“All Scoutmasters Go To Heaven” (Updated 2x)

I had a physical before the Boy Scout camp I participated in from August 10 through August 15 at Camp Bartlett in southeastern Idaho. One of the doctors saw my Scout health form, learned I was a scoutmaster, learned I was going to summer camp, learned I was not the father of any boys in the troop, and then said “All scoutmasters go to heaven.”

* * * * *

By the end of the camp, I had formulated the following hypothesis: The number of empty soda and water bottles accumulated by scouts during summer camp is inversely proportional to the number of notebooks, pens, and pencils retained.

* * * * *

One of the greatest threats to a scout during camp: knives for sale at the camp Trading Post.

* * * * *

Exchange between a scout from my troop and an instructor on the first day of a merit badge course.

Instructor: This is the class for the Fish and Wildlife Management merit badge.

Scout: (with genuine disappointment) I thought it was Fish and Wildlife!

* * * * *

I saw a young scout who had just purchased some things from the camp trading post. He approached his scoutmaster, handed him his wallet, and asked him to keep it for him so he would not spend all of his money.

* * * * *

As a scout from my troop ate his lunch, seated by the fire, he matter-of-factly exclaimed: “I haven’t gorged myself like this in 25 years!”

* * * * *

Some scouts from my troop enjoyed interacting with the female camp staff at the camp trading post. Two of them gave the young women their phone numbers. The scouts were telling an instructor about all of this, and the interest the young women had shown, when the instructor punctured their enthusiasm by saying: “They get paid for doing that, you know.”

* * * * *

We were at Camp Bartlett the last week it was open in 2009, so the instructors had been through 10 to 12 weeks of scouts before we arrived. Perhaps that explains the rather harsh reaction by an instructor whose twin brother was also working as an instructor on the camp staff.

Scout: Do you have a twin?
Instructor: Yes, get over it!

* * * * *

The Emergency Preparedness instructor taught the scouts that if they are bit by a squirrel, then they need to capture the squirrel, then go to a doctor and take the squirrel with them. The doctor will be able to determine whether the squirrel has rabies, and then treat the scout for rabies if necessary. One or two scouts were very interested in what would happen to the squirrel, asked two of three times, and the instructor finally gave this answer: “If the squirrel does not have rabies it will be let go. If the squirrel has rabies, it will either be treated for rabies, or the squirrel will be released into the wild where it will pose no harm to anyone.” He was not joking.

* * * * *

In Astronomy, the instructor asked why man had not yet landed on Mars, or why there is not more funding for astronomy research, or both. Spencer Fowers, the adult leader helping me with the troop during camp, is a graduate student at BYU.   He responded that it relates to funding and that there is no money in astronomy, to which the instructor responded: “No, there is a lot of money in astronomy.”

* * * * *

This exchange occurred in a First Class skills course on First Aid.

Instructor: When should you stop performing CPR on someone?

Scout: When he’s dead.

Instructor: That’s incorrect.

* * * * *

One of my scouts worked tirelessly at the archery range to improve his score and earn the Archery merit badge. I observed one of his sessions. After one shot missed the mark, in a nearly emotionless voice that betrayed only a hint of frustration he wondered aloud: “Is there like an invisible force field or something that keeps me from hitting the bull’s eye?” Shortly thereafter, one of his arrows skipped off the top of the target, sailed above the netting behind the targets, and he stopped, stood facing the target, raised his extended arms to shoulder level, and exclaimed: “How could that happen?”

* * * * *

Erin Flinders, a father of four whose youngest son Clint is a member of my troop, was in Idaho on business travel and paid a visit to our camp on Monday and Wednesday. On Wednesday I visited with him as he left the camp, and shared some of my concerns over some discipline issues and other difficulties at the camp. I asked if he had any words of wisdom. He said, slowly and with some deliberation: “I’ll just say this is a very worthwhile experience, for all involved.”

* * * * *

The Boy Scouts of America leadership training teaches that if there are scouts on an outing that require prescription medicine, that the medicine should be kept in a locked troop medicine kit and the scoutmaster will provide the prescription medicine as needed. Camp Bartlett was going to perform that function, but at check-in they informed me that they would leave that responsibility with me. We had one scout that needs insulin, but he is an older scout and I just left the responsibility to him. Twice he had to go through everything in his tent and re-trace his steps at his camp to find his insulin, creating significant concern for all of us. Lesson learned, follow the training on this! It is easy to lose most anything in a tent on a camp out, there is no reason medicine would be any different.

* * * * *

Another troop at the camp was over-the-top when it came to the immaculate condition of their uniforms, marching in formation to flag ceremonies, and ensuring they stood in a perfectly straight line at flag ceremony by forming two columns on either side of a length cord they had staked to the ground so that it was perpendicular to the line at which all the troops lined up. As I sized up that troop, two images came to mind – – the militaristic “sensei” from the “dojo” in the “Karate Kid” movie, and Rex-Kwan-Do from “Napoleon Dynamite.” As they would walk into formation, I’d refer to them as “the dojo” and would occasionally let loose with a “Bow to your sensei!” At the end of the week our troop encountered some of their troop members in a competition, and I cheered on my scouts by crossing my arms above my head as the sensei did in “The Karate Kid,” and yelling “No mercy!” My sense was that my counterparts in the other troop had no sense of what motivated these cheers, but somehow I derived sufficient satisfaction all the same.

* * * * *

Speaking of “Napoleon Dynamite,” we were privileged to drive through Preston, Idaho on the way to and from the camp.

* * * * *

Prior to a 5-mile hike, I told the other adult leader: “I predict that during this hike I will be asked whether this is required, who chose to do this, and whether there wasn’t a shorter hike.” About a mile into the hike I went to one of our younger scouts, told him of the prediction I had made, and asked how he thought I had done. He confirmed that I had been spot on.

* * * * *

Standard answer of staff at Camp Bartlett if a scout asks how much longer a hike will be: “Four miles.”

* * * * *

After almost a year as a Scoutmaster (preceded by having been a Boy Scout, and having served in the Varsity program, Venturing program, and as an Assistant Scoutmaster), only after the summer camp experience did I come to realize some things. First, if a scouts asks whether an activity we are engaged in is required, the default answer is a simple “yes” (it does not matter whether it is required by the Boy Scouts of America, a program in which we are participating, the LDS Church, or myself). Second, if a scouts asks whether they can do something, the default answer is “no” (they’re probably asking to do something they normally would not be allowed to do, and they know it). Those are only the default answers, they are not always the answers that will be given.

* * * * *

After this camp, I am a big believer in competitions or any activity that has the scouts necessarily act as a team rather than as individuals.

* * * * *

One night our troop friend, Braden, came to our camp with two of his friends on his staff. They told the troop the Judge Parker story. A man named Judge Parker lived in the city, but had built a cabin in the area where Camp Bartlett was built many years later. He was once at the cabin with his son, who was about 12 years old. He had left the cabin, only to return to find it in flames. He had nothing to put out the fire, but had heard that one could stop a fire by using a pick ax to break up the fuel feeding the fire, so he began to swing in pick ax wildly throughout the cabin, breaking through doors, walls, furniture, whatever. Finally the fire stopped, but he could not hear his son, his son did not respond when he called out to him, and he finally found his son in bed, dead, having been killed by the pick ax used to put out the fire. Judge Parker mourned his lost son, was obsessed, became mad. Many years passed, Camp Bartlett was built, and it so happened that our campsite, Escalante, was the point on the camp located nearest an incident that occurred after the camp was built. According to the story, one night a mysterious man entered a campsite at night, he took a 12-year-old scout from a tent, and when people in the camp when searching for the man and the scout, they came upon a tree in which the initials “J.P.” were scrawled, but neither the man nor the scout were ever found. Braden and his friends told my troop that they would now take them to the tree to see where “J.P.” had been written. I stayed in our camp to keep an eye on the fire, and the troop followed the staff into the dark forest to find the tree. Not a minute had passed before I heard screaming and all the scouts from my troop were back at our campsite, and the staff excused themselves. The scouts were frightened to death, they had never even reached the tree, but someone had jumped out of the bushes and set them all off on a run. They repeatedly came to me and asked whether the story was true, to which I would reply: “I am not from this place, I don’t know the history here.” The scouts began to express their anger toward Braden and the staff, and began to insist that they must shun them! We went to an astronomy observation later in the evening, and the scouts asked where Braden and his friends were so they could shun them!! This was one of the highlights of the camp. The scouts will never forget it, and somehow they no longer felt the need to shun Braden after a day or so had passed.

* * * * *

The Saturday before camp I purchased a notebook at WalMart. I was about to buy a plain notebook, but decided I needed something to create some conversation so I bought a pink one with a princess on the front. This was a great notebook for scout camp – – created conversations, and if I ever misplaced the notebook it would be easy to describe to others. Also, about zero risk that anyone would ever steal it.

* * * * *

During the course of the camp I learned the value of certain questions.  One day we were preparing to put out the fire before we left our campsite for an activity, yet a scout was approaching the fire to add some sticks he had found.  I approached him and simply asked “What are you thinking?”  It stopped him in his tracks, he was unable to answer.  Also, many times a scout would ask me, “Can I build a fire?” and I would respond “What is the purpose?”  That question typically left them dumbfounded as well.  Making fires – – scouts seem to go into a trance when it comes to fire, I discovered these questions help them pause and think, and it can be fun for me and the scout at the same time.  Once, after I had begun asking these questions, when I was putting something in the fire a scout approached me excitedly asking “What is the meaning?  What is the meaning?”  I replied “You mean, what is the purpose?”

* * * * *

One day I was sitting  under some trees by the lake filling out merit badge cards.  Some of my troops were playing at the shore of the lake to my right, scouts from another troop were fishing at some distance to my left.  Neither group had seen I was there.  One day earlier in the week members of the other troop, whose campsite was next to ours, had chopped down about four trees, at least one of which was not dead, notwithstanding the fact that camp policy prohibited chopping down any tree absent approval from the camp staff.  As I continued to fill out the merit badge cards, the silence was broken when this exchange began between a member of my troop and a long-haired member of the other troop.

My troop’s scout:  Why does your troop chop down trees?
Other troop’s scout:  We don’t chop down trees, you dirty hillbilly.
My  troop’s scout:  I’m not a hillbilly, but at least I don’t look like a girl.
Other troop’s scout:  (rejoinder making very literate use of lewd and profane language)
My troop’s scout:  (response making more clumsy use of lewd and profane language)
Other troop’s scout:  (verbal attack escalating the level of lewdness and profanity)
My troop’s scout:  (inappropriate response)

This does not capture the full exchange, including remarks by another member of my troop at the shore, but it gives the general gist of what happened.  At this point I got up, walked out of the trees to confront my scouts, and told them their behavior had been completely inappropriate.  One of my two scouts attempted to explain away what happened, but I stopped him cold:  “I was sitting right over there.  I heard everything.”

* * * * *

In an earlier post I provided a link to report on the scout camp at the Troop 797 blog.  I’ve since posted another entry there that includes an additional account of our activities.  You may read that post here.

* * * * *

My scouts’ favorite purchase from the camp trading post – – a Klondike ice cream treat called a Choco Taco.  The Trading Post missed out on some business by being out of stock for the first 2 or 3 days of camp.  One morning I went by the Trading Post, saw Choco Tacos had appeared again, and immediately bought one.  I was not hungry, but had to sample one.  Pretty good, actually.

* * * * *

The Boy Scouts have a program to help foster the safe use of knives and axes.  Scouts are to receive training, and once they have training they are given a “Tote ‘N Chip” card.  This card becomes, in effect, the scout’s license to carry a knife.  If a scoutmaster sees the scout violating one of the safety rules, he asks for the scout’s card, and tears off a corner.  If four corners of the card are torn off, the scoutmaster confiscates the knife, and the scout has to receive more training before receiving a new card.  The first morning we gathered the troop together for training, and Spencer Fowers or Taylor Cline trained them.  They were taught about the concept of the “Blood Circle.”  Before a Scout opens his pocket knife, he must first hold out his closed knife with his extended arm, and cannot open the knife if anyone around him is within arm’s length, is within what is called the Blood Circle.  As the training was given most, if not all, of the scouts opened their knives and looked at them, even though they were all sitting in close proximity to each other.  Immediately after the Blood Circle training was given, they opened their knives.  Spencer Fowers then told them:  “You all just opened your knives in the Blood Circle.”  The irony was lost on them.  So, we train, and we train, and we train.

* * * * *

Camp Bartlett has an “Adults Only” bathroom at the camp lodge.  One of the best features of the camp, giving adult leaders access to something other than an outhouse / latrine.  I referred to the room as the “Executive Bathroom” or “Executive Suite.”  Also, at this camp I heard for the first time in my life the term KYBO to refer to an outhouse.  According to wikipedia, the term is popular in the scouting movement (see wikipedia article on outhouses).

* * * * *

Camp Bartlett  bans mp3 players and other electronic devices from camp, a policy I heartily embraced.  The scouts expressed despair when I told them they would not be able to take them on the trip, even to use on the long drive to the camp.  Somehow, they survived.  I typically listen to the audio edition of The Economist each week, but could not take my mp3 player, and had not been able to get a copy of the most recent print edition of the magazine before leaving on the trip.  I’m still catching up.

Update (7-4-10)

I authored a post to the troop website, which I posted on August 15, 2009.  Just in case the troop797.net website ever goes away, here is the text of that post.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Summer Camp – – Camp Bartlett

On August 16 Tyler Rife delivered the following report in priesthood opening exercises of the Grandview Ninth Ward, which are held at 11 am each Sunday. Photos and videos for this camp are available by clicking the Troop 797 Photo Album link appearing under the title “Websites and Other Resources” at the upper right of this webpage.

WHEN: 5 am Monday, August 10 through 2 pm, Saturday, August 15

WHERE: Camp Bartlett, 200 miles from Provo in Southeastern, Idaho, elevation 6500 feet

WHO: Troop 797 – – Clint Flinders, Matt Housley, Morgan Hunter, Zac Jarman, Sam Jensen, Landon Ledingham, Tyler Rife, Creed Rollins; Varsity Scouts – – Stephan Dartiguenave, Nathan Hoopes; Adult Leadership – – Taylor Cline, Spencer Fowers, Greg Jones; Fathers who visited camp Erin Flinders, Shawn Hoopes

WHAT:

Rank advancement
* Many requirements for ranks up to first class
* 37 Merit Badges (Archery, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, Rifle Shooting, Sculpture, Shotgun Shooting, Small Boat Sailing, Swimming, Wilderness Survival, Wood Carving)
* 21 partially completed merit badges (Astronomy, First Aid, Fish and Wildlife Management, Fly Fishing)

Honor Troop Award
*Attended 8 flag ceremonies (performed flag ceremony Tuesday, did a troop yell on Wednesday)
*100 % attendance at senior patrol leader meetings
*Went on the Honor Trail activity to learn more about the Scout Oath and Law
*Went on a 5 mile hike to Hope Rock
*Sored 53 out of 50 on a campsite inspection
*Took 2nd place in the John Colter relay race, all scouts participated – a highlight
*Did a troop service project (improved a stream running into the camp’s lake)
Individual Accomplishments
*Landon Ledingham – – caught a 13 ½ inch trout, one of the week’s largest fish
*Tyler Rife – – completed the 1-mile swim (only 7 scouts in the camp did it)
* 8 troop members – – spent a night away from camp in log shelters they created

Others Activities and Fun
* Hauling food to camp, preparing 14 meals, hauling trash to camp office
* Making fires
* Numerous visits to the camp trading post (chaco tacos!)
* Camp Olympics (tug of war, rope pull,caber toss, pirates of the caribbean, ninja, leg-wrestling, stick pulling)
*Fishing
*Troop canoe race
*Astronomy observations Monday through Thursday at 10 pm
*Shunning the camp staff after they scared the troop to death by telling the Judge Parker story at our campsite one night
*Troop rifle shoot and archery
* Preparing and performing a troop skit at the camp’s closing campfire program
“Scoutmaster’s minute,” spiritual thoughts, troop prayers

SPECIAL THANKS: Lon Olsen (physicals for many scouts), Spencer Fowers (volunteered to spend the whole week at camp), the ward troop committee, parents

Update (7-4-10)

Here is another post I made to troop797.net on August 15, 2010.  I link to this above, but I’m reproducing it below in case the troop797.net website ever goes away.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Camp Bartlett – – More Memories from the Scoutmaster

When we chose 5 am as our departure time, the adults believed the scouts would fall asleep during our 3 to 4 hour drive to camp. In fact, they were awake and chattering actively all the way. I then believed that they would succumb to sleep during their afternoon merit badges, but that did not occur either. When they all retired to their tents at 10:30 pm, they we still wide awake and talking.

* * * * *

Monday’s lunch was the first of 15 meals we brought to our camp from the commissary. Each day two scouts would have commissary duty, having to make a trip to the commissary for each meal, sometimes being having another scout or leader sub for them. Two scouts would be assigned to prepare the meal, typically with the help of Spencer Fowers, and two scouts would be assigned to clean up after the meal with my help. For cleanup we’d have a pot of hot water I would use to remove most of the food and from the dishes and utensils, a bucket of soapy water a scout would use to clean, and then a but of water a scout would use to rinse and dry. The commissary would often give us far more food than we would need, so we started storing it in our coolers. For many of the scouts, cookies left over from the previous meal became the appetizers for the following meal.

* * * * *

During the Emergency Preparedness merit badge class on Monday, the instructor called on Tyler Rife to be carried by two other scouts using the firemen’s carry. Like most of the instructors in the camp, this instructor was probably 15 or 16 years old. At the end of this exercise, he asked the class whether the two scouts should be nice or mean when sitting Tyler down. The class of 10 or so scouts voted for mean. I assumed Tyler would nonetheless be let down in some appropriate way, but to my surprise, and Tyler’s surprise as well, the instructor told the two scouts to go ahead and be mean, and they awkwardly let Tyler fall to the ground. I was at once amused and concerned.

* * * * *

|Monday was the first day our scouts made any purchases at the camp’s Trading Post. They made numerous trips there during the week. At week’s end, I had spent less money during the trip than any of the scouts.

* * * * *

I had chosen our campsite, Escalante, on the recommendation of scoutmaster from Idaho. Camp Bartlett surrounds a small lake, and this campsite is at the southern end of the lake. The swimming and boat waterfronts are at the southern end of the lake, but the commissary, camp office, flag ceremony area, and most merit badge classes are held at the north end of the lake. We did a lot of walking during the week.

* * * * *

I encouraged the troop to pursue the Honor Troop award, which is available to each troop at Camp Bartlett. On Monday, when I checked in at the camp office, I signed the troop up for various activities that would qualify the troop for the award.

* * * * *

Monday night we went to our first flag ceremony, followed by a campfire program. Troop 1599 from Spanish Fork was extraordinarily disciplined in the neatness of their uniforms – – all had the same shade of khaki shirt and pants, all badges and insignias were in order, all wore the same style of scout cap, and to ensure they were standing in a straight line they actually pegged a cord to the ground and stood on the cord. The campfire program was full of funny skits followed by a message from a scoutmaster. In the favorite skit a single scout came out, and sang a short verse while dancing in a very uniform motion, then one by one he was joined by other scouts singing their own tune and dancing with his own uniform motion, which included scouts moving a flashlight, boxing glove, or shovel right where a scout’s head had been a split second earlier; ultimately, six scouts were standing side by side, singing and moving in rhythm, and everyone’s safety depended on everyone staying in rhythm.

* * * * *

Monday through Wednesday the troop participated in the 10 pm Astronomy Observations at the flagpole at the north end of the lake, which required yet another walk from our campsite to the north part of camp, and back. The skies were clear each night, and in addition to various stars, planets, and constellations pointed out to us, we enjoyed seeing numerous shooting stars.

* * * * *

Tuesday night the troop participated in the John Colter Run. We thoughtfully selected each scout for each position in this camp relay: 1) Nathan Hoopes practiced the scout oath and law several times in the day before the race, he repeated both at the start of the race, then ran to tag our next scout; 2) we believed Sam Jensen was best prepared to tie knots, after being tagged by Nathan, he was told which knot to tie, and not knowing the knot, immediately and wisely opted to take a 20-second penalty instead, after which he ran to tag the next scout; 3) Clint Flinders was confident that he could answer a nature question, which he did after being tagged by Sam, and then ran to a waiting canoe where he tagged Tyler Rife; 4) Tyler Rife and Landon Ledingham paddled our canoe across the lake, crossing the lake more quickly than the other troops and passing several troops that were ahead of us at that point, and Landon jumped out of the canoe to tag Morgan Hunter; 5) we regarded Morgan as our “secret weapon,” being both a strong runner and light, and he opened a huge lead as he ran to the next position on the course; 6) Morgan tagged Stephan Dartiguenave and Matt Housley, who then used the firemen’s carry to take carry Morgan to the next position, where they tagged Creed Rollins; 7) Creed ran hard alongside members of other troops, and tagged Zac Jarman, who was waiting at a spot at the north of the lake near the spot where the race began; 8) at the beginning of the race Zac and his competitors had been shown how to start a fire using a flint and steel wool, so Zac now went to work with the flint while Creed and other troop members gathered tinder and kindling, and after some struggle Zac lit the fire, the fire burned through a cord suspended above the fire, and Troop 797 had come in second!

I was standing at the north end of the lake during the whole race, and had no idea how we were doing until I saw Stephan and Matt preparing to carry Morgan to the next station. The troop was very excited by this great accomplishment, and each member rightfully celebrated their part in a great team effort.

* * * * *

Immediately after the John Colter Run our troop participated in a service activity in which we worked on a small stream that feeds into the lake. We removed grass and weeds, gathered large rocks from the nearby flagpole area and lined the sides of the stream with the rocks, and also spread pebbles evenly along the bed of the stream. The troop worked very well for about an hour, showing the same teamwork and enthusiasm that yielded success in the John Colter run.

* * * * *

Wednesday morning the troop went on a five mile hike to Hope Rock, from which Bear Lake can be viewed in the distance. Braden, the troop friend assigned to us by the camp, was our guide, along with two other members of the staff. Along the way they told us five stories: 1) the history of a fall tree where we rested, the tree having been struck by lightning numerous times before it fell; 2) the story of the giant legendary grizzly Old Ephraim that roamed Logan Canyon and surrounding areas until finally being killed by a sheep farmer; 3) the story of the Colby Family, all of whom except the mother were slaughtered by American Indians, how the mother went made, and how the Indians would then leave her food as they regarded her as some sort of God; 4) the story of Mountain Man John Colter who was caught by Indians, stripped naked, given the chance to live if he were able to outrun the Indians, he outran all but one, killed that one, and then hid until he was able to escape (an account is on the Internet at http://www.legendsofamerica.com/NB-JohnColter.html); 5) the legend of Hope Rock in which an Indian princess believes her fiancee has died, but standing on Hope Rock she happily sees him emerge from the trees walking toward her.

* * * * *

Wednesday evening the troop participated in a troop rifle shoot and also a troop archery shoot. Afterward we had the option of doing an inter-troop activity with other troops, though the camp-organized activity had been canceled this week, or to do activities ourselves. We went back to our camp, where Zac Jarman led the troop in preparing a skit from the Friday night campfire program. Earlier in the day, at the camp Senior Patrol Leader meeting, Zac had been taught a game called Ninja. After preparing the troop skit, Zac taught the troop how to play Ninja, a game the troop enjoyed so much that they played it into the dark of evening and numerous times thereafter.

* * * * *

Thursday night the troop took a guided walk on the camp’s Honor Trail, learning more about the Scout oath and law. Member of the troop then had free time, which many used for to canoe and boat on the lake. At about 8 pm those working on the Wilderness Survival merit badge met at a camp lodge, and 8 members of our troop joined in a short hike to a spot where all would have to build a temporary shelter from logs, and stay in that shelter overnight. Spencer Fowers and I accompanied the troop, offered no advice on the construction of the shelters, and went back to camp at about 9:30 pm. The troop quickly broke into two teams, the older scouts building a very nice shelter, the younger scouts building a larger but less complete shelter. The older scouts settled into their sleeping bags in their shelter, only to realize that they had build their shelter on a spot infest with ants that would bite ferociously and tenaciously. The older scouts abandoned their shelter and moved in with the younger scouts.

* * * * *

Friday afternoon the scouts participated in the camps Rendezvous Games. This was not organized competition, but there the troop simply tried numerous activities such as the tug-of-war, rope pull, caber toss, ninja, leg-wrestling, stick pulling, “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and a troop canoe race.

* * * * *

Friday night the troop participated in the campfire program and was recognized with the Honor Troop award and for placing second in the John Colter Run. Tyler Rife was also recognized for completing the Mile Swim Thursday afternoon, which required him to swim 7 laps from the swimming area to the boating area and back. The troop also performed a skit in which Zac Jarman was on stage, welcomes Spencer Fowers to the Echoing Forest, and asks Spencer to suggest words to be yelled at the forest; scouts from our troop were positioned at 2 to 3 stations at increasing distances from the stage. Here was the dialogue:

Zac: Hi, traveler, welcome the echoing forest. Is there a word you would like me to day?
Spencer: Echo.
Zac: Echo!
Echoing Forest: echo . . . echo . . . echo
Zac: Another word?
Spencer: Computer
Zac: Computer!
Echoing Forest: computer . . . computer . . . computer
Zac: Another word?
Spencer: Baloney
Zac: Baloney!
Echoing Forest: [no sound is made]
Zac: That’s funny. Would you like to try something else?
Spencer: Sure. Try this: Brother Fowers is the greatest.
Zac: Brother Fowers is the greatest!
Echoing Forest: baloney . . . baloney . . . baloney

* * * * *

After the campfire program we had a troop meeting around a fire at the camp. I shared a scoutmaster’s minute in which I shared the thought from President Monson’s General Conference talk from the Priesthood Session of the most recent conference. The talk featured a story about a young man who ate an egg salad sandwich that he had left in the sun, grew sick from food poisoning, and was able to call on two young men in his band to give him a blessing – – they had recently received the Melchizidek Priesthood, and had lived worthily, so they could give him a blessing. I said that this camp and scouts and the Aaronic Priesthood program help the young men prepare for life, and reminded the young men of thoughts I had shared earlier in the week – – President Uchtdorff’s talk on the “Story of the Light Bulb” which should have reminded us to have fun at camp but not to neglect the things that matter most, and President Eyring’s talk about “No Man Down” which reminds us that we are part of a team and need to be loyal to each other. The scouts and leaders then each told of things for which each is thankful.

* * * * *

Saturday, after a night of rain and wind, we packed up and headed back to Provo. On the way we stopped at a Pepperidge Farm cookie factory in Richmond, Utah, and a Carl’s, Jr. restaurant north of Salt Lake City.

2 Responses to ““All Scoutmasters Go To Heaven” (Updated 2x)”

  1. Header Photo (August 2010) (Updated) « The Greg Jones Blog Says:

    […] I have two postings on my experiences at Troop 797′s summer camp from August 2009:  Scout Camp and All Scoutmasters Go To Heaven. […]

  2. Troop 797: Summer Camp – – 30+ Mile Backpacking Trip in Utah’s High Uintas (8-2-10 through 8-6-10) « The Greg Jones Blog Says:

    […] this year for Summer Camp.  Rather than going to a BSA week-long camp as Troop 797 did for its 2009 Summer Camp, Troop 797 would instead have a five day, thirty mile backpacking trip in Utah’s High Uintas […]

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