Local Boy Scouts awarded Medal of Merit

Chris and Jon Shopes were awarded the Boy Scouts of America Medal of Merit by Scoutmaster Bryan Snyder at the Troop 713 Court of Honor held on May 27. The Medal of Merit is one of the highest honors bestowed by the BSA for scouts that perform “some outstanding act of service of a rare or exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.” Only 100-150 Medals of Merit are awarded by the BSA annually.

The twin brothers put into action skills in first-aid taught in Troop 713 by Dr. Mary Bavaro of the Naval Medical Center San Diego and from many years of lifesaving drills in the Del Mar Junior Lifeguard program. When just 12 years old, Chris and Jon were on vacation in Texas when their mom was involved in a boating accident. The boys responded instantly and pulled her out of the water. Jon started first aid at the dock while Chris ran to call 911 and direct the paramedics. Their mom was flown by helicopter to a Houston trauma center and has fully recovered.