COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.
In a not-so-ordinary camp sponsored by the Colorado Springs Colorado North Stake, more than 130 boys ages 8, 9, and 10, gathered for three days to attend a Cub Scout day camp at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The goal of the camp was to provide an opportunity for the boys to pass off Boy Scouts of America achievements such as knot tying and leather work, along with incorporating spiritual growth and lessons on faith. A total of 126 volunteers assisted with the event held June 12-14.
"Our focus has always been a spiritual feel for day camp," said Shyrlene Brooks, Cub Scout day camp director.
She has served as the director for the past three years, during which time leaders have had a theme for day camp and worked to infuse it into the Scouts' activities throughout each day.
This year's theme, "The Fire of Faith," guided each day's activities. The first day focused on the "tinder," or faith in the Lord. The second day of camp focused on the "kindling," or actions — such as daily scripture study — that help build faith. The third day focused on the "flame" of a fire that continues to burn strongly when fueled by righteous efforts like personal prayer.
"The themes come truly from the Lord and we believe that Scouting and gospel principles go hand in hand," said Sister Brooks.
This year's success was the result of a process that began several years ago, Sister Brooks said. Parents began to give feedback of wanting more than just having fun from a Cub Scout day camp. Sister Brooks said, "If we do a camp we want it to mean something."
Change to the program began in 2007 by holding the event on the Air Force Academy. The base already had an established Scout camp available to the public, and it is a fenced-in area near the B-52 display.
"That first year on the Air Force Academy the camp went beautifully," said Sister Brooks.
This year, three of the Cub Scout activities were held on base. The horseback riding was provided by the Academy Equestrian Center and the Academy Archery Club assisted with the archery and BB gun achievements.
Collin Kinnaird, a Cub Scout who attended day camp, said, "I finally learned how to aim [the BB gun] and I hit my paper plate 20 times!"
At "The Fire of Faith" Cub Scout day camp the boys completed requirements for BSA rank advancements and spiritual requirements in the "Faith in God" booklet that is produced by the Church. The boys went ice skating, hiking, made wood projects and played pioneer games to learn about their Mormon heritage. Overall, there were 100 achievements or activities available for Scouts to accomplish during day camp.
"The Cub Scout day camp in the Colorado Springs North Stake continues to evolve. Our camp has become a great training ground for our Primary boys. They come away tired, challenged and more confident in their ability to do hard things. This prepares them for their future priesthood duty," said David Powell, second counselor in the Colorado Springs NorthStake Presidency.