Boy Scout determined to create safety signs for 14er |

Boy Scout determined to create safety signs for 14er

Caitlin Row
Summit County, Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY – When a 14-year-old boy named Chance Forsythe died in a Vail Pass snowmobile accident two years ago, his Eagle Scout project was left incomplete. Now Chance’s brother, 14-year-old Derrick Trotman of Highlands Ranch, is working on his own project – getting warning signs on Quandary Mountain in response to the high volume of rescues seen on the peak.

Because Summit County Rescue Group was called to help Derrick’s family when his brother died, it was an easy decision to center his Eagle Scout project around the organization, the 14-year-old Boy Scout said.

“I wanted to give back to Summit County Rescue Group for what they did for our family,” Derrick added, noting that the sign project means more than receiving the highest possible Boy Scout ranking. “I want to give back and save people.”

And when Derrick finishes his project, his brother will gets his own honorary Eagle Scout ranking, posthumously.

Though lots of money still needs to be raised for the sign project, Derrick will be in town for the installation of the sign posts Saturday. The signs have yet to be made because the fundraising effort isn’t complete.

“I need roughly $1,400, like by the end of October or even sooner if possible,” Derrick said. As of now, he’s raised approximately $200.

Why put warning signs on Quandary?

When Derrick decided to help the Summit County Rescue Group, he was put in touch with Matt Hage, a field team leader …, because he was “an Eagle Scout himself and would understand the requirements of the project,” said Anna DeBattiste, spokeswoman for the Summit County Rescue Group. “He has also chosen an extremely challenging project in terms of the number of agencies he must coordinate with and the amount of money he must raise. The project has involved coming up with the idea, getting Forest Service permission, designing a sign, determining the verbiage of the sign, determining where the signs will be placed and getting the signs put up.”

The signs will be put in two locations – at the main East Ridge trail head and above the entrance point for the West Ridge route.

Hage said this is more than necessary because the rescue group gets many calls related to people leaving or losing the trail, or the west ridge route.

“This is not just an Eagle project,” Derrick said. “It really benefits the public – both locals and visitors. It also benefits the Summit County Rescue Group and the forest service because they won’t have to spend as much time rescuing people.”

Hage agrees: “We’re just trying to get info out that says enjoy the mountain, be safe on the mountain, stay on the trail and make sure that you’re prepared for the hike ahead,” he said. “Derrick has done a phenomenal job so far with a project that is far more challenging than your average Eagle Scout project; he has had to coordinate multiple agencies, and he must raise a relatively large amount of money.”

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at

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