of movement and fire by lighting a rolled up newspaper (in a safe place), to show how much it burns when holding steady, but how much more it burns when you feed it oxygen by moving it around.
  4. The house catches on fire
    Discuss how to get out.
    Where is the fire? How can you tell if it is behind a closed door?
    Why is crawling important?
    Again, you can demonstrate where smoke goes (up), by doing a safe demonstration.
  5. Help the Cub Scouts plan escape routes from their home and have a “den drill” for your den meeting place. Pick their brains about the best way out of your home or meeting place (you may need to search it out).
    Discuss, then act out, what to do in case of a fire at the den meeting place.
    For fun, and because they’ll need to get it out of their system, if your meeting place can stand it, they can practice the “panic” version first—provided you’re then able to demonstrate why that is the “bad way” to respond if the building catches on fire! Then have them do it the right way.
  6. Someone falls into a lake or stream:
    “Reach, throw, row, go” is the adult and Boy Scout rule, but Cub Scouts can do reach and throw, but instead of “row” or “go,” they should “go get help.”
    Practice reaching (find things in/around your meeting room you can use).
    Practice throwing (use the 25-foot coil of rope).


Author:Darryl Alder |  Retired ProScouter and BSA Blogger, serves as Troop 592 Committee Chair in Provo, Ut. He has been both a Cubmaster and a Webelos leader and loves serving as a volunteer in Scouting.

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