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Loveland Girl Scout awarded Girl Scouts of the USA Medal of Honor for her heroic, life-saving measur

Girl Scouts of the USA awards the Medal of Honor for “saving life or attempting to save life without risk to the candidate’s own life.”

Rachel Metcalf, 18, of Loveland, was awarded GSUSA’s Medal of Honor for her heroic, life-saving measures on June 16, 2021, at Boyd Lake State Park. Rachel and others from the GECCCOs (Girls Experiencing Camping, Canoeing and Cycling Outdoors) Girl Scout troop were leading the canoe program at a day camp for Girl Scouts and younger siblings at Boyd Lake last June when a sudden microburst capsized several canoes and day campers into white-capped water.

Rachel was working on shore when the wind picked up and she took immediate action to help get capsized canoers back to shore. After tying one canoe to her kayak so she could paddle them back to shore, she went back out to help others. Her troopmate was struggling to stay calm as wind-whipped waves continually splashed her in the face, and Rachel was able to calm her down and got her to hold on to her kayak while she paddled her to shore. 

“I was really proud of Rachel for staying calm and having the ability to completely act on her own to decide who she could safely help,” said troop leader Robyn Metcalf, who is also Rachel’s mom. “She had the knowledge to understand that the water was getting too rough to go back out a third time and instead stayed onshore to help out with gear.”

Awarding of the Medal of Honor is rare. A Girl Scout from Highlands Ranch received the Medal of Honor last June for assisting in saving the life of a classmate who suffered from a seizure; and in 2016, a Girl Scout from Northglenn was awarded a Medal of Honor for saving her mother’s life and a Girl Scout from Steamboat Springs received the recognition for saving lives after coming upon a bus crash.

“Rachel exercised the courage and the confidence she built through 13 years of Girl Scouting by staying calm and taking action,” say Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO Leanna Clark. “Rachel, along with her troopmates, are excellent examples of the way Girl Scouting builds leaders.”

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