By Peter Brown
May 05, 2014

Beaver High Adventure Base Encampments

Rappelling at BHAB

Ready to rappel at Beaver

In 2010 I was asked to be the camp director for Beaver High Adventure Base.  I quickly noticed that the weeks where we had entire stakes coming to participate were better weeks; we had more numbers and the youth were having a better time.  We decided to begin marketing to LDS stakes as our primary customer.  When we combined price flexibility, program flexibility, and time flexibility, we could provide a program that could meet almost any stake’s needs.

Biking at BHAB

“The reason we go camping and do challenging things is to put the young men into a different world, a world more conducive to feeling the Spirit and strengthening their testimonies… the most successful troops are those with a strong outdoor program.“  Brad Harris, past Young Men’s General Board Member

Right out of the shoot, demand for the camp began to increase dramatically.  We were able to find ways to market a quality program with food between $80-$130 a person depending options chosen.  Many stakes would elect to bring up all of their young men, pay for high adventure services for their older youth, which are usually more cost prohibitive, and provide merit badge counselors for their 12-year-olds.  We began branching out.  We had already been providing flexible programming for LDS girls camps, and now people were asking for co-ed youth conferences.  When the Saratoga Springs South stake bought up a party tent for firesides and a dance for their youth, we found with our partnership with the Eagle Pointe ski, we could now offer dances. Because Beaver can accommodate up to 1,500 campers, there is room for multiple stakes at the same time and they don’t feel like they are camping on top of each other.  There are multiple areas for ceremonies and firesides, including a dedicated chapel area.


“Have you ever used a campfire to inspire a boy to go on a mission? …One of your great obligations is to teach in the environment of the outdoors [so] that every grove can be a sacred grove, every mountaintop a Sinai.” S. Dilworth Young, a past member of the First Quorum of the Seventy

Soon, stakes combined National Youth Leadership Training (Timberline), All Stars, and Wood Badge.  When the Highland East stake came up, they combined a Scout camp withTimberline, Kodiak for their Varsity and Venturing youth, along with a Wood Badge course for their adults.  Howard Bangerter, the stake president commented that of all of the efforts they had made in the past to use camp as a testimony building experience, including a handcart trek, Beaver had been the most successful.  Imagine boys with their fathers, meeting after a Spirit-filled week, sharing their testimonies of the Gospel when they have all been edified through the leadership-building experiences of Timberline, Kodiak, and Wood Badge.  Instead of our staff providing campfire entertainment for youth, stakes were doing this for themselves, and the campfires were turning into places where boys could share the pivot points of the camp experience that were building testimonies and helping young men who were 16 and 17 deciding to serve missions.

Kayaking at Puffer Lake

Kayaking at Puffer Lake

Beaver High Adventure Base has become the perfect place for stakes to provide a young men’s encampment filled with scripture study, firesides, and an opportunity for boys to “do hard things” in a fun high adventure manner that are sometimes cost prohibitive and risk prohibitive.  It’s a perfect combination.  Plus, it’s beautiful.

If your stake is interested in going in 2015, signups for girls and boys stake encampments and co-ed youth conferences will begin June 1.  Activities include:

  • COPE course

    Beaver High Adventure Base COPE Course

  • Climbing and Rappelling
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Mountain Biking at the ski resort
  • Hiking, backpacking the Tushar mountains (do on your own)
  • Merit Badges (bring your own counselors)
  • Shooting Sports (Rifle, Archery, Shotgun, Pistols, Black Powder)
  • Frontier Mountain man activities
  • Battle Creek
  • Weeklong handcart trek in the Tushars ending at Beaver
  • Anything else you want, we are flexible

Peter Brown 2

Author: Peter Brown | Program Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA


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