Scouts seize opportunity to strengthen testimonies

Farragut, ID — More than 1,200 Scouts from nine stakes gathered here recently for a Scout Encampment entitled, "2000 Sons Firm in the Faith of Christ." Three years in the planning, the encampment was designed to help the young men associate the year 2000 with the faithfulness of the 2,000 Stripling Warriors in the Book of Mormon.

"It was an impressive camp," said David Hedengren of the Richland Washington Stake who was assistant chairman of the encampment. "It was a combination of Scouting and priesthood activities."

Held at Farragut State Park July 27-Aug. 5, the camp brought together 60 Scout units from the Kennewick Washington, Kennewick Washington East, Richland Washington, Pasco Washington, Walla Walla Washington, Selah Washington, Yakima Washington, Herimiston Oregon and La Grande Oregon stakes.

Special guest speakers Elder Robert K. Dellenbach of the Seventy and Young Men general president, and Doug Padilla, 1986 Moscow Goodwill Games 5000-meter champion, addressed the Scouts and their leaders during the week. Elder Dellenbach reminded the Scouts of four rules to help them stay safe from harm in their lives: "First, don't do anything that would invite Satan into your life. Second, keep your mind clean. Third, know how to defend yourself against Satan's temptations. Fourth know where to get help, such as from the Lord, a bishop, parent, or proper priesthood leader, the scriptures and prayer."

President Gerald Sorensen of the Richland stake, who was also the Encampment executive director, admonished the boys to think of the 2,000 Sons of Helaman. "There are not quite 2,000, but I am convinced that you are as valiant and dedicated to the Lord as those Sons of Helaman. I encourage you young men to seize this opportunity to strengthen your testimonies. Take time to reflect upon the similarities between you and the Sons of Helaman. Each of you, like them, has been taught by your mothers that if you do not doubt, God will bless and protect you."

The activities for the Scouts included waterfront events such as snorkeling, swimming, and canoeing, as well as other outdoor activities. The Scouts had time each day to complete merit badges in plumbing, cinematography, emergency preparedness, metal work, citizenship in the world and weather.