Things look bad right now.
The days are short. The nights are cold. Half of America is furious that the president got impeached. The other half is furious he didn’t get impeached harder. Fourteen candidates dropped out of the 2020 presidential race and somehow we still have 18 people running for president.
But good news.
The children will save us.
They do it all the time.
Kids like 8-year-old Logan Luedtke, who’s at his best when things look worst.
The Luedtke family was on the way to grandma’s house in Eden Prairie last year when their car skidded off an icy road, rolled down an embankment and landed in a creek.
“That’s every parent’s worst nightmare,” said his mother, Nicole Luedtke, “to be in a rollover car accident with all three of your kids, and to land in water.”
While Nicole wrestled with the jammed driver-side door, Logan swung into action.
“He amazed me,” his mother said. Logan calmly unbuckled himself, then helped his 6-year-old brother, Preston, out of the car, across the frigid creek and up the embankment. Nicole crawled into the back seat to free 2-year-old Donovan from his car seat but struggled with another jammed door.
“Without any hesitation at all, here comes Logan,” she said. “Back through the cold water and slippery rocks, rips open the door, takes Donovan from me [and] carries him so his 2-year-old brother stays completely dry.”
While Nicole retrieved her phone and some winter gear from the car, Logan waited on the shore, holding on to his little brothers’ hands, promising them that everything was going to be OK. When Preston started shivering, Logan took off his coat and tried to give it to him.
That day, Logan, a Cub Scout, earned merit badges they haven’t even invented yet.
Earlier this month, Logan, now 9, earned one more: the Boy Scouts’ national Heroism Award.
There are so many kids saving so many lives, the Twin Cities-based Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts of America estimates it awards three or four heroism awards each year: to scouts who step in at accident scenes, or jump in when they see someone struggling in the water, or step up to recognize the warning signs of a stroke in time to get someone to the hospital.
A year before Logan lived up to the Scout oath to “help other people at all times,” a Minneapolis Eagle Scout was rafting down the Snake River in Idaho when he found himself in the right place at the worst time.
Veldon Hix, 78, was driving along the Snake River Canyon in October 2017 when he suffered a fatal heart attack behind the wheel. The car crashed through a guardrail and tumbled 600 feet into the river, trapping Arlene Hix, his wife of 58 years, in the half-submerged vehicle.
Then came the first of “many, many miracles,” she later told the East Idaho News. Liam Gunsbury, then 16, was on the river with his father and a local guide. With the help of an off-duty sheriff’s sergeant who jumped into their boat to help, they maneuvered through the frigid water, climbed onto the crashed vehicle and pulled Arlene Hix through the sunroof to safety.
“Once I got in the boat, I said, ‘I bet I’m the biggest fish you’ve ever caught,’ ” Hix told the local paper.
Gunsbury earned the Boy Scouts of America’s national Medal of Merit this month for his role in returning Arlene Hix to her seven children, 31 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
It’s probably wrong to expect the children to save us. But the children are very good at this.
Girl Scout Karah Stangret was leading a five-day, student-only winter trek through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in February 2018 when one member of the group suffered a life-threatening allergic reaction.
Stangret, an Andover High School senior at the time, assessed her friend Morgan — who was pale, gasping for breath and suffering chest pains — and radioed the adult chaperones who were leading other groups on the “Survive and Thrive” winter camping trip. Then she jabbed an EpiPen into her friend’s thigh to ward off anaphylactic shock, loaded her onto a sled and pulled Morgan out of the nonmotorized stretch of the wilderness area until they met up with rescuers on a snowmobile, who were able to get the patient to a hospital in Grand Marais.
Everyone survived, everyone thrived, and Karah Stangret earned the Medal of Honor from the Girl Scouts of the USA.
“I just tried to stay calm, so I could keep Morgan calm,” Stangret said in a statement at the time. “Even though it was very scary, I kept calm so I could think clearly and share information effectively.”
Nine years ago, a 13-year-old Boy Scout from Maple Grove named Daniel Chapman jumped in a pool and saved a drowning toddler. When a Star Tribune reporter asked him why, he shrugged it off.
“My adrenaline took over,” he told the reporter, right before he went back to playing with his friends. “What else was I going to do?”
So kids, thank you in advance for saving everyone.
Let us know if we can return the favor.