SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras –
After weeks of training with members of Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element (MEDEL), seven members of the Association of Scouts of Honduras received their first aid merit badge and certificate during a small ceremony at a school in Comayagua, Nov. 2.
"A scout chooses their motto 'be prepared,' and they seek to prepare themselves for anything from rescue, to fording a stream, to gathering firewood, to helping strangers, to knowing right from wrong, to serving their fellow man, country, and God. Always to 'be prepared'," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Chris Havermale, an Eagle Scout who serves as a MEDEL pharmacy technician as well as Joint Task Force-Bravo's Scout Coordinator. "Having the ability and knowledge to train them in first aid has been a lot of fun and an amazing experience because these young men and women are very dedicated and really want to learn."
Thirteen Honduran Scouts worked hard over several weeks, learning CPR, how to build a first aid kit and transport a patient, as well as basic plant and animal knowledge. The scouts also learned how to teach these skills to others. MEDEL members volunteered to work with the Scouts during their spare time. While only seven Scouts were able to be on hand to receive the badge at the ceremony, the rest will receive it at a later date.
This first aid badge was the first to be awarded to any group of Scouts in Central America and was designed by the Havermale for these young men and women.
During the ceremony U.S. Army Capt. Chris Parker, MEDEL Company Commander and Eagle Scout, discussed being an Eagle Scout, his experiences as a troop leader, and his encounters with the Scout program.
"Such satisfaction cannot be purchased at any price; it must be earned through service and devotion," said Parker. "What a glorious thing it is to have even a small part in helping to build boys into men, real men. That is the purpose of Scouting - to build adults with integrity."