Scouts in Action story in Boys’ Life inspires Cub Scout to save a life

One of the most popular sections of Boys’ Life magazine is Scouts in Action, a cartoon-style retelling of a true story of life-saving heroism.

What you might not know is that it’s sometimes difficult to convince a heroic Scout to let the BL editors tell his story in the magazine.

“I don’t need the extra recognition,” they often say.

“I was just doing what anyone would have done,” they say.

The counterargument to that, say the BL editors, is that by telling these stories, we aren’t just recognizing a single Scout. We are inspiring all Boys’ Life readers to act.

We’re saying, “You, too, can do this. You have the training. You’re prepared. You, too, can be a hero.”

Zoning in on Scouts in Action

Soon after Brendan Fatora joined Pack 219 in Fort Mill, S.C., as a Tiger last fall, he and his father Chuck sat down together and started reading Boys’ Life.

“He really zoned in on Scouts in Action,” Chuck Fatora says. “I read one to him, then he made me read another.”

One of the stories they read was the account of an 11-year-old Tenderfoot Scout who saved his sister from choking by performing abdominal thrusts. Brendan was fascinated. It was the first time the 6-year-old had heard of that technique.

What are the chances that the very next day … the very next day … the boy sitting next to Brendan at lunch would begin choking on his food?

According to paperwork filed by the Palmetto Council, “Brendan did not hesitate to act and pushed on the victim’s stomach. … After coughing and the involvement of a teacher, his classmate survived.”

When he got home from school later that day, Chuck says his son rather nonchalantly told him what had happened.

“I didn’t want my best friend to die,” Brendan said. “Boys’ Life magazine actually helped me, because he could have died.”

A proud father

His dad, understandably, was surprised and moved.

“He did just what the picture was in your magazine,” Chuck says.

Brendan will receive a Medal of Merit in a ceremony later this spring. He was also named the Palmetto Council’s “Scout of the Month” for January 2018.

“The point is,” says Chuck, “he didn’t not act, which is what I’m really proud of.

“Every time we get a new issue (of Boys’ Life), the first thing we read is Scouts in Action.”

Further reading

Click here for more true stories of Scouts in Action.

Click here for more information on how the BL editors choose the subjects of Scouts in Action.

About Aaron Derr 468 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.