Katherine Quinn, her sisters and her dad wanted to climb Guadalupe Peak, the tallest mountain in Texas.
But when Katherine slipped on a loose rock during her descent and fell down hard, she couldn’t move another foot.
That’s when, as if from a movie, the Boy Scouts came along. Scouts and adults from Troop 312 of Royse City, Texas, helped support Katherine’s weight as she gingerly completed the final two miles.
“Upon arriving at the parking lot we asked them if they would get a badge for having helped me,” Katherine said. “They said, ‘Oh, no, this is just standard, expected behavior for a Boy Scout.'”
A perfect day for a hike
The weather conditions were ideal as Katherine and her family began their climb to the “Top of Texas.”
The hike is 8.4 miles round trip with 3,000 feet of elevation gain. Most hikers finish in six to eight hours.
Katherine was in “no particular hurry” as her group began the ascent. Soon they were passed by about 20 Scouts from Troop 312. The Scouts and leaders were friendly as they hiked past, Katherine said.
Katherine remembers doing a double-take at what one of the adult leaders was wearing. It appeared to be a military-style vest with each pocket filled to capacity.
“I thought of all the extra weight he was carrying and how hot he must be,” Katherine said. But she could tell he was “prepared for any unforeseen mishap.”
The view from the top
Katherine arrived at the summit and noticed it was more crowded than she expected.
There were at least 30 people up there, smiling and laughing and taking gulps of water. In one direction, a man proposed to his girlfriend. In another, a group posed for a photo in front of a large Texas flag.
Katherine and her group had a quick snack and began the 4.2-mile hike down.
It’s worth noting here that Katherine is no novice hiker. She regularly hikes 10 to 20 miles a week.
So you can imagine Katherine’s shock when, about 2 miles into the descent, she stepped on a loose rock and crashed to the ground.
Needing a hero
“I was in considerable pain and told my sisters to give me a minute to compose myself,” Katherine said. “The very next person around the corner was the Boy Scout leader with the generously packed vest.”
It turns out this leader is named Michael, and he had been an infantry soldier with medical training in the U.S. Army. Michael was with three other members of Troop 312 — two Scouts and another adult.
Michael assessed the situation and taped Katherine’s ankle. The guys from Troop 312 insisted on waiting while Katherine attempted to get up and walk.
“I realized I would not be able to make the remaining 2 miles down the mountain on my own,” she said. “Each step sent pain through the bottom of my foot up to my knee.”
The Scouts step in
“Lord, could you just give me strength enough to make it down?” Katherine whispered. “My prayer was answered.”
The Scouts — Noah and Mitchell — offered to help Katherine. She put her arm around one Scout’s shoulder to take some of the weight off her injured ankle.
Noah and Mitchell took turns traversing the rocky trail. One would walk with Katherine for about 10 minutes, and then the other would take over.
“They were always checking on me and each other so that no one was taxed too much,” she said. “Their sacrifice was significant. Noah had a sunburned shoulder, and Mitchell had a hurt back.”
A trip that should’ve taken 30 minutes took three hours, but Noah and Mitchell never complained. They never gave up.
Once Katherine and the group of four from Troop 312 got to the parking lot, she thanked them one final time. The guys said this is “standard, expected behavior for a Boy Scout” and rejoined the rest of their troop.
How we learned about this story
Troop 312 didn’t contact Scouting magazine to brag about their great Good Turn.
Katherine reached out, wanting to publicly thank the Scouts and leaders who saw their actions as part of being a Scout.
“This event gave me a new appreciation for the Boy Scouts and their leaders who truly desire to serve others selflessly,” Katherine said. “I’m ever so grateful for the assistance in my time of need.”