The Mid-America Chapter of the Boy Scouts, which covers parts of Iowa and Nebraska, is being given the Husker State’s 2008 Local Hero Award in recognition of service and leadership during an emergency. Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy says the council’s Boy Scouts worked bravely to save each other after a tornado ripped through their western Iowa camp in June.
Sheehy says: "It’s safe to say our entire state is in awe of the way these young men handled themselves and we are so pleased to help recognize their efforts. They proved a Scout can face danger, even when they’re afraid." Four Boy Scouts were killed in the storm — three from Omaha and one from Eagle Grove, Iowa — and more than 40 were injured.
The boys used their first aid training and other Scout skills to rescue and treat each other until emergency crews could get onto the scene. John McMillon, a spokesman for the Mid American Chapter, says the people of both states — and from all across the country — have given generously to the cause.
McMillon says they’ve collected nearly $375,000 in an effort to rebuild the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in Harrison County. He says work is being done to add underground shelters for the boys to use in the case of future storms.
McMillon says: "We made good progress restoring the camp. Many, if not most of the trees that were damaged have been cut down and taken out of the area. We’ve rebuilt the ranger home that was destroyed in that disaster." A memorial committee is also working to find the best way to remember the Scouts who died in the tornado.