I left several messages earlier in the week with the Allen Police Department, but started to panic when I still hadn't heard from anyone by late Tuesday night. Shawn is Megan's friend and I vaguely remembered her telling me some time ago that he went on frequent "ride alongs" as a student fireman. So in a desperate attempt to secure a guest speaker for our den meeting, I asked Megan to text him and invite him to come talk to the boys. And guess what! He was not just willing, but thrilled to do it. He packed a bag of equipment for them to look at. He went through his Firefighter Academy manual with them. And he had pages and pages of notes that he had jotted down sometime between Megan's text at 9:00 last night and his appearance at 4:30 this afternoon. The boys loved talking to him and he was a wealth of information. I made sure to send him home with a big bag of chocolate chip cookies as a thank you!
...and Officer Mike - Allen Police Dept
Late this morning, I got an email from one of the officers I had contacted, saying that he would be able to come to our den meeting, but not until after 5:00pm. Perfect! I could have Shawn talk for the first half, and Officer Mike cover the second half. An over abundance of community helpers is never a bad thing.
I can't even say enough how impressed I was with Officer Mike. He was personable and related to the boys. He answered all of their questions and even brought stickers to pass out to everyone. After he talked about road safety and car safety for a little while, he showed the boys some of the things he carries on his very cool motorcycle, including his speed gun. He showed them how it worked and then one of them asked if he could clock their running speed with it. And he said, "Sure!" as if he had nothing better to do on a Wednesday evening than watch 6 little boys run the 50 yd dash. What a nice man! (Incidentally, 10-yr-old boys apparently run about 12 mph.)
I'm so grateful for the things these boys are learning about life and career options and people who are generous with their time. I'm grateful for two community helpers that make me feel a little safer in my neighborhood at night. And I'm really grateful for a den meeting that came together better than I pictured it in my head.