Local Youth Receive National Lifesaving and Meritorious Awards for Selfless Actions
Eight Scouts Honored for Brave, Heroic Deeds That Saved Lives in 2012
WASHINGTON, DC (January 22, 2013) — Eight boys from National Capital Area Council (NCAC), Boy Scouts of America (BSA) received National Court of Honor Lifesaving and Meritorious Action Awards in 2012 for remaining calm in a crisis, making quick use of Scout training and for living up to the words “to help other people at all times,” which are part of the Scout Oath.
National BSA awards for lifesaving and meritorious action are only bestowed for outstanding acts that demonstrate unusual heroism, skill or bravery and reflect Scouting ideals. For purposes of the awards, "heroism" is defined as conduct exhibiting courage, daring, skill and self-sacrifice. "Skill" is defined as the ability to use one's knowledge effectively in execution or performance, with special attention given to skills earned in Scouting.
“It is my privilege, on behalf of NCAC’s Executive Board, to congratulate and publicly recognize these eight outstanding Scouts for their unselfish acts,” said Scout Executive/CEO Les Baron. “These young men epitomize the lessons we teach in Scouting and embody the Scouting motto: Be Prepared.TM”
One of the Scouts - Webelos Garrett Heider of Pack 578 chartered to Rocky Run Elementary School (Fredericksburg, VA) - received the prestigious Honor Award, Scouting’s highest lifesaving and meritorious action medal, for rescuing a panicked non-swimmer who fell into a lake. The Honor Award is presented on a national level for unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save a life at extreme risk to self.
The full list of 2012 NCAC National Court of Honor Lifesaving and Meritorious Action awardees is:
On June 12, 2011, Webelos Scout Garrett Heider was playing with some friends by the docks at Lunga Park in Quantico, VA. When one of his friends fell into the water, Garrett saw he could not swim and laid down on the dock to reach for his hand. His friend proved to be out of reach so Garrett jumped into the water, even though he had not been trained in water rescue. Garrett swam to his friend and towed him back to the dock where both boys held on until adults arrived to help them out of the water. Neither boy suffered any injuries.
For his actions, Garrett received the Honor Medal – the highest award given for lifesaving or meritorious actions. Garrett is a member of Pack 578, chartered to Rocky Run Elementary School in Fredericksburg, VA.
On April 28, 2012, Cub Scout Benjamin Barnes and his mother Jean Barnes were camping at the Amelia Family Campground in Amelia, Virginia. While eating dinner around their campfire, Jean began choking on a piece of steak. Ben asked his mother if she was ok; when he saw she was unable to speak, Ben delivered back blows that dislodged the steak enough for Jean to cough it out.
For his actions, Ben received the Heroism Award. Ben is a member of Pack 142, chartered to St. William of York in Stafford, Virginia. He and his mother credit his Cub Scout training with giving him the confidence and knowledge to be prepared for emergency situations.
On July 7, 2011, Star Scout Griffin Howland was playing golf with his instructor, Benny Navarro, at the 1757 Gold Course in Loudon County, Virginia. At the seventh hole, Mr. Navarro lost consciousness and collapsed to the ground. Griffin checked Mr. Navarro’s pulse and breathing, then placed him on his side in a recovery position. When Mr. Navarro regained consciousness, Griffin and some fellow golfers helped him back into the golf cart and Griffin drove him to the club house where he was treated by EMTs.
For his actions, Griffin received the Heroism Award. Griffin is a member of Troop 1539, chartered to American Legion Post 180 of Vienna, VA.
On June 29, 2011, Eagle Scout Kevin McCormick was working as a counselor for a local summer camp. While swimming with his campers, Kevin noticed a motionless person at the bottom of the pool. Kevin tapped the camper with his foot. When he received no response, Kevin pulled the camper out of the water and onto the pool deck and called a lifeguard over for assistance. The lifeguards administered rescue breathing until the camper began to breathe on his own again.
For his actions, Kevin received the Heroism Award. Kevin is a member of Troop 55, chartered to St. Francis Episcopal Church of Great Falls, VA.
On June 30, 2011, Life Scout Michael Parker’s father, Walter Parker, entered their house and told Michael he had been stung by a bee. Knowing his father was very allergic to bees, Michael administered an Epi-Pen shot, told his father to lie down and called his mother, Susan Parker, to tell her what had happened. After talking with his mother, Michael called 911, gave the EMTs his father’s medical history, and accompanied them to the hospital. Mr. Parker was discharged from the hospital later that day. He credits Michael’s quick actions with saving his life.
For his actions, Michael received the National Certificate of Merit. Michael is a member of Troop 1410, chartered to Holy Cross Academy of Stafford, VA.
Gerard Allen Souser III
On August 2, 2011, Ordinary Seaman Gerard (Gerry) Souser III was on a chartered cruise aboard a 42-foot sailboat anchored in the outer harbor of Edgartown, MA when a violent thunderstorm blew into the area. Gerry saw the boat he was on was drifting toward a collision with another boat. After alerting his shipmates to the danger, Gerry grabbed a boat fender from the locker and went amidships to attach the fender to prevent potentially serious damage to the boat he and his friends were on. After attaching the fender, Gerry realized it would not provide sufficient protection so he grabbed the bow pulpit of the other boat and held the two boats apart for 20 minutes until his friends were able to secure their boat and the storm calmed down. Gerry then directed his shipmates to weigh anchor, move away from the other boat and re-anchor in a safer location.
For his actions, Gerry received the Medal of Merit. Gerry is a member of Ship 1115, chartered to Immanuel Bible Church of Springfield, VA.
Philip Michael Weinheimer
On July 5, 2009, Eagle Scout Philip Weinheimer and a friend were returning to Philip’s home from Independence Day celebrations. When his friend noticed smoke billowing from the gutters of a neighbor’s garage, he and Philip called 911 and woke the residents of the burning house as well as their neighbors. Within minutes, both homes were safely evacuated and the fire department arrived. The fire was extinguished and no one was injured. John Stamper, the owner of the burning home, said of Philip and his friend, “…saved the life of my wife, my daughter, and me. I am deeply indebted to both gentlemen and I extend my sincerest gratitude and thankfulness to each.”
For his actions, Philip received the Heroism Award. Philip is a member of Crew 893, chartered to Centreville United Methodist Church of Centreville, VA.
Joshua David Willis
On May 14, 2011, Life Scout Joshua Willis was attending his church’s annual father-son campout at Watermelon Park in Berryville, VA, with his father, David Willis, and younger brother. Joshua and several other Scouts were playing in the Shenandoah River when his brother got his foot stuck under a rock in chest deep water directly upstream from a stretch of rapids. Joshua waded out to his brother and supported him while freeing his foot, then organized the other Scouts and their parents into a human chain that brought him and his brother back to shore. Both boys sustained minor bruises and scratches but no major injuries.
For his actions, Joshua received the Heroism Award. Joshua is a member of Crew 1167, chartered by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of Ashburn, VA.
For more information about BSA’s National Court of Honor Lifesaving and Meritorious Action Awards, please click here.
About Boy Scouts of America & National Capital Area Council
Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be Prepared. For Life.™ The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and more than a million volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more, please visit www.scouting.org.
National Capital Area Council was organized in 1911 and today stands as one of the oldest and largest councils in America. The Council territory includes the District of Columbia; Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland; and in Virginia the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Fauquier, Spotsylvania, Caroline, King George, Stafford and Culpeper as well as the independent cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, Manassas Park and Fredericksburg. For more information, please visit www.BoyScouts-NCAC.org.