Race TrackMy earliest memories of ‘Scouting’ are of a Pinewood Derby; my dad was the Cub Master. I remember that dad had made an awesome racetrack and I was excited to watch it. I was too young to participate but I do remember the thrill of the cars racing down the track. I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to participate. When I actually did turn eight years old and join the Cub Scouts I waited anxiously for a Pinewood derby but the first year it was a Space Derby. It was fun but I wanted to race the cars. The next year it was a Rain Gutter Regatta it was also fun.

Finally the next year I had the opportunity to participate in a Pinewood Derby. My dad and I built a car pinewood carI was so proud of it and just knew I would win the race. As it was I took 2nd place I was so happy and I still to this day have the little trophy I won. I don’t know what happened to my car. The last time I remember seeing it was when my son Tyler was getting his car ready for his Pinewood Derby. We got my car out and used it for some ideas.

eagle badgeI then went into the ‘Boy Scouts’ I was fortunate enough to be blessed with a Mother & a Father who gave me their full support and sometimes a little more encouragement than I thought I wanted. But thanks to them I earned the rank of Eagle. The experiences and skills I learned along that road have proven useful to me almost daily on my path of life.

I had many wonderful experiences as a Boy Scout I will list some of them here in no particular order, and add more as I remember them:

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I remember one year (I think it was my first year) at Camp Maple Dell one of the Junior Officers asked for ‘volunteers’ this particular ‘JO’ was known for having easy and fun assignments so my friend Roland Johnson and myself immediately volunteered. We found ourselves with the unfortunate task of cleaning a latrine pit that someone had filled with rocks and other inappropriate stuff. To this day when ever anyone asks for volunteers I have a flashback to that day. I still volunteer for things but I make sure of what I am volunteering for first.

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  Cycling Merit Badges
   

One year we wanted to earn our ‘Cycling Merit Badges’ the requirements were several including:

      1. Passing Bicycle safety requirements
      2. Showing a knowledge of basic maintenance
      3. Six 3 mile bike rides
      4. One 12 mile ride.

Because we had committed to going on a camp out we decided that we should all go on the camp-out by taking the 12 mile ride to the camp ground. Rules were made Plans were made and we began to prepare for the ride. We had to carry all of our supplies for the camp on our bikes and or backs. The ride was suppose to be 12 miles but ended up being 20 miles all uphill with sleeping bags and food packed, quite a ride. To the surprise of all the scouts the one and only person to peddle the whole way without stopping or walking was our scoutmaster ‘my dad’.

 

We reached our campground ‘Beaver Flats’ which is or was (it is no longer there) at the upper limits of ‘Granite Flats’, in American Fork Canyon. The first order of business was to set up camp and take a bike ride to explore the camp and see how many Beavers we could find. Many damns and numerous habitats were found, but I think only one actual beaver was seen.

The return trip was a long coast causing us to almost wear the brakes out.

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  Junior Officer
   

I was a Junior Officer at Maple Dale Campground two years running the second year I was assigned to work with a group of ‘Special Scouts’ each of the boys had at least one handicap several of them had multiple handicaps. That was probably one of the most fulfilling weeks I have spent. I don’t remember it but my mom says I received a special award for that week, but all I remember is that the boys and I got along so well and I didn’t realize that they were handicapped.

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  Scout-O-Rama
   

I remember going to my first ‘Scout-O-Rama’ what a thrill. It was held in the Wilkinson Center at BYU I was young and had just joined the troop. I didn’t get to participate much with building the tower the ‘older boys’ did most of it which left me free to roam around and see the different displays. The three things that stand out in my memory are:

    1. Vending machines take all your money and the snacks are not filling.
    2. You should never do 300 sit-ups on an inclined board because your stomach will hurt for a whole week.
    3. The tower and rope bridge that our troop built were the most awesome thing in the entire place. I was just reading my dad’s story and I didn’t realize it but our troop received recognition from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as one of the top 50 troops in the church.
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  Kayak Trips
   

As I got older I remember a few kayak trips that I went on as an Explorer Scout:

   
  • We went to Shoshone Lake in our Kayaks this is a lake way back in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park. There are two ways to get there, first you can backpack in I think it is a 15 mile hike to the lake and then you still have to hike around the lake to your designated camp. Or you can paddle a canoe or kayak across Lewis Lake then up Lewis River to the lake a total of about 10 miles and again then you must paddle across the lake to your designated campsite. This was a wonderful experience and yes I was even convinced to try my hand at fishing something I still do not enjoy.
   
  • We took a trip down the Snake River what fun we found white water and yes even a small waterfall to go over. This was a very fun trip the most memorable thing on this trip was the morning we woke up with a thin layer of snow over us probably an inch or so. It was just enough snow that the wood didn’t want to burn and we couldn’t get a morning fire going. Carl Perry our leader was chiding us about not being good scouts and saying that he was not going to get out of his warm sleeping bag until we had a nice fire for him to sit at. He finally said something like “a scout is prepared and a scout can start a fire with one match”. With this point he told us all to stand back away from ‘his fire’. We had all laid our fire out the night before so it would be easy to start our fires in the morning. He pulled from his sleeping bag what he called his ‘Scout Match’ in reality it was a fifteen-minute flare. He lighted the ‘match’ and tossed it into his fire. The fire immediately flared up and burned. He then took the time to once again teach us the importance of being prepared with dry matches and a match that would infact do the job. Also he explained that he had observed the weather the night before and felt it might rain so he had ‘prepared his fire’ by soaking some large logs in white gas from the cook stove. These logs were then placed at the bottom of his fire so the gas would not evaporate or get washed off. Thus his fire burned readily. What a good lesson taught first by example and then explained.
   
  • The most memorable camp for me was the trip toAlturas Lake Alturas Lake. This is a lake in the Sawtooth Mountain Range Jr Prom near Stanley Idaho. While at this camp I met Nancy Laverty she became the first girl that I really cared for. I was sure I was in love, now I love the memories. She and I became very close even though she lived in Challis Idaho and I lived in Pleasant Grove Utah. We spent time on the phone and sent letters back and forth (that was long before email). She visited me 6 times and I went and visited her 5 times. She was my date to my Junior Prom. She and I still communicate once in a while and are good friends.
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