By Bob Gowans
Mar 03, 2014

Why I Love Scout Camp

It must have been the summer of 1969 or maybe 68 when our faithful Scoutmaster took us, a rag-tag group of ambitious Scouts, on a backpacking trip up a canyon somewhere along the Wasatch front. We were excited to get going. Since we were all young 12 and 13 year old Scouts, we didn’t have very large backpacks. Plus, it was in the middle of summer so we decided to leave the tents behind to make room for the other equipment we needed to take along.

night-sky

After hiking up the canyon and finding our beautiful camping spot we set up camp, played games had dinner, and after dark, went to bed.  All of us laid under the beautiful star filled night. Sometime after we were all asleep, of course, the rains starts. It didn’t take long until we were all miserably wet and laying in our personal puddles. After what seemed like forever I sat up in my non-sleeping bag, looked over at our Scout Master and called out to him asking if he would say a prayer for us. He sat up responding that he would and offered a prayer in our behalf. To this day I still remember  listening to him pray for us. The impression it made on me was so powerful that I looked over at him to see if God or his angles were standing there listening. He concluded his prayer and immediately the rain stopped. 

Around the campfire

More recently with our Varsity Scouts and Venturers at Beaver High Adventure Base, we had an evening fireside where we discussed our relationship with God, and our duties towards him and our fellow men. Afterwards the boys were challenged to continue the discussion on their own as we leaders sat in the background. We had the honor of listening to a great conversation among the young men about their personal relationship with God. Never before have I heard such a discussion lead by the older boys; it went on for the better part of an hour.

Why do I love Scout Camp? It is the place to build relationships with God, to be in his beautiful creation, to see the starlit universe, and come to find where we belong.

“Arise, and get thee into the mountain. And it came to pass that I arose and went up into the mountain, and cried unto the Lord.  And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me…”1 Nephi 17:7-8

Bob Gowans

 

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

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2 thoughts on “Why I Love Scout Camp

  1. Carma Steck

    I love the “feel” of this article. It reminds me of an Eagle Court of Honor I attended several years ago for a nephew, where they talked about how they read their scriptures together around the campfire. Until then, I had no idea that scout camp could have a spiritual side. I wish my 5 boys could have experienced this kind of scout camp.

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