By VERNON ROBISON
Moapa Valley Progress
Boy Scouts from throughout Moapa Valley, along with their adult leaders, attended an annual summer camp last week at Camp Del Webb Adventure Base in the mountains of southern Utah. About 135 boys from a dozen different local scout troops attended the camp which was a coordinated effort between the Las Vegas Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the LDS Logandale Stake.
“It was the first time in a long time that the (Logandale) Stake made a concerted effort to attend a BSA camp instead of holding our own camp at Camp Kolob,” said Logandale Stake Young Men’s President Brandon Leavitt. “We were pleased with the outcome. We had a good turn-out of boys who had a great time and only minimal issues.”
The scout troops arrived at the BSA campsite at around 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning to check in and begin setting up their campsites. By mid-morning, the entire encampment met for an introduction to the BSA camp and staff, and to coordinate the week’s activities.
The boys and their leaders were kept busy throughout the week with scores of activities and adventures.
Younger boys ages 12-13 spent much of the time in the camp’s merit badge center where training on more than a dozen different merit badges was offered. The boys selected which merit badges they needed to earn and went straight to work. By the end of the week most boys had completed as many as 5-6 badges; some had even more.
The older age group of 14 and up had a full schedule of high adventure activities. After dividing up into four groups of about 10-15 boys per group, the groups went through rotations of activities each morning and evening. Each rotation was a three hour block allowing plenty of time for the activity.
The high adventures included rock climbing, rapelling, archery, black powder rifles, shotgun shooting, pistol shooting, mountain biking and more.
Also included were rotations for water activities on a nearby lake. Here, at the boys’ disposal, were canoes, kayaks, paddle boats and sailboats. They could spend time swimming or fishing; or they could just battle each other from the various watercraft.
On one day, the boys took a day hike to visit the site of an airplane crash dating back to the 1930s. They learned about the pilot, Maury Graham, who had been flying between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City to deliver mail when the crash took place.
“The day of the hike was also the only day of the camp where we had bad weather,” Leavitt said. “We got a couple miles in and it was pouring down rain and hail on us. So it kind of became an endurance challenge. But we made it all the same.”
All of these activities were put on and coordinated for the boys by members of the BSA camp staff. “The boys had a great time and there was always plenty to do,” Leavitt said.
But Stake leaders also organized some additional elements at the camp. These activities allowed for some spiritual development for the boys as well, Leavitt said.
The theme of the week was “Armor Up”. This was in reference to the biblical concept of putting on the full “Armor of God” as the apostle Paul mentions in the New Testament.
At the beginning of the week, a booklet was distributed to each boy. The booklet contained excerpts and scriptural passages. Each day the boys were encouraged to study portions of the booklet and were given activities were designed to develop their spiritual side, Leavitt said.
“Like in life, we were trying to show the boys the need to strike a balance between the physical activities and meaningful private personal worship,” Leavitt said. “So this gave the camp an added spiritual focus that we were looking for.
Boys that completed all of the requirements in the booklet were awarded a custom “Armor Up” patch which could be worn on their uniforms. These were requirements that could be completed by both the boys and their adult leaders, Leavitt added.
“In my view, one of the greatest purposes of the Scouting program is to put boys around good men,” Leavitt said. “It allows the boys a chance to rub shoulders with good men who care about them and who can be good role models to them for the men they want to become. These kinds of stake camps have always brought us together to accomplish that goal. This year’s camp was no exception, so we felt like it was a great success.”