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Great Neighbors: Boy Scout Leaders

Great Neighbor: Scout Encampment

BINGHAM COUNTY, Idaho - Some of the greatest neighbors in Eastern Idaho are those who volunteer to work with our young people. Hundreds of them were gathered together in one place this past week at a boy scout encampment in Bingham county with over ten-thousand boys scouts and their leaders.

"I think they're pretty cool to spend their time with us and give us the experience to learn," boy scout, Matthew Schjeldahl said.

For the leaders like scout master Flint Packer it was another chance to have rewarding experiences with the boys.

"Just being able to interact with the young men and watch them grow and develop is probably the biggest reward," Packer said.

Over the past two years 300 acres of sagebrush have been transformed into a grassy field just for this event, celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the partnership between scouting and the LDS church. During that time a lot of leaders have influenced these boys.

"They're just there and they're helping us, and they're devoting a lot of time to activities throughout the week and campouts and stuff - especially things like this and scout camp," Preston Bateman said.

The idea of this encampment was to provide plenty of activities for the boys to have fun and allow time for them to just sit around and enjoy each other's company. Scoutmaster Doug Bean likes to see that.

"It's nice to be able to see them join with a group of boys and gain some comaraderie and some skills and come into an understanding of who they are," Bean said.

It takes a lot of effort to put on activities like this, and although weekly scouting activities might not be as grand, plenty of effort goes into them as well, as Brevon Carter well knows.

"My dad's a scout leader and I've seen what he has to do for it, and it's a lot of work, so I think it's great that they're willing to do this for us," Brevon said.

For the leaders like long time scouter Ruland Cardon, it's all worth it to see these young men progress in the program.

"The positive influence on the youth - you see their eyes just light up," Cardon said.

Perhaps one of the finest tributes to the leaders came from Liam Jensen.

"Hope I can grow up to be like them one day," Liam said. "They go to all this trouble and there's hardly anything in it for them - it's all just for us and it's all volunteer work - it's really just good, I really like it."

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