Ground broken on Thomas S. Monson Lodge


The popular Hinckley Scout Ranch is named in honor of Bryant Stringham Hinckley — an LDS educator who played a pivotal role in the Church accepting Scouting as the activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood in the United States over 100 years ago and the father of former Church President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Another familiar name will be immortalized soon at the sprawling camp located on the north slope of Utah’s Uinta Mountains.

Ground was broken May 27 to commence construction of the 18,000-square-foot, multi-use Thomas S. Monson Lodge. The facility will be the camp’s main building and include a grand hall, several training rooms and areas for merit badge achievement. Thousands of Boy Scouts, along with their leaders and young women from girls’ encampments will utilize the lodge for training, fellowship and fun.

A who’s-who of LDS youth leadership took part in the groundbreaking ceremony — including several former Young Men general presidents: Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, Elder Robert K. Dellenbach, Elder Robert L. Backman and Brother Charles W. Dahlquist. Also participating was Elder Richard G. Hinckley, an emeritus Seventy and Bryant Stringham Hinckley’s grandson, along with Sorenson family members Tim and Joan Fenton and Scouting leader Floyd Hatch.

Adding the name of the Church’s 16th president to the future building was an easy and obvious choice, said Elder Dellenbach. “No one has done more for Scouting, in the modern era, than Thomas S. Monson.”

Most of the construction costs will be covered by a contribution made by the Sorenson Legacy Foundation. The organization requested that the lodge be named for President Monson.

Elder Dellenbach said the future building would stand as an apt tribute to President Monson and his lifelong support of Scouting.

“It’s going to be fantastic,” he said.

President Monson has served for more than four decades on Scouting’s National Executive Board and has received Scouting’s Silver Beaver and Silver Buffalo awards, International Scouting’s highest award, the Bronze Wolf, and Scouts Canada’s Silver Fox Award.

Additional improvements are planned at the 565-acre Hinckley Scout Ranch, according to Elder Dellenbach. Future campers will enjoy new pavilions, restrooms, a new water reservoir, an obstacle/confidence course, and improved archery, rifle and black powder shooting ranges. @JNSwensen

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