winter luau
By Julia Thompson
Feb 10, 2018

How Our Winter Luau Klondike was Foiled by Snow

Hey Utah! Where’s the snow? It is no secret that the weather in Utah this year has been interesting, to say the least. A few early snowstorms and a mostly white Christmas created a vision of days in mittens with hot chocolate and weekends on the slopes. Instead, we have had sunny, short-sleeved days at the park.

Winter Luau

When it came time for winter camping and Klondikes, even our beloved Maple Dell Scout Camp saw its snow melting into puddles. But, the lack of ample sledding powder did not stop the camp from trying to create a fun Klondike experience for the youth in our council. So, the winter luau was created.winter luau

Ranger Dave quickly adapted and created a plan to keep the Klondike at Maple Dell this weekend interesting. He purchased palm tree blowups and leis and partnered it with the island spirit to create a winter luau. As I was approaching the iconic gate I saw a sign with hibiscuses and “Aloha” written in bright letters. However, Mother Nature had a different idea.

Surprised By Snow

winter luau

Even though February in Utah is usually a snow-covered, frozen wonderland, the snow took us by surprise. The palm tree blowups tipped over, weighted down by fresh powder. Leaders were wearing their leis on top of their heaviest jackets. Scouts in shorts were attempting the tomahawk throwing station. I was wearing less than appropriate shoes and shielding the camera from the elements inside of my jacket. They were at least boots, but definitely not made for snow. What was originally a plan of reaction to the odd season, turned into a fun-filled festival of irony. 

Troop 1288 from Lehi was just one group at Maple Dell who was not expecting the sudden flurries. One of the leaders said, “It was warmer last night than it is right now.” They were freezing, but still excited to participate in all of the activities. The boys thought the zip line was the best part, with shooting at a close second. They enjoyed gliding above the almost frozen lake. They were also hoping the snow would keep coming down so they could try out their Klondike sled. This was their first time at Maple Dell, but said, “I would love to come back to camp this summer if it is warmer!”

Always Be Prepared

winter luauShocks like this are just one of many reasons Scouts are tasked with being prepared. Even though some of the boys were wearing shorts, they still had hats and warm jackets. The leaders still brought their sleds hoping something like this would happen. The Scouts stayed warmed and did not complain about the change of events. I think the sudden cold motivated the Scouts even more during the fire building race. In the words of one of the leaders, “Dry stuff lights better than wet stuff!”

There was definitely no surfing or hula dancing, but this winter luau was a success.   winter luau

There are still a few Klondikes left, including the all- girls Klondike in March. Sign up now, before it is too late!


Author: Julia Thompson | Marketing and Fund Development, Utah National Parks Council, Boy Scouts of America

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One thought on “How Our Winter Luau Klondike was Foiled by Snow

  1. AvatarMaloree Anderson

    Some of my most memorable trips were when there were unexpected surprises that popped up during our outing. This is what being a Scout is all about; being outdoors, learning to-do hard things, and being prepared for a snow storm during your luau.


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