Encampment teaches Scouts spiritual skills

About 400 LDS Scouts gathered recently at the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch for a week-long encampment focusing on missionary preparation and outdoor skills.

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone of the First Quorum of the Seventy and general Young Men president spoke at a Sunday fireside and conducted mountaintop experiences with the boys.Activities on the Sunday of the encampment included a sacrament meeting, family history classes, missionary preparation classes, nature walks with spiritual themes and the showing of several Church videotapes.

During the outdoor experiences with small groups of Scouts, Elder Featherstone spoke candidly about the importance of chastity and shared examples of outstanding service offered by young people in the Church. He also exhorted the boys to adhere to principles espoused in the Scout Oath and Scout Law – to do their duty to God and country and live with integrity and kindness.

Later in the week, Elder Rex D. Pinegar, also of the First Quorum of the Seventy and first counselor in the general Young Men presidency, spoke at campfire and sunrise services. Elder Pinegar challenged Eagle Scouts to "give back" to the program.

LDS Scouts who attended the camp, located about 40 miles northwest of Fort Collins, Colo., came from the four stakes in the Fort Collins Region, the Boulder Colorado Stake in the Denver Region and the Cheyenne Wyoming Stake.

At mid-week, stake presidents attended the camp for an ice cream social and to meet with their boys. They each conducted programs based on a gospel theme. One stake had recently returned missionaries speak on their missions and on how Scouting helped prepare them to serve.

Through the week, a contest was held to determine the outstanding unit. Top honors went to Troop 140 of the Cheyenne 4th Ward.

"The camp was a great experience, one these young men will not forget," said Tom Dunning, chairman of the regional planning committee that organized the camp. "This will have an impact on them. Sitting under the trees listening to the General Authorities, we realized it was worth the effort."