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Future Eagle Scout leads trail improvement project in collaboration with Basin Recreation

Sixteen-year-old Henry Armentrout's leadership shines in successful Eagle Scout project

PARK CITY, Utah — Henry Armentrout, a 16-year-old incoming junior at Park City High School and current Life Scout working toward his Eagle Scout rank, recently completed a trail improvement project in collaboration with Basin Recreation. The project involved building a puncheon bridge on the Saved by the Bell trail in the Trailside area.

The idea for the project began when Armentrout brainstormed ideas for his Eagle Scout project. “I wanted to do something related to trail improvement,” he said. “Basin Recreation seemed like the perfect organization to partner with since they manage many of the trails in town.” After finding the contact information for several Basin Recreation managers online, Henry reached out in early January of 2024.

Initially, Armentrout suggested building a park bench at the Road to WOS trailhead in Summit Park. However, Phares Gines, the trails and open space manager at Basin Recreation proposed the idea of constructing a puncheon bridge instead. This recommendation aligned with Basin Recreation’s upcoming improvement projects, making it a suitable and timely collaboration.

Blake Collins, Basin Rec’s trails technician, elaborated on the collaborative efforts that brought the project to life. “Henry reached out to Phares and Dave, and then the project was handed over to me,” he explained. “We worked together to design the bridge, using plans available online from the Forest Service and BLM as references.”

The actual construction of the bridge was swift, taking only about three days to complete. “Pre-cutting the lumber and prepping the foundation were crucial steps,” Collins noted. “Henry organized a significant number of volunteers, which included fellow scouts and a few adults, making quick work of the build.”

Basin Recreation primarily funded the project, as it was already part of their budget. Armentrout also raised money to cover additional costs.

The new Puncheon Bridge improves access for students at Trailside Elementary and residents of the Trailside Loop community. It also enhances connectivity for those heading to Trailside Mountain Bike Park and other facilities. “The bridge is in a low-lying, swampy area that holds moisture during spring runoff,” Collins explained. “It’s a critical access point.”

Both Collins and Armentrout expressed mutual appreciation for each other’s efforts. “Henry did an amazing job organizing and directing his volunteers,” Blake said. “He showed up on time and was fully engaged throughout the project.”

Armentrout reciprocated the gratitude, acknowledging the support he received from Basin Recreation. “Without the guidance and resources provided by Phares, Blake, and Dave, this project wouldn’t have been possible,” he said.

Armentrout elaborated on his path to becoming an Eagle Scout. “The Eagle Scout Service Project I completed was one of the many requirements for becoming an Eagle Scout. Some of the others include obtaining six prior ranks and a total of 21 merit badges. I am not an Eagle Scout quite yet because I still have a few more small things to do, including a board of review with the BSA council in Salt Lake,” he explained.

This project not only fulfilled one of Armentrout’s Eagle Scout requirements but also provided a valuable improvement to the local trail system.

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