By Utah National Parks Council
Nov 03, 2016

Bring your Stakes and Wards to Camp

For the past several years, the Utah National Parks Council has worked to make its summer camps more accessible to and useful for groups from the LDS Church (our largest chartered partner). These efforts have included new buildings, programs, and materials designed for large, diverse groups. Every church group has different ideas of what they would like to accomplish with their youth by bringing them into the outdoors. so far, we have had church groups come to camp for:

  • Aaronic Priesthood Encampments and Camp Helaman
  • Girls Camp
  • Father and Son campouts
  • High adventure activities with both young men and young women
  • Leadership Training Academy, including priesthood-led Wood Badge and NYLT Timberline
  • Traditional merit badge-focused summer camps (bringing the entire LDS stake’s young men)
  • Activity Day Events
  • and more

Camp JJ Girls 1We have found that these church groups have the same goals in mind, all centered on the Six Pillars of Being Prepared. With stake and ward leadership designing and leading the programs, they are in full control of the outcomes and can provide the best impact on their youth. This is what has really had church leaders excited. The potential for growth in stake and ward camping is profound.

Discounts Available to Large Church Groups

The Council has customized its discount structure to entice large church groups to attend together. Your groups may take advantage of multiple discounts at council camps. These include:

  • Groups over 20 receive a $5/person discount
  • Groups over 100 receive a $10/person discount
  • Groups that pay in full by April 1 receive an additional $10/person discount
  • Larger groups that can fill an entire camp may receive even higher discounts

canoeingIf your church group is interested in taking advantage of the council properties and camps, simply fill out the survey at and a member of the council camping team will contact you. They can provide assistance and background on the properties, programs, and past successes from other church groups that you can use to customize your outdoor experience.

My own Experience

My own ward and stake have taken advantage of the opportunity to use council camps for their programs, and I can say firsthand that stake and ward encampments change lives. Both youth and adults have returned from these camps changed for the better, with stronger testimonies of the gospel and experiences they’ll never forget. Here are some of the ways we’ve taken advantage of these programs:

  • COPE Cube stake and ward campingMy ward has used cabins and BSA’s Introduction to Leadership Skills Course to teach youth leaders their stewardship.
  • Our ward had a barbecue/splash at Maple Dell. After our weenie roast and s’mores, Captain Moroni appeared and spoke to the group.
  • Our stake’s fifth-year girls took an adventure trek at Beaver High Adventure Base and used NYLT/Timberline to prep YCLs for camp.
  • Our stake did a priesthood retreat at camp with full youth program while all Scout leaders taught each other leader-specific training.
  • My family has had a reunion at Tifie Scout camp (outdoor movie night on the view porch is something rare) and a New Year’s family retreat in the winter wonderland of Maple Dell.
  • I am working with a stake that is coordinating a leadership youth conference using NYLT/Timberline alongside a full Wood Badge course.

You can take advantage of Council facilities to have profound, memorable experiences in the midst of some of Heavenly Father’s most beautiful creations. Click here to sign up for stake and ward camping opportunities.

John Gailey


Author: John Gailey | Director of Support Services, Utah National Parks Council, BSA.

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