Girl Scout receives “Medal of Honor” for saving a young boy from drowning

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 24, 2021

DESTREHAN — Evelyn Carter, a Girl Scout from Troop 20179 in Destrehan, was awarded the Girl Scouts USA Medal of Honor Award for rescuing a 7-year-old boy struggling to swim in a community pool.

Carter is one of only two girls in the history of the council to receive this award, which is reserved for Girl Scouts who have performed acts of heroism beyond the degree of maturity and training expected for their age.

She was just 10 years old when the incident occurred in July 2019. Carter is a strong swimmer and was participating in an aquatics fitness class when she noticed a boy jump off the diving board and struggle to tread water.

“After he jumped in, he looked kind of scared, so I watched him and started to make my way over to him in the water. I called out to him, and when he didn’t respond, I acted on my instincts,” said Carter.

She lifted him up from the water, getting him safely to the side of the pool where an instructor helped pull him from the water. Her quick and decisive action saved the life of the young boy, who was later identified as non-verbal.

As a result, Troop Leader Holly Phister nominated Carter for the Medal of Honor Award, one of the highest honors a Girl Scout can earn. The prestigious award is reserved for Girl Scouts who have performed acts of heroism beyond the degree of maturity and training expected for their age.

Following delays imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Girl Scouts Louisiana East CEO Rebecca Pennington presented Carter with the USA Medal of Honor Award in-person on Feb. 9.

“Evelyn is truly a hero. Her demonstrated fortitude and heroism saved a young child that day, and we couldn’t be prouder,” Pennington said. “At Girl Scouts, we strive to help girls develop the skills to improve their own lives and the world around them, and Evelyn is a testament of that, a shining example for Girl Scouts everywhere.”

The award has only been bestowed to a Girl Scouts Louisiana East Girl Scout twice in the history of the Council.

Carter is now working on earning her Girl Scout Bronze Award for her troop’s project, “Bat Houses” which helps provide a safe place for bats in her community to live and reproduce.