Scouts, Sticks and Knives Just Seem to go Together

Scout 1

By Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

Through my years in Scouting and working at Scout camps, I have learned that Scouts, sticks and knives just seem to go together.  They seem inseparable. There is something special about creating something with wood.  And carving seems to be the ultimate.

A few years ago I was the Camp Director of Camp Bartlett.  Those were glorious days!  When I had a rare few minutes to myself, I enjoyed working with wood.  One summer I created a new cradle for the upcoming birth of a new daughter.  I usually had only a couple of free hours each Saturday – after the Scouts had gone home – but I got out a small hand keyhole saw – the only saw I had at camp – and fashioned the beautiful cradle (which we used for several of our children).


Kevin Hunt the Walking Stick Carver

And I also loved to carve on walking sticks.  That action was therapeutic for me.  It was fun to just get a stick and go sit out in the woods to carve.  It was fun, too, to see the enthusiasm that the Scouts had as they found me carving.  I could be anywhere on a remote log and within a few minutes I would have a couple of Scouts there on the log with me.  We’d talk about my carving and then I would start to ask them about the camp.  “So, what merit badges are you working on this week?”  “How do you like …?”  “Who is your favorite counselor …?”  And it was amazing what I could find out about the camp.  Using this method, I could learn about everything and a lot about my staff.  And the staff was real frustrated.  They wondered how I could know so much about what was going on.  I didn’t let onto my secret.  I carved a stick just for Camp Bartlett and it still brings me joy and memories today.

That carving tradition continues to today.  While I was at the Thunder Ridge Scout Camp this past summer (in all of its wanderings), I enjoyed showing scouts and leaders some of my carved walking sticks.  Everywhere I went, the boys were especially interested in them.  They were all very intrigued with the carving process and the end result.  I noted too, that still today, it appears that all scouts love to carve, carve, and carve sticks.  In fact, they just love to use the knife and go for it – sometimes with nothing in mind.  But, yet, they carve on.  And Scout camp is a great place to do that.  For at camp, Scouts can earn their “Totin’ Chip Award … that special card that opens up the world of knives and carving to every Scout.  And sticks at camp … we all know that there is a plethora of sticks to be carved on while at camp. There is an ample supply for all.


Since everyone seemed to be really intrigued with my sticks and carving, I thought that you might enjoy reading a recent blog that I posted in the Voice of Scouting on the subject.  Here is what I wrote:

In the blog article, I share facts about how I got my carving start (as a Scout in the Woodcarving merit badge), my walking stick hobby and how I acquired my own carving knife.  I’d also like to share of a knife tradition in my own family.  Our son-in-law, J.D., brought this tradition to our family. For a couple of generations in his family, they have had the tradition of giving a knife to each son as he turns twelve.  And it is just not just any old knife.  It is the best of the “Old Timer” brand and in the grand “Old Timer” tradition.  And it is a pretty cool tradition.  (Read more about the Old Timer here:


J 7

Dad giving son his own “Old Timer” pocket knife

I have been a part of the family tradition as I have experienced it with three of the five sons (so far). At the 12th birthday celebration – as each son comes of age, the dad presents the son with his own new “Old Timer” knife with due pomp and ceremony (kind of like a “right of passage” deal).  And I guess JD got the same knife from his dad when he turned twelve.  Anyway, at each of these three presentations, the Stoddard grandpa has been present to assist with the knife presentation.  So, it has been JD, his father, and each son who has already received his knife – all up there together.  At this last ceremony, my own father – then age 88, was present.  Was I ever surprised when he pulled his own “Old Timer” from his own pocket – and joined the presentation tradition.  And knowing that I had a Scout whittling knife, they brought me up to be an “honorary Old Timer” (though I could have had the title based on age alone).

J 14

Stoddard family “Old Timer” Knife Tradition

It was a grand occasion and I was proud to be a part of it.  And I am sure that the other two boys are counting down the days until they get their own knives.  Maybe, too, I’ll have to invest in one of them “Old Timers” myself .  It looks like an elite group!


Silhouette of Kevin Hunt’s Carved Walking Sticks

Knives, boys (and men), sticks and carving.  It just seems to be a “guy thing” that most of us have born in us.  (But my wife is carving her first stick now … all that time in Scout camp is working on her brain – and her pocketknife!)  Carving … Let’s keep doing it! Carve, carve, carve …

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  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!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to:

Contact Kevin directly via e-mail:


Dr. Richard Moyle – A Giant Man, A Giant Heart, A Giant of a Scouter


By Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director

Although I’m currently on a self-declared “blog-cation” (because of my summer camp adventures at Camp Thunder Ridge), I need to come out of that hibernation to write about my great friend and Scouting mentor, Dr. Richard W. Moyle.  I noticed on a camp break today of the June 18th death of Dr. Richard Moyle.  Richard or “Dick”  as maybe only I called him, was my Scouting District Chairman when I served years ago as the Sr. District Executive of the great Mt. Ogden scouting district in South Ogden.  The district was then a part of the Lake Bonneville Council, and now the Trapper Trails Council.  With his passing, we have lost a giant of a man, a giant heart and a giant of a Scouter.

The Obituary of Dr. Richard W Moyle noted that he has been involved in Scouting for 60 years!  Wow!  How great is that?  And I can attest to the fact that this was not just minor or superficial involvement.  Richard gave his all to anything that he took on.  And that is what he did with Scouting.  He was willing to sacrifice everything as needed to make the Scouting program work for young men.  He was truly a giant in his Scouting service.  He was long-time recipient of the Silver Beaver Award.

Richard also wore the title of “Doctor” through his education.  He was a Geology professor of great renown at Weber State College in Ogden.

I became acquainted with Dick when he agreed to become the Varsity Scouting chairman for the district.  In this role, he worked tirelessly to implement to new Varsity Scouting program when it was a pilot program.  He went at the program with full steam.  He loved the program and wanted to see that all Scouts of our district had opportunity to participate in it.  He recruited a fabulous team of volunteers to deliver the first ever Varsity Scouting adult training program.  His team conducted the first Varsity Scouting Youth Leadership Course.  He was a proponent of the Varsity Scouting Games and had a major impact in their development.  His team was amazing and energized for the program.

Later, Richard willingly accepted the invitation to become our District Chairman.  Again, he worked feverishly to make our Mt. Ogden District the best and greatest in the council.  He caught the vision of what he and we could accomplish together.  And with that vision, he went forward to recruit the right people to do every job.  He was most conscientious in his dedicated efforts.

Our weekly (or more often) Key-3 meetings (with him, me and our district commissioner, Ron Harrison) were a real pleasure.  Dick was so anxious to make us successful.   Nothing brought him down.  He was the epitome of the positive attitude.  Everything that he did was “how can we make this happen?”  I loved his brotherhood and service.

Dick was also a hunter of great renown.  And with his hunting prowess, he would make anything and everything into jerky.  He would often come to me with his latest meat for my tasting.  “Here is some elk,” he would say.  Or, “Here is some bear!”  (That one was a shock!)  And then another shocker:  “Try some squirrel!”

My wife, on hearing of the death of Dick commented:  “He was just the nicest guy!  He was so personable and genuine.”  He and his wife, Belva (a distant Rawson cousin of mine) were so very sweet.  They were so concerned about Lou and me and our family.  We truly loved them!  They were the greatest friends and supporters of us and our growing family.  They came to our every event.  They were there at our baby blessings and all other family events.  And for years afterwards – even after we had long since moved away – he came to our wedding receptions when these were held in the Salt Lake area.

As I served with Dick, I was also the Camp Director up at Camp Bartlett.  Dick had a son, Wayne, and Dick helped me invite and persuade Wayne to join my staff at Bartlett.  Wayne was the life of every campfire program with his rendition of “Ernie”.  And the camp proved beneficial to Wayne and his parents too.  For at the conclusion of camp, we lined up Wayne with my wife’s former roommate from Snow College.  That proved to be “a match made in Heaven” as they courted and were soon married.

When I left the Ogden area – with a Boy Scout transfer to Santa Barbara, California, Dick  presented me with a marble pyramid-shaped monument on which he had engraved my service to the Mt. Ogden District.  This was a wonderful tribute and recognition of our five years together.  I still have and cherish that lasting monument to our district and personal brotherhood.

With the passing of Dr. Richard W. Moyle, we have all lost a giant of a man.  Richard was a man with a giant heart, and a giant love for Scouting and all of its programs – all with the goal of creating the best programs for our Scouts.  We will all miss this giant Scouter and friend, Dr. Richard W. Moyle.  Thanks, Dick …  I am grateful to you and will long remember your strength and commitment to me, and to the Mt. Ogden District!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevinthescoutblogger

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger.  Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  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!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to:

Contact Kevin directly via email:

Scouter Rodney H. Brady Rode the High Places


Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author and Speaker, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director

Yes, Dr. Rodney H. Brady was a Scouter who rode the high places.  He soared up there with Eagles but was not content to soar up there alone.  He spent his life working to inspire all of us to be our best, to set goals and then to go for it like an Eagle.  Dr. Brady departed this life on January 9th in Salt Lake City, Utah at age 83.  With his passing, he now can soar even higher but the Boy Scouts of America lost one of its most ardent supporters.  He proved throughout his life that he loved Scouting and was totally committed to it.  In today’s’ buzzword, he was truly “all in” – total immersion.  He was an Eagle Scout, a recipient of the Silver Beaver, Antelope and Buffalo awards and also was recognized as a Distinguished Eagle Scout.  All very impressive!

rodney-h-brady-portraitIt was a January morning – just yesterday – and I was riveted as I read the name of  Rodney H. Brady while reading the Salt Lake City obituaries as I do each morning – even though I live in Arizona.   Rodney H. Brady …  Wow!  And then the memories began to flow into my mind.  What a great man.  Talk about the eternal optimist …  Rod Brady was that guy.   I had a busy day and week ahead of me but suddenly my priorities changed.  I now had a mission to blog about this great Scouter.  And that idea alone brought back sweet memories about Dr. Brady.  He was everything about lists and priorities.  He learned young to set goals and he was a champion at writing them down and then going forward to accomplish them.


Dr. Brady served at every level in Scouting – at the unit, the district and council, the region and even at the National BSA – serving everywhere on committees and executive boards – usually in multiple positions and functions simultaneously.   for many years he was a member of the Executive Board for the Lake Bonneville Council.  And he also served in the community in a variety of positions.  And in most of those positions, he was listed as “President” or “Director”. There it is again – always riding the high places.

For many years Rod served as the President of the Deseret Management Company – a company responsible for many of the commercial holdings of the worldwide LDS Church.  In 2002, he was inducted into the David Eccles School of Business Hall of Fame at the University of Utah.  On that occasion, Rodney Brady was honored by President Gordon B. Hinckley, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  who said of him:    “I very seriously doubt that there is anyone else in this city or state who has served on so many boards, committees and councils, all designed to serve the public good,”  President Hinckley continued saying that “[his] high school list of goals “became more than a wish list; for him it became a mandate; that mandate has been followed.”   Everyone who knew Rodney Brady can attest to that.  Dnews Brady Hall of fame

Rod Brady became the president of Weber State College (Now Weber State University) in Ogden, Utah in 1978 and so served until 1985.   And at the same time, I was serving as a Sr. District Executive for the Mt. Ogden District of then Lake Bonneville Boy Scout Council in Ogden.   He was appointed President at Weber State in 1978 and was there until 1985 so our time in Ogden was pretty much concurrent.  His Weber State College – and his personal residence – were both within my Scouting district so I soon became acquainted with him and I loved him.  He was truly fabulous.  There are not enough adjectives to describe him and his energetic – almost over-zealous love of life.   He was truly a mover and a shaker.

It was Rodney Brady who first introduced me to the short movie or video  “Ride the High Places” – which is all about Eagles and their soaring prowess in pursuit of their goals.  He gave me a copy and I have often used it in Scout court of honors and other presentations.  (I don’t know the history of the movie but it would not surprise me if Dr. Brady didn’t somehow motivate its production!)

Always wanting to showcase Scouting, Dr. Brady established a plan to have our Scouts and troops present flag ceremonies at home college basketball games.  Our district frequently got to send one of our troops to do the honors.  On one occasion he invited all Scouts of our council to be the half-time show for a home football game at the college.  He was very excited about this.  There were a multitude of Scouting groups who participated and they were all out on the field at once – in full Scout uniform and staging a major show of Scouting skills.  My own Camp Bartlett Camp Staff (of which I was the Director) had center stage – right on the 50-yard line.  We set up a 20-foot pole with guy-ropes – and this became a giant spindle for a fire-making bow-drill.  We had staffers on each side pulling ropes – like a tug-a-war.  And we made a fire right there on the football field.  President Brady loved it and the rest of that grand show!

As Scouting professionals we met monthly in our major planning and organizational meetings.  These meetings included all of the Scouting professionals in the council.  Our scout executive delegated these meetings out to all staff and gave us the charge to find a prominent place in the community to hold the meeting – in an effort to learn of those people and organizations who were leaders in the community.   As my turn was approaching, I visited with President Brady.  He embraced the ideal whole-heartedly and when the day came, he turned his Presidential Office and Executive board room over to me for the meeting.  And he came at my invitation to talk to our group.  As ever, he shared his lists and personal motivation to excel and to ride the high places.

President Brady shared freely with us the resources of Weber State College.  At his invitation, we held some annual Recognition Dinners at the college.  I remember an occasion when he became our keynote speaker.  He talked enthusiastically and challenged all of us to do and become.  And as per his usual style, he distributed sheets with his motivational lists – sometimes multiple lists at a given event.

While I was the Mt. Ogden district executive, my District Chairman was Richard Moyle (or “Dick”, as I called him).  He was one of the greatest of geology professors at Weber State College and he worked under the direction of President Brady.  He always had good things to say about Dr. Brady as College President.

The stories could go on and on, but yes, Dr. Rodney H. Brady was one of the greatest men of Scouting.  Thanks, Rodney, for urging us all to ride those high places with you!   You gave us wings and helped us fly like Eagles!

Best wishes along your Scouting Trails …  Kevin

See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger

Blogging articles have excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”,  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!  Find Kevin on Facebook at:  Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

To explore or buy Kevin’s books on Amazon, go to:



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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Excited about a new adventure at Camp New Fork and a blogging Hiatus


Kevin V. Hunt

Scouting Historian, Author, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director

Well, it is summer time and that means it is time to be off on another summer camp adventure and a blogging hiatus for me – the Scout Blogger.   And yes, that would be true about me.  And yes, I won’t be blogging for a couple of months.  I hope that none of you will go through withdrawals over that news.  But, with the size of this blog and the recent one on Camp Bartlett – posted on The Scouting Trail, you might have enough reading material for a couple of months anyway.

It was 5:15 AM and I couldn’t sleep.  Grrr!  What is the deal …  This was a day off – I told myself.  I was out of school for the summer and I didn’t need to be at the Temple for another four hours for my usual Friday baptistry assignment.  So, I really could have slept in for another two or three hours.  It wasn’t due to my wife’s snoring.  She was sawing zzzz’s beside me, but I’ve learned to deal with that.  And it wasn’t my still hefty “do do list” of everything that I need to get done (in four days) before heading off to the hills. It was more than that!  I lay there musing and my mind began to race about my pending summer camp adventure.  Scout camp!  Wow!  Just the thought of it gets my adrenaline pumping.

Oh, the days of Scout summer camp!

The Scouting summer camp adventure awaits …

In the non-camp season, I find myself being a school bus driver.  And I say that I do that job “just so that I can work at Scout Camp in the summer time”.  And my wife is a teacher …  So, that means that we both are free in the summer (but with no income). Now, granted, we could go to work at McDonald’s or Taco Bell, but that doesn’t sound real fun.  So, it means that we are free to go off and help at Scout Camps.  Now that really sounds exciting to me!  And this year we’ll be in Wyoming at Camp New Fork – operated by the Trapper Trails Council located in Ogden, Utah.

As the summer approached, fellow bus drivers asked each other about their summer plans.  All said that they were going to remain in our town of Mesa, Arizona.  (See my blog Crazy Weather in Arizona to see how fun that might be!)  One guy said that he was going to work on his lawn all summer … yeah, right … in our heat!  Another said that he was going to watch television all summer.  (Wow … that sounds productive!)  Many drivers have signed up for summer routes for part of the summer.  And some are on bus-cleaning crews  (getting student gum off of the seats, etc).  None of those options sounded at all appealing to me.  So, no one had plans as exciting as mine.  When I heard of their plans, I was really happy about my summer plans for a Scouting summer camp adventure.

Many folks when hearing of my summer adventures thought that it all sounded wonderful …  cabin on a lake, 7200′ elevation, temperatures of about 72 degrees daytime and 45 at night, … (a rough job but someone has to do it) …  But then when I added the element of hundreds of Boy Scouts, most of the people backed off in a hurry. They didn’t want anything to do with that.  We needed many staff members and I tried to recruit young drivers (and some old) to join us for the adventure.  None of them wanted anything to do with that.

I once heard some say that Scouting would be a really fun program with out the money worries … and the Scouts!  Not me …  The Scouts … that is why I WANT to go to camp again.  I love serving the Scouts, their leaders, and the staff.  I have caught the vision of what can happen with all of these Scouting groups and camp programs.  So, sign me up!  I am ready to go for it!   I am so grateful for the opportunity again to be there … helping provide the program, getting events and activities organized, inspiring the staff, and creating quality Scouting experiences for the young men.  GERONIMO COMMISSIONER 2008 KEVIN HUNTCOMMISSIONER KEVIN 2010 CAMP GERONIMOCitizenship training, character development, physical and mental fitness, and the aims of methods of Scouting …  That’s what its all about with me and the summer camp adventure!

Another funny incident:  A brother came to me home that same night to pick up my box of printed stake histories that I complied (in my role as Stake historian) – and which arrived this year before I headed out for camp. They arrived the day after I left last summer and that was a real problem.  We talked of my summer plans.  This guy is not a Scouter – nor is he a camper.  I started my “don’t you wish you were going with us” speech.  I said, “Cabin on a lake, 70 degrees, …”  He just shook his head and said, “I’m still not seeing it!”  I couldn’t figure him out – but I was glad that I had a vision for my summer.

On that early Friday morning when I couldn’t sleep, I started thinking back …  Wow!  I have surely been on a multitude of Scout summer camp adventures!  I didn’t even attempt to count the number of times that I have been to camp.  I guess I can safely say that there have been very few summers in my years of life upon the earth when I have not been in camp.  (So, that is just a few!)SLIDE 13 CAMP GERONIMO TROOP 155SLIDE 13 changed_Page_01

I got my start as a “gnubie” in Troop 155 in Mesa, Arizona.  And I have written about many of those Gnubie experiences – and I have been blogging about them “Gnubie to Eagle Scout” (from my book of that title) on The Scouting Trail.  As a gnubie, and for several years after that – and even after I became an Eagle Scout with four palms, I had the great privilege and honor to attend Camp Geronimo.  Camp Geronimo is located up in the beautiful pine country on top of the Mongollon Rim – located about a hundred miles north of my Mesa home.

Welcome to Camp Geronimo

Camp Geronimo sign at front gate

I actually attended Camp Geronimo for seven summers as a Scout.  I went there as a Gnubie, and remained with Troop 155 as I continued as a Scout.  (Note that most boys of my area moved from the troop up into what was then Exploring.  I had the misfortune to belong to one of those wonderful “basketball Explorer posts – and they are still pretty everywhere even today and we didn’t do anything.  Our post had grandiose plans to go to Hawaii.  But, we didn’t even make it to Sunflower, Arizona.  So, I soon tired of that basketball stuff and went back to the troop.  I remained there until I headed off on an LDS church mission.  And so that meant that I went each summer to Camp Geronimo with the troop.  I even served on the Geronimo camp staff for a short time.  I worked in the trading post located in the brand new Knappenberger Lodge.  But, I got kind of bored with the camp staff life.  I had a lot of free time and had already earned most of the merit badges available at the camp.

For many more summers through the years I had other opportunities to go to Camp Geronimo.  I served on a number of Scouting committees and often volunteered to go to camp as a leader.  I don’t know how many times I did that – but it was a bunch.  I think that I went to Camp Geronimo fifty times or more on various camps, events, and events.  (That may be an exaggeration, but I know that it was a lot of times.)

A few summers ago, I had opportunity to return once more to Camp Geronimo to attend a national BSA camp school – in preparation for being the lead camp commissioner later in the summer.  It worked out that I had my father and brother, Ray, drop me off at the camp – because they were to be in the area – and my wife needed our only car at home. As we got to Geronimo, I was appalled when my brother, Ray, divulged that this was his first time ever to be at Camp Geronimo.  How could that be?  We grew up in the same Troop 155 (or was it the same?)  Sure, he was eleven years younger than I, but I guess they went out on their own camps or whatever.  I thought of all of the great times that he had missed at Camp Geronimo.

After I returned from my mission, I had the privilege of attending Brigham Young University in Utah where I majored in Scouting – in the Youth Leadership program.  And as a part of our curriculum, we needed to get some practical intern experience in the summer camp adventure.

So, in one summer I ended up having not one, but TWO Program Director assignments in a single summer.  And that was kind of crazy.  Crazy fun, good, and exciting!  I began with a four-week season at Camp Thunder Ridge – owned by the Utah National Parks Council.  I was at Camp Thunder Ridge when the camp was brand new – I think I was there the second year of its operation.

Camp Thunder Ridge

Camp Thunder Ridge

So, Thunder Ridge didn’t even have water.  I spent a great deal of time going down the mountain to a gas station in the little but beautiful village of Parowan, Utah.  I/we filled a giant tank from the station’s water supply (with their permission and payment) and took it up to camp.

One fond memory of Camp Thunder Ridge was trying to get a shower – with no camp water supply.  I rigged up a plastic tarp around a couple of trees – and that was the shower haven.  (But, it gave a beautiful view of the stars above!)  I learned to take a two-pot shower.  I got one large Scout mess kit pot, filled it up with our precious hauled water, and heated this to near boiling on a camp stove.  I then got another of the same pots and poured half of the hot water into this.  I then filled both pots up to the top.  So then I had one pot to use for soaping down and the other for the rinsing.  I rigged a pole up above me in the shower (those Scout lashings came in handy) and hung a pot at a time from this pole.  And I had a stick with a “handle” which I used to gently tip the suspended pot down onto me as needed.  It wasn’t the greatest system but it was wonderful.

Then, after Camp Thunder Ridge ended, I left on a Saturday morning and went over the lofty Cedar Mountain – about forty miles south – to become the Program Director (in an 8-week season) for Camp Del Webb.  Camp Del Webb is operated by the Las Vegas Area Council (then the Boulder Dam Area Council).

Welcome to Camp Del Webb

Camp Del Webb sign

In preparation for camp at Del Webb, I wrote to Norm Stone, the camp director.  I asked him about facilities of the camp – so that I could make my program plans for the season.  He wrote back and said, “We have plenty of land, sun, blue skies, rocks, and trees – and as much of these things as you could want.  The only substantial facilities that we have are the KYBO’s and I don’t anticipate much program happening there.”

On the day that I got this letter, it made me kind of mad.  But actually, it gave me comic relief for my semester exams that were to happen later in the day.  I got to camp and found Norm’s description of the camp to be totally accurate.  But, I used the resources available – including the great staff – and together we created a wonderful camp program for the summer.

I noted that I had been at BYU before going to camp.  And with my summer plans, I moved out out my apartment (as a cost saving venture).  And so, I went to camp with all of my earthy goods loaded into my car.  I set up a large wall tent (like the one that my HUNT family had used for generations as we went to the same Twin Peaks location (northwest of St. George, Utah) when we went dear HUNTing.  And I put all of my stuff in that tent with me.

The tent itself did not have a floor.  So, I put a large plastic tarp under it.  We did get a lot of rain at that camp but the tent and floor did a fairly decent job of keeping me and my stuff dry.

One night I awoke to the pitter patter which I thought was rain dripping somehow onto my plastic tarp.  I thought that it must really be coming down.  But, then I investigated further.  The noise was not quite that of rain.  I got a flashlight – located near me in the tent and took a look around.  To my horror, I noted that I was then sharing the tent with a skunk!  I could just see (and certainly smell) that skunk spraying his stuff all over my stuff.  I knew that if that happened, I would be dead meat for the rest of the summer.  I froze in my horror and watched that skunk as he paddled around in the tent – and as he actually walked right under my own cot.  Thankfully he didn’t see the need to harass me further and made his way out of the tent – without the spray.  Whew!  That was a close one!  Thank you, Lord for answering that prayer!

By the next summer I had graduated from college and found myself living and working in the Lake Bonneville Council, Boy Scouts – in Ogden, Utah.  And I was pleased to receive the assignment to work at Camp Loll – located on the south border of Yellowstone Park – in Wyoming.  I was to be the assistant camp director working with Delose Conner.  At that time, Delose was a greenhorn camp director – he having served just the year before in the assistant camp director role – and now this was to be his first year as Camp Director.  For those of you who are familiar with Delose, you know that is a living legend – having now served for over 35 years as Camp Director.

Camp Loll

Beautiful “Lake of the Woods” at Camp Loll

My experience with Delose was generally very positive – though there were a few negative experiences – as you can glean from my recent Scouting Trail blog about Camp Bartlett.  We had great times together and we kind of complemented each other.  Delose loved to take the staff off on Sunday adventures – since that was our only “kind-of” day off from the Scouts (because Camp Loll is a 7-day a week camp – with no break time for staff).  I personally liked Sundays to be more of a reverent day (a day of worship and reflection).  But, since the camp was in operation, a Camp Director needed to be present.  I volunteered to remain at my post at camp – while Delose was off with the staff.  This meant too that I had the Wednesday town run for groceries, doing laundry for 40 smelly camp staffers, etc.  Fun times!

And being the Sunday Camp Director meant that much of my time was spent tending to emergencies and other challenges that come with the job.  And much of that was often first aid to Scouts.

On this one particular Sunday, a Scout came to me sporting a fishing hook in his lip. Now this was not just a single hook, mind you … two of the prongs had stuck fully into his lip.  Thrills!  And so I got the unpleasant task of trying to push these two prongs through his lip so that I could clip off the barbs (and then slide them out gently without the prongs).  No gentle action that I tried worked.  We worked at the task for a very long time – all without success.  Finally I decided that it was time for action.  I quickly pulled the barbs through with a jerking motion – and the task was done – before the boy could scream again.  And then I was able to do the rest of my plan.

And of course there were the millions of mosquitoes at Camp Loll.  And did I mention that there were millions and millions of mosquitos there?  That would be an understatement.

Camp Loll was also where one of my greatest of life’s adventures began to be a reality. It was at Camp Loll that I proposed by mail to my gal LuDen – who was then working at an LDS girl’s camp – Camp Brighton – located on the mountains east of Salt Lake City – and about 400 miles from my camp – where she was the head cook for 250 girls.

Kevin proposed my mail to LuDen while at Camp Loll

Lou Dene “LuDen” Belcher at the time that Kevin proposed to her

It took all summer long to get engaged.  And that is the subject of yet another blog – and you’ll probably hear a lot more of this from me in the future … a book written together with Lou – “Eternally Yours” and who knows … maybe a movie – like our own “Cheaper by the Dozen” or something in the future.  That book is mostly written – but we are waiting to be “discovered” by the big-time folks.

At Camp Loll – like most of the camps where I have worked, I found my niche staging Dutch oven cooking demonstrations for Scoutmasters and leaders each week.  And Delose had perfect timing.  Just as my cobbler was due to come out of the oven, he would smell it somehow and would show up to taste the delicacy and to entertain the men with one of his famous stories.  He had a lot of practice sharing his “Moose Shit Pie” story and this always brought a bunch of laughs!  Silly Delose!

Dutch oven cobbler

Dutch Oven cobbler cooked by Kevin Hunt

I worked for the next four years at Camp Bartlett – located north of Bear Lake and west of Montpelier, Idaho.  For the first summer I was the assistant to Ray Chase.  And then for the next three summers I had the great blessing and opportunity to serve as the Camp Director.  Many of my Camp Bartlett adventures have already been noted in my blogs for The Scouting Trail.  And I recently did a blog specifically about the Camp Bartlett Lodge – new, then old, and now new again.

I could go on forever about my Scouting camp adventures at Camp Bartlett – but I’ll feed you a few of those at a time.  In my recent Camp Bartlett blog, however, I shared details of what I still consider the greatest staff event that I have ever staged for a summer camp staff.  I invite you to read about that dance and associated events.  Great times!

Okay, I admit that I HATE Scout skits at campfire programs.  Imagine that!  I am a song guy.  But, at Camp Bartlett, I loved each week seeing skits as some of the all-time staff greats performed their skits.  I loved “The King, the Queen and the Gate” as staged by staff,

Camp Bartlett in Idaho

Camp Director Kevin Hunt at Camp Bartlett in Idaho

Wayne Moyle as “Ernie”, Matt Ericson doing “Igor and the Man”, and Paul Kearl doing “The Snake Catcher.”  (I may be a bit harsh in my assessment of campfire skits … but literally, we are seeing those same old skits today that I saw fifty years ago as a Scout.  They never seem to change.  And they are just as bad now as they were then – but probably a whole lot worse!)

And as ever, at Camp Bartlett, I often had occasion to get involved with first aid stuff. On one occasion a Scout came to me with a trauma complaint.  Usually a boy will not actually admit that his problem is that he is homesick, but this kid admitted that.  I spoke to him with consoling words and said, “Oh, you’re in luck.  I have just the thing for you!  I have a HOMESICK PILL.”  So, I pulled out a giant orange flavored vitamin – with about a 1-inch diameter.  I handed it to him with my instructions:  “Take this pill and then go back to your campsite.  Get involved with the guys of your troop.  Help them fix lunch …  work on a merit badge for a few minutes … and you’ll be feeling better in about 20 minutes.”

The Scout headed off elated after taking the pill (and somehow getting it down).  I then went about my usual camp director duties.  I next saw the homesick boy about an hour later.  He came running up to me all excited.  “Mr. Hunt!  That homesick pill really worked!”  And then he paused a moment before saying, “But the only thing is that it took FORTY MINUTES instead of twenty!”  So funny …

It was at Camp Bartlett that I really perfected my skills in what I call “walking stick counseling”.  I enjoy carving walking sticks and have tried to carve a new stick for or at each camp that I have worked.  And I have found that Scouts are super interested in carving and they all get real excited when they see me carving on a stick.  So, on a very frequent basis, I would get my knife and a stick and would find a spot out in the middle of everything – with a lot of people around me – and would perch myself on a log or a rock and would begin to carve.  And within minutes, I would soon have one or two boys on the log with me.  We’d first talk about carving but then I would ask, “So, what merit badges are you taking?  What is your favorite badge?  Who is your favorite counselor? Any staffer that you don’t like?”

Kevin Hunt and carved walking sticks

Kevin Hunt with walking stick collection – many of them carved by him.

Each conversation lasted only a few minutes and then I would be joined by another boy or two.  And over the course of a very short time, I had learned a lot of what was going on in my camp.  It became real frustrating to my staff.  It appeared to them that I knew everything about camp and about them.   And they couldn’t figure out how I found out so such about them and the camp.  (But now, I guess my secret is out.  Shhhhh!  Don’t tell anyone!)

I transferred with the Boy Scouts down to Santa Barbara, California.  I then had the opportunity to become the Director at camp Rancho Allegre.  This wasn’t as fun of an experience as I had enjoyed at Camp Bartlett.  I was kind of on a tight leash and didn’t have a lot of freedom to act.  Still, however, there were great times.

Camp Rancho Allegre

Kevin Hunt as Camp Director at camp Rancho Allegre near Santa Barbara, California

After my professional Scouting career ended, I moved to nearby Santa Paula, California – in Ventura County where now as I volunteer, I became the Scoutmaster of our local troop.  I took the troop to Camp Three Falls (operated by the Ventura County Council) for a full week. It was really different to find myself on the other end of things – of being a Scoutmaster – after so many years as Program and Camp Director.  But, it was a great experience and we had a lot of fun times together.

Camp Three Falls

The famous rock at Camp Three Falls in Ventura County Califonia

Then after a few years I uprooted the family and we moved our whole operation (stuff and by then seven children) back home to Arizona.  And, as noted, I had multiple opportunities to again go to my beloved Camp Geronimo with different troops where I served.  And with the help of my journal entries from those years, I could go on forever about the great times.  But, I’ll save them for future blogs.

And for many years I did not have jobs that would allow me to have full-time Scouting summer camp adventures.  And how longed again for those “Good old days” of summer camp.  I went through withdrawals every year – all year – but particularly as the time for summer camp drew closer.  My heart strings were ripped apart.

Luckily, Camp Geronimo provided at least some relief for my Scout camp anxieties – and desires to be there again.  This camp has the great blessing of having many family cabins that they can make available to volunteer adult commissioners.

Kevin as Commissioner at Camp Geronimo

Kevin as Commissioner at Camp Geronimo

They invite Scouters to come to camp to serve without pay for a week.  They are told that they can bring their families and can have a cabin for the week. And the families can do literally anything that they want to do in camp – in the program areas, take merit badges, hiking, etc. while dad (or mom) is off being a commissioner for four to six troops.  (And they have four or five such commissioner families at the camp each week.  And this means that about 25 or more families can enjoy this great adventure each summer. Wow … such a deal!)

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And so, for TWELVE SUMMERS I served as a Geronimo commissioner – one week at a time.  And each time I hauled my family (now consisting of nine children) up to camp. They let us come but I think our coming kind of “broke the bank” with the expense of our many meals.  It was such a great thing for our family and we all have such wonderful memories.

Lana – then only about nine – developed a special bond with the older guy in the cabin next to us.  They would often be found out on his porch putting together puzzles, playing games, etc.  He was grandpa to her – and they both loved it.  Years later, Ed still asks about “his Lana girl” and she has fond memories of this great man.

Our daughters (six of them) enjoyed being at Camp Geronimo – and having all of those boys to themselves (though the Scouts were a bit young for most of them).  The girls also enjoyed going to hang out and shoot up at the rifle range.  None of them had ever shot a rifle before but three of the ladies – the A-Red-Lion personality types – and the three blondes got scores of from 46 to 50 on their first tries.  This was a real frustration to the male staff members who witnessed the ladies in their shooting.  Jackie’s score of 48 – and then a 50 was really irksome to the staff.  It played against their male egos in a major way.  They tried all week to duplicate her score – but to no avail.  Then finally in the ultimate of frustration, they fabricated a target to show a higher or matching score. But, then a Scout or someone ratted on them.  So, the staff guys finally had to admit that they had been outscored at a girl and they had to humble themselves enough to present her with the Sharpshooter of the Week award at the Friday night campfire program.  So funny!

I’ll share just one commissioner experience (of hundreds) that I recorded with glee in my journals of the day.

Everyone knows that commissioners have the duty of communications.  Everything about the commissioner job is communicating – with staff, with Scouts, with leaders, etc – about programs and activities, policies, etc.

Well, anyway, Tuesday nights at Geronimo were always billed as troop nights.  The Scouts had to prepare their own meals in their campsite and some took hikes, etc. They were kind of on their own to do their own program while the staff had the time and opportunity to hang out and do their own thing without the strain of the Scouts.

So, on this one occasion, the staff was having “western night”.  And I was at the Farnsworth Lodge in my Western shirt, boots and duds.  I was living the dream!  And outside it was raining cats and dogs.  It was really coming down in torrents!

My Western bliss was aborted when the Camp Director came to me saying that he had received a major emergency message from a parent of a Scout in one of my troops.  He asked me to go up to the campsite – in the rain – to get this Scout and his leader so that the emergency call could be made back to the boy’s mother.

So, I trudged in my western shirt – and the pounding rain – clear up the muddy mountain to something like campsite 26 (of 29) to talk to the boy. En route up to the campsite, I had visions of the worst for this poor boy.  I imagined that his father had probably died and that he had to find out about it here at camp.  How terrible, I thought!

I somehow made my way up to the campsite and cornered the leader.  I broke the emergency news to him and he called the boy over to him. Then together, the three of us headed off with heavy hearts and went clear across camp to the camp headquarters building where a return call could be made to the boy’s mother.

The call was made and then I learned of the details of the “major emergency”.  It was learned that the mother had gone to Taco Bell and was sure that she had one of the biggest tickets – that when combined with the ticket that her son had (at camp, no less), they would be the absolute winner of the grand give-away contest.  Are you kidding me? I was so angry!  I absolutely could not believe it!  Wow!  (But being a great commissioner, I kept my mouth shut and bid the folks well as they headed back up the mountain – and me back to the lodge for the now almost over western party – all in the pouring rain!  (And my western shirt and boots were never the same!)

I ultimately – after a lot of years – found myself in this bus driving job.  And that meant that I could return again to the full-time summer camp adventures that I had only dreamed of for so long.  I was elated! This was truly wonderful and exciting!

And so it was that in 2012 I returned to my beloved Camp Geronimo for a full summer – and this time as the Lead Commissioner.  I have never worked so hard in my life as I did that summer – and with so little appreciation for anything that I did.  But, there were wonderful times with the trauma.

We survived Camp Geronimo 2012

Kevin Hunt and family at Camp Geronimo 2012

The following year, we could have returned to camp but took a personal and family hiatus.  Our daughter and family (with four of our grandchildren) were then in Germany – where our son-in-law, Paul, was serving in the Air Force as an in-flight nurse.  So, we took advantage of them being there and went to spend a month with them in Germany.  it was a rough summer … exploring old castles, eating German food, seeing all of the street fairs, and cruising the Rhine River on a big boat …  Someone had to go see them when they were so far away … and Lou and I were glad that we could accommodate them.

Kevin and Lou on Rhine River cruise in Germany

Kevin and Lou on Rhine River cruise in Germany

The following year we wanted to return to camp … but where?  So many camps … and so little time to see them all …  I had been a regular subscriber to and so often I received in my e-mail box a list of current camp director opportunities around the country.  But, we had to find a camp whose schedule matched our squashed summer camp schedule – of when we got out of school and when we had to report back.  That wasn’t an easy task – since our school begins about the 10th of August each summer.

But at last I found what looked like the perfect summer camp.  Lou and I applied and were hired – me to be the Camp Director and her to be the Program Director.  Our daughter Larissa got to go with us also – and stayed until she left mid-season for a church mission to Minnesota.  We worked the summer of 2014 at the Jack Nicol [resident] Cub Scout Camp.

Kevin and Dan Wright at Camp Jack Nicol

Camp Director Kevin with friend Dan Wright at the Jack Nicol Cub Scout Camp

This camp is owned by the Longs Peak Council of the Boy Scouts and is located about 50 miles northwest of Ft. Collins, Colorado (the city of my birth) – and near the village of Red Feather Lakes.

We came on board kind of late to the camp and didn’t know what to expect or how to plan for a themed Cub Scout experience.  That first summer was our learning year.  I knew how to direct a great Scout camp so I applied all of those skills to the camp.  We didn’t do anything with the theme and felt bad about it – but knew that we really gave the campers a great experience.

Kevin and Lou having fun with staff and Cub Scouts at the Jack Nicol Cub Scout Camp

Kevin and Lou having fun with staff and Cub Scouts at the Jack Nicol Cub Scout Camp

We had so much fun that we chose to return the next year.  And this year, we really worked hard to create a funtastic camp centered around the theme of “Cubbywood”. Everything in the camp revolved around movies.  And we had a grand time with that. Each of our staff selected a star celebrity to dress and act like.

Camp Jack Nicol Cub Camp Staff 2015

Kevin and Lou as Green Acres stars with other staff stars at Camp Jack Nicol

And we had a packed program.  This was loved by almost everyone but a few people actually complained the the council leaders about us.  I had to laugh at the reaction of the council Camping Chairman.  He said, “That’s the best complaint that I have ever heard – too much fun!”

The Jack Nicol Cub Scout camp is part of the large Ben Delatour Scout Ranch which includes Camp Jeffrey, Soaring Eagle and a Venturing high adventure base.  I had forever thought of Camp Geronimo as the “Cadillac” of Scout camps.  I had never seen one to compare at all with it.  But, this Camp Jeffrey came pretty close – thought one could earn the hiking merit badge just going from one place to another.  One had to travel a lot to get to the next program area – no matter how “close” it was.

Camp Jeffrey in Colorado

Lake activity at Camp Jeffrey – on the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch

Another great thing about this Camp Jeffrey is that it had a great log building (my favorite) dedicated specifically as a Scouting museum.  This place was manned through the camp season and was open to Scouts and leaders.  They had some real true vintage items that were fabulous.  I even found duplicates of my old Cub Scout books, uniforms, etc. there.

We had planned also to be at Camp Nicol for the 2016 season.  We really got into the Circus and Carnival theme – and probably spent between 200 and 300 hours – through the winter and school year – dreaming and preparing every carnival detail for camp.  But, then the continuing problem … that of staff.   By early April the council could not produce even one camp staff application for us.

Now my wife is actually Superwoman … but even with her skills – combined with mine, we could not do it alone.  (We had tried that the past two years – and did not want that situation again.)  It was gut-wrenching deluxe but we had to admit that we could be at the camp under that scenario.  So, reluctantly we gave notice that we would not be returning.

Then we were in a bit of a dither as suddenly we were “free agents” with no camp to go to.  I thought in horror of scraping gum off from bus seats for the summer.  Ughh!  That was not for me.

We thought that we had found a spot where we could serve for 2016 but that didn’t pan out.  I had met Jeremy Bell of the Trapper Trails Council through my Scouting blogging.  As I submitted one of my blogs to him, I asked – kind of as a side note – if they had a camp that could use us for the summer.  I told him of our interests – and said that we’d want a spot for Lou and I – as well as Larissa, our daughter – who was now home from the mission and with us.  Literally within a few minutes, Jeremy responded back with a simple note:  “Camp New Fork” and he gave me contact information for Travis Emery the Camp Director (and he must have told Travis about us).

Travis and I connected real fast and the deal was soon made.  We would join his team – with some of our own staff entourage for the summer at Camp New Fork – located at the base of the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming.  And from that first commitment, Travis and I have found that we are true camp blood brothers.  We think alike in every way and we are so similar that it is almost scary.  We have had a few staff meetings (with most of our staff) via Skype and Zoom but Travis and I have not actually met yet.  I look forward to that meeting with high anticipation.

And in one of our conversations, Travis admitted that when he was first told of me – and that perhaps he should go for me, he was kind of traumatized.  I guess my past experience kind of made him wonder.  But, we soon learned that we could work together well – and we have in preparation for the camp.

And so it is that now we will be heading for Wyoming.  We so look forward to that grand Scouting camp adventure.  We hope that our car will make it – unlike last year.  Last year we hauled four Arizona staffers – and their huge amount of gear – with us to Colorado.   And we had so much gear – with personal stuff – and a whole bunch of program equipment – that we had to pull a packed utility trailer with our small mini-van. And the proved too much for the vehicle.  As we climbed some giant mountains between northern Arizona and New Mexico – and just about 150 miles from home, the minivan overheated and soon died.  And then we had a real adventure getting it towed, renting a big van to get the staffers home, going back up for the dead vehicle, etc.  And then for about nine months, we had no money to fix the minivan and it sat dead in our front driveway.

But, with the help of a brother-in-law and a very skilled mechanic, the car is now “road-worthy” (or at least we hope) once again.  And now we are off for another summer camp adventure.  And we are real excited about the prospects.  We are anxious to serve the Scouts of northern Utah, Southern Idaho and western Wyoming.   The three of us are willing and anxious to give our all to the Scouts who will come our way.  And we pray hard each day that all will go well so that together we can all have a really great summer.

And, as I hinted at the beginning of this rather lengthy blog, it appears that I will have to take a summer hiatus from this blogging activity.

I play “Words” (or Scrabble) on-line with my Idaho daughter, Lana – as a way to stay connected with her.  According to the “Words” dictionary, the word “hiatus” means: “A break or interruption in the continuity of a work”.  So, that is what it is – a “hiatus” from blogging.  I apologize to any of you who may have found yourself looking forward to my blogging articles.

For one, I will be extremely busy as Camp Program Director and will likely have very little free time in which to write.  And secondly, this blogging business takes a lot of computer capability.  And I am sure that this camp will be like all other Scout camps. Internet capacity will come at a high premium – if it is available at all.

So, as I start a two-month Scouting camp adventure in Wyoming, I bid you a temporary adieu – but promise that I will be back at the job in August.  I may die coming back to the Arizona August heat – after the cool mountain Wyoming air – but I’ll get back into the blogging action then.

I wish you all the best along your summer Scouting adventures and trails.  Get those boys up to camp and have a grand time with them.  Camping can be the greatest of adventures for them – and for you too.  And as one of my favorite singing cowboys, Gene Autry, often said, “Happy trails to 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 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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