ST. LOUIS (News release) – John “Jack” McClain said he saw the young girl get swept away in the current of the Huzzah Creek, and it was his Boy Scouts of America training that helped him save her life.

McClain is being awarded a lifesaving award by the BSA.

McClain with board and family (BSA)

McClain with board and family (BSA)

On May 14, 2014, Jack and a friend were swimming in the Huzzah Creek at the Huzzah Valley Campground. Previous days’ rain had risen the level of the creek and substantially increased the current. While Jack was swimming, he noticed a young girl attempt to cross the creek carrying a lawn chair. The current caught the chair which drug the girl in to the current and in to deeper water. She was struggling to keep her head above water and was calling for help.

Seeing her distress, Jack immediately swam over struggling against the current. He was able to reach out a hand which the young girl grabbed. He then swam until he could stand and pulled her towards the shore, where his friend assisted with getting her out of the water.

On average, fewer than 100 Honor Medals are awarded each year in the Boy Scouts of America. John “Jack” McClain of Troop 351 sponsored by St. Charles Borromeo Church was honored with this prestigious award during a Greater St. Louis Area Council, Boy Scouts of America board meeting Sept. 17.

A lifesaving award, the Honor Medal is earned by youth or adult leaders who have demonstrated unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to self.

Jack credits the lifesaving and first aid training he received through the Boy Scouts for his ability to act quickly and remain calm in a dangerous situation. He has also earned the swimming merit badge, which he believes helped in his ability to rescue the girl.

“I try to live the Scout Oath and Law every day, “said Jack, a freshman at De Smet Jesuit High School. “Scouting has taught me a lot of valuable skills. I feel like I am a better person and I know how to do the right things thanks to the values that Scouting and my parents have taught me.”

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