We all know that our BSA Scouting Motto is: “Be Prepared.” The Founder of Scouting, Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, England, when asked by a reporter in the early 1900’s, “Be prepared for what?” replied: “Why, for any old thing, of course!”
Through an exemplary display of living these words, Jayden Easley of Troop 26 (“26 KICKS!”), Aquia District in Stafford, VA, earned the BSA Medal of Merit. Jayden proved to “Be Prepared” by showing confidence, initiative and quickly taking actions to save the life of a fellow classmate when he unexpectedly faced an emergency that required using his Scouts BSA First Aid training skills at school.
Here’s what happened: On Friday, September 10, 2021, while attending Ms. LaFrance’s French class at A.G. Wright Middle School, Stafford VA, a student in the class appeared to be choking on something and fell to the floor. Without hesitating, Jayden asked the student if they could talk or breath… they were unable to respond. Jayden quickly began to apply first aid by helping the student to stand and then applied back thrusts in an attempt to remove any obstruction. When the back thrusts were ineffective, Jayden then applied the Heimlich maneuver. It is unsure if the victim was actually choking on something or not, but after Jayden’s actions, the student was able to begin breathing again. Other students in the room went to retrieve the school nurse when Jayden began first aid, but by the time the nurse arrived the student was breathing again. The victim was taken to the nurse’s office to make sure everything was okay, which the class later found out was the case.
Jayden’s teacher, Ms LaFrance, added that it was “a scary few minutes” but Jayden was “right there” to offer assistance with the Heimlich maneuver. She added that Jayden was very calm and acted without hesitation.
During his Board of Review with the BSA National Court of Honor committee, Jayden credited his actions to the first aid he learned from his Troop Guides and a Troop-sponsored First Aid/CPR class he attended in 2021.
During a Court of Honor, held on 13 April 2022, officiated by Dara Campbell, Aquia District Executive, Jayden’s meritorious actions were honored and celebrated by fellow Scouts, friends and family. Jayden’s parents were clearly so very proud to take roles by pinning the Medal of Merit on Jayden’s uniform and presenting him with the framed certificate. In his remarks, Jayden humbly thanked everyone involved with submitting him for the award, for organizing and attending the Court of Honor and to those Scouts and Scouters who helped him learn and perfect his Scouting First Aid skills so that he could “Be Prepared” when it mattered most.