Cochran receives Eagle Scout
Drew Cochran, 18, of Boy Scout Troop 638 was honored at a special Eagle Scout ceremony at 2 p.m. on June 1 at his residence in Cottonwood, Idaho in the presence of his troop, friends and family. Drew is the son of Terry and Jennifer Cochran.
To earn Scouting’s highest award, Drew had to earn over 21 merit badges, serve as a leader in his troop and complete a major community service project. Drew’s service project was reconstructing the Cottonwood City Dog Pound. The project was completed last fall.
Drew has been a member of Troop 638, chartered to the Knights of Columbus, for 12 years. He served in the positions of scribe, patrol leader and senior patrol leader. Drew just graduated from Prairie High School on May 30 and has accepted an appointment to West Point. Drew is the 4th member of Troop 638 to receive an Eagle award. Scoutmaster Shari Chaffee commended Drew for his perseverance which he demonstrated in completing the swimming merit badge. Chaffee wished Drew the best in his future endeavors. Drew’s leadership this last year has motivated his fellow scouts and encouraged the boys to persevere in accomplishing their goals.
Drew was also presented the BSA National Honor Award for his efforts in saving rafters on the Salmon River last August. The picture of Drew receiving the award was in the June 5th edition of the Chronicle. Fellow scouts nominated Drew to be part of the Order of the Arrow where he will complete his Ordeal in June.
Congratulations on these prestigious accomplishments,
Shari Chaffee, Scoutmaster
Letter of Recommendation for Honor Award
While on an eight day water rafting trip on the Lower Salmon River in Idaho, our raft became stuck on a large rock in the center current of the Pine Bar Rapids, a class 3 whitewater rapid, near Pine Bar Recreation site, effectively stranding four people and all of our group’s gear, food and water. This is a remote area miles from paved roads and civilization. We tried to get out of the raft to dislodge it from the rock, to no avail. The weight of the cargo plus the strong current prevented the boat from breaking free. Meanwhile, the other two rafts and kayak in our group were downstream from us. Some of them attempted to reach us by kayak and raft, however, the current proved too strong for them. As we had all the provisions for the trip, no one had any food or water. After some time we were able to lower down lunch provisions via a rope which they then retrieved with a kayak.
We hailed passing rafts for help. One subject attempted to catch a rope we had lowered downstream. He made several whole-hearted attempts, but again, to no avail. He was a very strong, able-bodied oarsman but the current and the rapids were simply too strong for him. The rapids in that area were bank to bank, so it wasn’t an option to be rescued from the shore, and we were too far out to have a rope thrown to us. The rocks below the fast moving rapids made it impossible for a jet boat to come to our rescue, and any boat couldn’t stop at our location if they came from above.
After 6 or 7 hours we noticed a car arrive at the recreation area. We were able to use hand signals, as the roar of the river prevented any verbal communication on the raft, much less to our crews downstream, and have them run to meet the car. We found later that the driver agreed to drive the miles to Cottonwood to notify the authorities of our situation, and to request assistance. At this time we were not sure if our downstream crews had been able to make contact with the vehicle or not, and were making plans to either spend the night in the stranded raft, or jettison our cargo with hopes someone would catch it and risk life and limb by jumping into the fast moving water and try to swim to shore, all the while avoiding the dangerous rocks downstream from us. As the raft was taking on water and we were near exhaustion from bailing water all day, neither option was appealing to us. Our raft had everything that was essential to our group’s survival, so losing anything could have spelled catastrophe. However, when we began to prepare to jump ship, we noticed police lights and saw two people in our lower raft, rowing towards us. Drew Cochran and Harry were attempting to get to the rope that we had lowered. After superhuman efforts Drew managed to row up to the rope, which Harry caught. They then pulled, and rowed, the large raft to our location in an exceptionally strong current and white water rapids. All attempts by everyone previously had been unsuccessful, and we strongly doubted anyone would be able to rescue us. Drew did not give up on his endeavor to save us, and he put his entire being into rowing right up to us. He then assisted us, and transferred out gear onto the second raft and we were able to get both rafts downstream to rejoin our group.
For nearly 8 hours we had been stuck on that raft in the current while our party waited downstream. We cannot put into words the relief we felt the moment we touched shore. Here was a young man who never hesitated to give selflessly of everything in his being to rescue 4 complete strangers. His strength, determination, stamina, and shear will not only saved our lives, but our raft and belongings as well.
On that day, Drew displayed uncommon courage, strength and selflessness with grace, integrity, and humility. He is an outstanding example of all Boy Scouts represents. It is with extreme gratitude that our entire crew strongly recommends Drew Cochran to receive a Boy Scout Lifesaving Award. We thank Drew with all our hearts for his incredible efforts that day. You are truly our angel! Marina and Lara Weatherly, Bruce Gerecke and Veronica Brown.
Editor’s Note: The photos of Drew receiving the award that resulted from this and a photo of the award itself were published in last week’s update.