Aaron Apple Earns National Boy Scout “Medal of Merit”

At the most recent Court of Honor for Boy Scout Troop 856 from Immaculate Heart of Mary, Aaron Apple was recognized for his life saving actions in the summer of 2015.

During the summer camp for Troop 856, 40+ boys and 20+ adults attended Cole Canoe Base in Michigan. It was a week of earning merit badges, participating in cook offs, getting hands-on experience with water skiing, ATVs, fishing, tent camping and so many more fun activities. It was an incredible week with activities each night for the entire camp. In mid week there was a Lumber Jack Festival with 2-man sawing, tomahawk throwing, muzzle loader shooting and a pancake eating contest for the Scout Masters. Tony Williams was the representative for Troop 856. He stood at the table and when they shouted “Start!” Tony began putting pancakes into his mouth. After the first one he was on pace to win.  He added a second large pancake and took a breath in, but at the same time swallowed a large portion of pancakes.  There were several adults, scouts standing cheering all the participants on.  Tony started to show signs of distress. Facial features changed, he started to appear panicked and then showed the universal sign of choking “hands around neck”.  In a instant, Aaron Apple jumped from nearby and stood behind Mr. Williams and attempted the Heimlich Maneuver.  After a few thrusts a large portion of pancakes came out and instantly Mr. Williams took in a deep breath. 

All adults and scouts in the area were amazed how Aaron saw the signs and jumped in with any hesitation. First aid is covered in all ages of Scouting. The First Aid merit badge is a required badge for all scouts who earn the rank of Eagle; so it is true that with repeated exposure of skills and values it becomes part of who you are.
Aaron is 17 years old and has been a scout for the past 12 years.  He continues to work up the ranks in Boy Scouting and leadership, and  is currently the Senior Patrol Leader for Troop 856.

On December 4th, 2017, Aaron received the National Medal of Merit award. He received a certificate and a knot badge (which can be worn on his scout and adult Boy Scouting uniform.)  The certificate reads: The Medal of Merit presented by the National Court of Honor Boy Scouts of America to Aaron Apple for outstanding service in implementing scouting skills and ideals.

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Aaron Apple and his father, Mark Apple, Assistant Scout Master for Troop 856.
Aaron was awarded the Medal of Merit for the lifesaving actions
he took at a summer camp in 2015.