Local scout heralded as life-saver - Republic-Times | News

Local scout heralded as life-saver

By on April 12, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Pictured, Waterloo Boy Scout Sam Thomas proudly displays the commendation he received from Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith. (Sean McGowan photo)

Waterloo Boy Scout Sam Thomas traveled to Galena last winter for a ski trip with some of the kids and scout leaders in his troop.

As with most kids his age, the 14-year-old sat around with friends in their hotel one day wondering what to do to pass the time.

“Let’s go to the pool,” someone in the group suggested.

Unbeknownst to them, such a mundane decision would change Sam’s life, who learned in his four years as a boy scout to pay attention to his surroundings, as well as the life of a toddler and her mother.

“I saw a few kids playing around the pool. Their parents were watching them,” he said. ‘OK, they’ll be fine,’ I thought. I was with a few of my buddies, and this little girl came walking over (by us).

“I saw this woman. I thought it must have been her mom. She kept talking to the little girl, telling her, ‘Don’t go in the deep end. Don’t go in the deep end.’ It was like nine feet deep…>>>

Read the rest of this story and view more photos in the April 12 issue of the Republic-Times. If you don’t already receive the paper, you can subscribe by calling 939-3814 or clicking here, or pick up a copy at any of these locations.


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Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years. email:sean@republictimes.net