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Skyler Thompson, a Bear in Las Vegas Pack 482, checks out a latch located within the trunk to help prevent entrapment.


Alec’s willingness to go back to


the booster seat turns out to be an added value of the event, Bender says. “It takes away some of the peer pressure if their friends are there and understand why a boy still needs a booster.” The seat-belt station draws a lot


Cub Scouts also learn to take


responsibility for their passengers’ safety. “Always check to make sure everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seat belt,” trainer Kyle Vantasky tells them, before showing the parents and boys how seat belts should fit. “There are three checkpoints,” he


explains. “Knees must be at the edge of the seat, the lap belt must be across the hips, and the shoulder belt must be over the collar bone, not the neck.” “It looks like my Cub Scout’s a


little on the short side,” says Melissa Neitz, a den leader and mother from Pack 614 of Henderson. “I’ll have to put my son, Alec, back into a booster seat.” To her surprise, the 8-year-old didn’t seem to mind.


of interest. But the station with the largest impact on the parents is “Spot the Tot,” where participants learn to avoid vehicle back-over accidents. Cosgrove invites a Cub Scout


mother to sit in the driver’s seat of a large SUV. Then, she positions a Cub Scout behind the vehicle at differ- ent distances. At six feet behind the vehicle Cosgrove calls to the mother, “Can you see him?” “No,” the mom replies. At 10 feet the woman still cannot


see her son. Only when the Cub Scout is 12 feet behind the vehicle can the parent “spot the tot.” The demonstration startles many


of the parents. “I got the chills,” says Barbara Pecor, a mother whose boy is in Pack 848 of Las Vegas.


DOTRYTHISATHOME


With more than 600 Safe Kids chapters and coalitions in all 50 states, Cub Scout packs in most places have access to the Automotive Safety Patch Program. Here’s how to bring this program to your boys: First, check out the Safe Kids Web site at


safekidsweb.org/cubscouts/default.asp. Once there, click on “For Pack Leaders” in the top menu. Before submitting for more information, click


to read the original pack list or the recent inqui- ries to see if other packs in your area might be able to work together. Then, click the link to provide more informa-


tion to the site and you’ll receive additional program materials from the Safe Kids Action Center. After submitting info online, pack leaders must


contact the local Safe Kids coalition, who will then coordinate efforts among the coalition, pack leaders, and Chevrolet dealers to plan an event. The program may not be available in all areas, so check with your local coalition for details.


“Sometimes I just back up and never think twice.” “I’m going today to get a back-up


camera installed in my car,” says Lisa Goodwin, also from Pack 848. “My children are all older, but my neigh- borhood is full of babies.” By the end of the event, the Cub


Scouts have had fun and will take home several messages to think about. And the leaders see the Automotive Safety Patch Program as an easy way to teach necessary skills. “It was nice to have experts talking [about car safety], and not just me,” says Sherelle Knowlden, Cubmaster from Pack 614. In one morning, she says, the boys


learned all sorts of important things: fNever play in, or around, a car. fAlways wear your seat belt. fDon’t sit in the front seat unless you’re 13. “And they got a patch!” ¿


NETTIE FRANCIS is the editor of The Wyoming Woman Magazine.


January•FEBruary 2013 ¿ S COUTING 31


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