Originally published in Castine Patriot, May 30, 2019
Cub Scout receives rare Medal of Merit award
Katahdin Area Council Representative Sandy Smith, left, and Pack leader Dana Willis, far right, joined Luke Cukierski and his parents, Karen and Chad, as Cukierski was awarded the Medal of Merit on May 28.
by Monique Labbe
A 10-year old member of Boy Scout Pack 83 in Penobscot was awarded the Medal of Merit for a heroic act that happened in his own backyard two years ago.
The Merit Medal honors Scouts who have performed an act of meritorious service above and beyond what is normally expected of a youth or adult member of the Boy Scouts of America.
Luke Cukierski of Castine, then only 8 years old, was playing in his backyard with a 4-year-old girl when the nearly life-threatening event occurred. The young girl, who was playing on a swing set and slide combination play set, became wrapped in a heavy rope around the neck, momentarily dangling above the slide. Cukierski’s instincts kicked in, and he ran to help the girl, steadying her and lifting her out of harm’s way. The young girl walked away with rope burns, but no lasting injuries.
The event was recounted by Katahdin Area Council Representative Sandy Smith, who drove down to Penobscot to present Cukierski with the award on May 28.
“It is a very rare thing we get to do, to give this award,” said Smith prior to the award ceremony. “Only a handful are given around the country each year.”
Cukierski received the award with his parents, Chad and Karen Cukierski, by his side. His brother Jack, a fellow member of the Boy Scouts, was in the audience as well.
The young Boy Scout was solemn during the ceremony, giving a small smile while being presented his award. His father, who also serves as a pack leader, said he was “incredibly proud” of his son.
“It’s a huge honor for Luke,” he said. “He was only 8 years old when it happened. It shows extreme maturity.”
Following Cukierski’s award, members of the Cub Scout and Boy Scout packs also moved up in ranks and received badges and awards for their work.