Unsung Hero: Scout rescues elderly man who slipped in the snow

Scott Kwok in the man's driveway

This is Unsung Heroes, a Bryan on Scouting blog series celebrating under-reported acts of Scouting heroism. These are stories that don’t make national headlines — but should. That’s doubly true in this world that can always use more good news. Read the latest story below, and find instructions for sharing your own Unsung Heroes story at the end of the post.

“Dad!” Scott Kwok shouted, panicked. But Scott’s dad, Sun, was already stopping the car.

Scott and Sun saw the same concerning sight at the same time: a man lying on his side in the snow. The man held a newspaper and stack of mail. He was wearing only a light jacket, fleece pajama pants and slippers.

“He wasn’t wearing the right type of clothes for being outside,” Scott says. “We quickly realized something was wrong.”

Scott, a Life Scout, and his dad, a longtime Scouting volunteer, didn’t hesitate. They ran to the man’s side. The man, who is 90, told Scott and Sun that he couldn’t get back up.

“He told us that one car had driven by without stopping,” Sun says.

Scott went to one side while Sun went to the other. Together, they checked for injuries and saw none, silently thanking the 6 inches of snow for cushioning his fall. Scott and Sun helped the man back to his feet and walked him to his warm house where his wife was asleep.

“I believe that it’s important to help others without expecting anything in return,” Scott says. “Scouting has shown me that it’s all about being a part of the community, about helping others and doing the right thing.”

But this helpful, courteous and kind pair wasn’t done.

Continuing to serve

When they spotted the man, the Kwoks were just leaving a Thanksgiving weekend visit to Scott’s grandfather’s house in Appleton, Wis. They had just turned the corner, in fact.

And so, after helping the man inside, Scott and Sun returned to Scott’s grandfather’s house for some important tools: a snow blower, shovels and salt.

Hoping to prevent future accidents, Scott and Sun spent an hour clearing the man’s driveway and sidewalks. After that, they “salted the heck out of the path to his mailbox,” Sun says.

When they were done, Scott went to the door to check on the man. He said he was OK and thanked Scott and Sun for their help.

On the drive south along Lake Michigan, Scott and Sun were discussing what they could do to help the man further. They live four hours away, so returning to shovel after every snowfall wasn’t an option. They’re hoping a troop in the BSA’s Bay-Lakes Council would be willing to help out. (If that’s you, send me an email and I can connect you.)

“What makes Scouts different and what makes a Scout a leader is a willingness to take action,” Sun says. “That decision can have a huge impact on other people’s lives.”

Scott (center) is his troop's senior patrol leader.
Scott (center) is his troop’s senior patrol leader.

No thanks needed

Scott didn’t do any of this for recognition. In fact, it was his Troop 597 Scoutmaster, Adan Campos, who reached out to us with the story.

For Scott, this kind of good turn is exactly what any Scout should do. And as his troop’s senior patrol leader, Scott knows he has an extra duty to set a good example.

“You don’t need to have a title to lead,” he says. “You lead by your actions every day.

“You should help others even if you don’t get any recognition for it. It’s what makes Scouts so special.”

Helpful resources

The BSA is committed to helping young people enjoy Scouting — and life — safely. Here are some Health & Safety resources worth sharing:

Share your Unsung Heroes story

Stories like these brighten my day — especially because I know this kind of thing happens regularly in Scouting.

Here’s how to share the news of an Unsung Hero in your pack, troop or crew:

  1. Send an email to me with the subject line “Unsung Heroes.”
  2. Include a detailed summary of the heroic act.
  3. Include any “supporting documentation” you can. Examples include links to a story in your local newspaper, paperwork for a Scouting heroism award nomination or eyewitness accounts.
  4. Include high-res photos of the Unsung Hero.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.