As successors to President Zabriskie in the Highland Utah East Stake, we wanted to ensure that we followed up the 2006 Encampment in order to avail ourselves of the blessings that came from the original. We finally did it in the summer of 2012.
Logistically, we altered the format slightly, in that we were able to secure Beaver High Adventure Base as a single venue for the entire encampment. We did our own merit badge camp, Timberline, Kodiak High Adventure (for ages 14-18), and a Wood Badge course.
I chose to have myself be assistant quartermaster on the Wood Badge course held in the BHAB lodge, which was central to all the other activities. This allowed me to be near each group and interact with them in a rather free-flowing way all week. My counselors were either on Wood Badge staff or spent several days up at camp (a special shout-out to Gordon Glade, former counselor to President Zabriskie and my 1st Counselor, for sharing the vision with us newbies and for providing inspired leadership and vision; we also had wonderful help from Len Brunsdale as well as so many others who put their heart and soul into this powerful activity).
A prerequisite for all adult participants was Wood Badge certification, and we had over 40 people obtain WB before the encampment.
What a remarkable experience this was! We had boys and leaders all over the place, doing everything from merit badges to hiking mountain peaks, mountain biking, mule riding, canoeing, white-water rafting, rock climbing, shooting, archery, ‘hawks and knives, etc. (One enterprising leader even brought up live chickens, which Teacher-age boys were able to prepare for dinner, from start to finish—an unforgettable experience!) While we found that doing such an encampment every 4 years proved a challenge, we were able to repeat it after 6 years, thereby giving each young man this experience.
Thanks, Joel, for laying the foundation for a great work! Your template was our model, and yes, we will do it again!