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Scout wilderness survival experience builds confidence and testimonies


Wikimedia Commons: Wysprgr2005

A group of ten young scouts, ages 12 and 13, from Troop 33 of the Fort Collins Parkwood Ward, enjoyed a successful week of scout camp at the Green Mountain area in the Roosevelt National Forest. Merit badges were earned and rank advancements progressed, but more important than these, testimonies were strengthened.

On a particular night during the week, the boys left camp with just their day packs and few essentials, and hiked into the forest for an experience in wilderness survival. Even in the warm month of June, at an elevation of over 8,500 feet temperatures can dip to near freezing during the night. The scouts and their leaders quickly settled into a camp of makeshift shelters and built a fire.

During the fireside testimony meeting that evening, these young boys sang a hymn, prayed together, then took turns sharing their feelings about the Savior and his gospel. The Spirit of the Lord was felt strongly, and the boys shed tears as they testified of the truths they knew in their hearts. After the meeting, some went off to be alone and pray to God. It was an experience that the boys would likely never forget. 

Some of the younger scouts may have felt a bit hesitant in the beginning about making it through the night without the warmth of a sleeping bag and other luxuries, but they came away with a new confidence in themselves. In the monthly testimony meeting the following Fast Sunday, referencing these and other experiences at scout camp, the ward Young Men President testified, "Our Heavenly Father makes us stronger than we know we can be, be it physically, mentally, or spiritually."

If you would like to know more about the LDS faith, you can visit Mormon.org or call the local full-time missionaries in Fort Collins at (970) 631-2311.

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