By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
The Overton Wildlife Management Area (OWMA) hosted more than just waterfowl and traditional wildlife last weekend when it became the location of a valley-wide Boy Scout camp for 11-year-old scouts.
The two day camp was organized and conducted by the LDS Logandale Stake under the direction of Luann Mortensen, Stake Primary President. Mortensen explained the purpose of the yearly event. “Our purpose in holding this camp every year is to help these boys not only in their path to become Eagle scouts, but also in their path to become great men and future leaders,” Mortensen said.
This year 54 boys attended the camp, in addition to many scout leaders, camp organizers and volunteers.
The boys used their time wisely and spent Friday evening doing compass activities and trust games before being treated to an outdoor dinner of taco salad.
After dinner they had a class by Ryan Andersen in the proper handling and retirement of the United States flag.
Glen Harper gave a fireside devotional using hunting decoys for an object lesson. He taught the boys how to distinguish what is real from what is fake in their own lives.
“The only person you’re in competition with is yourself,” Harper said. “Be better today than you were yesterday and better tomorrow than you were today.”
After the evening activities, boys were able to camp in tents and under the stars through the night.
In the morning, each group prepared its own breakfast and then broke into patrols and rotated through several more scout-related learning activities.
The boys were taught knots by Shane Matheson and Eugene Sheely, first aid by Mark Prisbrey, lashing by Bryan Linford, orienteering by Nathan Henrie, and knives and axes by Paul Bowerman. All activities were hand-on learning experiences for the boys, who enjoyed the classes as well as the beautiful outdoor weather.
Orienteering leader Nathan Henrie was surprised at how well the groups did. He prepared several wooden stakes ahead of time scattered throughout the refuge. Then the boys were given compass bearings and distance guidelines to find the stakes.
“The boys did really well for the most part,” Henrie said. “Every group has been able to work together and find the stakes.”
The boys also seemed to enjoy it. Trent Nelson and Dalton Marshall were partners for the First Aid rotation and took turns bandaging each others’ imaginary wounds.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Nelson said. “I really enjoyed the lashing rotation and the knives and axes. I enjoy carving wood.”
After a lunch of hot dogs and all the trimmings, the boys faced their “final battle.” They were taken to a meadow where a cope course had been set up. The boys got to practice climbing walls, traversing nets, navigating and building passageways across imaginary rivers, and so forth; all while working together and having a great time.
Mortensen was pleased with how the camp turned out. “We had a great group of boys and the weather was beautiful,” she said.
“Our theme was ‘Heroes of the Book of Mormon’ but I think that as they watched their leaders this weekend, the scouts got to see some modern-day heroes in action. These scout leaders, teachers, and dads are great examples of heroes that these boys can see in real life.”