This high-altitude Scout paradise features access to the largest body of water at any of our camps, enabling Scofield to be our only camp that also offers small boat sailing! However, that’s not the only thing that makes Camp Scofield so unique and desirable. Keep reading and learn all about what Scofield has to offer. Maybe you’ll learn a few things you didn’t know before! And if you’re sold, you can register for summer camp at Scofield HERE.
What Makes Scofield Special?
- Not only does Camp Scofield give Scouts one of the only opportunities in our council to learn small-boat sailing, but it is also abundant with other aquatic adventures. You can even bring your own motorboat to take out onto and explore Scofield Reservoir during your troop time! Some of the other things your Scouts can enjoy at Scofield:
- Aquatic Archery
- Small-boat Sailing
- Canoe tours of Scofield reservoir
- Tired of being out in the sun? Want to get in some merit badge time? Camp Scofield is only 40 minutes from the Helper’s Mining and Railroad Museum as well as CEU’s Museum of Natural History. Both of these sites can be visited during troop time. This is a great opportunity to work on many merit badges, especially the Railroading and Mining in Society Merit Badges, which both require museum visits.
- Although Scofield may seem far away and removed, it is really only a short, one-hour drive from Utah Valley. That’s just about as far as Camp Tifie. And, if you’re coming from Price, UT, it is less than 40 minutes!
- Camp Scofield’s all-new program focuses on the history of Scofield and earning advancement through living history. Besides Scofield’s extensive aquatics program, the camp also features one of the best frontier programs in our council.
A Historic Past and the Scofield Mine Tragedy: A Scoutmaster’s Minute
Scofield’s historic background is an important part of life at camp. You can feel why in this Scoutmasters minute that is traditionally shared on the last day of camp:
Camp Scofield is located near Scofield State Park, across the reservoir from the town of Scofield. At the turn of the 20th century, Scofield was a thriving mining town, largely populated with Welsh and Finnish immigrants who had been recruited to work in the Winter Quarters coal mine, as was the neighboring community of Clear Creek, which is now largely a ghost town.
On May 1, 1900, as the families of the miners were preparing May Day celebrations, an explosion from the mine rocked the community. Thirty 25-pound kegs of black powder had detonated in the Number 4 mine, killing all the men inside. The ventilation fan of the neighboring Number 1 mine continued to run and pulled in the “afterdamp,” which is the mixture of toxic gases left behind from a mine explosion. This afterdamp asphyxiated almost all the men in the Number 1 mine. More than 200 men lost their lives that day. At the time, it was the worst mining disaster in U.S. history.
Every single household in Scofield and Clear Creek lost a family member in that explosion. 107 women were left widows and 268 children were left fatherless. There were not enough caskets in Utah for the deceased, and 75 caskets had to be imported from Denver. To this date, it is still the largest disaster to have occurred in Utah. Every week, we tell this story at the closing campfire at Camp Scofield. But we do not tell the story to focus on the disaster. Rather, we tell the story because it was also the state’s largest relief effort.
The explosion occurred at 10:30 in the morning. The mine owner was in Provo at the time. He organized a train full of medical supplies and rescue workers that arrived in Scofield a mere five hours later. Men from Provo traveled to Scofield to help dig graves. $200,000 was raised for the families of the miners, the equivalent of more than 5 million dollars today. And perhaps most impressive to me, another relief train arrived with enough flowers to cover every casket. Primary children in Salt Lake had heard about the disaster and had gone house to house collecting flowers to be bundled into bouquets and sent to Scofield.
“When I tell this story at Camp Scofield,” says Camp Director Lee Ferrin, “I am talking to an audience of youth who have grown up on service projects and cookies taken to neighbors, small acts of service that at times seem inconsequential. But what I want them to take away from their experience at Scofield, in addition the merit badges, newfound sailing skills, and inevitable “dirt tan lines” that come with a week at scout camp, is the knowledge that those small acts of service can be the most important service of someone else’s life. For the Finnish immigrants who had no connections outside of their small community of miners, the knowledge that there was love and relief flowing from unknown sources in neighboring towns was a source of strength, a small way to alleviate the suffering they were feeling. Knowing that a child in another town had been thinking of them gave them a small sense of connection and community that was so vital at that time.”
“And so, I tell them, the next time you see someone who is hurting, who feels lonely, who is going through a difficult time, don’t think “someone should do something,” but instead do something yourself. A bouquet of flowers was not able to return a lost family member, but it was able to add a brightness to an otherwise difficult time. Your small act of kindness will likely not solve the entire situation, but it will make it a bit easier to bear, and that can make all the difference. Never think that your contribution is too small to matter because it absolutely does matter.”
See for Yourself!
Check out this photo album and get an idea of what awaits you at Camp Scofield next summer.
If we haven’t convinced you that Camp Scofield is truly a special place that all Scouts should visit, you can learn more here: Camp Scofield Website
And don’t forget, merit badge classes will open for registration in JANUARY, so don’t wait to sign up for camp. Those who have registered for camp will have first-pick to sign up for classes, and they will fill fast! So, don’t miss out on the classes you and your Scouts really want to take and register today!
If you need help registering or have any questions about our Scout Camps, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Madison Austin | Marketing Specialist, Utah National Parks Council