The Rise up 2013 Boy Scout Encampment finished Saturday.
The encampment was a “resounding, unbelievable success,” said director David Smith. “Everyone had a great time, from the action centers through the family history center.
“Dr. Seuss had it right when he said, ‘It was beyond Z,’” he said.
“We had a great army of volunteers who all came together to make it happen,” said Smith.
“I’m at church right now [on Sunday],” he said. “All the scouts are wearing their Thomas S. Monson award medallions and talking it up; there’s quite a buzz going.”
“It was great,” said Brian Porter, Director of Support Services with the Grand Teton Council. “We accomplished what we set out to do, to teach boys about their greater duty to God,” he said. “The vast majority of people attending the encampment earned their Thomas S. Monson award.
Of the approximately 10,500 scouts and leaders, plus 300-400 crew members, 9,500 earned the medallion for the Thomas S. Monson award.
“We thank the volunteers who made it a success,” Porter said. “It takes a lot of people coming together to make it work.”
Fathers and sons in multiple families worked at the encampment.
From the Merlin Andersen family in Firth, Andersen worked security. His son was a fireman and helped at the BMX site. His son-in-law was an EMT at the encampment.
Before each evening’s entertainment, campers would hear music. “Home on the Range” was playing when Edward Andersen from Troop 217 in Blackfoot said, “I was raised in Franklin, Neb., which is just 10 miles south of where ‘Home on the Range’ was written.
“The state of Kansas keeps a square mile of natural grassland at that site,” Andersen said. “They burn the site each fall to get rid of the bluegrass that creeps in so the natural grass will grow.”
The words to ‘Home on the Range,’ were written by Dr. Brewster M. Higley in Smith County, Kansas, in December 1873. The music was composed by Daniel E. Kelley. It is the state song of Kansas.
At the activity tent, scouts could pick up tips on woodcarving, how to build and/or use a kayak or canoe, how to snare a rabbit and tips on backpacking, among other things.
“If you can carve a potato, you can carve a walking stick,” said woodcarver Mike Sorenson from Troop 150 in Idaho Falls.
His walking stick features many souvenirs from working 23 years at girls’ camps.
“I call this MANLY bling,” said Sorenson.
The encampment was wonderful, enjoyable and hot with temperatures climbing into the 90s during the day.
Water was plumbed throughout the camping areas.
“Water was [at most] about 75 feet from the campsites,” said Todd Killpack.
Ball Storage and Ice provided 22 pallets of ice for the encampment, he said. With close to 2,000 pounds of ice on each pallet, about 40,000 pounds of ice was available to whoever wanted it.
Only two and one-half pallets of ice remained at the end of the encampment, Killpack said.
Killpack Trucking furnished the refrigerated truck to keep the ice frozen.
“I think the encampment impacted our business [at Broulim’s in Shelley],” said store director Donna Higley. “We received a lot of pre-orders and were able to work with the bishops to match prices. It was a good thing.”