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Book Cover: Den Mother's Denbook The Den Mother's Denbook
Boy Scouts of America, 1951

There are certain things that the average American boy is going to do whether anyone encourages him to or not. These things are just part of every boy. You will find it interesting to take time out for a few minutes and list on a piece of paper some of these natural boy desires. If you do this, you will probably end up feeling much better about your own boy and the boys of your den.
The Cub Scout achievement plan recognizes these natural boy urges. It encourages the boy to give expression to them in more worth-while and satisfying ways. In other words, Cub Scouting teaches boys to do better a lot of things they naturally do.
Have you ever emptied your son's pockets when you were repairing his clothes? Do you remember the amazing collection you found? No doubt it matched in variety the following things found in one boy's pockets: a small piece of red glass, one used postage stamp, three marbles, one slightly alive salamander, one very dead angleworm attached to a rusty fishhook, three very tired lightning bugs, two green tomatoes (they're wonderful for target practice), and nineteen dog pictures from cereal boxes...you can't separate a boy from this urge. You might as well accept it and help him to answer the urge in a more satisfactory way.

--from Chapter 11, "Cub Scout Achievement"

Obviously, this is an instruction manual for neighborhood moms looking to get in on the Cub Scout scene. What makes this book so delightful is that it pushes all the right buttons. Near the beginning of the book the author says that there are two types of homes: spotless emotionally sterile houses that are oppressive to li'l boys, and warm inviting homes that welcome rambunctious youths in all their glorious mischief, with Mom in the kitchen baking socks and darning cookies. Guess which type home you have.

The illustrations are great. All the moms are in tea-length skirts and all the dads wear a coat and tie. The boys on the other hand are invariably decked out in baggy dungarees and off-kilter beanies. Until, of course, they become neat and tidy scouts. At which point, their trousers lose their cuffs and the jaunty cap becomes mandatory.

One concern not addressed by The Den Mother's Denbook is the "Jimmy's mom is hot!" factor. Be careful moms. You never know who might be a sucker for the woman in uniform or the bookish temptress curled up on the sofa. Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson.