Natural Born Leader

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#409: “Natural Born Leader”
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31: Days to Remember
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[[:Category:{{{genre}}} Episodes| {{{genre}}}]]

1 Samuel 16:7

7But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

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Natural Born Leader

“Natural Born Leader” is episode #409 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Marshal Younger, and originally aired on October 3, 1998.


Jared DeWhite unknowingly selects a mentally challenged student for student council candidacy.


While reading the Odyssey Owl one day, Jared DeWhite is inspired by a poem about dinosaurs entitled "People We Know," by Charles VanHorn. He interprets it as criticizing the student council and a call to replace them in the upcoming election. Jared talks to Charles about his poem, continuing to misinterpret the meaning, and urges Charles to run for student council, not realizing he is a special ed. student.

Jared shows the poem to Whit, who doesn't see the significance that Jared sees, and tells Whit that he and Dwayne are handling Charles' campaign for student council. Jared announces Charles' campaign at school, doing all the talking for Charles. Later, Charles is cornered by reporters from the Odyssey Owl, who ask him to interpret his poem. Not understanding, Charles simply agrees with their interpretation, making the reporters think he is a good candidate.

The whole student body is caught up in Charles' simple statements about dinosaurs, attaching hidden meaning to what he says. Whit realizes that Charles has no idea what he has gotten himself into and goes to see Principal Johnson. He finds out Charles is in special ed. and decides it's time to talk to Jared about the election.

Whit, Jared, Charles, and Charles' mother meet to talk about the election and Charles argues that he can continue the campaign even though he is in special ed. because he is special in the eyes of God. The next day, Charles makes his speech, admitting that he may not be the smartest kid but he does have some good ideas for the school.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. How did Jared respond when he found out Charles was in a Special Education class?
  2. Even though Charles may not have been as smart as some of his classmates, what can we tell about his character that are even more important than being smart?
  3. What are some ways you can be kind to someone who may be different than you?


Role Voice Actor
Charles VanHorn Unknown
Jared DeWhite Brandon Gilberstadt
Dwayne Oswald Kris Kachurak
John Whittaker Paul Herlinger
Principal Johnson Corey Burton
Mandy Straussberg Aria Curzon
Sarah Prachett Scarlett Pomers
Mrs. VanHorn Unknown


VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] The broadcast version of this episode has a different intro, featuring a newer, longer theme and thus longer previews.

  • Mandy's "Hiya Chuck" greeting heard in this episode is a reference to the comic strip Peanuts.
  • Jared asks when he is looking at Charles's drawing in this episode why the dinosaur was colored purple. This may be a reference the children's show Barney & Friends.


Charles VanHorn: Look, I drew a dinosaur.
Jared DeWhite: Not bad. Why is he purple?

Jared DeWhite: I'm telling you, it was almost like talking to myself! Not that I do that sort of thing...

Sarah Prachett: If this announcement has anything to do with space aliens, subliminal messages, or KGB squirrels, I'm gonna have a fit.

Dwayne Oswald: Here, read this.
Jared DeWhite: Sick of dinosaurs chasing you and ripping off your head? Vote for Charles VanHorn.