Scouts honored for hiker rescue

February 21, 2008 8:43:49 PM PST
Side by side, members of Troop 226 stood on stage grasping the National Medal of Merit awarded to them tonight. Joining them on stage was Jane Scholl, whose eyes were welling with tears.

"I'm blessed and they saved my life and I can't thank them enough," said Scholl.

It was back in October that Jane was hiking Blue Mountain and took a nasty fall. The troop, on a weekend retreat, saw her bleeding and disoriented.

"It was obvious she was injured and she was attempting to hike another six miles to her car. It was obvious she couldn't do it," said troop leader Chris Gallagher.

The troop put their skills to work and built a makeshift stretcher.

"We got all of our sweatshirts, we went into the woods and grabbed two sticks and threaded them through our sweatshirts and made a stretcher," said Bill Bowman.

The troop carried Jane three miles to safety.

"It's amazing these guys just stepped forward and did what they had to do," said Gallagher.

Jane says she is still astounded by the generosity of strangers, especially strangers who are so young.

"I work in juvenile detention. I have for 10 years, so I'm used to getting the bad. It's very heartwarming to see the good," she said.

So it seemed only appropriate that Jane pinned each member of the troop with the National Medal of Merit.

This is a pretty special award. The National Boy Scout Association does not give this award out annually. Only troops who do something truly extraordinary are honored.

"I'm just glad that we could help so she could be here to thank us," said Andrew Swartz.