By Mike LaCrosse

CHELMSFORD (CBS) – A Chelmsford 12-year-old is the recipient of the Girl Scouts’ highest award, the Girl Scout Medal of Honor.

“It’s something anyone else would do and I was just paying attention,” said Girl Scout Tayla McLernon.

That something for Tayla McLernon was saving a one-year-old baby from nearly drowning. It happened at a pool in Chelmsford last summer.

Tayla McLernon (WBZ-TV)

“I just saw her head go underwater and I rushed cause I didn’t even think of anything and just ran past my mom and grabbed her and thankfully she was only coughing so I just patted her on the back and handed her to the lifeguard,” said McLernon.

Last week McLernon was awarded the Medal of Honor at a ceremony in Boston. The rare award requires approval from the organization at the national level.

“It is higher than any high honor a girl can earn,” said Chelmsford Girl Scout Service Unit Coordinator Judi Harris.

Harris helped get the ball rolling for McLernon to receive the award.

“Trust your girls, trust your kids, give them the ability to do it on their own and if they’re slow at it be patient they’re going to get it,” said Harris.

McLernon, who calls herself a mermaid during the summer, plans on being a lifeguard when she turns sixteen.

Mike LaCrosse