January 18, 2013

Training credited for skills used in crisis


---- — LAKE PLACID — Adirondack whitewater guide Jason Smith did not grow up in Scouting, but he helped lead many Lake Placid Outing Club adventures for the Boy Scouts.

“I met Ian McMullen probably when he was 13, and we started on a flat-water paddling course. He was always a smart, good, responsible kid. Now he works with me at the shop at Adirondack Lakes and Trails.

“I met Luke Eckert in the same manner. He was the kid who learned to roll (in a kayak) faster than anybody else. Luke is now this young adult with lots of confidence and true leadership qualities. I’ve seen them both go from being students to leaders,” Jason said.

Both young men, Jason observed, have made the transition to being part of the tight-knit Adirondack paddling community.

It is somewhat unusual for the Boy Scouts to present an award to someone outside of the organization, the guide surmised.

But it is likely that the long-term training time spent with Luke and Ian led to the commendation.

“The award itself is certainly an honor,” Jason said.

“I look to accept for all those who have been caught in a life-or-death situation, no matter the outcome. There are a lot of people who act and lend a hand in a life-saving event who go unrecognized. I am accepting this award for all of them.”

In 102 years of Boy Scouts’ history, only 270 people have earned the Honor Award with Crossed Palms commendation, according to Twin Rivers Adirondack District Executive Ryan Lee, who is based in Plattsburgh.

Ian grew up as part of Troop 10 in Lake Placid and Luke with Troop 12 in Paul Smiths. 

Both participated in Crew 525, an adventure group, after they achieved Eagle Scout status.

The Boy Scout of America National Court of Honor Ceremony for Jason, Ian and Luke will be held 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Paul Smith’s College. It is open to the public.

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