A community newsletter serving New Melle, Defiance, Augus​ta, Marthasville, Dutzow​​ a​nd surrounding areas.

Local Scout, Jacob Kramer, Honored with Medal of Merit

On Monday, June 3, at Troop 856’s Scout meeting in New Melle, the courageous youth member Jacob Kramer was awarded the Boy Scouts of America Medal of Merit for his exceptional bravery and service in implementing Scouting skills and ideals.
According to Laura Enge, the Scouting District Director, the Medal of Merit is not just a rare honor; it's a highly regarded one. Jacob's exceptional actions on February 12 earned him this prestigious and rare award.

Jacob with medal and certificate.jpg

While on his way to his scout meeting, Jacob smelled smoke and shared with his father, Chris Kramer, that it didn't smell like wood." “Something is not right,” Jacob said, and as he looked around, he thought he saw some flames in the distance. He made Chris, who was driving, turn around.“When we did find the home that was going up in flames, we jumped out,” said Chris. “The area around the door had flames 10 feet high; they were going into the roof, and the siding was melting.”

Jacob called 911 and spoke with the dispatcher while Chris tried to determine if anyone was in the house. “The dog in the backyard wouldn’t leave the backdoor, so I was concerned that someone was inside,” said Chris.

Jacob checked the exterior of the house and heard dogs barking inside. Chris added, “Jacob said, ‘Dad, there are more dogs inside; we have to get them out!’ So we got a flashlight out of the truck and entered through the backdoor, through the smoke, and found two dogs, who quickly ran outside and joined the other dog.”

Upon later reflection, Chris shared that Jacob’s observation of the situation and his insistence that they turn around and try to find and assist with the fire were skills that could be attributed to what Jacob is learning in Scouting.

“His actions were timely; had we been minutes later, the damage would have been exponentially worse. The fire was gaining momentum quickly,” Chris said. “Jacob is an animal lover, and I believe he is responsible for saving the dogs that were inside. The family was not home that night but thanked us the next day for stopping the fire and saving the dogs.”

The Boy Scouts of America awards the Medal of Merit to a member who has carried out an exceptional act of service that reflects an unusual level of concern for the well-being of others.“It is so easy to have tunnel vision, to focus on what is directly in front of us, our own business, and not pay close attention to some problem, some other place,” said Enge, as she presented the award. “Jacob did the hard thing, the right thing and acted in a situation that would have been easy to ignore, and he had a tremendous impact.”