Because Jeffrey Anderson rendered what might be considered the ultimate "good turn," his 3-year-old cousin, Cody, is alive today.
On March 25, 1989, Jeff was on a family outing near Worm Creek, northeast of Preston, Idaho. A member of Troop 389 in the Crescent 3rd Ward, Sandy Utah Crescent Park Stake, Jeff was a Star Scout.Jeff, 11 years old at the time, took his cousin, Cody Owen, 3, and Cody's 8-year-old sister, Cathie, down to a bridge on the creek to skip rocks off the water. They were not very successful, as the water was moving very fast from snow melting in the nearby mountains.
As Jeff and Cathie began to return to the nearby house, Cody did not follow. Moments later, the 3-year-old's cries alerted them that Cody had fallen off the bridge into the water about 6 feet below.
As the rushing water carried Cody about 50 yards, Jeff ran along the 6-foot embankment. He shouted to the toddler to grab hold of a tree lying across the water. Cody did so, reprieving him from likely drowning in the reservoir just downstream.
"Jeff made the decision not to go into the water at that point," recounted his mother, Vickie. "Had he done so, he probably would have missed Cody, and might have knocked the tree loose."
Instead, Jeff left Cathie on the bank to shout encouragement to her brother, while he ran to a spot on the other side of the creek where he could safely enter the water. When he reached Cody, the boy was semi-conscious, and clutching the tree with only one hand.
Jeff pulled Cody from the water. Two other cousins who had come down to the creek in the meantime were sent back to the house for help.
Jeff carried Cody toward the house and was met by adults in the family, who treated the boy for hypothermia.
Today, Jeff is president of his deacons quorum and an Eagle Scout in the stake where his father, Garth, presides.
For his act of bravery, Jeff was one of eight Scouts selected nationally to meet with U.S. President George Bush in a Scouting report to the nation in February 1990. He was awarded the Honor Medal from the National Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Sister Anderson credits the training and activities Jeff received in Scouting with helping him to think fast and exercise good judgment.
A student at Crescent View Middle School, Jeff enjoys basketball, rock collecting and playing the piano and cello. To earn spending money, he delivers the Deseret News.