A friend and colleague in Hawaii, who is also Flotilla Commander for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, sent me some great information about a mentoring/education program between the Coast Guard and the Cub Scouts. Cub Scouts from across the island converge for a day of water safety and water fun. The kids learn about water safety and how to send distress signals using a CD. They learn about drown proofing and the reasons for drowning and how to avoid danger while they have fun. They study the Hawaiian ecosystem and learn about water science. But it’s not just book learning. The boys get to ride a 47-foot Life Boat, run an obstacle course at a nearby military base, paddle a 12-man canoe, get a goody bag, and best of all, hang out with some real heros and great role models.
Any program that pairs kids with positive role models and teaches them skills that will keep them safe while they have fun their whole life is a true winner in my book.
What programs like that exist in your community? I’d love to hear about them and spread the words about the programs that work especially well. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the blog site and tell me your favorites!