Medals of honor await eight Scouts and two Scout leaders from Troop 444 in the Arapahoe District for their lifesaving and meritorious actions on Wellington Lake in Bailey, Colorado.
On July 20, 2018, an intense downburst of wind from the base of a thunderstorm, also known as a microburst, hit Wellington Lake sweeping paddle boarders and a kayaker into the dangerous waters. The Scouts and leaders witnessed the terrifying incident and immediately acted to save lives.
“With conspicuous bravery, these Scouts and leaders quickly launched watercraft to rescue a total of six people from the lake; two Scouts remained on shore to launch and retrieve watercraft and treat the rescued victims for hypothermia, likely saving or preventing serious injury to three adults and three children”, says Matt Maranto, Council Chairman of Merit Awards.
The heroic story was discovered last November when a unit leader shared the incident and statements with Matt, which led him to meet with the troop on December 8, 2018 to storyboard, “a technique much like an accident investigation” to gather facts and witness statements, so the documents could be submitted to National for review.
On July 16, 2019, the National Council awarded eight Lifesaving Awards, and on August 2, 2019, awarded two Meritorious Awards to the Scouts and leaders. These brave individuals are heroes to the Scouting family and those whose lives they saved on July 20, 2018.