To Kelly Brooks, a 13-year-old Girl Scout, the little boy she saved from drowning last summer is a nameless child who was yelled at by his mother for venturing out too far in the Potomac River.
No acknowledgment came from the boy's parents, no "thank you." To this day, the eighth-grader at Crofton Middle School doesn't even know the name of the 4-year-old boy she pulled from the water.
"The current probably would have taken him away," said Kelly, wholives in the Hallmark Woods community near Crofton. "He was coughingup water. His mother came over and started yelling at him for going out too deep. She didn't say anything to me."
But Kelly was recognized. Last night, the eight-year Scout veteran and member of Pack 1101 received a Medal of Honor Lifesaving Award from the Girl Scouts of the USA.
Only eight of these awards have been given in the last five years to Central Maryland's 25,000 Girl Scouts.
"Not many earn it," said Terri Charles, marketing specialist for the Girl Scout chapter.
Only registered Girl Scouts between 5 and 17 years old who "have shown evidence of saving or attempting to save a life under circumstances indicating heroism or risk to her own life" are eligible forthe award.
It was May 26, Memorial Day weekend, and Kelly and hertroop had just finished a "Water Rats" canoeing trip at the town of Little Orleans, near Green Ridge State Park in Allegany County.
"It was a public beach, and a whole bunch of the girls were on a swing jumping into the water," Kelly said. "There was a group of us watching that. I heard some splashing. There was a little boy in the water. He went under and I swam over to him, picked him out of the water andtook him to shore."
That was not the first time Kelly saved a life, although she plays down a previous incident. When she was 6, her 2-year-old sister, Lindsey, became tangled in a curtain cord and walked off the end of a couch.
Kelly said she called 911 and her mother, who came rushing in and got Lindsey down.