Camp New Fork 2016 – Week 2 – We Roll out the Thunder!


Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director

Recently I wrote a Scouting Blog about the Camp New Fork staff week.  In the article, Preparing the Camp and the Staff, I promised to blog about my summer at Camp New Fork.  You may have thought that I forgot about that promise since you have heard nothing more from me since that first blog.  I had good intentions, but with no reliable internet at camp, that became a really big challenge.  Now, however, I am back at home in Mesa, Arizona and am back to driving my school bus.  And I admit that returning home was a challenge.  We loved our summer at Camp New Fork and truly loved the weather there – there were only one or two days all summer when the temperature reached over 75 degrees.  We came home to 111 degree weather and we are about to die in our Arizona heat (and me in the school bus that has no air conditioning).  But, that aside, I will now again take up the task of blogging of our summer experiences.  So, here it is … Camp New Fork 2016 – Week 2 – We Roll out the Thunder (part 2 of an 8-part series).  It was our first week for Scouts – but the second week in camp for the staff.  So, we’ll call it Week 2.  (And incidentally, for those of you who read the initial Camp New Fork blog, I invite you to take a second look at it.  Now with internet, I just added a whole bunch of photos that you might find interesting.)

Roll out the Thunder …  that was us as a staff.  We had just survived a big staff week wherein we worked hard to get the camp set up for Scouts – and the staff in gear and ready to hit the parade ground running.  “Roll out the Thunder” is actually the staff song for the camp New Fork staff and we loved to sing it with gusto.  It got us charged up and ready to serve the Scouts who would come to us – or who were already there with us.  So, we sang it with enthusiasm at that first flag ceremony with our first group of Scouts and troops.

Roll out the Thunder, Boys! …  I love that song and it was a thrill each time that we sang it:

Roll out the thunder, boys!  We’ll never go under boys!

We are the Camp New Fork staff, you see.

We are the Camp New Fork staff that’s me.

We can hike the whole day through, row or paddle a canoe.

We can shoot or swim or track a bear o’er the mountains and we’ll

Roll out the thunder boys!  We’ll never go under boys!

Yes, I think we were ready for our first Scouts.  My journal tells all of the details … Our first week of Scouts – Camp New Fork 2016 Session 1 …


We awoke to rather cold weather this morning.  One leader checked his car thermometer and later reported that it was just 21 degrees outside.  There was frost on the bushes and ice on some of the water spouts.  I slept in to 7 AM this morning and it was nice.  Lou and I went to breakfast and dined on leftovers from the week.  (That’s the weekend plan for the staff.)   I went to the office to revise some computer files.

Lou and I and Larissa went to the small chapel located in the heart of the woods.  This is an LDS chapel that has been dedicated (similar to the Pioneer Chapel located at Camp Geronimo of my youth).  This New Fork chapel is located in a very beautiful place and it is very peaceful there.CHAPEL BENCHES GREAT PHOTO

Rob Smith, the council New Fork Chairman conducted the service.  Three troops – who normally come on Monday mornings, came in early and were there with us for the services.  So, there were about 75 people present.  I was surprised that only a few of the staff were there for the meetings – especially since almost all of the staff members are LDS.  I guess they don’t feel a need to attend when their parents are not here with them to get them out of bed.  A troop from Cheyenne supplied three speakers.  All were excellent.  I was especially impressed with their Bishop who talked.

Cheyenne … I almost grew up there.  I was born in Ft. Collins, Colorado and then my folks and I moved to Cheyenne when I was only a few months old.  Then, when my Brother, Dean, was born, he soon developed pneumonia.  The doctors said that he would never survive the Wyoming winters.  So, we literally picked him up at the hospital and moved to Arizona.

I went to the cabin and changed my clothes so that Lou could wash the uniform.  The uniform pants get really dirty fast because of all of the dust at the camp.  So, she can wash them in the morning and then within a few minutes they are completely dusty again.  We are able to use the washer and dryer at the kitchen so this is nice that we don’t have to compete with the staff for the machines.

Lunch was again on our own.  The cook staff is off for the weekends and staff is on their own to discover bits of food from the leftover shelf in the commissary walk-in cooler.

I spent the full afternoon at the office.  Lou printed copies of the forms that we give to troops each Monday.  There are about 20 forms.  I revised many old forms – or retyped them.  This was a big job – trying to get the best master possible for the copies.  Lindsay also helped – by trying to locate files on the computer.  We finally got the task done.  I then made a troop friend list and assigned staff members to this function.  We really emphasize this here at New Fork (unlike Camp Geronimo – where the camp director forbade me  – as lead Commissioner – to use the concept of troop friends.)

I went to the cabin for forms and papers.  At 5:00 PM Travis and I conducted our every Monday night 5:00 PM meeting with our area directors.  They all reported on the progress of their areas and we gave them direction.  We met under the large white dining fly near the dining hall.  The meeting went long – since we had a lot to cover.

After dinner I needed to talk to the staff so I didn’t eat dinner until 8:00 PM.  We held a long meeting with the staff.  I covered troop friends, the weekly schedule, the check-in process, the campfire for Monday, duty rotation for staff patrols, and more.  Travis talked as my voice got strained bit I still covered most of the meeting.

I gave Tommy  the journal that I had previously bought for him.  He seemed pretty excited about it.

After the meeting I was kind of worn out.  I was really tired of talking but answered calls from my kids for 2 hours.  They were all calling since today is Father’s Day.  (I called my own father yesterday for Father’s Day and his Monday birthday.)  I talked to all of my children and it was good to visit with them.  I had received earlier messages from them but we could not answer the calls when they came through.  I talked to Jackie yesterday but connected with all of the others tonight.  So, I started at the top – with Jenae – and then went down the line by age.  Actually, I made priority calls first to Jenae and to Keith – since they are on Ohio time – which is a couple of hours behind us.  I made most of the calls while sitting on a milk crate out behind the dining hall.  I got eaten alive by the hoards of mosquitoes while out there talking.

All of the children are doing well and all were wondering about the camp operation and how things are going.  We also talked of the recent death and departure of my sister, Laurie.

It was 10:45 PM when I finally got back to the cabin.  I again began reading from my favorite book of scripture.  I had just finished reading another book a few days ago.  I try to read three or four chapters each day.

Our first Scouts arrive tomorrow.  We have all been looking forward to this moment and I think that we are ready for them.  Ready or not, here they come!


Today was my father’s birthday.  He turned age 88!

This was a momentous day today in that our first week of Scouts arrived today.  We had breakfast a half hour early to be done and ready for them as they arrived.  I started the staff morning by leading “The Morning Limbering” song.  I love opportunities to sing this song with Scouts.  (“Fighting the Battle of the morning limbering … it was a sight to see the Scouts in action.  Scouts to the action …”) and then we go through limbering actions that are very much like the words to “Father Abraham”

After our flag ceremony I sent all staff – who are assigned as Troop Friends – to go to the front gate to await the arrival of their troops.


Camp New Fork front gate and sign

They there did songs and other things to entertain themselves until the last troop arrives..  Lena and Jonathan are assigned as the leads down there.  They radio in to us at the office to let us know when another troop arrives.  The troop friend is to meet the troop, take them to the campsite, lead the boys to the waterfront for swim checks and then take them on a tour of camp.

Meanwhile, the Senior staff all congregate on tables on the porch of the trading post.  The troop friends direct the Scoutmaster up to us on the porch.  They first talk to Lindsay to finalize any payments due and make the required payments.  Then they pass through the medical officer – who looks at the forms and then discusses any health or eating issues.

The leaders then visit with Lou about her commissioner service and she gives them assignments for shower and dining hall clean-up, flag assignments, etc.  She also talked with each leader about their hike plans for Wednesday and whether or not they want to go on an overnight hike while in camp.  Lou also issued a can of bear spray to each leader – and made them sign for it – with the threat of having to pay $25 if it is not returned to her.

Then it was my turn in the line.  Leaders came to me and I gave them a large packet of printed forms.  I went over each form with them.  I gave them the weekly schedule, a duty roster, information on the Trail to First Class sheet, the campsite inspection form and guidelines, the adult leader training schedule, the score sheet for the Jim Bridger Award, fireguard chart, and more.  I talked to each one about our programs of the week.

After they got through me, I directed the folks to the area directors.  Area directors then met with leaders to discuss the merit badges that the Scouts want.  And they make any additions or deletions for classes as needed.  Scoutmasters are then free to re-join their troops.

We sat on the porch visiting with troops and then waiting for others to come all morning long.  We still had some troops arriving even as lunch time approached.  And the troops that were really late did not get to do their swim checks.  We were on the porch waiting until 12:45 PM.

I had about 15 minutes in which to eat lunch.  I needed to be at a meeting for Scoutmasters and Senior Patrol Leaders at 1:00 Pm.    Travis, Lou and I attended the meeting and talked of our areas of responsibilities.  Lou was in a bit of a panic since she has never been a commissioner before.  I have not been too worried about her however.  I know that the job will “click in” for her after the first couple of days.

I made a trip to the cabin and used the laptop to create the final draft of the Monday night campfire program.  I also studied for a presentation that I was to present to junior troop leaders (JLT – Junior Leader Training) later in the afternoon.


Staff member, David, getting into the action.

David was a member of my camp staff at the Jack Nicol Cub Scout Camp in Colorado last summer and I really wanted him to be on my staff again this summer – no matter where I ended up.  So, he agreed to follow us to Camp New Fork this summer.  He is from our town of Mesa, Arizona, but, he did not ride up to Wyoming  with us – nor did he attend our staff week last week.  He went on a two-week humanitarian or service “mission” to the Central American country of Belize.  He got home on Saturday and then on Sunday flew from Mesa up to Idaho Falls.  Our daughter, Lana, and Spencer were kind enough to pick him up at the airport and they took him to spend the night at their place last night.  They also agreed to bring him to our camp.  They opted not to do it last night since they wanted to be home for Father’s Day. We have missed David in our program preparations.  So, it was very wonderful when they arrived today with David.  They arrived about 3:15 PM.  (I had thought that they would be here much earlier.)

Actually David showed up and knocked on our cabin door as I was there.  I got him his uniform parts (staff hat, t-shirts and jacket) and helped him find his assigned cabin.   I didn’t know where he was to stay but we just looked for his plastic stuff box that Jonny had taken to the cabin.  (They share a cabin with Tommy and others.)

It was also real great to see Lana and Spencer and three of their five children.  Maycie and Cambrie were unable to come on the trip.  It was fun to see Quincy (now age 4), Carson (age almost two) and little Rylee Rae.  We saw her only when we were up in Idaho for her baby christening – back in October.  She has changed a lot.  She looks a lot like Lana – same eyes, etc.


Kevin and Lou with daughter, husband and three of our grandchildren

I got Lana and Spencer into our cabin – where they will stay overnight with us.  Lou was teaching a training class for Scoutmasters.  I walked Lana and Spencer past her training.  She had to do the whole training alone – since David was not there to teach his sections.  I took Lana and Spencer and children up to see Larissa at her climbing tower.  It has been about two and a half years since Land and Larissa have seen each other (before Larissa’s recent church mission to Minnesota).   And two of the children were born while Larissa was on her mission.  So, they were happy to see each other once again.

Lana went on the climbing tower and easily climbed to the top – using the small toe and hand holds on the wall.  Spencer tried to ascend the wall but could not make it more than about ten feet high before he gave up on the hope of climbing to the top.  He tried again and didn’t get any further up.  Lana razzed him about how she had outdone him.  It was kind of funny.  Larissa was doing well as the Climbing Director.  Lou joined us at the wall after her training class.  Larissa’s climbing staff – consisting of Matt, Scott, Tarren, and Kassi – and assistant director, Kiara – all seem pretty good.

David got into uniform and somehow ended up immediately on the task of cleaning up the cabinet in the dining hall where the commissioners keep their bear claw making materials.  Lou had not got to this task before.


Kevin and staff  at flag ceremony with troops

As Program Director, I greeted the troops of the camp at our first campwide flag ceremony this evening at 5:45 PM.  I got the group organized into columns – using the hand signal for such desired action – with the Senior Patrol Leader in the front and other troop members behind him.   I have always had fun using silent signals to quietly gather and manage a group.  There are many fun silent signals, but here are some from a 1964 Boy’s Life magazine:



I worked hard to show that the staff had spirit, and that we want a lot of “spirit” by the troops.  I introduced the “spirit stick” and urged all troops to work to get the stick – after showing off their best spirit – yells, etc.  We had a lot of razz-ma-tazz at the gathering.  Lana and family were there and Lana took several photos of the activity.  So, I guess Lana caught me in action – being crazy.

I selected one boy to give the dinner prayer and then let him and his troop be the first in line for dinner. I then directed the rest of the troops to go to dinner – starting with the troops who arrived earliest for the flag ceremony.  We have two lines for chow.  We have groups feed into both sides of the dining hall.  We let the Scouts eat first and then I let the “lady staffers” go next.  They are followed by the male staff members.

After dinner I retained the staff and we went over the final program for the campfire program.

We got back to our cabin and I noted that the water was turned off completely to our cabin.  Spencer said that he had seen a staff member turn off the main valve that goes to our cabin.  (Our cabin’s water supply is purely through a garden hose attached to a water line – at the main valve.  I went down to the valve and found that our water line had indeed been turned off.  Grrrr!  (And I know that a staff member is intentionally doing this just to bug me …)

I had earlier instructed the troops to come to the parade grounds at 8:15 PM.  So, most of the troops came and met me there.  I had Jace there on his bongo drum and he led the group to the campfire grounds.



Drummer Jace – ready to lead the troops to the campfire program

Lou and I were right behind him in the line.  Together we led the group down the trail.  As we neared the campfire bowl, the rest of the staff had formed parallel columns (of staff members) and it was through these columns that we passed with our line.  All of the staff were there in full uniform and they all looked sharp.  The staff stood at attention and had their hands held out square in the Scout sign.  It was cool.

We planned and practiced our Monday night campfire program a couple of times last week but the first real campfire program – with Scouts – is always a bit traumatic.   A program director always wonders how the first program – and the songs, etc – will turn out.  But tonight the program was a bit too long but it came off perfectly.  I was very proud of the staff.  Here is our full program:


PROGRAM ITEM                        WHAT TO DO                                   WHO TO DO IT

Lead-in                                         Drum beats                                       Jace, Ushers

Start of Program                        Bugle                                                  Scott

Welcome                                                                                                    Kevin

Fire Starter                                  Cavemen                                            Max and company

Loud Song #1  (Stand Up)       Father Abraham                               Cameron, C-Cade

Loud Song #2  (Stand Up)      Waddleachee                                      Daghen

Staff Patrol Intro                      Area Intro – Outdoor Skills            Surviving Dwarfs

Run-on                                        Rent                                                        Katie

Staff Patrol Intro                      Area Intro – Waterfront                   Ice Fish

Run-on                                        Girl Scout #1                                         Jonny, Matt, Jacob, Kent

Staff Patrol Intro                      Area Intro – Handicrafts                  Mighty Mallets

Song  (Stay Seated)                  Ging Gang Goolee                               Kevin

Skit                                                Toast                                                       Larissa and Kiara

Song                                              Zulu Warrior                                         Jace, Theo, Cameron

Song                                              Ukelele                                                   Katie

Run-on                                        Girl Scout #2                                         Jonny, Matt, Jacob, Kent

Staff Patrol Intro                      Area Intro – High Adventure          The A Team

Run-on                                        Teen Rocket                                          Jace, Grace, Kassi

Staff Patrol Intro                      Area Intro – Nature                           Golden Nature

Run-on                                       Girl Scout #3                                         Jonny, Matt, Jacob, Kent

Song – Medium (Stay Seated)   Princess Pat                                   Mason

Skit                                                Invisible Man                                     Daghen

Song  (Stay seated)                   Deep and Wide                                  Dax and Max

Skit                                                Jake the Peg                                        Kevin

Staff Patrol Intro                      Area Intro – Shooting Sports         SS

Staff Patrol Intro                      Area Intro – Climbing                      The Rapellants

Song (Stay Seated)                   Herman                                                 Golden Nature

Skit                                               Sweet Betsy                                          Travis and Bruce

Song                                             I’m Glad that I’m a Staffer              Staff

Skit #1                                          Banana Bandana                                Theo and Will

Song                                             Topnotcher                                           Rachae and Company

Skit #2                                         Movie Machine                                    Surviving Dwarfs

Story                                             None of Your Business                     Kassi

Run-on                                        Climbing Cliffside                             The Repellants

Quiet Song (Stay Seated)       Kumbaya                                               Scott on Guitar, Zach 2

Scouter’s Minute                                                                                      Camp Director, Travis

Quiet Song                                 On My Honor                                       Matt

Quiet Song                                 Scout Vespers                                      Kevin

It really was a fantastic program.  I was very pleased – and proud of the staff.

Lana and family were at the program.  I guess Lana filmed my entire “Jake the Peg” act and her kids enjoyed it at home later – and Cambrie memorized the act.


Kevin with friend, Jake the Peg


Back at the cabin we visited for a short while with Lana and Spencer.   We wished that we had more visiting time with them.  But, it was good to have them here – even if for a short amount of time.  Quincy was at first quite enthralled with our upper loft and then the bunk bed but ultimately, all three kids ended up on the king-sized bed (made of two twin beds put together) with Lana and Spencer.

Our water heater pilot light went off.  Ranger Jeremy came over here – on other business and we told him about the problem.  He tried hard to get it to re-light – but to no avail.

I walked Larissa back to her own cabin at 11:30 PM.  She doesn’t seem to bothered by the dark trail and would have gone back on her own – but I would not have her do that.

I stayed up to 1 AM.  I was writing memories of Laurie – to be read by Jackie – as if I were delivering it– at the memorial service to be held for her this Saturday.


There was no hot water this morning so I did not get my usual shower.  I went to the dining hall at 7:30 AM.  There was very little time for the troop friends to do their inspection – because breakfast was served late.  At 8:00 I ran off to conduct my tri-weekly meeting for Senior Patrol Leaders – held this morning – for the first time – at the Outdoor Skills area.

Lana and Spencer came to our flag ceremony and again saw the old grandpa in action.  Also, Larissa led the gathered troops in the song “Atootie taw”.  She did a great job.  After the program we were able to spend just a few minutes with Lana and Spencer and the kids before they departed to return to Idaho Falls.  Lana, Lou and Larissa all took some photos with their phone cameras of the group.

After Lana and Spencer departed, I went to the Outdoor Skills area to help Mason with his cooking class demonstration.  Tuesdays are to be cooking days for him and I told him that I would come to help on the first class.  He teaches cooking each hour and also is to teach Scoutmasters some cooking skills as a part of their outdoor training course.  I went to the kitchen for more food items to be cooked.

Mason has me really baffled.  Actually he is very hot and cold.  Some days he is wonderful and other days he is a real dork.  Today was one of those dork days.  He kept disappearing and was not at all into it.  He lost his food list and was not at all good at his cooking class.  I was pretty disappointed in him.

I taught Mason – when he would stay – and a few other boys some of my traditional utinsel-less cooking tricks:  a biscuit in an orange and in an onion (both halved at the “equator” and with some of the “goodie” scooped out to make room for the biscuit, burger on a rock, in an onion (as a meatloaf), etc.  I later heard a Scout on the trail all excited as he told his troop leader and fellow Scouts about how cool his cooking class was – and what he had learned to cook.

It was interesting in this cooking class to hear all Scout members of the group imitating the staff’s rendition last night of the “I’m Glad that I’m a Staffer” song.  They remembered each of the parts of the song.  It was pretty funny to hear them – and I am glad that they enjoyed the song as it appears that they did.  They were even imitating my “A farmer I would be …  Give, Bessie, give, … the baby’s got to live!  Give, Bessie, give … the baby’s got to live!” (which I do while imitating the milking action on a cow).

I make it a habit to stop and talk to all Scouts and Scouters whom I meet on the trail.  I talked to one leader this afternoon and he said, “We’re having a blast!”  That was good news!

At lunch time I gave recognition to Tarrin and Diego for being excellent troop friends.  I told them that they could get a free soda pop at the trading post for their efforts.

I went on a walk with Lou and we went to some of her campsites.  We then went to the rifle range for the Tuesday afternoon meeting where we give out hike maps and info on the campwide games.  Lou did good with the leaders that she visited.  David has taken over hike maps and has done an excellent job with this task.

Camp Director, Travis, disappeared to go help the high adventure group that is out on the river.  I never saw him again all day and night.

I went to the cabin and read my scriptures for a while.  This was nice.  I also recharged my laptop computer.

We had a fun flag ceremony.  I enjoy conducting these with the troops.  We introduced the camp “spirit stick” and had the troops compete for this through their troop yells and energy.  This was a fun deal.  Matt and Sebastion led a fabulous song entitled “The Austrian Yodeler”.  They did a great job.

After the flag ceremony I dismissed the troops to two different chow lines to the dining hall.  We served about 225 people.  The cook, Mable, was having real bad day so was quite challenged with the food function.  Nothing could calm her down – so it was better to stay away from her.  She is extra challenged because none of her staff have any previous experience in a kitchen.

I visited for a while with Scoutmaster, Ty Smith – from the small town of Manila, Utah.  We had a grand conversation.  He is really a sharp guy.  He and his assistant scoutmaster have been friends for years.  They were Scouts together here at New Fork twenty years ago and have been friends since – and still live in the same church group and community.  I found out that this Ty is a bear carver – and he carves bears using chain saws.  I would really love to have a carved bear for our back yard.  I asked Ty if he would be willing to stage a carving demonstration for the camp.  He agreed to do so tomorrow afternoon.

One of the troops  (Troop 179) here is week is from Morgan, Utah – which was a part of my Mt. Ogden Scouting district when I was a Scouting professional from 1978 to 1982.  I have really enjoyed talking with the two leaders from the troop.  We found many people in common that are still there today – and whom I knew way back then.

We staged a series of campwide games tonight for all of the troops.  This proved to be a really fun event.  We had a stretcher race, tomahawk and knife throwing, and the very popular stick pulling and leg wrestling.  CAMPWIDE GAME FUNThe Scouts really loved these events – and particularly the last two.  Staffer Jace was the champion of both events – after taking down a number of other staffers – and Scouts and leaders.  I decided to take him on – and really surprised him when I beat him in both events.  I was pleased.  Pretty good for an old man!  I was pleased that I became the “camp winner”.  (But, I would probably get beat by the two big muscle guys who direct the high adventure program.)

Larissa was the time keeper for the event and sounded the megaphone each time that the Scouts needed to rotate to the next of the nine events.

By the end of the evening I was tired and quite worn out – and depressed.  I also had no radio contact with Travis all afternoon and evening.  I guess the radio ran out of battery juice.

I couldn’t find Lou so I went to the cabin alone.  I was there for a while and wrote my journal notes for the day.

Larissa has been a bit challenged by her staff members on her climbing staff.  They had a near accident today – because the staff has not taken seriously the whole safety thing.  Lindsay – wife of Travis – had a chat with them tonight and really lit into them.  (Larissa does not believe that her father has any sense so she did not want me to talk to them.)

Most of the camp staff were really hyper tonight and they were loud until 10:00 PM.

This evening I logged onto the computer up at the office and then later opened four Family Search indexing batches – off line – and was able to work on them at the cabin.  I finished the indexing for all of the records.  Now I will have to try to submit the work on-line – if the computer and WIFI system will ever let me do it.  The batches were about to expire and they needed to be worked before the expiration date.


I was really in a foul mood today – and I guess the attitude was evident by the staff and Travis.  (And I didn’t realize what an impact my own attitude could have on the entire camp.  And I later felt bad about my negative impact of the day.)

As a starter, we had no hot water for showers.  So, this means that it has been three days since I have had a shower.  At breakfast, Travis told me that some staff members were not showering.  He specifically mentioned Scott – and said that he hadn’t showered in three days.   I curtly said, “Well, neither have I!”  (I told Travis and the rangers about our lack of hot water situation and they said that they would “order a new hot water heater” and that it would likely take “days” to get it here to camp.)  Anyway, he could tell that I was not a happy camper.

Then later the camp internet still would not work.  I was thus unable to send my memorial thoughts about my sister, Laurie – for the upcoming memorial service that I won’t be able to attend.   Also, we have not been reimbursed the Larissa’s CPR training – which the camp mandated and promised to refund – to the tune of $96.  And this and other finance challenges is a real stress.  So, all of these things combined put me over the “edge”.  Travis could tell that I was quite upset.

Today was the designated “hike day” for all of the troops.   So, this meant that most of the troops were out of camp all morning long.  And a few of our staff were invited to go on the hikes with the troops for which they are troop friends.  And with the troops gone, this also meant that most of our staff were left with nothing to do until 3:00 PM.  This was not a good scenario.  And I was not real pleased about the whole situation.

I conducted the flag ceremony with the staff and 2-3 remaining troops.  I had pre-arranged with K-Kade – the Outdoor Skills Area Director – for him to gather his staff at 9 AM for me to give them a group training about the cooking merit badge and function.  I wanted them all to be there so that they would be cross-trained in case they need to help teach the subject in the future.  I noted that Jonny – the designated cooking instructor was at the flag ceremony – so I then assumed that he was not going on a hike with a troop.

From the flag ceremony I went to the kitchen to gather materials for the cooking demonstration.  I gave instructions for K-Kade to start a large cooking fire – to generate coals for the best cooking situation.

I got to the Outdoor Skills area (as Program Director) and found only K-Kade and Tannon there.  Tannon was the appointed fire warden for Kade.  Kade went looking for his other staff members – who thought that they should have a day off and had disappeared to their cabins or wherever.  I was quite upset that no one was there for our training.  And I learned that Jonny was out on a hike with a troop and would not return for a couple of hours.

I went to my cabin to finish the Laurie thoughts.  I went back to the office and learned that the internet would not allow me to send the material (and the clock was ticking to get the material to my family in time for the service).  Travis could again tell that I was quite upset.

I went back to Outdoor Skills after a couple of hours and again found only K-Kade there – with Tannon.  There were no other staff members around.  Finally Max joined us – under duress that he had to be there.  We sat around for an hour waiting for the return of Jonny.  I had determined that if we did not start the cooking by 1:30 PM we would not have enough time to complete the cooking by the 3:00 PM start of class for the afternoon.  Jonny came about thirty seconds before my cancellation time.  And by this time, K-Kade had somehow found most of his staff.  Traeden was on the trail at that moment and was heading – in his beach attire – off to the waterfront.  He was quite put out with me when I called him over to the area for the cooking demonstration.  I could see fire in his eyes over the imposition.

And as Jonny arrived, he immediately started to head out of the area.  He said that his legs had got scratched while on his hike and that he needed to go to the nurse for help.  I could tell that Jonny’s legs were scratched but not in need of immediate attention.  I told Jonny that he was not going to the nurse at that moment – because we had all been sitting around all morning awaiting his return and that he needed to be with us.  And this got the Outdoor Skillsstaff all upset with me – thinking that I was being overly harsh with Jonny – whom they thought was truly injured.  Again I could see contempt and fire in their eyes and they all blamed me for this gross imposition and interruption of what they though was “free time”.  (They did not account for the fact that they were all still on “company time” and thus needed to be on the job!)

Anyway, I began the cooking class but it went over like a lead balloon over the above noted events.  It was not a good scene.  We cooked some really fun things – and I even planned to feed the staff but none of them were into it.  K-Kade (not 13-year old staffer C-Cade) got real upset with his staff and their behavior and lack of interest and attention.  He chewed them out while I was there – and again later.

I showed the guys how to cook in an orange, an onion, on a rock, how to make a cake, and more.  All of the food turned out pretty good – and most of the boys were willing to try some of the food – but still did so with a scowl on their faces.

I left the area and went to my cabin.  Lou had washed our uniforms today – when we did not need to be wearing them.  She got the many layers of dirt off of them.

I went to the Takota training canopy.  I had some think time – and no journal note cards to make notes on.  So, with the think time, I came to my senses and mellowed out considerably.  I felt much better about life – and decided I needed to be positive.  This was a good thing for me – and for everyone else in camp.

I taught seven men about the annual program planning process – as a part of the 3-part leader specific training that we are offering to Scout leaders while they are here in camp.  All of the leaders were excited about this concept.  Most of them had not heard of the planning conference or process previously.

Ranger Jeremy found me four flags that can be used for staff patrol flags.  I was excited about these.

I visited the nature area.  I talked to director Tallin about their possible nature trail.  I went to climbing and talked to a 24-year old leader – also named Tallon – an assistant leader to Ty from Manila, Utah.   This Tallon too, seems pretty sharp and I enjoyed our visit.

I went to Outdoor Skills and found that many of their staff had migrated to the nearby Climbing Tower and Kassi – from the tower had gone to check out the boys at the Outdoor Skills hangout on the rock.  Sometimes it is a challenge to keep some of these young staffers on task and where they need to be.

I was happy again at the flag ceremony and this went well.    We had many good contenders for the Spirit Stick.  I had Daghen lead Waddaleachee again.  I released the troops to dinner.  They are the paying customers so they always go first – followed by the lady staffers and then the guy staffers.  We had a new dining hall table arrangement – set up by the upper ladies.

After dinner I went to the cabin to drop off some stuff.  I then set up the branding station for the Scouts.  We invited Scouts to come to get brands on their hats, walking sticks, wallets, etc.


Kevin at the camp branding station

I had to chuckle at one real tall scoutmaster.  He came up to the branding station and just kidding, I asked, “So, are you ready to be branded?”  He didn’t hesitate but pulled down his pants and undies on one side and said, “Yeah, here you go!”  This was a surprise to those who were standing by.

Eric Turner, the assistant scoutmaster of the Morgan troop 179 – and Scoutmaster Dan Dickson (offering moral support) – helped me with the branding process.  The Scouts who came to the branding thought that the branding was cool.  We have a NF brand – for New Fork – as well as a Scouting Fleur-de-lis.  Some got just one and some got both.


David was sick today.  I told him that it was probably an altitude thing.  He has had a multitude of altitude changes in the past week and it is probably catching up to him.

Back at the cabin tonight, we watched the rest of the “It Takes Two” movie.  This is a pretty funny movie – and even has many camp scenes in it.  We started the movie last night but it got too late to finish it.

A couple of Scoutmasters told the ranger today that they could help with any needed plumbing issues.  The ranger pointed them to our cabin and the [again] non-working hot water heater.  They had the ranger buy a thermal coupler and they installed it.  So, the water heater got fixed for about $13 rather than the cost of a new water heater.  We were very grateful for their services.  Lou enjoyed a hot shower tonight.

I wrote four pages of journal notes on the events of the day.  Wow!

Since we have not been able to get the internet to work – and since I have not been able to send my Laurie thoughts – for the coming memorial service, Lou took a photo of my writing on her phone – and sent it to our daughter, Jackie via the phone.  Jackie will read my words and memories at the services – since she is my oldest daughter.  I guess all of my siblings are going to talk – beginning with me the oldest – and going down to Ray.  So, it sounds as if he will get the final word.  That could be scary!


I enjoyed a HOT shower this morning and it was truly fabulous!  I read from metiy scriptures as I do each morning and then went to breakfast.  I rushed off to conduct my daily meng with the troop senior patrol leaders – this time held at the nature area.  We talked of skits and songs.  The flag ceremony was good.

After the flag ceremony I talked to Scoutmaster, Ty Smith – the chain saw bear carver.  He agreed to do a chain saw bear carving exhibition for Scouts and leaders.  We set the carving time to begin at 4:00 PM.  I asked him what kind of a log he would need and he described what he wanted.  I said, “I know where just the right log is located.”   I then led him to the Clilmbing/Cope course – and to a tree that Ranger recently had to cut because it had fallen over the trail of the Cope course.  He agreed that this log was perfect.  I then took him to the maintenance shed and he sharpened the camp’s chain saw.  I was happy that he found all the tools that he needed to do the job.  (One never knows if this will be possible seeing the questionable state that the shed is in.)  I went to the office and created some advertising fliers about the bear carving activity and posted these everywhere for Scouts to see them.

Travis took Matt to the high adventure group today.  Matt’s dad and a brother are part of the current floating group.

Lou and David went to visit his troops in their campsites.  David is excellent at a variety of tasks but he has to be prodded a bit  to go see his troops – as part of his commissioner duties.  So, he needed the extra nudge from Lou.

Lou and I, David and Travis all attended a Scoutmaster luncheon at the white dining flies – located north of the dining hall.  The Scoutmasters seem to enjoy this informal gathering – away from their Scouts.  We talked of Friday’s Bull Run activity – and also check-out procedures for Saturday.

I later had to chat with Justin about his behavior.  He was given another “strike” and with this action, he had to call his father to tell him of his situation.  I reassigned Justin to work in the kitchen – and he seemed to get into the work there in the afternoon.

I talked to many Scout leaders on the trading post porch.  I enjoy this activity – and it helps me be connected to the leaders – and I also get good feedback on the programs, merit badges and everything else that is going on in the camp.

I revised the check-out form to make it more viable for the camp.  David created the Troop Friend list for next weeks’ troops and sites.  I filled out certificates for the Scoutmasters who completed the training programs – as staged by Lou, David and I.

This afternoon we got to witness the bear carving demonstration by Ty Smith.  It was a great thing to watch and many Scouts, leaders, and staff enjoyed it.  Daghen took a lot of photos for me of the event.  The carving took about an hour and fifteen minutes to complete (and then another 20 minutes or so the next day to burn in some accent color).  The completed bear was really wonderful.  I liked it a lot.  Travis took some photos and posted them on Facebook and the photos got rave reviews – including from the council Scout Executive.

A couple of days ago I talked to a Scoutmaster (troop 77) about one of his boys whom I had been watching and thought would be good camp staff material.  During the bear carving I was sitting on the log – where the staff stands at flag ceremonies and this Scout, came to talk to me.   We had a very pleasant conversation there together.  I was surprised at how long he stayed and talked to me.  A very sharp young man!

As I conducted the flag ceremony, Travis mentioned a couple of announcements for me to make.  I surprised him by turning the program over to him.  The staff won the spirit stick.   They were pretty enthusiastic.

We got back to camp about 9:30 PM.  Larissa and the sleeping Kiara were at out place watching a movie.  I wrote more journal cards.  The best part of the night was eating the brownie that was left over from lunch.

Larissa has been running the climbing tower but heretofore her zipline was not operational.   A guy came today and inspected the system – and approved it for use.  Her staff member, Tarrin, was the first person to try out the 500’ line.  He liked it a lot.  The Zipline will now probably be a real popular place for Scouts to go.


Zip line – high above the road and activity below


Wow!  What a day!

At breakfast I led the staff in the Teensy Weensy Spider song.  I then went to the waterfront to conduct my meeting with the Senior Patrol Leaders.  We had a good meeting.  We talked of the campfire program for tonight – where the troops get to present their own troop skits and songs.  We had a lot of troop spirit at the campfire program.

While in town last night I went to Ridley’s Ace Hardware store and there bought some linseed for use by bear carver Ty.  He says that linseed oil is his favorite finish for his bears.  Today he burned some color onto the bear and also carver “NF 26” in it – NF for the camp and the 26 because it is his troop number.  He then applied the linseed oil.  The bear now looks very classy.  The only thing that we lack is black marbles for its eyes.  I will have to try to find some in town.BEAR CARVER AND FRIEND

I spent some time on the laptop computer.  I planned the program for our first Friday night campfire program (for tonight).  And I actually got internet service for a few minutes on the porch – a very rare situation, indeed.

At lunch time I had Scoutmaster Mark come at my request.  He had earlier shared with me his thoughts about the importance of the Troop friend.  I liked what he said and thought that his words might be beneficial for all of the staff to hear.  He covered the subject well.  I hope that the staff will take it to heart.

I spent some more time planning the campfire program.  It looks like a good show.

Just as I was about to start the Bull Run activity, all Hell broke loose in the camp.  I guess the Waterfront staff called in all boats and closed the waterfront because of the sound of thunder.  (This is a normal practice whenever we have thunder or lightening.  And the staff has to watch the clock for 30 minutes after such.  And if there is no more thunder or lightening then the Waterfront can open once again.)  And there were whitecaps on the water – so it really was not safe to have boats on the lake.  It was also closed yesterday for thunder.


I conducted the evening flag ceremony.  I there handed out copies of the campfire program to all of the participating troops.  Mason tried to lead the “Knock Knock” song and it bottomed out – in a big way – after Scouts took control of the song with “Knock, Knock … who’s there?  Dishes … dishes who? Dishes annoying” and again, “Dishes is the end”.  I was not at all thrilled with the obnoxious behavior by the Scouts – and the staff too.  It really was a challenging afternoon with all of our excitement – and I guess it wore on me a bit.

Lou helped out in the kitchen tonight since we were running late.  All of our area directors did the blue merit badge cards.  They had their staff bring completed rosters and cards to them and then the area directors signed the completed cards.   The Scoutmasters came at 7:00 PM – to what we affectionately call “Merit Badge Madness”.    At this gathering, we gave top each leader a giant envelope containing all of their troops’ merit badge partials and completions, medical forms, patches, etc.  I got a few Scoutmasters connected with Scoutmasters who had questions about the materials in their packets.  The area directors then went to the class rosters for the classes in question and we were able to get the issues solved.  We had begged the leaders to spend whatever time was needed to get their cards in perfect order.  We told them that it is a whole lot easier to solve the problems while still here at camp – with the staff and rosters here to assist them – than it would be a few months later at the Scout office.

Lena got together a group of staff members to assist on the dining hall and kitchen clean-up projects.   I went to the cabin to get a coat for the campfire program.

At 8:15 PM I met the troops at the flagpole.  As all were gathered, Jace played a constant beating rhythm on his drum.  He led the troops (with me in front) from the flagpole down to the campfire bowl.  Lou took up the rear of the line. As we neared the campfire bowl, the staff members were all lined up in two columns through which we passed as I led the troops to the campfire bowl.  They all had their hands raised in the Scout sign – and they were all most impressive.

We staged a pretty decent campfire program.  We had troops present songs and skits and the staff also had about half of the program.  I presented certificates to the Scouting leaders who completed all three sessions of our adult training – along with their many troop responsibilities.  I then called forward Scout leaders from all of the other troops.   It was great fun to lead them in singing – and hip bumping their neighbor to the tune of “Alice the Camel.”

I also called forward my carver friend, Ty,  and presented to him a bear claw necklace that Lou had created for him.   This was in thanks for the bear that he carved for the camp.

Troop 77, with Cade (the potential camp staffer) as a member – was honored tonight as the “Top Troop of the Week”.  Cade has worked in tandem with the troop Senior Patrol Leader – as older boys in the troop – and they have done a really great job.

Here is our full campfire program:


PROGRAM ITEM                              WHAT TO DO                                         WHO TO DO

Lead-in                                                Drum beats                                             Jace

Welcome                                                                                                                 Kevin

Fire Starter                                         __________________                   Max and company

Active Song                                        Grand Old Duke of York                      Kevin

Bull Run Winner                                                                                                  David

Troop Skit                                          “Don’t Have a Skit”                             Troop 26

Handicraft Area Award                  (This week winner left early)            Katie

Waterfront Awards                          Mile Swim                                              Waterfront Staff

Troop Skit                                            ??????                                                      Troop 5/66/98

Song                                                      The Moose                                             Troop 152

High Adventure Awards                                                                                   Nathan

Troop Skit                                            Ain’t No Flies                                       Troop 523

Shooting Sports Awards                 Awards                                                    Bruce

Troop Skit                                            Lawn Mower                                         Troop 179

Troop Skit                                            In the Ditch                                           Troop 446

Song                                                       Austrian Yodeler                                 Katie & Staff

SM Training Awards                                                                                           Kevin

Alice the Camel                                  Scouters                                                 Kevin

Troop Skit                                            Ugliest Man                                           Troop 386

Troop Skit                                             Passing Gas                                           Troop 77

Commissioner Awards                     Jim Bridger, Honor Troop                  Lou and David

Skit                                                         Raisins                                                     Lindsay and Crew

Song                                                       Miss O’Leary                                          Troop 351

Troop Skit                                             Sole Reader                                            Troop 77

Uke Song                                                                                                                  Katie

America Round                                                                                                       Kevin

Flag Retirement Ceremony                                                                                Jonathan and Team

Quiet Song                                           Kumbaya                                                  Scott on Guitar

Song                                                       Zulu Warrior                                           Jace, Theo, Cameron

Scouter’s Minute                                                                                                   Chaplain Bruce

Quiet Song                                           On My Honor                                          Matt

Quiet Song                                           Scout Vespers                                         Kevin

Honor Trail                                                                                                              All Staff

After the program we marshalled the Scouts out one troop at a time.  We led each troop through the “Honor Trail”.  On this trail we have a staffer posted with each of the twelve points of the Scout Law.  Each has a rustic looking lantern to show light on him.  Then as a group comes to him, he repeats a memorized two or three lines about that particular point of the Scout Law.  Then the troop moves on through each of the 12 Scout Law points.  This is a most impressive ceremony and does a lot to cause each boy and leader the opportunity to ponder again the effect of the Scout Law in their own lives.  Camp Director, Travis, met each troop at the end of the trail and shared with them a final moment of inspiration.

Then, after all of the troops have made it through the Honor Trail, the staff leaves his post and joins the staff group as together they march onward through the 12 points of the Law.  And after all Scouts have left the area of the flag pole, then the staff gathers into a large circle.  And in this circle, we lock hands with the folks on our right and left.  We then sing our traditional “Friends we are …” song.  This is always a special moment for all of the staff members.   Some of the staffers who were to be at some of the Scout Law points were not there tonight as they had previously committed.  Travis was not pleased with this scenario and doesn’t want it to happen again.  I will have to work hard to make sure that there are no gaps next time.

Travis has felt it necessary to move Jason from the river and high adventure staff and to exchange him with Matt – who has been on Larissa’s climbing staff.  So, it appears that Matt is heading off to be on the high adventure river staff.   Travis broke the news late this evening to Larissa and Matt.  After the “Friends” song, Matt and Larissa were seen hugging each other and both were crying.  They were both sad that the climbing association is ending.  Larissa was especially sad became Matt has been her greatest strength and support.  He has always been “on task” and has been super helpful and friendly to all who have come to their area.

In more positive news of the day, a combined troop (Troops 5/66/98) erected a new welcome sign for Camp Newfork.   Their Scouts did all of the cement work for the sign.  It is a very nice sign.  NEW FORK SIGN NEW

At our cabin tonight – after the above festivities, I made my journal note cards for future typing.  I was glad to have this day as history.  It has been a bit traumatic in some ways – as we have had challenges with staff.  But, it has also been a really great program day with the great troops that we have had here with us this week.


We had our flag ceremony early – at 7:10 AM to accommodate those troops who were going home early and wanted to eat early too.  We then served breakfast for all of the troops.  The troops get their food at the commissary for each breakfast and lunch of their camp week.  But we feed them in the dining hall for dinner each night and then breakfast on Saturday as they depart.  I like this combination of commissary and dining hall feeding.  It has been years since I have seen commissary feeding.  That is what our Troop 155 did years ago when we went to Camp Geronimo in Arizona.

Lou went and hung out with her troops until they all fully checked out and departed from camp.  She just went from one troop and campsite to another.  David, on the other hand, did really squirrely visits to his troops.  He just passed through and did not do a final inspection of the sites.  (I guess he needs some re-training!)

I went to the office and revised some forms.  Not knowing the New Fork operation, some of the forms were created in a vacuum and ended up not applicable to this camp.  The same applies to some of the forms that I brought from previous camps.  So, I revised these forms to better reflect what we have here.  I also created a new duty roster form for the troops to use.

Travis and I worked together and cleaned the office.  It was in need of some attention.  We also moved the furniture around.  We moved a table to become a desk for me. KEVINS DESK IN OFFICE I was pleased that this faces the office window – so I can work there and see out to leaders who might come by and with whom I could visit.  I wanted this spot also so that I would have use of an electrical plug for my laptop computer – on which I do many camp functions.

At the start of camp Travis told Lou she would have a desk.  I had to laugh at Lou.  She has never “had a desk” so she wondered what she was to do with a desk.  Silly Lou!

All of the staff worked in their areas and got them reset, shining and ready again for another batch of Scouts.  Some staff washed off the porch of the office and trading post.  The building floors certainly collect a lot of dust.  So, it is always nice to get a new start.

We got lunch from the “weekend shelf”.  This is the self-serve area in the refrigerator where staff can pick and choose the food that they might have interest in.

Larissa went in to Pinedale with High Adventure Nathan, Katie, Andrew Au and Tommy.  They went to the Pinedale Aquatic Center.  Back in camp later, she watched “Remember the Titans” with Grace, Kassi and Mason at our cabin.

The memorial service was held today for my sister, Laurie – in Mesa, Arizona.  I was sad that I was not able to attend.  My camp duties – combined with the remoteness of our location – and the difficulty in getting to a plane all made it not real conducive to fly home.  My other sister, Lesa, hosted an open house affair last night at her home for family and friends of Laurie.  All of my brothers were to talk at the memorial service today – as well as mother and also Laurie’s Bishop.  I had Jackie read thoughts that I prepared for the occasion.

On this evening, I was able to make a road trip to Camp Bartlett – where I served as Camp Director for three summers – when the new camp lodge was built in 1980.  I was able to go there with my wife and four New Fork staffers for the re-dedication of the lodge.  I could relate details here of that trip, but I have already blogged the whole excursion and the re-dedication program.  You can read all of the details of this Camp Bartlett Lodge rededication program with this link.


Kevin Hunt with New Fork staff members – and the famous “Old Ephraim” Bear (statue) en route home from Camp Bartlett lodge rededication program

The whole Bartlett trip was a glorious experience.  I am so glad that we were able to make the trip and that we were able to be a part of the whole re-dedication event.  It really was a great time there.

Upon arrival back at camp  after the Bartlett trip, we found that Kiara (Larissa’s roommate) had left for the weekend.  Our Larissa was asleep on our couch in the “Hill cabin”.  I also noted on the temperature display on our vehicle that the current temperature – at midnight – was just 35 degrees.  Just a bit chilly …

Well, there you have it!  The exciting times of our first session of Scouts at Camp New Fork.  We did our best to roll out the thunder for our first Scouts – and I think that we did a pretty good job of it.  Stay tuned for part 3 – the stories and details for session #2 – to be posted soon!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevin

Excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals as well as Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership” and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and The Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!

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Camp Bartlett Lodge Rededication


Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director

A few weeks ago, I blogged about my plans for the summer.  I wrote about the dream of returning to Camp Bartlett.  I noted in my blog article The Camp Bartlett Lodge New, Old and New Again“ that I looked forward with great anticipation to the Camp Bartlett Lodge Rededication festivities.

In that article, I said, “It hardly seems possible now – looking back from 2016 – that I was the Camp Director at Camp Bartlett in 1980 when the “new” lodge was first created.  So, I got to use the lodge in its true glory day as a brand new structure built for the use of the staff and Scouts and leaders who would come to camp through the coming years.”

And, in fact, I had the privilege of seeing the planted structure rise from the ground (I was going to say “dry ground” – but it was far from dry) up to the grand lodge that it became.   And I got to use it as Camp Director for two summers after its completion. What a great blessing and opportunity!

I left Camp Bartlett and returned only twice in the ensuing years.  One of those times was in 2014 as I had opportunity to return to that great camp for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Camp Bartlett.  It was a privilege and an honor to be greeted by then Camp Director, Jake Olson.  Jake and I had met at a recent national camp school and when he learned that I had been a former director at Camp Bartlett, he had invited Lou and me to attend the 50th Anniversary Celebrations.  My wife, daughter Kaylea, and I made the trip up to Camp Bartlett later that summer for the big event.

Of that reunion event, I wrote in my journal for Saturday, July 26th (2014):

“We were a bit late in arriving (much to my trauma) but we got there as the event was in progress.  We stopped to get food and went to eat it in the big building (which was not there when we were there).


“Soon after we arrived, Jake went up front.  He mentioned a couple of finance campaigns going on for the camp.  I took a paper to become a “friend of Camp Bartlett” for $30.  And he unveiled the grand plan for the “renovation of the old lodge”.  This was funny terminology to me since the “grand new lodge” was constructed during the time that I was Camp Director and I was the first director to use it.

l.“After the festivities, we milled around and met people.  Many of the guys whom we met at Camp School were there – and work for the “Trapper Trails” Council (which is the combined name after three or four councils merged.  When I worked there, I served in the Lake Bonneville Council.)   Lou took my photo with a case which housed camp patches for most of the camp’s 50 years – and I was pleased to see our four in the collection.  We had a good visit with Jake.  And we checked out the architect’s drawings of the “renovation of the old lodge”.


“We went outside and walked around the central area.  I would have liked to have gone clear around the lake but the ladies didn’t want to do that.  We explored the lodge and we were appalled at how the place has been thrashed with the passing of time and extreme use by the Scouts of almost two generations.  We took many photos.

“It was great fun to be back “home” again at the camp.  Being there brought back a real flood of memories of our grand days there.  Those were the best of times!”

So, on that 2014 night, it truly was great to be back home again.  And after seeing the current condition of the old lodge, it was such exciting news to hear that it would again be restored and made new once again.


Thrashed Bartlett Lodge Needing Renovatioin in 2014

And from that day, I have looked forward to the completion of the renovation project and have welcomed any news of the progress of the project.

And it was very exciting for me as the date for the re-dedication was announced – the signal that the building remodel project had been completed and the new lodge was again ready for use by Scouts coming to the great camp.  It was exciting too, at the beginning of the summer, to realize that I might be able to leave Camp New Fork – where I would be serving for the summer as camp Program Director – to attend the Bartlett lodge re-dedication festivities.  I became more and more excited as the June 25th re-dedication day approached.  For now I knew that I would indeed be returning to the camp to be a part of the program and this thought gave me joy and happiness.

And then finally the big day arrived.  I looked forward to the day with great anticipation.

On that morning of June 25th (2016) I awoke as the Program Director at Camp New Fork located near Pinedale, Wyoming.  We had our breakfast and flag ceremony with the staff and troops.  Then there was the usual tasks of resetting program areas so that they would be ready for the next week of Scouts.  Later in the day after those New Fork tasks, it was time to head to Camp Bartlett.  Of that day, I wrote of my special memories and experiences:


This afternoon about noon I left camp with Lou, my wife, and staff men Matt Flanagan, Golden Ostergar, Diego Gurr and Will Robinson (handpicked as some of my favorite and most capable staffers).  We headed west toward Camp Bartlett to attend the rededication festivities for the newly remodeled and refurbished lodge.  I was camp director when the lodge was constructed and also attended the original lodge dedication program.  I wondered today if I might have been the only person in attendance who also attended the original dedication back in 1980.  (I did not find out that day but later did learn that there were a couple of guys who were present at both dedication programs.)

As we left Camp, we went down Highway 191 and then went west toward Hoback Junction.   We there turned south on Highway 89 and went all of the way south to Montpelier, Idaho.   As we traveled, we passed through some absolutely gorgeous country.  I was in awe of the beauty of the world as created by Jesus and Heavenly Father – and I gave thanks for the wonders around me.  I also enjoyed seeing a multitude of wonderful log homes and structures – my favorite architecture style.

As we traveled we listened to music by The Duttons, The Red Mountain country band (of Mesa, Arizona), the [Irish] Celtic Thunder and more.  It was fun to visit with the four staff guys.   It was a pleasure to have these four great staffers with me.  I can think of no greater honor guard than to have the best of camp staffers at my side.

We stopped momentarily in Star Valley, Wyoming and took photos of a new LDS Temple that is nearing construction completion there.  We all loved the elk horn arch across the road in Afton, Wyoming – and of course we got our share of photos of this.

It took us right at four hours to make the trip to Camp Bartlett.  Lou and I were kind of amazed at Montpelier.  We went there a multitude of times when I was the director there many years ago (1979 to 1982) but through the passage of time, we recognized absolutely nothing in the town.  This was a surprise to us.  We drove west to the little but mostly abandoned village of Ovid and then continued west through Liberty – where we went to church each Sunday.


Thrashed Bartlett Lodge Needing Renovatioin in 2014

Then we turned off the highway and headed north on the dirt road toward camp.  A lot of memories came back to me all along the route.

As we drove up the dirt road to camp, we again noted the open fields of those pretty yellow flowers.  Lou and I both thought of times so long ago when our first child, Jackie, (less than a year old) was with us.  We stopped and sat her on the ground and took her photo as she beamed at us from those beautiful flowers.

At long last we could see the Camp Bartlett gate and could see a plethora of meticulously dressed and trained staff members awaiting our arrival and the arrival of many other Bartlett fans who were all gathering to Bartlett for the grand re-dedication of the lodge on this beautiful summer evening.  They were a great welcoming committee.  They brought tears to my eyes as almost in unison they shouted their welcome to us:  “WELCOME HOME!”  Yes, welcome home.   I truly felt as if I was coming home.

With the staff was a guy about my age – and with a beard showing same.  He introduced himself as Fritz Coleman and I quickly learned that he is a brother to Darren Coleman – who served as a teenager on my Bartlett Camp Staff.  Fritz said that his brother had wanted to come  that night but other things kept him away.  But, Fritz called Darren almost immediately and Fritz reported back to me a while later in the lodge.  He said that Darren thought that he made about $35 a week as a camp staffer.  (And I was unique in those days – and even more so today … because I actually paid my youngest staff.)  Darren stated however, that his camp staff days were the greatest preparation – training in every way – for his later adult life.  Those words made my heart sing!

Anyway …  I loved the cool welcome home!  As we pulled into the parking lot, we again saw that the Bartlett Staff was a perfect team, they were immaculately and perfectly dressed in their Venturing uniforms and in all were prepared to welcome their special guests of the evening.  I felt again:  “Jake Olson is a fabulous camp director”.  We saw and visited with Jake for a few minutes and then headed to the registration table.  We checked in and paid a dinner fee of just $5.00 each.  I was glad that I had somehow come up with $20 of the needed fee and was glad too, that between the four staffers they were somehow able to dig up the additional $10.  (We hadn’t had a camp pay day yet.)

We then went into the newly remodeled and refurbished Bartlett Lodge.  Wow!  It was beautiful – and the memories again flooded into my mind.  So many great things happened here.  (And if interested, you can check out my recent blog about the original The Bartlett Lodge as found on The Scouting Trail website of the Trapper Trails council.  As we went inside, I was again pleased to see friends I have known before – even Allen Endicott (Scout Executive), Josh Haacke, and Jeremy Bell – professionals still working to make great things happen in the Trapper Trails Council.  It was evident that they had again put heart and soul into making this event one that would be grand – and to be remembered for many years to come.


Jeremy Bell – Council Camping Director – Helping stage the Lodge Rededication Program

As I looked around the “new lodge”, I noted that a few walls had been removed – and the bathrooms had been “pushed back” ten feet or more.  The after-built construction of ladies attic dorms had been removed, the kitchen had been expanded and modernized and there were large serving rooms to serve the current and future guests who would come to the now expanded and large main gathering room of the new lodge.  The grand fireplace was still a major focal point of the gathering room.  It was all very beautiful and wonderful.  I was pleased and proud of the job that had been done.  It was all so exciting!

I was drawn to a photo board of the original lodge construction.  I looked for myself in the photos but realized anew that I was so busy being camp director that I had little time to be a part of the construction team.  But as often as I could (and sometimes as a staff reward for questionable behavior) I sent staff over to help.  (See my recent blog about  Jed Stringham and “Jed Work”to know more of the great man who spearheaded the construction of the new lodge.)  My wife thought that she saw me in a photo – wherein she thought I was serving food.  That would have fit in my job description as camp director.


Jed Stringham was a legendary Superintendent of the new lodge construction in 1980

And speaking of photos, Josh and Jeremy had put together a slide show which depicted various camp scenes and people through the years.  This was a grand production.  I asked them for a copy of the slide show – and they said that they sent it via e-mail to me – but with the questionable WIFI capabilities at Camp New Fork, I still haven’t seen the show.

It was funny as I looked around to see if there was anyone whom I might know from those years gone by, I found myself looking at all of the guys with white or gray hair.  I couldn’t possibly be as old as some of them looked but I realized that they were the guys who could have been there before.

I was pleased to see a framed photo board depicting events and documents of the original 1980 lodge dedication.  And there it was … the original dedication program … even with my name on it as Camp Director.


Kevin Hunt with frame of original Lodge dedication program when he was Camp Director in 1980

As I recall, I had many camp director related duties on that occasion.  (You can read more of my first-hand account of the original dedication on my recent blog about the original Bartlett Lodge dedication.)   And on this placque there was a ledger record of my 1980 Camp Director year – showing all of the troops and the number of Scouts who came that summer.  I guess we really did make history!


Journal ledger record for Camp Summer 1980 when Kevin Hunt was Camp Director

My New Fork camp staff (My “Honor Guard”) soon left Lou and me and went off to explore on their own.  Lou and I took the opportunity to take another walk around the Bartlett Lake – as we had done so many times together so long ago.  And it was indeed a glorious and wonderful walk.  I think that the camp was even more beautiful than I remembered it.  The lush tree growth – and the care of generations of Scouts and leaders – had made the trails and overhanging trees and plant growth almost a paradise!  Wow!  I loved it!


Kevin Hunt at Camp Bartlett Lodge Rededication – 2016

We saw “Buddy Jr.” the resident camp bull moose bathing himself and splashing across the lake.  We tried to get a good photo of him but he was a bit far away.  I remember a moose – probably his fourth or fifth great grandfather crossing the lake while we were in camp years ago.  But I don’t think that he had actually taken up residence then.

I noted the campsites – some new – and many of the old traditional names that I remembered on the Mountain Man side and then the Redman side of camp.  I thought of the two Mountain Man troops one week who were neck and neck in their competition for the coveted Mountain Man Camp/Troop of the Week award.  (And we gave it to the Scoutmaster whom we found out in his hammock as the Commissioners and I did a surprise campsite inspection of the two competing troop sites.  And incidentally, the other leader was there with his troop and was hammering on them to get their jobs done as we showed up for the inspection.  I’ve shared that lesson many times in ensuing years.)

I remembered how Lou and I had walked around the lake our first summer at Camp Bartlett.  Lou was pregnant and due just a couple of weeks after camp with Jackie.  She and I had been somewhat dedicated joggers before camp (even in 17 degree evening weather in Ogden – after my usual Scouting district meetings) and so Lou’s doctor had told her that she could continue that running habit at camp – since her body was used to that strain.  We remembered how Lou used to take one of my belts to hold up her big stomach and to keep it from bouncing too much as she ran.

As we rounded the corner onto the dam of the lake, I remembered a staff activity wherein we had to move some giant logs.  We wanted a “sitting bench” up on the dam.  I remembered trying to lift those logs – and then ultimately doing it with a bunch of staff guys and three sets of “log lifters”.  We worked hard at it, but we finally got the logs into place.  I looked at the logs at the current moment and wondered if they were the original logs that we had placed there.

I noted upgraded locations and set-ups for the waterfront areas.  We worked out of just one waterfront dock arrangement but I noted that now there were a couple of such docks and swimming and boating areas.   They looked amazingly beautiful.


Camp Bartlett Waterfront

I noted a new climbing tower that was now in place near the campfire bowl.  We hadn’t heard of such things when I was the director of the camp.  And going to the campfire bowl brought back a flood of great memories.  Such wonderful times with such great camp staff actors and showmen.  It appeared that the bowl had more than doubled in size – and this was a great thing to see.  I was glad that the camp now has that many more scouts that such expansion was necessary.


Camp Bartlett – Opening Campfire Bowl

And so it was a great walk – for Lou and me –  going down memory lane.   I loved every minute of it.  But, alas, all too soon it was time to hurry back to the lodge for the re-dedication festivities.  We got there just in time to snag us good seats where we could see well.  We saved seats for my New Fork “Honor Guard” who would soon return to join us.

We were invited by Josh to join one of two serving lines.  It was great to be in line to experience the new capabilities of the “new” lodge. 1466903346417 And the food was fabulous (a very welcome change from the food we had experienced two years before at the 50th Anniversary festivities … but I guess I should not mention that!)  Tonight we were served BBQ meat on buns, a variety of great salads (and being an experienced food and party caterer, I knew how they did this – but it was still great!)  They had two varieties of macaroni salads, a potato salad, watermelon and grapes and then a green salad bar.  It was all amazing.  And to top it off later, we were served a luscious peach cobbler – with ice cream.  Wow!  And all of this was again served by that fabulous, immaculate and well-trained (and groomed) Bartlett camp staff – again under the direction of Camp Director, Jake.  Great job, all of you!  And thanks so much for your efforts!  You were all truly amazing and wonderful!  A great team effort.

Council Commissioner, Russell Tanner conducted the program.  We soon learned that in addition to the lodge festivities, the council executive board was also having their Executive Board Meeting.  So, we were pleased to be a part of that.  Of course the “rank and file” did not have access to the full agenda for the meeting so all we heard was a bunch of “yays” and “seconds” but it was all good.  Scout Executive, Allen Endicott, was present and took part on the business meeting also.


Scout Executive, Allen Endicott, greeting guests

It was fun to see Jake and his staff as they portrayed the early history of Camp Bartlett – beginning with the early mountain men – like Jim Bridger – and others who roamed around the area.  Again the staff did a great job in their dramatic costumes and portrayals of the people involved.  They also spoke of the early beginnings of Camp Bartlett – that went back to 1964.  And one of the original campers at that camp was actually in the audience – another of those white-haired guys in the audience.  They also re-told the legend of the great “Old Eph” grizzly bear that once roamed and ruled the area – until he was brought down by Frank Clark.  What a great story.  And in the materials handed out for the program, I saw an artist’s rendering of that grand bear and his final majestic moments.  I recognized the picture print – for I have one like it – 3’ square – still on my wall at home.  (That was a special gift given me by my then Scout Executive, Grant Robinson.)


The Capture of Old Ephraim – Painted by Dale Burr

Josh read a list of all former known Scout Executives, Camping Directors, Council Presidents and Commissioners, and even camp Directors who have served Scouting and specifically Camp Bartlett through the years.  I recognized many of the names and had fond memories of them.  I was pleased when they recognized me as the first camp director to use the new lodge.  They then asked all former camp directors, and then staff members through the years to stand.  Lou and I stood proudly for those standing roll calls.

And for general interest, I here include a copy of the full program for the evening.

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 1.22.10 PM


Many of the men who helped make Bartlett great – and the new lodge a reality were recognized with special edition books that were created for the occasion – and which detailed in photos many of the historic camp events and people of the past.  These looked like wonderful books and I wondered how I too, might obtain one of the books.

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 1.22.02 PMA highlight of the evening for me was the prayer of re-dedication for the lodge.  This was offered by David Wadman – a past council president – and the head of the company that completed the lodge reconstruction.  (And I noted that the lodge is no longer the “Stewart Lodge” as I knew it in my day.  It now is named the W. Jay Wadman lodge in recognition of the extensive donations of his family to the new lodge.)

The dedicatory prayer – which I did later actually receive via email – in spite of the camp WIFI system – was amazing and wonderful.  Wow!

Click here to read the full lext of David Wadman’s dedicatory prayer:


Then all too soon, the grand program of the evening was over and it was time to head out.  I was pleased to shake the hands of some of the men who made this evening- and the grand new building a reality.  I had not planned such, but I found myself in a photo with the Wadmans and Camp Director, Jake.  I wanted to get a copy of this photo but haven’t yet tracked down an electronic copy of it.  I hope that I will eventually find a copy of it in my e-mail in-box.  That would be a fun piece of history to have and keep.

I was pleased to see in the crowd one Carl Robbins.  lou and I both knew Carl and his wife at BYU when we were all students there in the Youth Leadership (Scouting Administration) program.  He transferred into the Lake Bonneville Council as a Scouting professional just a ykear or so before I left and it is interesting tht he is still there – and still going for it.

The Bartlett camp staff were at the doors en masse and they distributed a special edition council shoulder patch created especially for the 2016 dedication occasion.  Jake made sure that I got one of these (actually three of them) and I was grateful to him.  IMG_3477.JPGI thanked him for his current work as Camp Director and for the great logistical efforts that made this a truly great evening.

We took our final photos of the Bartlett lodge and the surrounding buildings.  The new office and camp director’s living quarters looked amazing.  And Allen Endicott announced that with the new office, they also got a new mattress for the Camp Director.  He acted as if the former mattress had been there since Lou and I were there.  So, they probably needed a new one.


Camp Bartlett A-Frame and Camp Director’s Cabin and Office

We then all piled back into our vehicle for the projected long late drive back to our camp New Fork.  On the way out of camp, I again was intrigued that the gear transporting carts that my Grandpa Ray Hunt and I built are still there and in use.  He would be proud and happy.  I stopped to take photos of them.  One of the carts is now a bit rickety but the other appears to still be in great shape.

Also as we left Bartlett, we stopped to take a photo of their new sign – that is like the New Fork sign just erected.  The sign is nice. 1466905145741

On our way through Montpelier we saw a full-size statue of the Old Ephraim bear.  So we stopped on our way out this evening to get a photo with him.  My staff guys were fascinated with him.


Camp Director, Kevin Hunt, with his Camp New Fork staff “Honor Guard” William Robinson, Golden Ostergar, Diego Gurr and Matt Flanagan  – posing with life-size “Old Eph” Grizzly statue in Montpelier, Idaho following Bartlett Lodge Rededication Program June 25, 2016

We left camp at 7:30 PM and the staff guys were soon all asleep (typical Scouts).  This left Lou and I still awake.  We talked of people and events of Bartlett and the memories that we have had of our great times there. This was fun.  We noted en route home that the outside temperature (per our car gauge) kept getting lower and lower.  It was just 35 degrees when we arrived back at camp at 11:30 PM.

The whole Bartlett trip was a glorious experience.  I am so glad that we were able to make the trip and that we were able to be a part of the whole re-dedication event.  It really was a great time.

A couple of weeks after the lodge rededication, I was back at work at Camp New Fork.  A Scouter named Col. E. Morty Jenkins (an Executive Board Member for Trapper Trails) came to camp bringing his grandson.  They camped together at the edge of camp and seemed to have a grand time together.  It was interesting to talk to Morty.  We talked about the recent Bartlett rededication program.  He mentioned that he was also in the audience that night for the event.   He also remembered that he was in attendance when the original dedication was held back in 1980 – so at least two of us attended both programs.  Morty commented too, on the beautiful “new” lodge.  He had noted and was very impressed with the beautiful outside reception area at the southeast corner of the new lodge.   I don’t know how I missed that new feature but he made it sound beautiful and inviting.  He too, praised the staff and the event generally.

And so it appears that the Bartlett lodge, once new, then old and now new again is up and running – and no doubt prepared for yet another generation of Scouts and Scouters at what Scout Executive, Allen Endicott, called “the flagship of our council camps”.  How exciting to now look forward to those grand days ahead – with this grand new lodge structure at Camp Bartlett!  And may Camp Bartlett always raise its flags – and staff spirit – high as it continues to say, “Welcome Home!”

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevin


Excerpts taken from Kevin’s personal journals and many Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership” and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and The Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!

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The Camp Bartlett Lodge – Once New, then old, and now new Again



Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director

This article is dedicated to all past Camp Directors and the great staff members who have served at Camp Bartlett through the past 50-plus years.  A great thanks to all of you and your great efforts! – Kevin Hunt

As I look at the coming 2016 summer calendar, it appears as if it will be another great summer for camp experiences.  My wife and daughter, Larissa, will have the opportunity to serve on the Camp New Fork staff in Wyoming.  (And that will be the subject of another soon upcoming blog).  It will be great to work with camp director, Travis Emery.  But, the really grand event will be the rededication of the Stewart Lodge (if it is still called that) at Camp Bartlett.  The Bartlett Lodge – once new, then old and now new again … has been recently remodeled and has received again is “paradisiacal glory”.  Such exciting news!  The rededication is set for 5:00 PM on Saturday, June 25th.LODGE RENOVATION PLANS

That will be such a glorious day!  And my camp New Fork duties and schedule will allow me to make the journey from Camp New Fork to Camp Bartlett to be a part of the great festivities.  And I can’t wait!

You have probably realized that I – the “Scout blogger” am a bit of a relic in camp circles.  It hardly seems possible now – looking back from 2016 – that I was the Camp Director at Camp Bartlett in 1980 when the “new” lodge was first created.  So, I got to use the lodge in its true glory day as a brand new structure built for the use of the staff and Scouts and leaders who would come to camp through the coming years.

And, in fact, I had the privilege of seeing the planted structure rise from the ground (I was going to say “dry ground” – but it was far from dry) up to the grand lodge that it became.   And I got to use it as Camp Director for two summers after its completion. What a great blessing and opportunity!BARTLETT LODGE

I think that I have told you, my blogging Scout friends, that I am an avid journal keeper.  In fact, I began keeping a daily journal on May 25th, 1973 and have now have a daily journal record for all of those many years in between.  That equates now to about 150 journal volumes and some 30,000 pages.  Wow!  I can’t believe that myself.

And now, with the forthcoming rededication of the Bartlett Lodge, it has caused me some reflection as I think of those days back so long ago as the “new” lodge was a building.  And as I have reflected on the coming rededication, I was naturally drawn in curiosity back to my journals of the day.  JOURNAL IMAGE FROM WEBAnd I spent a couple of fun days reading the back journals and reliving those glorious days.  And with the coming dedication and positive thoughts of Camp Bartlett, I would like to take you – and anyone who may be interested … back through the annals of my personal journals to share with each of you a bit of the history of Camp Bartlett.  I hope that my journal entries might be of “general interest” (quoting Frank Galbraith – of “Cheaper by the Dozen” – and one of my greatest heroes)  to you and that they will bring back some great memories – and maybe some unknown history of the Camp and the great Stewart Lodge.    This material may appear long, but it is historical – and fascinating – as history always is.  So, buckle your seat belts, and here we go …!  Let’s begin with an entry made

Monday, June 2nd – 1980

“We woke up this morning at Camp Bartlett to snow.  … Grant Robinson (Scout Executive), Wes Barton (a Construction guy with a backhoe – and whom I recruited from my own Mt. Ogden District, Elmer Ward, Jed Stringham (the council camps know-all maintenance guy and camp builder), John Reeve, and Doug Fife came in this morning and marked out the site for the new lodge which we’ll build here this summer.  It was exciting to see “the big guns” decide where to put the new building.  It should be up by the end of the summer.”

Tuesday, June 3rd

“We woke up again to more snow.  We had a total of about fifteen inches in the last two days.  There was snow on all of the tree branches and with the clouds and mist (mist over the lake) we had the appearance of a real fairy land.  It was quite pretty but presented a few problems.  Wes Barton had his backhoe up here and pushed the snow off the road.  We were lucky to have him or we would have really been “socked in” here.  … [and later in the day:] We still can’t believe all of the snow – and particularly for the first of June.  This was a real mind blower.  The sun came out for the afternoon and melted a lot of the snow.  We hope that things will dry out soon.”

Wednesday, June 4th

“The snow really started to melt today.  We now have a muddy mess everywhere.  I took a walk through camp and there were big trees down all over everywhere. …

Thursday, June 5th

“… I went to Montpelier and took three kids with me – Brian ____, Wendell Whitely, and Terry Allen.  We worked on the road all of the way down.  Water was running down the road in many places so we diverted it as much as possible.”

Tuesday, June 10th,

“Jed arrived back in camp today so he and I did a little work on the new trading post under the A-frame.  … He and I and Ron Blair went in to Montpelier for some lumber and assorted supplies.  The Bartons arrived soon after noon.  They were real anxious to get started on the digging for the new lodge.  They brought their families – Wes and his brother and families and mobile homes to stay in.  They started up their big machinery and went to work.  They moved the caterpillar to the lodge site and promptly got it stuck in the mud.  Its back-end was down a couple of feet.  Then then got the backhoe and planned to pull the cat out.  The backhoe then sunk three feet in the ground.  We had to put all kinds of logs under the vehicles to keep them “afloat”.  The ground was really soupy under the surface and we couldn’t do anything.  We finally went to the town of Ovid and bought (I mean borrowed) some cable from the county and were able to get the vehicles unstuck.  It was evident that the new lodge couldn’t be built in that location.  It would take months for it to dry out.  We called Grant and gave him the news.  …  My wife, Lou, is cooking for all of the Bartons, Jed and  Charlotte Stringham, my brother Ray, Richard Stuart (staff member) and us – a total of 22 people.”

Wednesday, June 11th,

”We selected another site for the new lodge this morning.  We chose a place on higher and dryer ground.  It is still a pretty site for the building.  Wes and Floyd dug the hole for the foundation footings.  We all got involved in digging, laying 2”x8” boards for the footings.  Ray, Richard and I shoveled for several hours and we were all sore.  Ray and Richard enjoyed helping with the surveying.  We opened the new trading post for the TLT course (currently in progress).  … Rick, from the Caribu Trout farm and stocked our lake for the season.”

Saturday, June 14th,

“The TLT group left today.  They have had a good course here.  Many of the camp staff came in today.  …”

Tuesday, June 17th,

“… Several times today Jed Stringham came for a bunch of staff members to do “Jed-Work” – this time to work on the new lodge. [Read my recent blog on Jed Work – The Greatest of Camp Work]


Jed Stringham


We covered the sewer line with straw and then did some work on the foundation so that all of the cement can be poured tomorrow.  …  This evening Jed kept us busy on the lodge so we had to postpone our evening staff session on “Counseling” – which John Perry was to give.  We did later have a training session on campfire programs.  It has been a long day.”

Wednesday, June 18th,

“…  My assistant Camp Director, Ken Holford, and his wife are still living with us in our cabin.  We are getting a little tired of people being here constantly.  We will be glad when everyone moves out.  The Bartons are all living in the other cabin so Ken is here until they leave.  They poured the foundation for the new lodge today.”

Thursday, June 19th,

“My daughter, Jackie, was in the hospital in Montpelier overnight and I went to the hospital and brought her and my wife home.  She was almost her old self.  We were very grateful for this.  We spent a couple of hours in town picking up stuff for camp.  We needed a lot of paint and other things for the program areas.  We got back to camp about 3:00 PM. …  Ken took the Bartons fishing and they caught several nice big ones.  They were delighted.  They have tried fishing several times but haven’t caught any.  I’m glad that they caught a few.  They plan to go home tomorrow.  They have sure been good to donate all of their time, money and machinery for the last two weeks.  …”  [Wes Barton and his brother should go down in the annals of Camp Bartlett history as one of its greatest friends and financial contributors.  These guys accepted my invitation to come to camp with their families – with the promise of wonderful mountain air, use of a cabin, and plenty of fish in the lake – for two weeks. And they brought with them their construction company backhoe and caterpillar and used these on the new lodge and elsewhere for the entire two weeks – and all completely as a donation – and at no charge to the council.  Wow!  These guys were the greatest of heroes!]

Saturday, June 21st,

“The Bartons left for home today so Ken and wife Lorelea Holford moved into their own cabin.  We were glad to see them leave – just because it is taxing to us when people are here with us in our cabin …”

Monday, June 23rd,

“Our first group of Scouts arrived this morning.  We were all nervous and wondered how things would go and what to expect.  Our first kids came about 7:45 AM.  The check-in went real smoothly – almost too smooth.  …  We had a record group of troops and boys – 31 troops and 267 boys. …”

Thursday, June 26th,

“…  A truck arrived this morning from Bob Wade at Precision Built Homes (our Council President) and contained several pre-fabricated panels for the new lodge.  …”

Friday, June 27th,

“Bob Wade arrived with the second load of lodge panels today.  We gave him a Bartlett jacket and made him an official Bartlett staff member.  We had to do something fast – because he had arrived with a Camp Loll jacket.  He looked much better in the Bartlett jacket! …”

[It was my pleasure to stage the first activity at the “new lodge” and I went all out.  Again, my journal memorializes that truly wonderful occasion … enjoy!]

Wednesday, July 2nd,

“… We had the long awaited staff activity tonight.  LouDene and I have been planning this for some time.  We arranged with John and Gwen Stevens (the square dance callers of the “Dudes and Dolls” square dance club that we belong to in Ogden – to come up to call a dance.  John is also the bishop of their ward so they brought all of their girls (and they recruited others from the stake to make a total of 27 girls).   The girls arrived in camp a complete surprise to the staff – and in a bus that I had chartered for the activity!  None of them knew that the girls were coming.  We’ve really kept them in suspense throughout the last week.  Each day John Perry (waterfront director) has posted how many days remained before the big event.   [We gave out a myriad of assignments to staff to stage this event – but they all had only a small bit of the package so none of them – except Lou and I and John and Colleen Perry – saw the whole picture!  And this was great!]  This afternoon I delivered a secret sealed envelope of instructions to each of the staff.  Lou Dene spent all morning writing them up.  We instructed staff not to pen the envelopes until precisely 5:00 Pm.  This of course, really psyched up the guys as they pondered what could be in the envelopes.   In the instructions we told them to “report to the shower” and then to report at the rifle range.  (And this was totally out of character for me – as I NEVER allowed staff showers at that hour – and not until after all programs of the day – usually about 10:00 PM.  So, this really made them wonder.  And it was hilarious that Scott Price – the camp “Romeo” just “reported to the shower” – and did not take one.  Ha, Ha!  So, funny!)

“Then at a given time, we had one or two boys synchronized to lead the boys back down from the rifle range (where they had a staff shoot.  [And this added to the bafflement of the occasion … why would they have to shower just to go to the rifle range!]

We put all of the girls into the “old dining hall or lodge”


Kevin Hunt – 2014 – by the “Old Bartlett Dining Hall/Lodge” – Used before 1981 when the new lodge was created

to await the arrival of the boys.  We synchronized their departure from the building to coincide with the boys coming down the mountain.

“As the boys came down to the old dining hall, some of them just about went into shock at the sight of the girls.  And it was kind of funny.  We had one of the staffers lead the rest of the guys in the old camp favorite song of “Sippin’ Cider”.  And at that moment, we had the girls stashed out of sight and as the boys sang the song, the girls sang back with the “echo” of the “repeat after me song”.  The boys had no idea of what we had up our sleeves.

“We gave all of the guys and guys a color-coded nametag  which told them how old they were. We ate a nice dinner of sloppy joes and then gathered on the new lodge foundation for the square dance.  (And Romeo Scott – at the sight of girls – took off running at top speed to more than “report at” the shower.  I never heard of a staffer showering as fast as that boy did that night!)

“Some of the staffer guys tried to sneak out of dancing but I caught them and brought them back.   One girl who had come up was seen by a Scout passing by (a non-staffer).  He saw his girl at camp and dancing with some other guy … and boy was he mad!

“All of the staffers – and girls too – seemed to enjoy the dance very much after they got into it.  After the dance we had a campfire program together up on the hill.  The staff activities patrol (of which my brother, Ray was a member) had put up a huge Army tent so we slept all of the girls there.  [And this whole tent scenario blew the minds of the staffers who were given the instructions to erect it.  I had also instructed some other guys to take straw from the archery range and to set it up around the perimeter of the lodge foundation – for people to sit on – and this combined with the tent in the middle of the field, made the staff believe that we were having some kind of a circus event.  Little did they know!]

“Some of the staff were a little bothered over me insisting that they be in their own tents at 10:30 PM.  All of the kids had a great time – guys and gals.  LouDene and I were happy that it all went over as well as it did.  It was sure fun to pull the wool over the staff.

Thursday, July 3rd,

“We had a night of rain and thunder but everyone survived.  Lou Dene said this morning how loud that the thunder had been.  I hadn’t heard anything during the night – since I was so tired.

“… We had an early morning fireside this morning under the A-Frame for all of the staff and the young ladies.  Brad Cottrell’s Dad – who is a Bishop of the Ogden 80th Ward, was here for the day so we asked him to be the speaker.  He talked about circumstantial evidence that the Gospel has been restored.  The ladies ate breakfast with us and then they headed back to Ogden.  We enjoyed having them here with us.  Ron Robinson (son of the Scout Executive) said that he felt like he had gone to the Celestial Kingdom for a few hours.

“I had to laugh at Scott Price.  He shook my hands several times through the day and each time, said, “I have to thank you again for that activity.  I can’t believe that you pulled it off for us …”  [And I’ll have to admit that this was the absolute greatest activity that I ever pulled off for the staff.  It was truly awesome.  Several staffers would often ask me when we would do it again.  I told them that this was a one-time thing – since I could never pull off such a surprise again.”]

Thursday, July 10th,

“… The craftsmen arrived today to start the erection of the building of the new lodge.  The thing is all “pre-fabbed” from Precision Built Homes.  The crew today got the walls up completely.  It is really looking great.  A big group will come up on Saturday to finish getting it up.  The whole thing is real exciting! …”

Saturday, July 12th,

“The troops were a little slow in leaving camp today.  They weren’t all gone until about 11:30 Am.  About 50 people – including about 10 of our staff, some Camp Kiesel staff, and other professional Scouters and volunteers – converged about 8:30 AM and started the erection of the new lodge.  They got the walls (inside and out), the rafters and the roof plywood up.  The crew worked on it all day.  I kept wanting to go help on the lodge but a new troop would come as I was heading over there.  LouDene and I cooked lunch for the whole crew.  We made spaghetti for the group. … The new lodge is really exciting.  I hope that I am the Camp Director next summer so that I can use the new lodge.”

Tuesday, July 15th,

“… All of the program areas went super today. I found Kee Brandow – staffer – not at his area as I casually toured all of the areas so I assigned him to “Jed Work” for the afternoon.  Jed kept him busy until suppertime.  Jed took a crew after dinner and got all of tar paper put on the new lodge roof.  They got this all done.”

Thursday, July 17th,

“… This evening Lou and I went in to town with twelve of the staff.  I treated them to a night out on me (Bartlett).  The twelve (including Ray) were the ones who stayed here last Saturday to help on the new lodge construction.  This was their “bonus”.  We first went bowling.  We all played three games.  We then went to the drive-in theater and watched “The Prize Fighter” starring Don Knotts and Tim Conway.  Everyone enjoyed the evening.”

[I can also say that I was able to stage the first actual event in the new lodge.]

Friday, July 18th,

“… This evening at campfire time it was really windy and threatened rain.  We made the decision to not hold the program at the campfire bowl.  We elected to hold it in the big room of the new lodge.  All of the Scouts were excited when I told them that they could always remember that they were a part of the first gathering in the new lodge.  We had a fun program – even without a fire.”

Monday, July 28th,

“…  Our camp is finished for the summer …  After they got their paychecks the whole staff took off for home.  We have had a great staff and a great summer.”

Wednesday, July 30th,

“The Wood Badge staff arrived today with their “we own everything and can do whatever we want” attitude. …  LouDene, Jackie, Ray and I headed for Ogden about 1:00 Pm. …  It felt good to be back home again.  We just about died because of the heat difference.  We have had weather about 70-75 degrees at camp.  It has been about 105 degrees in Ogden but was only 87 degrees today.”

[Lou and I later returned – at the end of the week – back to camp and staged a camp outing for LDS girls from Kaysville.    This girls event was for a good friend of ours – who served in the Young Women of her ward and we staged the camp experience as a favor to her and to her girls.  This event gave me the vision that we could expand Camp Bartlett to include LDS girls – to give them a great experience – and to help beef up the camp budget.  And after the final close of camp, Lou and I and Jackie headed off on a much needed vacation – to Nauvoo – where Lou’s folks were then serving on a Church mission.]

Tuesday, September 2nd,

”Today was my first day back on the job in Ogden.  The party is over and it was time to go back to work.  We got the new year started with a staff meeting.  Delose Conner was in charge of this one.  He had it at the trout farm in North Ogden.  It was good to see all of the guys again. … The highlight of the day was receiving our staff assignments for the next year.  I was delighted to learn that I will again be the director at Bartlett next summer.  Terry Ripplinger will be my assistant.  He should be fun to work with.  Delose has decided to stick around here for another year and they will make him the director at Camp Loll again – with Paul as his assistant.” …

Over the next couple of months, life was very busy as I was back into the functions and myriad of activities and meetings in my Mt. Ogden Scouting District.  Camp was still very much on my mind and I worked on it whenever I could squeeze in a few minutes to do so.  And of course, it was exciting to hear of progress on the new Bartlett Lodge – though since I was not up there, I made no journal entries about the progress on the lodge construction.  My next entry about the camp came on Friday, October 10th.  I had just been in Dallas, Texas – at the national BSA headquarters and training center for a full week.  And my first act upon returning home from the week of training was Camp Bartlett.

From the journal of Kevin Hunt

Friday – October 10th

“… Just got back at noon from a week in Texas for NEI III.

“We (Lou, Jackie and I) went together and bought the food for tomorrow’s lodge dedication.“



Saturday – October 11th

“LouDene, Jackie, Matt McCain, and Rich Stuart and I headed to Camp Bartlett early this morning.  We went up for the dedication of the new lodge.  The lodge isn’t finished but we decided that we needed to go ahead anyway.  We wanted the dedication two weeks from now but the Donnell Stewarts – who donated $70,000 toward the lodge were going to be gone that day.  The lodge is really looking super.  I can’t wait until next summer when we get to use it.  The new mall in Ogden has held us up considerably.  All of the electricians in town were working on the mall, I guess, so we couldn’t get any up there at camp.  About 100 people (just a few over) were there today to witness the dedication.  Bob Wade provided meat for everyone.  A couple of ladies provided the dessert.  LouDene and I were in charge of the rest of the meal.  We had rolls, punch, celery, olives and salad.  We made the salad up there and then just bought the rest ready to use.  Matt McCain led the group in the song “America” and Rich led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Dr. George Lowe gave a history of Camp Bartlett.  Jim Whetten presented a plaque to the Stewarts.  They announced that the Stewart Lodge will be the lodge name.  We ate and then I took a few interested people on a tour of the camp.  The place really looked different – almost ugly – in the fall.

I kept a copy of the dedication program and now share it with you:




Later that day, Lou attended a baptism program (as Primary President) and Jackie and I delivered district dinner tickets to Pres. Walker up in Morgan.  (So, it was a whirlwind day – after a busy week of being gone).

Throughout the following winter and spring, I labored feverishly in preparation for camp and the summer of 1981.  I greatly anticipated use of the grand new lodge for my staff, and the many campers – Scouts and leaders – who would come to camp in our next season.  It was a very busy time as I made those preparations.  But, at long last, the day did come to head back up to my beloved Camp Bartlett.

I continue with journal entries from the summer of 1981 as they pertain to the new lodge.

Friday, May 29th, 1981

“Again, I was on the go all day.  This was the last day which I had to prepare for camp.  Everything finally seemed to come together today and all fell into place.  At 2:00 PM about 15 members of the staff gathered at the Scout office in Ogden to help load vehicles.  Phil Halverson loaned us his large yellow flatbed truck and we loaded it heavily with food which Norton Fruit delivered right to the office (about $4,000 worth between Bartlett and TLT).  We then loaded the council’s large trailer full of program equipment, trading post supplies and plywood.  The whole thing went very smoothly.  …  We were done with everything by 4:00 PM.  …”

Saturday, May 30th,

“LouDene was quite sick this morning and last evening.  She just worked too hard and got thoroughly exhausted from her week’s work.  … She managed to drive up to camp in our car.  I had to drive the council van.  I took Scott Foley with me.  Steve and Shannon Janson (commissioner and cook) followed in their vehicle. …  We arrived at camp about 2:00 PM.  It was sure great to be in camp again.  I look forward to camp all year long.  Camp is what makes the rest of the year bearable.  The camp looked great and we could see no damage from the winter.”



Sunday, May 31st,

“We all got up and attended church at the Liberty Ward this morning. …  Back at camp we felt as if we needed to get “our ox out of the mire”.  The Order of the Arrow is due tomorrow and we needed to be in the new kitchen in the new Stewart Lodge.  All of us donned work clothes and went to work scrubbing, setting up tables and shelves and other preparations for operation.  The four OA boys really worked overtime buffing the cement floors.  They are good kids.  (It’s to’ bad that most of them are on the Camp Loll staff – and not Bartlett.)”

Monday, June 1st,

DELOSE CONNER OF CAMP LOLL“Delose Conner – with the OA – and the Camp Loll director, suddenly came in and asked what time lunch was to be served.  We had not planned to serve the Order of the Arrow lunch.  (The four boys had already told us that Monday supper was the first meal.  We didn’t even have the food to feed them.  I rushed to town with Steve, Scott, Kevin, Bruce and Larry.  We bought food for the group and picked up a trailer load of the government surplus food.  We really had a load.  We didn’t even get back to camp until 2:30 PM.  Delose was fit to be tied.  His attitude bugged me even more when I read in all of the literature that Tipi week would begin with Monday supper and not Monday lunch.   The rest of the day was hectic also as we tried to get the kitchen in the new lodge operational.  About ten kids helped us was the dishes (after they had sat all winter). …”

Tuesday, June 2nd,

“Just as Shannon was going to begin cooking breakfast this morning, all of the electricity in camp went off.  This meant that we had no way to cook the food.  We had to feed them (the Order of the Arrow members) cold cereal and fruit cocktail.  We fed the candidates the traditional plain slice of bread, cup of hot chocolate and a few raisins.  Dave Shupe was the OA member in charge of work details.  He and I got together to decide what we would need the OA ordeal candidates to do for their ordeal.  We came up with several major projects.  We really needed a lot of potential work since we had 87 young kids going through the ordeal. …  We really got a lot accomplished with the 87 candidates plus members all working together.  Shannon and LouDene had an exciting time trying to prepare dinner (since the electricity was off still).  We were an hour late with dinner because of the problems. …  It rained all afternoon and evening.  We all hope that things will run much more smoothly tomorrow.”

Wednesday, June 3rd,

“…  The OA candidates (19 of them today) spent quite a bit of time in clean-up around the new lodge.  …  The place is really beginning to look nice.  Shannon was glad to hear that the electricity was running.  Things went much smoother in the kitchen than they have all week.  The TLT (Troop Leader Training) course staff arrived this afternoon to prepare for the course which begins on Saturday. They have already begun their little fights with the OA.  Both groups think that they are the best and want to prove it to the other.  …  It rained part of the day again and [at my direction] several if not all of the OA candidates and several of the staff slept in the lodge. …”

Friday, June 5th,

“… This evening the Troop Leader Training Course staff had a special banquet in the new lodge.  This was their last time together before the candidates arrive tomorrow.  They invited LouDene and I and our two daughters to attend.”

Saturday, June 6th,

“I was happy to see Delose and the Order of the Arrow leave this morning.  They have been kind of a pain in the neck.  On the other hand, however, they have done a great deal for the camp while they were here. The Grizzly Bear troop leader training course began today and the 114 candidates arrived today.  They have an excellent staff so the course should be read good.  Glen Walker is the course director and all of my work has been through him (me being the council TLT advisor).  He has three good Scoutmasters under him.  This is the first time that we’ve had three troops in the course.  It is getting bigger each year.  Kary Birke is the course Senior Patrol Leader and Ron Eastman is the adult quartermaster. …  I went into town for more supplies for the course. …  Back at camp, Scott and I scrubbed the floors good in the staff dining hall (in the lodge), kitchen, and one restroom.  We then put a coat of sealer on the cement floor surfaces.”

Tuesday, June 9th,

“…  Scott and I stocked the five new cupboards which Greg (an Australian exchange camp staff member who arrived yesterday), Jed and I put up on the new kitchen.  Jed and Greg made shelves in the pantry off of the kitchen.  We also stocked these.  We’ll have so much storage space in the new lodge that we won’t know how to handle it.  The kitchen is really super.  Scott and I moved in the stainless steel table from the old dining hall so there is a lot of counter space.  Greg and Jed also began hanging the paneling in the large room of the lodge.  As soon as they finish this job the electricians can come to finish up.  I hope that we can get the building finished soon.”

Wednesday, June 10th,

“Greg and Jed continued to hang the paneling in the large room of the lodge today.  Scott and I added another eight boxes to the cabinet with squares for storage for each staff member.   [I was able to get a huge number of beautiful new cabinets donated for the staff boxes before coming to camp.]  We then painted the boxes white to match the new lodge.  This now makes 40 boxes in this apparatus.  …  I spent quite a bit of time cleaning the new kitchen.  The place is really looking great. …”

Saturday, June 13th,

“We were surprised this morning to wake up to a couple of inches of snow.  The weather is crazy here.  The local natives say that  they have two seasons here – winter and July.  The TLT course finished their course today and headed home.  They did a good job of clean-up today.  I let them serve their continental breakfast in the new Stewart Lodge – since it was snowing outdoors.”  [And a special note:  in those days, Scout troops brought their own food for their week in camp.  And we cooked only for the staff in the new lodge.  We did, however, provide refrigeration and some storage in the lodge for the food brought by the incoming troops.]


1981 Camp Bartlett Staff – the first to use the new Lodge



Monday, June 15th,

“All of the rest of the camp staff arrived today.   We had our first general session for everyone [in the new lodge] at 10:00 AM.  It was good to see the entire staff together for the first time.  I am real impressed with this staff and think that they will be the best that I’ve ever worked with. …  We had training sessions and work details all day. …  We closed the day with a kneeling prayer and a “cracker barrel”.  We hope that today set the stage for a successful and enjoyable camp season.  We should have a fun summer!”

And so, the new 1981 camp season began.  And it was so very exciting to have use of the fabulous and wonderful new Stewart Lodge.  It proved to be a truly great place.  It was a pleasure to experience the grand new lodge through that summer.  It was one of the greatest – the best of times.  We worked hard to maintain the new lodge and to keep it wonderful.  It was a special treasure and blessing to be there at that time.

I jump to the end of the ’81 camp season …

Monday, July 27th,

“All of the staff – those I personally hand selected to remain (after sending most of the staff home) was in a state of ecstasy today as they anxiously awaited the arrival of the LDS girls.  I told them at breakfast that I had never seen them so vibrant before.  Laurie (my sister) and Mindy Froerer – the only girls who have been a part of my staff, were in a state of depression as they realized they would soon be forgotten with 400 girls here for the staff to play up to.  We really got a chuckle out of the whole affair.”

One really funny incident happened with the girls.  They had previously been told that they would have no use of electricity in camp – so there was no need to bring their curling irons and such that are common to all women and girls.

But, with our construction of the new lodge, we had still a box of unused electrical plugs and some wires.  Some of my staff had a brilliant idea.  The got these boxes and nailed them to the walls of the gross KYBO’s of the camp.  (Camp KYBO’s are all the same … but that is a story for another day and blog!)  And they strung wires down from the boxes and into the ground.  (Grounded … ha, ha!)  They looked real official and “legit”.

As the girls arrived at camp, they went (very reluctantly) to the KYBO’s.  KYBO PHOTOAnd upon seeing the electrical boxes, they were mad at their leaders who had told them not to bring their curlers to camp.  They also expressed their sentiments to our staff – about how there really was electricity for them to use.  (And my staff laughed hilariously at the gag they had created.  What a laugh!  It was pretty funny!

A journal entry from later in the winter may also be of “general interest” …  This came long after the summer camp season – and as I was working in my district and dreaming constantly of the “The Good old Summer Time” (song) and when it would be time again to be at Camp Bartlett.

Saturday, February 20th – 1982

“The Forest Service called a while back and said that we need to get the snow off of the roof of the new Camp Bartlett lodge – and all of the other roofs, as well.  Several of us wanted to go up but our Field Director, Ray Chase (bless him!) said that we couldn’t go – that we were needed in our districts.  Then this week he put out the “edict” that we would go and had no choice about the matter.  He’s in this big power and ego trip.  I thought that I had three camp staffers to go but it ended up with only Scott Foley who was able to go.  He is sure good about helping on all of these extra-curricular activities.  I appreciate his friendship and willingness to serve.

“I picked up Scott about 7:00 AM.  We stopped for doughnuts in Preston, Idaho and then went to the dirt road turn-off that goes up to camp.  There was three feet of snow on this road.  The others had not yet arrived so we went and visited Steve and Shaunna Flammer (my waterfront director and cook who live in the nearby metropolis of Ovid).  They’re so excited about camp.  Steve loaned me some gloves.  The rest of the gang finally arrived with six snowmobiles.  The group included Jed Stringham, tom Bird, Carl Robbins, Terry Ripplinger, Larry Behling and Ray Chase.  Bill Taylor, one of my former Cubmasters from Riverdale – and now in the newly created district – after they chopped up my district) furnished most of the machines which we used.


The Bartlett Lake with snow – as seen from the roof of the Bartlett Lodge

“The ride into camp was quite pleasant.  I couldn’t believe all of the snow.  Tom and Jed said that they had never seen so much up there.   The nine of us worked for about five hours.  The snow was packed down and real heavy.  We were able to do only half of the roof of the lodge but took an awful lot of weight from it.  BARTLETT SHOVELING SNOW FROM LODGE FEB 1982Scott thought that I had about rattled his brains off as we snowmobiled out to the cars.  It was such warm weather that the snowmobiles didn’t want to go.  We had to really gun and rev them.  I had to go much faster than I would really prefer.  The day was very beautiful.  The temperature was in the low 40’s – I think – at camp – and the sun was shining.  We stayed warm all day.


“It was such fun to be there on the roof looking up at the clear blue sky (contrasted to the white expanse of snow).  When we took the gloves back to Steve, Shauna had made some of her famous cinnamon rolls for us.  They were excellent.  We told her that she ought to be a big hit at camp.  Terry Ripplinger rode back with Scott and me – and we talked camp and next summer – most of the way.  We stopped in Logan and bought dinner at Burger King.”

I returned again to Camp Bartlett in 1982 and was again privileged to be the Camp Director.  And once again, we basked in the beauty of the lodge.  It was so functional and wonderful for the staff and the many Scouts who came to us.   Then after the 1982 season – and after four glorious summers spent at Camp Bartlett, I accepted a job transfer (as a Professional Scouter) to Santa Barbara, California.   And then life went on as I pursued a variety of things and experiences over the coming years.  I continued to work in many different Scout camps – in many states and with many great staff teams through the years – and loved all of the camp experiences – as opportunities came up.  I then had many years in a camp dearth where I had jobs that did not allow me to be in Scout summer camps.  And oh, how I longed again for the opportunity to be in camps once again.  Once it gets in your blood, it is there to stay!

Now jump forward 32 years … to 2014.  Wow!  Where did all of those years go?  Unbelievable!

In 2014, my wife and had the opportunity to direct the Jack Nicol [resident] Cub Scout Camp located northwest of Ft. Collins, Colorado (the city of my birth) – near the village of Red Feather Lakes – located in the far northwest corner of Colorado.


Kevin and Lou Hunt – Directors of Jack Nicol Cub Scout Camp in Colorado – and Cast Members

In preparation for the camp, we attended a National Camp School at Camp Tracy – located in a canyon east of Salt Lake City, Utah.  Allen Endicott, Scout Executive of the Trapper Trails Council (and what used to be the Lake Bonneville Council that I worked for years before as a Scouting professional years ago) and many of his staff were the host council and trainers for the Camp School course.


Camp Tracy – Boy Scouts – Salt Lake City, Utah      The site for the 2014 National BSA Camp School


I had previously met Allen and also Lynn Gunter as I was a member of the writing committee for the “Century of Honor” book.  (See my recent blog about my experience as a member of the writing committee:  ______________________).

It was my privilege there at Camp Tracy to meet Jeremy Bell, the Trapper Trails Camping Director and also Jake Olsen.  I was pleased and excited to learn that Jake was the current director at my beloved Camp Bartlett.  We had many good conversations as he shared with me “the good new days” and I shared with him “the good old days”.  It was great to bridge that gap and to catch up on everything going on with the camp.  It all sounded so wonderful and exciting.

Jake told me that Camp Bartlett would be celebrating the camp’s 50th Anniversary that coming summer.  He invited me to be a part of the grand celebration.  I was excited to learn that my busy summer schedule would allow for that opportunity.  Our Colorado Camp would end about the 22nd of July.  We would be able to attend my wife’s Belcher family reunion over the 24th of July at the grand family cabin near Heber, Utah, and then we would head up to Camp Bartlett.  Just the thought of going back to Bartlett kept me energized all summer long.

I refer again to my journal entries:


After the reunion …  We bid adieu to many folks – and especially to our son, K.C. and Celeste and family.  They  returned to Hurricane, Utah later in the afternoon.  It was fun having them at the reunion.

Our daughter, Kaylea, and Lou were kind of slow getting their things together but we did get out of camp.  We rushed off headed for Idaho.

We drove again to Evanston, Wyoming and then went northwest of there and headed for Camp Bartlett – where I served as camp director for four years from 1979 to 1982 (one of those I was actually Assistant Camp Director to the notorious Ray Chase).  We drove up the west side of the giant Bear Lake – which borders in Utah and Idaho.   We drove to the little village of Ovid, of which we always joke.  Dad loves to find Idaho people and ask them if they are from Ovid.  Thirty years ago, this was just a post office and a service station and today it is even less.


Metropolitan Ovid, Idaho

It looks as if the latest business there was a craft place and it looked as if it was closed.

When at Camp School a couple of months ago, we met Jake Olson, the current camp director at Camp Bartlett.  He told me about the camp’s 50th Anniversary celebration that was [to be held] tonight.  So, we went to the camp to be a part of this gathering.  We drove through the village of Liberty, Idaho – where we attended the church and began to reminisce all along the road, at the turn-off, and up the dirt road into the camp.BARTLETT SIGN

…Soon after we arrived, Jake went up front – in a new building that had been built since we were there.  He mentioned a couple of finance campaigns going on for the camp.  I took a paper to become a “friend of Camp Bartlett” for $30.  And he unveiled the grand plan for the “renovation of the old lodge”.  This was funny terminology to me since the “grand new lodge” was constructed during the time that I was Camp Director and I was the first director to use it.50 YEAR REUNION 2

After the festivities, we milled around and met people.  Many of the guys whom we met at Camp School were there – and work now for the “Trapper Trails” Council (which is the combined name after three or four councils merged.  When I worked there, I served in the Lake Bonneville Council).  Lou took my photo of a case which housed camp patches for most of the camp’s 50 years – and I was pleased to see our four in the collection.


KEVIN HUNT WITH 50 Years of CAMP BARTLETT PATCHES – His patches are two top right and second row – first patch

We had a good visit with Jake.  And we checked out the architect’s drawings of the “renovation of the old lodge”.

We went outside and walked around the central area.  I would have liked to have gone clear around the lake but the ladies didn’t want to do that. THRASHED ROOM FORMER STAFF DINING HALL We explored the lodge and we were appalled at how the place has been thrashed with the passing of time and extreme use by the Scouts of almost two generations.  We took many photos.


I was really jazzed to find some of the giant handcarts still in use.  I got a bunch of fire carts donated for the camp when I was there and I took a week and went to St. George and my Grandpa and I constructed about 25 of the carts.  So, it was exciting to see them (at least some) still in use.  We got a few photos of these.


Kevin and Lou Hunt with Camp Bartlett Cart – 2014 – Built originally by Kevin and his grandfather, Ray V. Hunt in January of 1981 – and still in use!

We next went to check out what I knew as “the old lodge – or dining hall” (which we had before the new one was built.)  We noted the other buildings or cabins and saw fifty or more staff tents crammed together in this area.  We went to the cabin where we always stayed when we were up there at Camp Bartlett.  We could hardly find the place.  It was covered with an extreme growth of trees and the only break in the bushes was the space for the door.


Camp Bartlett cabin where Kevin and Lou stayed when he was Camp Director

I also found it interesting that the old A-frame – where we had handicraft and created the new trading post – has been completely filled in and is now used for adult staff housing.  And the roof – up in the rafters – of the “new lodge” has also been filled in and it is now home to about 18 of the lady staffers.  When we were at Bartlett, I think that we had a staff of about 40 and now they have close to 100!


Kaylea and Lou – Camp Bartlett Memories

When we left Bartlett in 1982, our Kaylea was just four months old. So, she had spent half of her life up to that point at the camp.  And of course, we had Jackie and Jenae.  Jackie was born just after we returned from our first year up there so she spent three summers there.  Jenae would have been there in 1981 and 1982 – and would have been there for the grand Hunt reunion that we staged at Bartlett in 1981. …

As we went around I thought of many of the staff greats whom I worked with at Bartlett – Wayne Moyle, the Flammers, Rodger Thomas, Scott Foley, Paul Kearl, John and Colleen Perry, and many others.  It would be such fun to have a reunion with those folks!SLIDE 41 CAMP BARTLETTSLIDE 41 CAMP BARTLETT_Page_1

It was great fun to be back “home” again at the camp.  Being there brought back a real flood of memories of our grand days there.  Those were the best of times!

And now that brings us back to the here and now.  It has been a long journey, but here we are!

And so, it is with great excitement that we anticipate the rededication of the Camp Bartlett lodge on Saturday, June 25th.  It should be a grand and glorious day!  Wahoo!

I have noted that I plan to be in attendance for the grand rededication festivities.  I wouldn’t want to miss it!  I’ll look forward to it through the coming month of June.

It will be especially interesting and exciting for me to be present – since I was the original Camp Director of the “New” Bartlett Lodge.  It will be fun to see if at the rededication services I am the only person who was in attendance at the original 1980 dedication – or if there will be other “old-timers” there.  I guess time will tell!

And so, the Bartlett Lodge …  The Bartlett Lodge – once new, then old and now new again!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  [And you might want to check out Camp Bartlett trails … ]  Kevin


Excerpts taken from Kevin’s many Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership” and others at his Scoutingtrails website.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and The Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!

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The Man Who Goes the Extra Mile


Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director

We’ve been talking about some of the joy and trauma of Scouting – and I mentioned some of my Camp Director experience among those thoughts.  There were some traumatic times, but there were also some really great times.  Such was the case at Camp Bartlett.  It was my privilege and honor to work with a few guys who were committed to me and were always willing to go the extra mile for me and the camp.  I placed great value on “The Man Who Goes the Extra Mile” and was always deeply grateful for their strength, service and our brotherhood shared.


It is not my usual leadership style with youth to simply assign work to be done (though I do it on occasion, as needed).  My preferred method has been to motivate the guys to volunteer as the call for help is made.  The extra-miler was generally rewarded or praised in some special way.

This leadership style allows the young man to provide initiative for his own personal growth.  As “my boys” (staff guys) experienced the thrill of doing something that was not required, they found a growth potential previously untapped within themselves.  If properly recognized or thanked for a job well done, the staffer was anxious to volunteer again at other times.

I had a staffer named Jeff Leavitt with me for a couple of years.  He had had a chance to see that I operated a little differently than other camp leaders under whom he had worked previously.  It was a real compliment to hear Jeff say that he liked the way I worked along side of staff members rather than just telling them to do something and leaving them to it.


Lem Siddons and Whitey in Walt Disney’s “Follow Me Boys”

Paul Kearl was one of the most impressive young men with whom I ever had occasion to work.  He was one of those special young men who wanted to do all that was required or expected of him – and a lot more.  He was also one who was always willing to go the extra mile, and even when he was the only one traveling on that extended path.

My wife and I were particularly proud of Paul and pleased to be able to associate with him.  One night near the end of camp, Paul came over and shared with us some of his feelings for us and this was a special experience for us.

Paul was a staffer who got an unusual bonus from being on camp staff.  He had such a high level of integrity that he was one we trusted to serve on staff even when we were serving 400 girls instead of our usual collection of Scouts.  (Girls from several of the local LDS church units came for a week of camp after the Boy Scouting sessions had ended for the summer.)  And speaking of his extra bonus:  While on camp staff, Paul met a young lady whom he ended up marrying about four years later.


Paul was even the subject of a poem that I penned and dedicated to him:


The man who goes the extra mile,

Is one who’s learned to give of self.

He does more than duty with a smile,

And looks for ways to be of help.


The man who does more than is required,

Is valued far ‘bove all the other.

He’ll work and work e’en though he’s tired,

When tasks are done, he’ll do another.


When there’s a call for volunteers,

The extra-miler steps forth first.

And of the job, he has no fears,

No worries if the job’s the worst.


When trav’ling through their lives each day,

Most folks do only what they must.

They do only that which brings them pay,

Then this dissolves with moth and rust.


This man’s different, you see,

He always does more than his share.

He’s willing to work, not for a fee,

But to show of his love and care.


The extra-miler gets no praise,

Except for joy of a job well done.

He’s the man who deserves the raise,

Though he’d never ask for one.


The man in demand goes the extra mile,

Without being told what to do.

The man who does more with a smile …

The likes of this man are too few.


Service, the noblest of desire,

For which we all each day can work.

To help brothers, we can aspire,

And chances to serve never shirk.


Thanks to you for your extra mile,

For service above and beyond.

Your joyful spirit makes life worthwhile,

While building a brotherhood bond.

As I have observed the “extra-miler guys” over the years, it seems that they have a few characteristics in common.  I find that they are generally self-directed, self-assured, confident, go-getters, they have a vision of the “bigger picture”, and are service-oriented. They care more about others than they do for themselves.  They embody all that is good about the Scout Oath and Law.  These characteristics seem to radiate from them.  In all, they are just really great guys to have around.  They make a real difference in the world.  They are the kind of folks who are just good to be with.  And you can be assured that they will be the ones who will be there to help and serve in any kind of situation. EXTRA MILE 3

[Note:  I could just name guys by their first name – to protect the innocent, but in some cases,  (when it is positive) it is worthwhile to really recognize guys as who they truly are.]

Rodger Thomas, brothers John and Scott Foley, and Lynn Porter were more of those special young men who were outstanding in every way and who volunteered for everything.  Whatever the task, they were there to assist.  I could always count on them. They were all true extra-milers.  And in recent time, I could also add David Shill to that list of extra-milers.  That guy has been truly amazing in all of his willing service.

It seems that a special bond developed between me and those who consistently volunteered to help.  For one thing, I naturally spent more time with them and thus I got to know them better than those who didn’t volunteer.  There was more interaction because of the process of showing them what was to be done, reviewing progress and working at their side to complete the task.BARTLETT FLAG CEREMONY FROM WEB

It seems too, that there was another element to the closeness I felt towards those who consistently volunteered.  These boys were those who felt positively toward me as their leader and thus allowed me the added opportunity to be an influence in their lives.  They were the ones (who by their choice, and hence by mine also) who were on my “team”, as opposed to just putting in their time for a badge or paycheck.

I have long been an avid journal keeper and have seen the many benefits of journal writing throughout my life.  And in fact, the material from these blog articles have drawn heavily from my own journal volumes as recorded when the events happened.  My journal has helped me recognize when personal progress has been made.  It has helped me understand myself better and has helped me document needed improvements in my life.  And in the journals, I have documented associations with family and friends.


Kevin Hunt Journal Volume #122

For those staff members with whom I was particularly close, I made presentations of blank journal books for their future use.  At the front of the books, I’d write a special challenge to the young man getting the book.  I would also thank him for his assistance and express my pleasure in being a part of his life.

A couple of the guys have since told me that they started keeping a journal after receiving the one from me.  Some of them are still keeping one to this day.  That makes me so proud of those guys!

It was a special thing for me as these same boys responded with appreciation for me and the influence I’d been in their lives.  Scott made me a beautiful hand made wooden box with a glass top.  Inside the box were items representing common interests we had shared.

Terry Allen came to me at the end of what I knew to be my final year of directing Camp Bartlett.  He expressed his feelings of appreciation for all that I had done for him.  That kid had really made progress in the three summers that we had served together.  He was still a diamond with a few rough edges but making great progress.  Boy, I was proud of that kid!   And that pride kept getting better as watched him later become a high school principal. I like to think that I had a bit to do with his future greatness.

It was rare to actually hear some feedback from Scouts or staffers but the few times I heard such a response it made a lasting memory to be cherished.  These moments came seldom so I relish the memory of each.

One comment I heard by accident as I passed an Order of the Arrow youth.  The boy said of me to his friend, “He’s the best dude here.”SCOUT CAMP MEMORIES

On my final day with Scouts at Camp Bartlett, I was walking near the new camp trading post that we had built under the old A-frame.  I saw Lynn and Allen just wrapping up their work in the trading post.  I stopped to visit with them for a few moments and thanked them for their dedicated efforts on the trading post inventory and also for making the hundreds of “Old Ephraim Honor Camper” awards for the many Scouts we’d served over the summer.  I said, “You guys are SUPER!”

With that comment, Allen choked up and managed to say, “Well Kevin, you’ve been a really super boss too.”  Then we were all choked up.

It was at that moment that it hit me that I probably would not be back to Camp Bartlett another year and that this chapter of my life really was drawing to a close.  My professional papers had already been sent in for transfer and I knew that one was eminent.



I got all choked up and could hardly say anything else to Lynn and Allen.  I went over to my cabin and there broke down and bawled my eyes out.  I was glad that my family had already left for the dining hall and did not see me in that condition.

The feelings generated by such occasions are indescribable.  It’s times like these that make me proud to be a part of this grand mission of Scouting.  The Pauls, the Rodgers, the Scotts, the Lynns, the Terrys and other special ones through the years make it all worth our effort.

That’s the true joy of service in Scouting …

[Note:  I have maintained at least some contact through the years with Paul, Scott, and Terry.  I would really like to reconnect with Rodger Thomas, Jeff Leavitt and Lynn Porter … if anyone has a clue where they are and could could connect us!]

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevin


Excerpts taken from Kevin’s many Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership” and others at Scoutingtrails.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and The Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!

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Sometimes my Camp Staff Learned the Hard Way


Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director

Sometimes my camp staff learned the hard way.  But, generally they got the message and made the needed behavioral adjustments.   Our lessons and experiences are all part of the joy and trauma of Scouting in general and camp staff in particular.


I remember a couple of times at Camp Bartlett when I got huffy over a lousy campfire program or uptight about a couple of unrehearsed skits that were out of taste when they suddenly appeared unannounced on stage.  I dramatically walked out right in the middle of a couple of those programs.  Staff knew that when I did that I was less than pleased.

Often on occasions such as these I would go back to the lodge and would prepare one of those classy cracker barrels for the staff and then when they’d get there, we’d calmly discuss the disaster over the goodies.  That way my anger would be tempered a little through the effect of the goodies.

On one occasion, the fire building patrol used a little shot of “fire water” to ignite a stubborn fire lay.  This did not set at all well with me since this was against all BSA and general safety principles.


After using the special “fire water”, the staff involved also got a special reward the next day.  I said, “If you guys want to put something on a fire, you can really get into it.”  As already mentioned, our Friday Night Campfire Bowl was located majestically atop a large mountain which overlooked the whole valley below.  The only problem was that it was nowhere near a water source for extinguishing our fires.

The task I gave those fire builders was to trudge up the hill with water enough to fill the fifty-five gallon barrel located there for fire prevention.  After the initial shock they again pulled together and made a fun task of what could have been an unpleasant one.  They ingeniously created a yoke type arrangement for themselves by which they could carry a five gallon bucket from each shoulder.  We had needed the barrel filled anyway, but now the task seemed to fit the demands of the situation.

There were some days when everything went wrong in camp.  Luckily, that kind of day didn’t come every day.  One particularly bad day seems to stick in my mind even now, but it is kind of funny as I look back at it now.  The setting was Camp Del Well, located in Southern Utah and operated by the Boulder Dam Area Council in Las Vegas, Nevada.

On that occasion, both of the camp trucks broke down at once.  Three staff members were off for the day and were pestering me to get them a way into town.  The waterfront director cut his foot and could not direct the waterfront programs.  I had no choice but to go down there.  As Mitch and I returned from there in the afternoon, the rain started to pour down on us.  It came down in torrents.RAIN AT CAMP

After rounding up all of the ten or so kids who had gone to the lake for practice and classes, we headed back up the hill toward camp. We were caught in a grand hailstorm and had hail of about a half inch in diameter.  (And that was a bit of HAIL (and the alternate spelling could apply)!

That day was also the day that we gave the cook a break and extended the Scouts the chance to cook in their own campsites.  We had to eat freeze-dried food and the troop I ate it with didn’t do so hot with the stuff.FREEZE DRIED FOOD

Then that night’s campfire program got rained out.  We decided to hold it under the large Army tent draped with the orange parachute designed to shade the place.  In the rain the parachute sagged dramatically onto the tent.  Anyway, the program did turn out well.  It certainly was a campfire program to remember.  Rain or shine, the program must go on …!

Many of the camp staffers used to leave Camp Bartlett on weekends but there were always about twenty or so of us there.  Since the cook was off on the weekends, it fell my lot to do the cooking for the guys on Saturdays and Sundays.  I loved cooking so it was a fun job most of the time.

Generally the guys who stayed in camp were willing to take their turn and would each sign up and assist with at least one meal during each weekend.  A couple times in a row, however, only one or two of them put their names on the helper list.

I like them, had only a few hours of reprieve on the weekends and while I very much enjoyed cooking gourmet things for the staff, I didn’t want my entire time to be taken up by it.  I needed some time to spend with my family.

I asked a couple times for helpers but to no avail.  After the seconRED HENd meal that weekend with no help, I’d had about enough.  I finally got mad, locked the kitchen and posted on the door, the story of “The Little Red Hen”.

The guys were famished by the next meal and for some reason, several helpers showed up to assist.  Many of the staff, however, were angry over the incident and refused to come over to help or eat.  They then retaliated by setting off a bunch of firecrackers.  The experience proved to be one of growth for all of us.

Another time I reacted similarly when several staffers had gradually developed a habit of coming late to breakfast.  They had it timed perfectly to arrive after the flag ceremony and staff meetings were over and at the precise moment that chow was served.  Their habit was soon cured with a door locked to latecomers.  It took only about three days of being locked out to get them up and back into the groove with the rest of us.

My brother Ray was on my staff and he was one of those lie-a-beds who liked the breakfast hour dozing routine.  I didn’t cut him any slack for his actions, however.  He got cut out along with the rest of the latecomers.KP DUTY

And there is a funny story about him and that situation.  I placed all of the staff members into one of five staff patrols.  I then assigned them rotating tasks.  One week they would do KP duty, another week they would build the campfire, another week they would plan, implement, and clean-up after a weekly staff activity night, etc.

On this one occasion, Ray and his patrol staged their staff activity night.  It was a great activity and all went well.  But when it came time for clean-up, Ray and his tent mate did not do their required clean-up duties.  And then the next morning they were lazy and did not wake up in time to attend the required flag ceremony.  By this time, all staffers knew that attendance at the morning flag ceremony (a sign of being prepared for the day) was one thing that I expected with zero tolerance.  And if one or two patrol members were not there, then I came down on the whole group.

So, on this particular morning, the patrol members  were already less than pleased with Ray and his tent mate.  They came to me and as a group asked what I was going to do to my brother and his mate.  They were very surprised with my answer.  I said, “They are members of your patrol and it is your patrol who needs to deal with them.”  And as an inspired second thought, I added, “You can throw them in the lake for all that I care.”

That was the only thing that they needed to take care of the situation.  With a rather loud whoop – and now with the help of almost the entire staff, they ran in great haste to the tent of the flagrant lie-a-beds.  And in real swift action – before the two lie-a-beds knew what was happening (and remember that this was about 6:30 AM), they extracted them out of their sleeping bags and tents and with a lot of excitement, they pitched the two boys out into the cold lake at Camp Bartlett.

That was a major grow-up day for Ray.  He was no longer just “the camp director’s brother” but he was fully a staff member.  And he had to rise to the occasion (pun intended) to get on with life.  That moment began at least some accountability for Ray.  (He was the youngest of seven siblings – and I was the oldest – … so for many years, the B. of his middle name meant “Baby”.  So, he had a bit of growing up to do.)  I look back now and see early morning lake dip as a major milestone in his life.  (But, I’m not sure that he would agree.)

Speaking of Ray reminds me how hard it was to get him to write letters home.  He’d once been at camp for at least a month and had not written a letter to the folks.  I couldn’t pull the stunt on all staffers (though their mothers probably would have wanted me to) but I told Ray that he would not be eating another meal until after he wrote a letter home to Mother and Dad.

One year, both my brother and sister were on my staff.  I had not had girls or women (other than the married cooks) on my staff before so I was somewhat leery about putting even my sister on staff.  Some camp directors had told me that “the only place for a woman in camp is no place.”  (That was many years ago – and things have changed dramatically since then.)

With Laurie’s urging, I decided to give her a try.  I recruited another girl to come up also so that there would be two of them to fill one tent and so that they could keep each other company.

As it turned out, I needn’t have worried about “company” for Laurie.  All of the staff were more than delighted to entertain her.  Knowing of this natural attraction, I gave the staff, both boys and girls together, a sound lecture about their male/female relationships in camp.  We talked candidly about the effect of moonlight in such situations.

The staff all agreed that neither sex would go into the tents of the other, that they must remain at arm’s length, and that any association together after dark would be at the lodge or other gatherings where a number of other staff were also present.  Though they had all agreed in advance to these stipulations, it wasn’t long before they were testing me to see just how far they could go.

I once found one of the boys in a tent with one of the ladies.  It was during the day time  (as if that is any “safer”) but they had both disobeyed the rules and got to experience the results of their behavior.  I also saw one of the boys walking hand in hand with one girl as they strolled down the trail.  They looked like a couple of moon-struck sweethearts.

I was adamant that the rules be obeyed.  I put out the ultimatum that the rules would be obeyed from that point on or the girls (and probably the boys involved also) would be sent home.  Neither gender liked the ruling but they did conform.  Years later my sister said that she could finally appreciate my actions and thanked me for them.

The experience with the girls on staff made me reevaluate whether or not I’d ever have ladies in camp again.  Actually though, there was another lady on our staff that same year.  She was our Nature Director, and I was very pleased with her male relationships.  Her performance proved to be a much more positive experience than that experienced with the younger youth.  Instead of being so twitterpated as the younger gals had been, she was very professional.  She, the men and the boys, all handled themselves well.

I set up the arrangement to have church girls come to Camp Bartlett for a couple of weeks after the regular Scout camping season.  I retained only the staff men whom I knew without a doubt that I could trust explicitly and they got to be staff for the young women.   That actually worked out quite well.  (They came one year when we were building the new Camp Bartlett Lodge.  And it was sure funny to see the girls looking around for the “current bushes” for their hair curlers.  They had seen a box of electric boxes sitting near the lodge and just knew that the current bushes had to extend also to the KYBO’s in their campsites.  And we were happy to accommodate them the best that we could.  We took some of the boxes and nailed them to walls in the KYBO’s – and even had a couple of wires that went down from the boxes into the ground.  They really looked legitimate.  And some girls even gave them a try!  What a hoot that was!)

And on another occasion, I actually worked out a plan for an Ogden Bishop to bring his whole group of young women to Camp Bartlett – in a chartered tour bus – for a surprise dance and other activities with my staff.   Talk about fabulous fun …  that was it!  But, that’s a subject for another blog.

Though I demanded perfection, I could empathize with the staff and their feelings. I  could remember well the trauma and difficulty I had experienced when I was their age.  I could see in each staff boy his own great potential and I worked hard to help him also see that same vision within himself.

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevin


Excerpts taken from Kevin’s many Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership” and others at Scoutingtrails.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and The Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!

 Facebook:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs Facebook Page




Joy and Trauma in Scouting


Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director

In some previous posts, we have talked about the fun, adventure and romance  in Scouting.  Most of those subjects involved the good times of Scouting.  Now I’d like to introduce another subject -that of the “Joy and Trauma” of Scouting.  In my experience in Scouting, I’ve found that there is always some of both.  I wrote recently of Jed Stringham, the camp building giant.  At first, I experienced some trauma as I anticipated “Jed Work”.  Then, after I got to know Jed and all that he did for me and for the camp, I found great joy in our association.  Much of that came through his assistance when I was the director at Camp Bartlett.

And speaking of Camp Bartlett, … I started a new tradition in a few camps where I worked – and I got it going once I became the Camp Director at Camp Bartlett.  Each week we had a volleyball game where the staff would challenge all the Scoutmasters in camp.  Later we perfected the activity and had the younger staff challenge all the Senior Patrol Leaders in a second series of games.  This was a fun time for both the troops and the staff. It was a beneficial diversion for all.


Though they gave it their best, invariably my staff would get beat by the Scoutmasters.  After a losing streak it was hard to keep the staff “pumped up” enough to go at it again.  One night as they were “down”, I got their attention when I promised milk shakes to everyone on our team if they’d win over the “old duffers”.  The Scoutmasters accused me of illegal bribery but it did the trick.

That activity cost me a fair amount of money in milk shakes but the guys rallied around and even beat the socks off the Scoutmasters.  The momentum of that occasion created a new excitement which carried over into the next week when volleyball day came again.

I tried constantly to show the staffers that I was interested in them and that I cared about them. On some rare moments the staff surprised me with little subtle hints that they too, appreciated my efforts.  Sometimes one had to read between the lines to get that message, however.

One such time was when they toilet papered the cabin where my family and I resided.  It was a job well done, I must admit!  This action may not seem like a positive expression, but anyone knows that youth won’t waste time toilet papering your house unless they think you are super.TP OF CABIN

Another special moment in Scouting came as compliments of a Scout who came to the camp Rancho Alegre, near Santa Barbara, California, while I was camp director there.  We had a little tradition there of passing around “Suzie”.  Suzie was a small piece of leather that was quietly passed, and generally without knowledge of the one receiving it, through pockets of Scouts and staffers alike.

At general camp wide gatherings, we’d sing for Suzie and the lucky man who found her on his person got to draw for a “good or bad prize” from a large can.  That was always a big moment as everyone was high with anticipation of what it might be.

A boy I knew was found to have Suzie.  At the final Friday night campfire program of the season, he drew a prize which stated, “A camp staffer of your choice has to jump, in complete uniform, off the diving board at the swimming pool.”  He asked, and was pleased to learn that his choice included the camp director so I soon found myself preparing for a swim.

This dubious honor was about like getting my house toilet papered.  I knew I would not have been selected had I not done something to impress the lad.


Camp Director, Kevin Hunt, jumping into pool in complete Scout uniform

I played it up big and the next morning, right after breakfast, I reported to the pool in complete uniform.  I think every one of the two hundred boys and leaders came to witness the grand event.  I went to the diving board, bowed to the throng and proceeded to dive off the board.  They caught me on a technicality, however, and said I had to do it all over again since I hadn’t “jumped off the board”.

The only problem with that little episode was the aftermath.  Since camp was ending for the summer, I had just the day before, sent home all of my extra clothing and gear with my wife.  I had kept only my pajamas and the uniform I had on my back for the remaining day of camp.

After that little morning splash, I had nothing but the pajamas to change into.  I had no choice but to conduct the final checkout for the troops and also my staff interviews while wearing my pajamas. Of course I got lots of “cute” comments from everyone who passed through.

While I have had many positive experiences with Scouts and camp staffers, there were also a few of the trying times also.  These were a little traumatic for me (and them) at the time but in retrospect, they bring a chuckle or two.

When I had directed Camp Bartlett in Idaho, I had tried to mold the staff into a working team that would work together on whatever assignment was given.  I had the philosophy that everyone should assist in the grungy jobs as well as the fun ones. In this way we could all have more time for the fun stuff.

I remember well the time we had to dig new latrine holes and then had to move the existing K.Y.B.O. shack to the new holes.  (For those of you who don’t know, “K.Y.B.O.” is short for Keep Your Bowels Open!)  In the moving process we had to repaint the two-holer, and either bury or “honey- dip” the old holes at each of the twenty locations throughout camp.


Speaking of two-holers, it has always intrigued me why there would be two-holers in a Scout camp.  I am yet to see two teenage boys that would go in there at the same time, no matter how urgent the call.

Of course our K.Y.B.O. cleaning and painting was a task that we were all thrilled to do …!  It was no more thrilling for me than for my guys but we “dug into it” with gusto.  We laughed and joked and made it into one of those memorable camp experiences.  The jokes about the job stank like the job itself: Though crappy jokes, they were … let’s see … in good taste?

Over the next few days, it became a thing of pride to be able to serve on the “K.Y.B.O. Patrol”. We all worked to make the job bearable.  When we finished, we had the best looking two-holers this side of the Mississippi River.  I still wear with pride, my uniform with the little while dots reminiscent of that activity.

While on the pleasant subject of KYBO’s, I’ll share another memory.  In 1973, Scoutmaster Jim and I took our entire troop up to the National Scout Jamboree in Farragut, Idaho.  As we got to the camp we noted yellow tents – which we learned were the designated KYBO’s for the Jamboree experience.  And as was the case for the entire Jamboree, the wind was terrible.  We didn’t know then what the tents were.  We were all amused, however, as we noted one of the tents whipping wildly through air.  It was held to the ground only by a single rope tethering it to the ground.  We later learned that this was the KYBO for a Canadian troop.  And the story goes that some poor kid was sitting in there when the tent took off.  It makes for a good story, anyway.JAMBOREE TENTS IMAGE

Again, while speaking of KYBO’s, I remember a story as told by my Scoutmaster when I was a kid.  He used to tell us of the two-holer in his home town in Minnesota.  He said he came from a little town there that was so small that the only public rest room was the two-holer in front of the one gas station in town.  He said that the proprietor of the station had a unique hobby.

He would let some old gal go into the place, he’d give her a minute or two to get all situated, and then with a walkie-talkie in hand he’d speak into the other walkie-talkie that he had taped up under the seat of the two-holer. He’d say something like, “Excuse me, Ma’am, but I’m painting under this hole.  Could you please sit on the other side?”  He said, “Within seconds the woman would come flying out trying to pull her pants up and her dress down all at the same time.

I don’t know whether that story is true or not, but it does teach one lesson:  the importance of leaders taking care with the kind of stories told to Scouts.  They’ll remember much of what you say — both good and bad.

I didn’t believe in putting any kids on permanent K.P. (Kitchen Patrol) duty for an entire summer.  Again, I felt that we should all assist with this task.  Thus, at Camp Bartlett I rotated the various staff patrols weekly through this responsibility.  No one balked about my work rotating procedures since no one had to do K.P. for more than a couple weeks any summer.  I might add that K.P. was done in addition to their regular teaching and program assignments. With the entire patrol working as a team, they could complete the task in short order.


It didn’t take me long to learn that teenage boys don’t have a natural talent or know-how for cleaning a kitchen (or anything else, for that matter) to a point of sanitary perfection.

As camp director it became my frequent but unpleasant task to haul all of the camp garbage to town for disposal.  This was usually done in conjunction with the town runs for food and supplies.  I remember one time I went to pick up a bag of garbage and soon found that morning’s leftover oatmeal all over my foot.  Some clown had put the whole mess of mush into one flimsy garbage bag.

That very day, and always on the first day of subsequent camp staff weeks thereafter, I conducted a training session about how to clean a kitchen.  And I was very careful to demonstrate how to properly dispose of garbage (i.e.: double bag, pull two rabbit ears – one on each side of the bag, and then tie a tight square knot – down tight against the contents of the bag).

As I look back, I see that there have been many joyful moments – threads of which can be seen and felt everywhere in the Scouting program.  And there have been the trauma moments, as well.  Certainly KYBO’s and garbage don’t come under the joyous moments, but even the crappy jobs could be turned into decent or at least manageable situations.

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevin


Excerpts taken from Kevin’s many Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership” and others at Scoutingtrails.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and The Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!

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Scouting Romance it Just Keeps Getting Better


Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director

We have been talking of the “Romance of Scouting”.  Well, with that Scouting romance it just keeps getting better!   I’ve been sharing with you some romantic moments of Scouting – where everything is just so great and where the Scouting program shines with those great moments.  Here are some more of those moments that come to my mind.

BARTLETT LODGEThe dedication of the Camp Bartlett Lodge was another of those romantic moments of Scouting.  We’d all worked hard on the lodge and all summer we’d watched it take shape.  Thus, that fall day was particularly memorable. The lodge was a dream- come-true for many of us present.  That beautiful building stood as a symbol of great Scouts and Scouters past, as well as a hope and dream for the future.  (That was a lot of years ago and now the lodge has been refurbished and is ready for dedication and another generation of Scouts and Scouters coming to Camp Bartlett.)

Still another memorable moment of “romance” comes to mind.  One time an Australian Scouter came to Utah and spent a few days at our home with us.  We didn’t know Bob Barnes before he arrived, but met him by referral from a mutual friend.  It was fun to exchange “program notes” of the Australian and American Scouting programs.AUSTRALIAN FLAG

Within a few minutes we were on common ground as we began to share our Scouting experiences that were alike though a world apart. It was interesting to compare the two Scouting worlds to which we belonged.

I think of the thrill of hearing that we would soon get new uniforms in the Boy Scouts of America. The news came as a shock.  The National Office had done a phenomenal job of hiding the news until it was announced simultaneously throughout the entire country.

Even we Scouting professionals didn’t know that a change was in the mill, until we received the historic telegrams with the news from the National Office.  I was especially excited with the announcement and was one of the first to buy the new uniform.  I rushed out to buy one the second that they became available.  Prior to this, Scouting boys and leaders had for several years worn the light Khaki green uniforms.  And these new ones (in khaki tan) were the “height of fashion” being designed and created for the BSA by the famed designer, Oscar de la Renta.  So, the new uniforms were really a major departure from those we’d all grown up in.  And they were pretty great!


For a bit more insight into this grand event in the history of the Boy Scouts of America, check out this information about Oscar de la Renta and the NEW UNIFORM

My wife added a little romance to my life as she designed and created a special anniversary present for me one year.  She made me a huge quilt top from about thirty neckerchiefs that I’d worn during my days as a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and professional.  She had Wood Badge neckerchiefs, activity and training neckerchiefs, and more.

To add to the romance of that special quilt top, she sewed onto it, about 150 patches from the many activities of which I’d had


Kevin’s Scouting Blanket

a part.  That quilt is still one of my greatest treasures.  It is packed with the Romance of Scouting.  (And incidentally, I’ve never been a big patch collector – as some Scouters are.  I have made it a habit of only collecting those patches for events and activities for which I have actually participated or have helped plan in some way.)

I think too, of some training courses on which I served on staff. One Cub Pow Wow was particularly romantic, as I recall.  Though I’d been in Scouting for over twenty years since a Cub Scout, the Cub Scouters decided to award me with my Bobcat badge at a mock “Blue and Gold Banquet”.  The banquet, by the way, included sack lunches for everyone.

My wife anCUB SCOUT UPSIDE DOWNd daughters were present for that grand ceremony.  One of my young daughters started screaming as she watched them turn Dad upside down to receive the award.  She was convinced that they were going to hurt me in some way.

I think too, of displays of Scouting Spirit.  I remember the extra-mile effort of Troop 222 from Brigham City, Utah as they spent their week at Camp Bartlett.  We made a special award to recognize their excellence.

And how could I forget the romance of the spirited members of Troop 218 of Ogden, as together they chanted, year after year, “218, 218, 218, TOGETHER, …huhhh!”  I bragged of their spirit wherever I went. It was great to see how they could maintain their 218  tradition over so many years. I wished that all boys in Scouting could feel the troop pride as evidenced in Troop 218.  They really were “together”.


Norman Rockwell – Triple Self-Painting

I remember too, the feeling I experienced when a couple of my Scouting heroes died.  One of these was Norman Rockwell, Scouting’s illustrator for over fifty years.  I have always very much enjoyed his paintings (and particularly those in his Scouting collection) so I was saddened with the news of his death.  And to this day I have several Rockwell Scouting books on my “coffee table” in my living room (and I am not even a coffee drinker!)

A prominent church leader, N. Eldon Tanner, was another of my heroes.  He was a special supporter of Scouting.  Even as a young boy, I noticed that he ALWAYS wore a Scouting lapel pin as he spoke at the worldwide television broadcasts of the church’s annual general conference.


N. Eldon Tanner

I watched President Tanner for years and never once noticed him without the little Scouting fleur-de-lis.  I was sorry to hear of his passing but he probably wore that little badge into the next world.  His memory lingers still to remind me to always “do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law at all times …”  I later learned that President Tanner’s father was one of the first Scoutmasters when Scouting came to Canada.  And young Eldon was in that troop.

My mind is drawn once again to the romance of Scout camp.  I still chuckle as I picture myself with a long chain of Scoutmasters at our Friday night campfire programs.  I’d go up front and would call down the leaders who were loved by all in camp.

Arm in locked arm together, I’d lead the men in a rendition of “Alice the Camel”.  Together we’d sing:  “Alice the camel has five humps, … Alice the camel has five humps, … Alice the camel has five humps, so GO, … Alice, … Go!”  And then we’d continue singing down through one hump on Alice.ALICE THE CAMEL

The boys all laughed boisterously as we leaders bumped hips with each other in a great amount of force as we were hit by the urge to bump our neighbors.

I’m sure we caused quite a scene.  The boys really laughed and hooted at the end as I said, “Alice the camel has … NO HUMPS …  ’cause ALICE … IS A HORSE!”

With that, I’d run off the stage leaving the Scoutmasters there to bask in the thrill of making a fool of themselves.  The boys all loved it!  I’ll have to admit that it was pretty funny.  (Ooops!  I should not have given away my secret!  So, if you see me lead this to your group in the future, just act as if I didn’t let you in on the secret!)

FLAG BURNING CEREMONY 2I think too, of many flag burning ceremonies and the honor trails through which many a Scout silently passed.  I remember also, the romance of singing after each campfire programs with all of my camp staff as the Scouts quietly left the campfire bowls to participate in the Honor Trail or to return to their campsites.


We all stood together between the two fires that were then coals and for several minutes we quietly sang or hummed the many solemn or patriotic songs of Scouting.  Those were indeed special moments of Scouting romance.

And finally, I think of the candle lighting ceremony at the final campfire program of the National Jamboree in Idaho.  At the beginning of the ceremony, all was dark in the huge natural amphitheater.  All of the 35,000 Scouts and leaders present had a small three-inch candle.  Everyone in the crowd was impressively quiet and there was not a sound anywhere.JAMBOREE CANDLE CEREMONY

On a given signal, each Scoutmaster lit his own candle.  He then shared his light by lighting the candles of his boy leaders.  Then together, they lit the candles of everyone in their troops.  Within a few moments, everyone held  their glowing candles above their heads.  Though it was dark, the area was almost as light as noon-day.

We realized that on our own, we each have only a little light, but if we all let our little lights shine, we can really be a force for good in the world.  We all left that beautiful ceremony proud of our association with Scouting and anxious to share our light with others.

I participated in this same ceremony – on a much smaller scale – when I attended the National Executive Institute – an academy that trains new professional Scouters.  I was a new District Executive and attended this school for three weeks at the Schiff Scout Reservation in New Jersey.  After the ceremony, my Louisiana friend, Keith McGowan, suggested that we trade candles as a token of the friendship and brotherhood that had grown between us through the course.  I think that I still have that candle.

So, yes, Mr. Scoutmaster, Scouting is full of experiences in fun, adventure, and even romance.  And it’s all there for you to enjoy …!  Best wishes as you reach out to touch lives of youth who want to share that fun, adventure, and romance with you.

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevin


Excerpts taken from Kevin’s many Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership” and others at Scoutingtrails.  Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy ScoutThe Scouting Trail and The Voice of Scouting.  Feel free to comment on anything you read!

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