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Common Ground

One of the most fun and enjoyable and rewarding things I have been involved in over the years is helping young boys become young men.

By sponsoring Eagle Scout projects, I get to watch fledgling Boy Scouts become mature Eagles. Once a Scout attains this highest and hardest ranking, they are no longer “Boy” Scouts, they are “Eagle” Scouts.

Only the top 5 per cent of Scouts even try for this honor. That means only the cream of the crop come knocking on my door to ask for help with their projects. They do all the work and much of my reward is watching them develop their leadership skills.



Some of the projects that stick out in my mind are the more difficult ones, but they were also the most fun.

Jason Wagner helped find and sign portions of the Old Ute Trail while Frank Olsen was alive to help him. It took another successful Eagle candidate to finish the job, and though I’ve lost track of both young men, the fruits of their labor have been long-lasting.



One project that lasted longer than any of us could have imagined was the George Sudworth re-photography project Will Bevins completed. With help from a score of volunteers, Will was able to retake over 50 photographs in what is now the White River National Forest one hundred years after they were originally produced.

Will is about to graduate from college and has a pretty young fiancee, but he finds time when in town to have breakfast with me so I can still remain a part of his life. That’s just what you would expect from an Eagle Scout, to continue to care about the people who helped them along their path.

Another quality of Eagle Scouts is they never seem satisfied after attaining the highest goal of scouting. They continue challenging themselves by remaining actively involved in their communities in good times and in times of crisis.

This past summer when Steve Hart’s Type I Incident Management Team took over the Coal Seam Fire, I was asked to provide the names of reliable scouts to help the team. Eagle Scout Clint Trebesh immediately came to mind. Clint was one of two scouts who became Eagles helping complete much-needed work at the old World War II site of Camp Hale.

He started out volunteering, and by the time the Spring Creek Fire had erupted, Clint was a full-fledged Fire Information Officer earning additional money for college.

Got something important you want done in the community? Find an Eagle Scout candidate and turn them loose. That’s not always as easy as it sounds.

The amount of paperwork to be filled out by the aspiring young Boy Scout is not for the faint-hearted. The screening process to get the project approved is meant to be hard. You have to be serious about wanting to become an Eagle.

But the rewards are worth it. For instance, can you imagine the pride and sense of accomplishment achieved from putting in a nature trail? Steve Beckley of Glenwood Caverns can. He and Jeanne are more than slightly busy right now trying to put in a restaurant and tram, so they’re looking for a prospective Eagle Scout to turn loose with the idea.

Steve wants to be able to get started in April. So if any Scoutmasters have someone in mind or if there are any hardworking Eagle candidates out there, give Steve a call at 945-4228.

Another Eagle Scout project needs help. Ryan Delaney is looking for anyone who might have information about or old photographs of workers putting in the Grizzly Creek trail and viaduct. To make sure the photographs are handled properly, the Frontier Historical Society is helping act as a temporary repository.

Ryan is working with the Eagle Ranger District to design, build and put in place a trailhead interpretive sign at the Grizzly Creek trailhead along with mile-post markers this summer.

Rocky Ford came through with a few turn-of-the-century photos, but they were of his grandfather working on the No Name side of the viaduct and Ryan needs photos of the Grizzly Creek side.

Ryan’s project will complete an unfunded promise made to the Colorado Historical Society a few years ago. Both the City of Glenwood Springs and the White River National Forest signed an agreement to place an interpretive sign for the public at Grizzly Creek. Nothing happened until Ryan Delaney came along.

Ryan will be appearing before the City Council soon to seek comments from the city fathers and the public on the prototype sign he designed himself. When he does appear you may see only a Boy Scout trying to become an Eagle. But I see another community leader learning to lend a hand when no one else will.

If you have any information or photos for Ryan, give me a call at 945-3241 (leave a message if I’m not in).


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