Cub Scout Robert R. displays his Medal of Merit Award for rescuing two toddlers from drowning. (Photo credit: Catholicphilly.com)
When one Cub Scout visited his local swim club last summer, he didn’t expect to leave the pool a life-saver. Yet when the Scout spotted two toddlers drowning in the deep end, he sprung into action and rescued the pair in the blink of an eye.
Robert R. of the Cradle of Liberty Council was at the Winchester Swim Club when he saw a 3-year-old and 4-year-old brother and sister drowning in the 12-foot diving area of the pool with deflated floaties. Even before the lifeguard on duty had time to act, the Cub Scout grabbed the toddlers and swam them to shallow water. Robert was only 7 years old at the time.
Now 8, Robert was honored for his extraordinary heroism by receiving the BSA’s Medal of Merit award. The honor is given to those in Scouting who perform some outstanding act of service of a rare character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.
The Scout’s dad, Bob, witnessed his son’s skillful rescue and believes the toddlers were pulled by an undertow where the shallow and deep water intersected. Bob says the toddlers’ parents were part of a birthday party and did not know what happened to their children until after Robert rescued them.
“They were very embarrassed. They just picked the kids out of the pool and left. Robert really did a great thing that day,” Bob said of his son to CatholicPhilly.com.
Robert’s teacher Eileen Rocks said she was “flabbergasted” when she heard the news.
“But it’s typical of him. He’s a kind and polite young man who is always ready to help, and his parents are very supportive of him,” Rocks shared.
The Scout was humble in his account of the experience and simply wanted to do the right thing.
“I felt good that I could keep them above the water,” he said.
Bob, a lieutenant with the 17th district of the Philadelphia Police Department, was overjoyed and moved by his son’s courage.
“The pride beaming from my heart is more than I can describe,” he said.
Read the full story on this outstanding Scout who used what he learned in Scouting to save two youngsters by visiting CatholicPhilly.com.