More than 2,500 LDS Scouts and their leaders from 18 countries gathered in the valley of Brexbachtal near Koblenz recently for Triangle '89, the largest Scouting encampment ever conducted in Europe.
According to camp representative Werner Gysler of Switzerland, the Triangle theme was symbolic, representing the three arms of Scouting (citizenship, character development and physical fitness) and the three-fold Church emphasis of bringing souls unto Christ through perfecting the saints, proclaiming the gospel and redeeming the dead.Countries represented at the encampment included Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Federal Republic of Germany, Finland, France, German Democratic Republic, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia, Luxemburg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands. An opening ceremony included playing of the national anthem of each nation.
Scout leader Robert Luke of Norway said hearing the many anthems was "very touching. It was a spiritual boost and contributed to a great opening production."
Triangle '89 included 12 subcamps, each with at least three nationalities and languages.
"It was very interesting to see the boys grow together," noted Gysler. "The entire encampment was a great spiritual uplift for everyone who participated. We are all looking forward to the next such event in 1993."
A highlight of the encampment was a Sunday sacrament service with the Europe Area presidency, Elder Carlos E. Asay and Elder Hans B. Ringger of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and Elder John R. Lasater of the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
During the meeting, 20 priests and 50 deacons administered the sacrament, and the talks were translated into all of the languages.
"Brethren, it is an inspiration to see you," said Elder Asay, area president. "The Lord Himself often held open-air services such as the one we are conducting here."
Elder Asay's counsel to the boys was straightforward: "If something is unclean, don't think it; if it is not true, don't say it; and if it is not good, don't do it."
Elder Ringger encouraged Scouts to put the Scout Law and Oath on a card, and then put the card on a mirror, reading book or other frequently used place. "It will remind you and help you to become a better person," he said.
Scouts from the Nice France Stake adopted Elder Asay as an honorary member of their troop. The Neumunster Germany Stake did the same for Elder Lasater and gave him an honorary Eagle award. He was presented the award, along with a Scout shirt, neckerchief and certificate.
The remainder of the encampment included a variety of activities designed to help Scouts enhance their physical fitness, outdoor skills and camping techniques.