Helamans_0101To celebrate 100 years of LDS scouting in Alberta, Helaman’s Encampment brought together 3000 youth and leaders at Camp Impeesa. The mission was to promote Book of Mormon use, high adventure, increased brotherhood, and have spiritual experiences.

For the week of July 4th to the 9th, each day was packed full of activities for both scouts and venturers.  I spent most of my time with the scouts on activities such as swimming, zip-line, tower building, bridge building, rappelling and wall climbing,  orienteering, and hiking.

Men Of Truth And Soberness

They were all young men, and they were exceedingly Valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all – They were men who were true at all times and in whatsoever thing they were entrusted. Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of god and to walk upright before him.

Helamans_0078Alma 53: 20 – 21

Each activity was organized around a theme or story within the Book of Mormon.   The wall climbing and rappelling were based around the account of Samuel, a prophet who preached from atop a city wall, declaring the coming birth of Jesus Christ.  The people were angry and tried to hit him with stones and arrows, but could not.

Helamans_0014Perhaps the most difficult, and most rewarding activity was called “Get thee into the mountain,”  significant of the command to a Nephite prophet to ascend a mountain to speak to the Lord.   The hike for us to the top of a local peak took most of the day.  When reaching the top, we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the valley and surrounding mountains.  There were incredibly strong winds near the top that made it difficult to even stand.

Helamans_0029Impeesa is in the heart of bear country.  Any food preparation and storage had to accommodate that fact.  Food was supplied in the morning and evening that we would cook ourselves.  Any leftovers that might attract bears had to be discarded.  We had several bears come close to camp.  During one of our evening firesides, a bear had come within a few metres of the group and had to be chased off.

Each night we attended firesides where we heard from several speakers.  Each of them were amazing to listen to and very inspiring, with stories of courage and faith.

By the end of it all, I was pretty well exhausted. We had such tightly scheduled activities that we needed to hurry when preparing and cleaning up meals. The early part of the week was hot and sunny, which was nice, but added to some of the exhaustion. Near the end of the week, we had a small storm blow through, which left the last day a bit cooler and more windy. Coming home was both a treat and a let down. We had such a great time and didn’t want it to end yet, but we were glad to be home.

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