A Salt Lake teen has been presented Camp Fire's National Award for Courage in saving her sister's life during a boating accident two years ago at Lake Powell.
May Thomas, then only 14, was honored June 3 during a Salt Lake Grand Council Fire, held annually to recognize the achievements of Camp Fire youths and volunteers. The gathering was held at Scout Circle in Fairmont Park, Salt Lake City.The award is presented to a youth or adult member of Camp Fire who, "by presence of mind, good judgment and courageous action" saves one or more lives. On June 23, 1986, May saved the life of her sister, Shellie Dee Thomas, now 25, who was knocked unconscious during the boating mishap south of Bullfrog Marina.
Both girls, daughters of Kent and Royalene Thomas, were riding bumper tubes, which were being pulled by a speedboat. Ropes pulling the tubes became crossed, striking Shellie in the neck and knocking her unconscious. May immediately left her tube to swim to the aid of Shellie, whose face and head were under water.
May, who will be a senior next fall at Olympus High School, is the first Utahn to receive the award, according to Michael Cordray, executive director, Utah Camp Fire Council
May is a member of the Utah Camp Fire Council board and will attend a national youth conference July 16-22 in San Diego.