30 years ago, just after Scofield Aquatics at Frandsen Scout Ranch opened, I went as a leader with my Troop. There I met one of my boyhood Scout leaders, Cal Marshall. I couldn’t believe that Cal was still there showing boys the adventures of the outdoors. Back then, Frandsen was just budding as a Scout camp, but wow, has Frandsen changed since those days.
As you come over the hill at Frandsen the first thing to catch your eye will be the colorful Aquatics Flags beckoning you to the Scofield Reservoir. There are boys on stand- up paddle boards cruising in our personal bay being quickly cut off by the fast kayaks darting in the water. There are so many canoes out there you think the Scofield Native Americans have just paddled in for a feast at the dining hall. Yes, a full dining hall with the smell of hot breads, homemade pizza, and our cook’s own home baked cake recipes. She is a real chef from Oklahoma, imported here just to satisfy the hunger pains of your Scouts. By using the Dining Program, you can have more time to do programs during the week. However if you want to bring your own food, you can always cook at your campsite.
The next thing you notice on the reservoir is a giant iceberg. What is that thing?! Well it’s not just an iceberg –the water is warm enough for swimming– it’s a blow up obstacle for our WIPEOUT water course. The course has the same components as the one at the 2013 National Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, where our Venturing crew holds the record for the best time. Who will hold the record at Frandsen? Speaking of records, did you know the largest tiger trout caught in the State of Utah was recorded last year at Scofield Reservoir? We also have rainbow trout, cutthroat and crawdads. Although you can’t keep crawdads as pets, you can have a crawdad feast! Set the camp record for your catch.
Did you notice the colorful sailboats out there? Yeah, those are ours. One of my favorite things to do is have the wind pick up the craft and take me off into the blue. Around the bend our very own island. A five mile overnight outpost to the island in canoes will be a big hit as your troops build unity. Watching out for each other as your armada heads out in the deep water is unique to Frandsen. You can also BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat) for other activities. Frandsen has the most water-related merit badges of any other camp in the council.
Then there are the guns, tomahawk throwing and archery. Did you know that “Hunger Games” wanted to film at Frandsen Scout Ranch, but we have our standards. But really, check out our great archery range or “pull” to hit the clay pigeons at the shot gun course.
What other camp has their own fort? Nobody else, just us. What should you do with a fort? Storm it, of course! You will love being one of Heleman’s stripling warriors in the fight of your lives. Build troop unity, trust and strategy as you challenge other troops from our scout fortress.
In camp there are even more unexpected moments of fun and competition. You may happen on the scene of Scouts playing Ga-Ga, an Israeli version of Dodge ball played in an octagonal pen. Sitting around the campfire, patriotic programs at the amphitheater, and blazing sunsets over the bay will bring the spirit of Scouting to your soul.
The whole west valley at the top of the ridge to our camp, is a special chapel in the pines for your boys to have spiritual growing moments, and it also a great place to solo for your Wilderness Survival merit badge.
Remember when life was somewhere between Huck Finn and Peter Pan. You couldn’t wait for the next adventure around the corner. You are now the star and hero of your own video game. It’s called live simulation at Scofield Aquatics at Frandsen Scout Ranch. See you there!
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Author: Grant Hansen | Camp Director, Scofield Aquatics at Frandsen Scout Ranch | Alpine District Executive, Utah National Parks Council