Everyone knows that there are heroes in the world. We watched the firemen climb the steps in the World Trade Buildings disaster in New York. There are dash-cam recorders that show police officers rescuing drivers from burning cars. Clearly these individuals are all heroes, but heroism does not always have to be on a grand scale.
Tiger Cub Joseph Pizzella is a hero. Joe was wading in the wave pool at RiverChase Pool in Fenton, MO. when he saw 2 year old Sawyer Ludwig struggling to keep his head above water. Sawyer had gone too far from the shallow end of the pool and the current in the pool was pulling him into deeper water. Joe swam over to Sawyer and held his head out of the water until his mother could reach him. Joe received the Heroism Award for his actions.
Kurtis Freedland of Hidden Hills, CA. is a hero. Kevin Scaringi was body surfing off Malibu Beach when a large wave forced him under water. He got caught in a riptide and was being dragged out to sea. Twelve year old Kurtis swam to Kevin, got his head above water and swam parallel to the shore until they were out of the riptide. He then swam Kevin back to the beach. Kurtis received the Heroism Award.
Often we think that a person has to risk his life or has to be saving a life to be a hero. That is not always the case. The Boy Scouts has numerous categories for the Lifesaving or Meritorious Action.
- Heroism- Minimum risk to self
- Honor Medal- Considerable risk to self
- Honor Medal with Crossed Palms- Extraordinary skill and extreme risk to self
- Medal of Merit- Outstanding act of service
- National Certificate of Merit- significant act of service deserving national recognition
Council Certificate of Merit- recognition of meritorious action that does not qualify for national recognition
There are nominating procedures that must be followed to receive recognition for the national awards. The one to be most concerned about is that all applications need to be submitted for review within six months of the deed taking place. Usually these nominations are handled by the Council Advancement Committee but this may vary by council.
When submitting a nomination for a national award, always be cognizant of the requirements for each award but submit the nomination for the highest award level for which the committee believes the deed qualifies.
There some boys and young men who have done some meritorious deeds. Letís not let the deeds go unrecognized because our adult leaders didnít understand the recognition procedures.