In 2019 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ended its very long relationship with the Boy Scouts of America.

As a youth, I attended a Scout Camp every summer from ages 11 to 15 and they were a highlight of my teenage years.

With COVID concerns dissipating, this summer was a prime opportunity to carry on the camp tradition without the association of the BSA.

I was honored to be able to attend and assist such a young men’s camp last week. Over 25 young men, ages 11 to 17 from my local congregation in Arvada attended the camp.

Without the BSA association, there was a lot less structure. No salutes or uniforms. No merit badge clinics or activities. Nobody coming home to brag about the number of badges they attended at camp.

However, there was an emphasis on the gospel and personal learning with a nightly devotional centered on scripture learning and gospel principles.

A boy leads his blindfolded friend across a carpet covered in sharp tacks.

One youth leader shared a powerful metaphor worth retelling here. The property where the camp was hosted was devastated by the 2020 Colorado wildfires. This leader asked the boys to look around and take a lesson from nature about renewal. We all deal with tragedy and trials but like nature we can regrow and bounce back even stronger.

Near Rocky Mountain National Park – This area was effectively destroyed by wildfires in 2020.

And less you worry that the boys didn’t enjoy some good fun let me reassure you! Over 4 days the boys enjoyed rock climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, shooting, and river rafting!

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