By Val Hale
Oct 17, 2013

Troop 476: 2013 Goblin Valley Adventure

While many young men and women spent the 2013 fall break with their families or simply staying at home, eight Boy Scouts and four leaders from Troop 476 in Orem, Utah, ventured south for an adventure at Goblin Valley State Park.

We left Thursday at 1:00 in the middle of a hard rainstorm.  The rain continued falling as we journeyed south along Highway 6 to Green River.  We were grateful for the new trailer our ward recently purchased to store and haul our Scouting equipment.  It stayed nice and dry as we motored along the wet road.

Our plans were to camp on BLM land near Goblin Valley.  With the government shutdown still closing the National Parks, we were pretty sure the campground was full.  We worried about the very wet and muddy conditions alongside the highway which were getting worse by the minute as the heavy rains continued.  Our Scoutmaster, Mark Jacob, worried we would get stuck if we ventured off the highway very far.  I shared his concern.

We decided to check how much hotel rooms would cost in Green River.  I Googled a list of hotels and randomly selected the Sleepy Hollow Inn.  Fortuitously, the LDS Bishop of the Green River Ward is the owner of the hotel.  He answered the phone.  I explained our predicament, and he graciously agreed to let us stay at a very affordable rate of $30 per room.

The city park is located across the street from the hotel and has a very nice pavilion.  We checked into the hotel and went to the park to cook our meal of chili dogs.  The boys were hungry and hurriedly gulped down the food so they could play on the playground equipment.

We arranged for four boys to stay in each room.  A couple of boys slept on the floor, and the other two got the beds.  The four leaders split up the other two rooms.  No doubt the hotel experience was a highlight of the trip.  The Scouts thought they were in heaven being able to sleep in a hotel room instead of the muddy, wet outdoors.

The next morning we checked out of the hotel and went back to the park to have our breakfast of oatmeal, bagels, hot chocolate and yogurt.  Then we loaded up the troop and headed to the John Wesley Powell Museum in Green River.  I had called the head of the museum and asked how much it would cost to bring our troop.  She graciously told me she would allow us to come at no charge.

The museum is very interesting.  It includes an excellent 22-minute movie about Powell’s adventure down the Grand Canyon.  There are many exhibits that explain the history of river running down the Colorado River.  As someone who has twice run the big rapids of the Colorado, I found the museum very fascinating.

After about an hour in the museum, we loaded up and headed to Goblin Valley.  We camped at a beautiful place just off the main highway.  Our troop has been going to this same location for many years.  It is always a favorite trip of the boys.

Author: Val Hale | Assistant Scout Master

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2 thoughts on “Troop 476: 2013 Goblin Valley Adventure

  1. AvatarBen Applegate`

    This would appear to the the infamous group who destroyed a formation at the park. Their statements as Boy Scout “leaders” revolves around their supposed responsibility to destroy precarious formations (the very thing that the park is known for) in order to protect children.

    There is nothing more obviously wrong than to treat our natural resources like this. Leadership is teaching scouts about precious resources and natural beauty – not to mention how to avoid dangerous situations. What a shameful failure and public relations disaster for the Boy Scouts supposed mission.

  2. AvatarVal Hale

    Well, Ben. You are mistaken. That was not our troop. There were many troops down there that weekend, and ours was not the one that committed the vandalism. I would suggest you get your facts straight before you publicly point your finger unjustly at someone. I think the Scout Law covers that somehow. Am I correct?


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