By Bob Gowans
May 07, 2014

LDS Stake Encampment at Council Properties

In cooperation with the Utah National Parks Council, your Stake can organize an encampment to help fulfill your own Priesthood purposes by leveraging the program expertise and safety features offered through the Councils camps.  This will also relieve any “undue burdens” that are often placed on leaders to organize these camps.  This method will assist you in fulfilling the Aaronic Priesthood purposes, and will avoid the issues discussed in the LDS Scouting Handbook 8.17.

Here are some options for your consideration (note: all of these programs can add an adult Wood Badge or Akela’s Council element if desired):

  • Young Men encampment: with this style of encampment, a stake reserves
    Horsemanship Merit Badge at Maple Dell

    Merit Badge instruction at Maple Dell

    campsites at one of our summer camps for each ward.  The program focus is on Scouting adventure and merit badges for boys 12-14.  Older youth can participate in the advancement opportunities and High Adventure activities available at the camp, but could also serve as your stake’s youth staff.  Any other additional High Adventure or older boy Leadership training would be the responsibility of the Stake Leadership with support from the Camp and Council leadership.  (Varsity All Stars or Kodiak).  The camp provided program ends at dinner and the Stake can then provide religious or other programming in the evening including reserving camp program elements for additional opportunities. This style of program generally runs from Monday-Saturday. Purchasing Food through the camp is optional, two of our camps offer full service dining halls which will save many hours a week in food preparation and clean up time.  Wood Badge can be added to these packages, but must be planned more than 18 months in advance for the National Council’s approval.

  • Cost: $130-$215 Depending on food options and programs chosen.
  • Dates: June-August (dates are set and offered Monday-Saturday)
  • Facilities: Maple Dell Scout Camp (Utah County), Tifie Scout Camp at Mt. Dell Scout Ranch (Sanpete County), Scofield Aquatics at Frandsen Scout Ranch (Carbon County), and Thunder Ridge Scout Camp (Iron County)
  • Young Men or Young Women high adventure encampment focus: with this style of encampment, a stake reserves a high adventure base where programs are provided for boys or girls ages 12-18, and the stake provides program for boys (if desired) such as a merit badge program or a training program like Timberline NYLT .   Wood Badge  can also be added.  Program, budget, and time commitment is flexible Monday-Saturday.  Many activities you can do on your own such as hikes and day trips to national parks.

    Young Women horseback riding into base camp

  • Cost: $14/night, $5.45/meal, $40 a day/person, group program discounts may be available
  • Dates: June-August most weeks already offered
  • Days: Monday-Saturday but varies with the group
  • Facilities: Beaver High Adventure Base (Beaver County), Entrada High Adventure Base (Grand County), Bacon Memorial Park (Uintah County) (you can read more about how this has been done at
  • Youth training encampment: the encampment is a comprehensive training camp with Timberline NYLT (ages 13 and up, both or either boys and girls), Varsity All Stars  (Varsity Scouts) and Kodiak (Venturing; this is also coed if desired).  Wood Badge or Akela’s Council  may also be beneficially attached to this kind of training conference.

    If it wasn’t for National Youth Leadership Training, I wouldn’t be going on a mission. Before I went to NYLT I was not headed in the right direction. The skills I learned, the brotherhood I shared, the goals I made at NYLT all gave me the confidence and direction at a critical time in my life.” Nathan Foster

This camp is flexible with facilities before and after the main camping season and can occasionally fit into open slots at merit badge camps and high adventure bases.

Stake family odyssey camp:  the stake provides family programs at camp for kids (2 and up), and invites the entire family for vacation and to develop family synergy.  Wood Badge is usually offered.  Any combination of the youth programs above can be added depending on the time of year or the facility used.

Family Odyssey 2014 launching rockets

Family Odyssey 2014 launching rockets



Author: Bob Gowans | Director of Camping, Utah National Parks Council Bob Gowans

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