By Darryl Alder
Jun 22, 2017

Building a Better Road to Tifie

I remember when we built a dirt road into Tifie nearly a decade ago, if you could call it a road. Each summer for the last few years I have endured the washboard ride out of camp, and twice got an oil change over it, if you know what I mean.

Then there was the rain, which seemed to come in every Monday as campers arrived. If you have ever tried to catch a greased pig, you know just how slippery that muddy road can be. Troop after troop would get stranded and wait for the Camp Ranger to rescue them. But all that is no more. 

Last year a local group of Scouters and our Properties Committee hatched an idea to change all the road, but it was quite ambitious. They planned to pave the 2.3 miles of road from the bridge crossing Clear Creek to the lodge at Tifie with 16 feet  of asphalt, add gravel to the existing gravel road at the Camper World turn off and raise $300,000 to add to the generous donations of materials and labor already in place.

They set out to take donations and raised more than $200,000 from these generous donors:

  • Bosshardt Family  $104,000
  • Asset committee      $20,000
  • Crookston Family     $20,000
  • Inouye Family           $20,000
  • Endowment accrual  $20,000
  • Gary Black land sale $20,000 

Each of these donors sees a strong Scouting future, but still that was not enough. So that same team went after gifts-in-kind from companies who believe in Scouting. With the generous gifts and the gifts-in-kind, under the project management of Al Schellenburg, ex-CEO Geneva Rock, they began in late April.

Schellenburg had this to report of the gifts-in-kind:

Staker donated 1500 tons of road base at their Centerfield pit, Terry Brotherson donated over 300 tons from his freedom pit, Sanpete County donated 450 tons, Robinson Trucking and Rasmussen Trucking brought the road base to the base of the hill where David Madsen provided a loader and loaded the base into Geneva Rock’s and Eric Mayne’s dump trucks. Ben Gordon provided an excavator and himself as an expert operator to excavate and place the blocks and steps. Dale Cox provided a very good crew to form the concrete … poured …[and] the Clyde Companies have also donated some things.

Imagine my delight then when last Monday, driving a group into camp, I got to travel the 2.3 miles from the crossing all the way to the lodge. And, before that, there was a new layer of gravel from the Camper World turn off to the next turn in the road. Together, it made for smooth sailing all the way.

Schellenburg explained:

This job could not have been done without the expert and generous help of everyone. It will be ready for the more than 600 volunteers which …have arranged for by the first of June to finish things like: landscaping and final rock gravel grading, pathways, putting the final bleachers together, tree removal, street warning signs, etc.

That lead to my next surprise, when I got up to camp. The Pleasant Grove Northfield Stake youth conference had completed a new 600 seat amphitheater as their camp service project. This new amphitheater didn’t come free either. Ron Mika donated $50,000 and some of the same companies provided time, materials and/or help to get the job done in time for the Northfield Stake closing campfire program.

In all these two new additions to the Mt. Dell Scout Ranch and Camp Tifie are wonderful new features that many Scouts and church groups will enjoy.

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Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA

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