Last week we received several emails from Scoutmasters about their experience at Maple Dell. We thought we’d share some their thoughts and highlight the work of some amazing staff.
It Has Everything to Do With Senior Staff
Doug Baird, Scoutmaster for Troop 739 was impressed by the staff’s knowledge and leadership, he wrote:
“Our troop attended last week’s camp, and as always had an excellent experience. I just wanted to give you a little more feedback than I was able to put on the evaluation form and make a plea to keep it up.
“The primary reason we come to Maple Dell is because of your consistently excellent staff. With the number of young people you’re working with, I can only imagine the challenge you have in hiring and training them. I’ve always known they were good, but this year I figured out the secret. It has everything to do with your senior staff. –Doug Baird, Scoutmaster, Troop 739”
The primary reason we come to Maple Dell is because of your consistently excellent staff. With the number of young people you’re working with, I can only imagine the challenge you have in hiring and training them. I’ve always known they were good, but this year I figured out the secret. It has everything to do with your senior staff. Our troop spent most of our time in Scout Craft, Shotgun/Rifle, Handicraft, and Eco Con. In every one of those areas I saw examples during the week of the senior staff mentoring the younger staff. I also saw it multiple times during the week from the commissioners. Each of these people are competent in their area, but I think the real value comes in their leadership to the junior staff. Other camps we’ve been to the areas are headed up by less experienced leaders and so the whole staff can’t excel like yours does.
The past 3 years running we’ve come back to Maple Dell because there’s an experience we get at your camp that I can’t duplicate elsewhere.I also LOVE the fact that there are so many returned missionaries on your staff. Our troop fell in love with Jeff at Scout Craft and decided to all join the Frontiersman Program. He took the time to connect with each boy. By the time we went with him on rendezvous they each had a bond with him. As we sat on the ridge over looking the valley in a devotional, Jeff encouraged the boys to serve missions. He was coming from a position of trust and friendship. It had a massive impact, and my boys keep talking about it. (As a sidetone, another really impressive thing that Jeff did happened after the Friday night camp fire. I have a nephew, Aaron, who lives in Georgia and came with us last year to camp. His family came to visit Utah on Thursday, and he was able to hitch a ride with someone to come Friday night. Jeff not only remembered Aaron, but gave him a huge hug and told him how great it was to see him—i.e. how much he loved him.)
Jeff is just one example of the quality of people you have. I saw similar behavior every where we went. I know you have a big job, but from my perspective there is nothing more important that you can do than attract these amazing returned missionary senior staff members. I know you probably figured it out long ago, but I just wanted to reiterate how important it is to the boys in my troop on a very personal level.”
They Went Above and Beyond
Andrew Edtl, Scoutmaster for Troop 728 was impressed by how the staff seemed to embody the Scout Oath and Law, he said:
“Your evaluation form asked about specific staff members that provided exceptional service. However, it didn’t provide enough space to provide the feedback that is truly necessary for certain staff members.
Emily, from the trading post, was singled out by our Scouts for being nice, helpful, and showing genuine care for our Scout. They noted that she asked for their names, and learned their names. As a Scoutmaster, I also had the opportunity to meet her both as she guided our troop in when we arrived at camp, and during her single days, our troop friend. Emily is the true embodiment of what it means to live the Scouting values, and an amazing individual.
Ethan, and the First Aid staff, were singled out by our Scouts for having a “playful attitude” and making first aid fun. I heard nothing but praise about the first aid course, and am so pleased at the amazing staff members you have working in that area.
Anne (or perhaps Ann?), who worked in
leatherwork, was single handedly responsible for keeping no less than six of my Scouts actively engaged in their otherwise boring leatherwork projects, during class, after class, and even on an unscheduled third day of class. She was also a guide for our troop when we arrived, and the Scouts reported that she was very friendly, and went above and beyond to teach and guide them on their leatherworking projects.
“Thank you so much for running an efficient, organized, and responsive camp. The two evaluation sheets I filled out had the question ‘What do you wish you had known before coming to camp?’, and as I reflect on our experience, I wish I would have known that any other camp we visit can only hope to achieve second best.–Andrew Edtl, Scoutmaster, Troop 728
Lisa, our Commissioner, was singled out by both of our adult leaders for being enthusiastic, positive, and focusing on good values. She was responsive, always happy to help, and had a great rapport with the Scouts.
Kyle, the Rifle Instructor, went above and beyond to ensure the boys were successful at rifle shooting, without cutting corners. He provided individualized instruction to boys that were struggling, opened the range beyond normal times to provide opportunities to shoot, and even visited campsites to provide a report on which boys still needed to shoot, and when he was going to make the range available for them. His devotion to the boys reflects great credit upon himself, and the Maple Dell Scout Camp.
Finally, as the Scoutmaster, thank you so much for running an efficient, organized, and responsive camp. The two evaluation sheets I filled out had the question ‘What do you wish you had known before coming to camp?’, and as I reflect on our experience, I wish I would have known that any other camp we visit can only hope to achieve second best.”
Author: Melany Gardner | “The Boy Scout” Editor and Marketing Specialist, Utah National Parks Council