Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Aims and Methods #1: Uniforms

The last two posts at the Agora, showcase two of the many activities Camp Loll affords those who attend and serve there. Sailing and climbing not only provide the fun, adventure, and romance that make Scouting attractive to boys; these activities create opportunities to serve and share - to give of one's self and find joy in making others happy. This is why the outdoors provides a perfect Method to enable the Aims of Scouting.

The Aims of Scouting are: Fitness, Citizenship, and Character Development. However, it is the Methods of Scouting, practiced everyday at Camp Loll that instill the Aims into the lives of campers and staff alike. This is the wonder of a good Boy Scout Camp; it is the great secret, the truth, the mystery, the magic, the big medicine that cannot happen anywhere else.

Please understand, when I speak of Scouting, I am not referring to just an organization, that business which has inherited the name of the movement started by Seton, Powell, and others. Scouting is not the National Council BSA with its budgets, titles, programs, products, and publications. Nor is Scouting the local council with its board, properties, staff, and schedule. These structures are no more Scouting than the government and its bureaucracy are America, or a church can be the gospel of Jesus, let alone the embodiment of God.

Even a poor Boy Scout Camp has great power to do good. Many wonder why boys want to go to camp. Boys come home dirty, scraped, burnt, often covered with mosquito bites, and occasionally soaked by rain. At camp, boys have to do difficult things; they do chores, from their own cooking (which they have to eat) to keeping track of their cloths. They have to pack in, set up tents, gather wood, and fetch water. Often they must use KYBO's, burn their garbage and heat their own water just to wash. At camp boys face real dangers, great wildernesses in which to get lost, high cliffs, bears, rattlesnakes, cold water, lightening, burning suns and heat, fatigue, guns, and knives. So why do boys love camp? Realize this, many boys sit home all summer waiting for the phone to ring,, for some friend to call and ask them to come out and play. For many the phone never rings. At camp, even a poor camp, they are surrounded by friends for a solid week; for days and days, they are always out to play.

However, a poor camp, one which only offers a place to be, is a failed camp. Camp Loll is a successful camp and while I admit that there are other good camps, there are none better and very few where the deep magic of Scouting is revealed.

Now, a story:

Long ago there was was a trapper. Each spring he returned from his Rocky Mountain trap lines loaded down with precious furs. He sold these treasures, placed his earning in the bank, and prepared for another winter in the wilds. When at last he felt himself growing old, he searched St. Louis for an apprentice; someone he could train to take his business. He found a bright and handsome youth, and took him to the hills. Once there, the old master shared all the complexities of his trade. He explained the secrets of the forest and its denizens. He carefully demonstrated the construction of dead falls and the setting of traps, the gathering of baits and the methods of discovery and stealth that make success. That season, aided by his strong companion; the old man's catch was the biggest ever. In the spring, they returned to St. Louis and cashed out for a fortune. The old trapper shared the wealth, fifty-fifty with his young friend and with many injunctions to follow the secrets of their triumph, took off on a world wide tour. He was gone for two years and then returned to St. Louis. He longed for the old life and the friends of his past. Fall was coming on and he hoped to find his young friend ready for the mountains. To his surprise, he found the boy, in rags and lying drunk in a filth filled ditch He gathered him in his arms, gently held his head and looked into his eyes. There was recognition. "What happened to you?" the old man asked? "What happened to the trap line?" "Oh," moaned the boy, "that went bust. The next winter I barely caught a thing. All the money is gone." "Did you do everything the way I taught you?" the old man asked. "Na," replied the youth, "I found a better way."

Here is a "bundle of furs" gathered in the Mountains of Wyoming. Out of a letter dated October 9th, 2010; from an LDS bishop and his counselor, I quote, ". . . thank you for all you have done for our boys when they have come to camp. This was our third year coming to Camp Loll. From the very first time we have been very impressed with your capability to run such a well-trained staff. Camp Loll was truly the very best camp we have every been to. It's not just the beauty of the nature that causes us to say that; it is the efficiency with which camp is run." I have many letters, notebooks full of them; bits of treasure carefully captured by techniques consistently rewarded. I would like to share the art I received from my masters, practiced and polished by long and painful experience; to tell how it's done. Consider these thing before you "find a better way".

This incantation has majestic and simple parts. Omit the smallest bit to the peril of all. By the end we shall encompass the Oath and Law, values, service, patriotism, friendship, compassion, love, and truth, but let's begin simply.

The Scout Uniform

I see by your outfit that you are a Boy Scout.
I see by your outfit that you're a Boy Scout too.
We see by our outfits that we are both Boy Scouts.
Get yourself an outfit and and be a Boy Scout too.
(Sing to the tune of "Streets of Laredo".)

The Uniform constitutes the "threads" (pun intended) that bind the Values of Scouting to the fun, adventure, and romance of its Methods, to the wonder and magic of camp. It is a Camp Staff in uniform that links, in the soul of a boy, the best time he has ever had in his life to the Values of Scouting.

Vern Dunn, one of the founders of my Scouting, a great master who taught the truth, told a story. In the 1960's Vern was a District Scout Executive in Watts. It was the time of the riots, and there was enormous racial animosity in that community, yet Vern, wearing his uniform, walked the street in peace;the people knew that he was there to help their children. He organized a troop, and served as its scoutmaster. The young black men who came seemed to have little in common with Vern or with the other scouts of L A, but they did. Vern got his boys in uniforms from the thrift store and , one day, hiked them over the hills and down into a District Jamboree. They set up their tents and joined in the fun. Lat the night, Vern sat by the fire questioning his purpose in life. The boys were in bed; the flames fallen to glowing coals. Suddenly one of the boys, a tough kid, came out of the dark and sat down next to Vern. He leaned against Vern and took his hand. "I know why you brought us here. I know why uniforms," whispered the boy. "It's because here we are all the same."

When I was a little boy I saw a Scout in uniform on Scout Sunday. He was a big handsome kid with curly blond hair and an impressive merit badge sash. I never wanted to be someone else so much in my life.

I have been thinking about uniforms for a long time. I am a child of the sixties, well a teenager of the sixties. Wearing uniforms was not an "in" thing in that Vietnam War tainted world. Anyone who showed patriotism or showed any support for the military, was scorned by the mob. At the end of our summer at Camp Bartlett the summer of 1970, Hal Johnston, our Nature Director, took Dean Lester, Mike Stevens and me on a road trip to Yellowstone. It was the first time I ever saw Camp Loll. We wore our uniforms on the trip. Believe me we got more attention than the bears. We constantly heard the cry, "Look at the Boy Scout, look at the Boy Scouts." It was more fun than being a hippie.

I began my Scouting in the Guide Patrol of Troop 25 in Anchorage, Alaska. We didn't have any rules against sheath knives in those days.

In uniform as a Staff Member at Bartlett. I'm the one in the glasses and dark green. My buddy, Kent Toponce, and I are greeting Troop 321. In those days we were allowed to pick whether we wanted to wear the Explorer Green or the Boy Scout khaki. I wore a campaign hat for many years.

I went to Japan on my LDS Mission. All students in Japan wear school uniforms. I have heard the argument that uniforms destroy individuality. (I am big on individuality.) The students in Japan proved the opposite. When clothing is taken out of the equation - one's uniqueness must be manifest in magnifications of character. This strengthens individual identity.

When my children attended Crestview Elementary there was a debate at the school about uniforms. It ha been statistically demonstrated that wearing uniforms in school improves learning. Unfortunately, what is best for students is not always what is most important to others. I was not at the meeting; my wife represented reason. An opponent to the plan asserted that uniforms destroy individuality. Janice explained that she spends every summer with young people who wear uniforms and are the most independent and unique young people she knows. The opponent retorted that the Nazis wore uniforms. Janice replied that the soldiers who defeated the Nazis wore uniforms. Sadly, neither truth nor logic necessarily prevails in the face of prejudice, and our children were deprived the opportunity of attending the best school our community could have provided.

Luck and logic have led me to insist that my staffs wear proper uniforms at all times. My first year as Camp Director at Loll, a favorite staffer complained about the policy.. His clever dodge was to claim that he respected his uniform too much to dirty it in common labor. I suggested that he could take his uniform home and protect it by hanging it in his closet and find a job somewhere else. Interestingly enough, he decided that honorable work would honor his uniform. Since then I have raised the standard of uniform wearing and seen even greater benefits.

In 1994, we took on the chore of rescuing Camp Cherry Valley on Catalina Island, CA from oblivion and financial loss. As Janice, Jody, an I visited the site, we realized that the Camp's great failing had been its staff. We sought for a filter to eliminate those who were not up to the task of saving CCV. We found a single question key. "Would you be willing to wear a scout uniform all the time?" those who said no, even those who equivocated in their answer, were not hired. The improved quality of the staff thus selected was the foundation for Cherry Valley's subsequent success. In contrast, that the year-round Ranger crew at CCV has never bought into wearing the scout uniform is emblematic of their continued failure.

I believe this is the 1997 Staff of Cherry Vally posing in front of the dining hall.

This is the 1998 crew posing in front of the rejuvenated salina. The Ranger had been mowing the salina for years. Once given the chance it burst to life. Given the chance provided by the methods of Scouting, the values will appear as if by magic. Uniforms seem a little thing, wearing them sows seed that will grow.

Look at these guys. Can you imagine a young boy who would not want to grow up to be these men? Neither can I! And every boy knows what he needs to do to be like these guys, they need to be Scouts, to live the values these men proclaim by the uniforms they proudly wear.

We wore our uniforms all the time at Cherry Valley. We wore them to Avalon on our road trips. We wore them home at the end of the summer, and were proud to show them to the world, to show the world what we believed in by this simple outward display.

These are the standards for uniform wear one must meet to be on the Camp Loll Staff.

All Staff Members wear a complete and proper Scout uniform whenever they work with campers or represent the Camp to the public. There are three choices of uniforms at Camp Loll. The Class A, which is the dark green Venture shirt and olive drab (scout green) pants or shorts. The Class A uniform is always acceptable,but is required on Monday, which is the day campers arrive, and from dinner Friday through checkout on Saturday. The Class B uniform,which is the tan Scout shirt with the drab/green pants, can be worn at any other time during the week. The Class C uniform, which is the current year's tee shirt with official Scout pants or shorts, can be worn only on hike day. We do allow "old style" uniforms but they must be complete with no mixing of styles. We do not wear the gray pants now available to Venture Scouts. The Kitchen Staff and the commissary staff may also wear the Class C uniform while working in the kitchen or the lodge, but when they leave the lodge to interact with the camp they must follow the parameters set for all other staff members. The Climbing Staff may remove their shirts while on the rock and the Waterfront Staff may wear the current year's tee shirt or go bare chested at the waterfront and to lunch, but must be in complete uniform through flag ceremony in the morning and by supper time in the evening.

All patches must be properly displayed, proper (dark green) shoulder loops must be in place, and the camp totem hanging from the right pocket. One must wear an official BSA belt or a leather belt with buckle. Staff members can only wear the Staff hat.

If out of uniform, a Staff Member is sent immediately to set it straight. If they come to flag ceremony out of uniform, with their totem missing, or with a patch out of place, they are sent to their quarters to set it right. If they complain that their uniform is dirty, they are told that a dirty uniform is better than a clean anything else. If they show up for a road trip out of uniform, the entire crew waits while they get dressed.

I and the other leaders of the staff set the example, We are always in complete uniform. I would never stand in front of m staff otherwise.
It is important for the Camp Director to lead by example both by being at Flag Ceremony and by being in uniform.

To aid our staff in this important Method of Scouting, Camp Loll has a large supply of uniforms which we lend for the summer or make available in case of emergency. We also arrange for discount prices for staff members at the Scout Store or at Loll's Trading Post.

The Staff wear Class A uniforms to travel to and from camp and on road trips. Staff members who go to town on camp business are required to wear the Class A uniform. When staff members attend training courses such as Wilderness First Aid or No Trace Camping, they must wear uniforms. Loll Staffers come in Class A uniforms to all Council meetings and programs.

On the way to camp all the staff is in Class A uniform. If we have problems, they are solved by Staffers in uniform. Here is Shad Burnham preparing to get the truck out of the mud on the way into Loll the spring of 2008.

All training activities during Staff Week are also uniformed events. These policies also apply to those who lead hikes for our High Adventure Programs They must wear a Class A or B uniform everyday except Wednesday; when they can wear Class C. The Staff Members sent on training hikes, either before or after camp, also wear uniforms as do all Loll Staffers who climb in the Tetons with Camp support.

During Staff Week all our Staff Members go on all the hikes that will be used by our campers during the summer. They all go in uniform. Here Wes Mathis and Jackson Hopper check out Union Falls in June of 2010.

Our High Adventure Guides also go on all the hikes they might guide throughout the summer. Here the Rangers of 2009 prepare to depart from Bechler Station.

As the Guides in Training follow the trail, they are walking testimonies to the Values of Scouting. Everyone they meet are impressed and the reputaion of Camp Loll enhanced. Our Camp has the best of realtions with the Yelllowstone Park Service. We are eager for them to know who we are to support the good name of the BSA and to display our belifes.

Deep in the heart of Bechler Canyon, the Rangers from Loll learn the way so they can show the way.

Once again, these are the men Scouts want to be, and once again they proudly display, deep in the wilderness, their pride in Scouting by wearing the uniform that stands for its values, Here we have, left to right, Cory Christensen, Matt Bredthauer, Clark Anderson, Dallin Slater, and Tayte Campbell.

Matt at Ouzel Falls.

Ben Dansie, in uniform and in the wild.

Matt at Colonade Falls.

Cory Christensen at Colonade.

The 2010 Rangers at Bechler Station. Their quality is our biggest PR tool with the Park Service, and their uniforms are an important way to link that quality to Scouting and to Loll.

It's the same in the Tetons. Here Dan Mauchley goes to the top and takes Scouting with him.

For years Loll Staffers have climbed in the Tetons. Here is Alan Francis on the top of the Middle Teton. By the way. Alan is my doctor.

Curtis Grow stands on the top of the Grand Teton. Loll has made it possible for many of our staffers to climb the Grand. They all wear their uniforms to the top. For years we had our staff trained by the Exam Guides. Once they got to know us, all they needed to see was that dark green uniform and they knew they had a crew who could do a lot more than the average groups and our guys got a lot of extras because of the reputaion of the uniform.

I was once invited to speak on uniforms at a National Camp School. After addressing the entire school, I attended a combined breakout session of Management and Program Directors. One of the students, an Assistant Director for the Teton High Adventure Base, was dubious about my requiring my High Adventure Guides to wear Scout uniforms in the backcountry. I assured him I did. He grumbled, "Well, you hire people who will wear uniforms, we hire people who can lead hikes." The Directors present, who knew anything of Loll and our Staff, and there were many, laughed the poor kid to scorn.


The uniform helps the staff build a group identity that strengthens their loyalty to each other. This is no less important for a Camp Staff that it is to the workers at a business, the Rangers in the Forest, the soliders at the front, the missionaries in the field, or the members of an athletic team. Not only do they feel they belong; they feel the obligation to live up to the standards of the group they represent by the virtue of their uniform. A bonded staff is a stronger staff; a staff member who knows his friends are judged by his actions will mind his manners and go out of his way to honor his fellows.

Doug Hopper set the example for our staff for years. What a great team to belong to.

Mitch Sutherland has been a credit to his uniform since he was a youngster. He is a big man now, and still proudly belongs to the crew represented by that uniform.

Class C uniforms, here worn by Jodie Hansen and Taylor Sparks, are also a way to show staff unity and idenity. By the way, these two are now married.

Ian Crookstan, Braden Allen, and Gavin Yeip show their unity by the uniform.

Three great cooks, who make camp possible, Annie Hawkes, Linzsay Willford, and Emily Conner, show their unity with the whole. We are proud to have them show outwardly the link we all charish.

Mike, Todd, and Jody are examples to scouts and to us all.

At Aspen Ridge the uniform unites the staff again. Here are staffers Tom Grover and Shelby Ferrin.

On the trail and on the team with Keith Prescott and Dale Bronson in their Class C's.

Sammy Wright, Doug Hopper, Trent Warner, and Mike Davies at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. All great here.

Kristie Stettler, Karlo Mustonen, and Timmy Moser; they are very different in some ways, but their uniform testifies to all the important things that unite them as one.

The Color Guard at Campfire is always an especially bonded group. Their devotion to their country is on display during the ceremony, their uniforms display their beliefs whenever they wear them.

The uniform gives Staff members position authority. I often see young staff members - often younger and smaller than the boys in their assigned troop or class and in the presence of adults - take charge of the situation and enforce the camp's policies or their own will on all; by virtue of their uniform.

Wearing the entire uniform, including the pants, allows the Staff Member to demonstrate to all who see that he is proud to be a Scout and proud of Scouting. This encourages the boys they serve to do the same and give support to Scout Leaders in their often difficult task of getting their boys to wear uniforms. The uniform is an important Method of Scouting, not only showing membership but allowing the Scout to display his rank, advancements, and leadership insignia. It is an easier thing to get one's Scouts to want to wear a uniform when his heroes do. I learned long ago that no Scout wants to be me, nor do they necessarily want to be their Scoutmaster, but every boy wants to be his Camp Friend of favorite Merit Badge Instructor. He not only wants to dress like them, but to live like them. Thus the uniform enables the very most constructive kind of peer pressure, the example of those worthy of admiration.

Troops meet their Camp Friend the minute they arrive in Camp. He exemplifies Scouting from that moment on because he is an obvious Scout - his uniform says so. Here Camp Friend, Nelson Riches, leads his troop on a tour of camp.

All the fun and adventure of Camp is delivered by a Staff Member in uniform, therefore it is delivered by Scouting. And Scouting is a lot more than fun and adventure. Here Christian Lippert trains his Climbing Class; placing real responsibility in thier hands. They will long remember the experience and who it was that gave it to them.

Here Wes takes his High Adventure Crew to the top of the World. He is in uniform, and they know that all this goodness links to the Oath and Law that Wes's uniform represents.

In 1978, a young Brad Darrington changes lives by setting an example of excellence and Scouting.

Rain or shine, the staff is there and in uniform.

Here, High Adventure Guide Kent Summers returns from a 50 mile hike from Old Faithful to Loll. He wore the uniform every step of the way, and the boys he led will remember their journey was provided by and credit their growth to Scouting.

In Merit Badge Class, Loll instructors are always in full uniform. Scouts accept the excellence of their instruction and the magic of Scouting as linked by that uniform. Here Ben Kraus teaches Pioneering.

Camp Friends are always in uniform. They are the best of friends and the best exemplars of Scouting to the Scouts. This is Mike Hopper on station with his crew.

Jake Law gives some quality time and quality example to his troop.

Camp Friends share more than dinner with the troops who have invited them to dinner. You can also see our Family at this troop feast.

The power of the uniform is not just for young Scouts. Here ACE Assistant Matt Bredthauer gives a new experience and an excellent example to an older Scout at the knife throwing station.

Mitch ties two life changing forces together on the rock, rapelling success and a Staff Member in uniform.

On Hike day, the Camp Friend shows he does not abandon his values anymore than his uniform. He obeys all the rules of the Forest and Park and ties his example to Scouting by his obedience to the uniform policy.

Wes's uniform enables him to lead his Scouts on trails in their hearts as well as in the wilderness.

The uniform gives Tyler the authority he needs to insure that this hike will be a safe and proper growth experience.

Working with the In Camp High Adventure Group, Justin gives his guys a new experience, a life long memory that they will remember as a Scouting one thanks to the uniform Justin proudly wears.

Justin is able to provide a week of adventure in the Bechler Wilderness, and his uniform reminds the crew of the source of their experience every step of the way.

It's the same with this group of Teton Adventurers, thanks to their Staff Guide, Wes; his uniform a constant reminder of what he is and what he believes.

Here Scott Parson teaches much more than leatherwork because the uniform he wears speaks as loudly as his lecture.

The Scouts want to be like the Staff they idolize. Having watched the staff perform flag ceremonies, they strive to imitate, even surpass their exemplars.

High in the wilderness, on High Adventure, what is it that reminds the crew that this is a Boy Scout hike? What reminds them that all this is tied to duty to God, country, others, and self? It is having a wonderful Staff Guide who proudly wears his uniform. Here Mitch Sutherland sets the example for his Crew high in the Tetons.

There is more than example, for the uniform is the best tie a boy will ever have in his life to the Scouting program. The Staff Member represents fun and adventure. He is the personificaton of all that boys want to be. It is the uniform that ties this powerful tool, this hero, to Scouting itself. Without his uniform, the staff member is just a "cool kid" he is not linked to the deep magic. When the temptations of life come, when a boy faces drugs or gangs, he will remember that the best thing he ever did was with a young man or woman who believed in the values of scouting, in doing one's duty to God, country, others, and self. He will know this becasue all those who combine to give him his adventure wore Boy Scout uniforms.

Flag Ceremony is about fun as well as ceremony. Here Rambo takes the crew all the way, but it is their uniforms that remind all who watch that all this fun is backed up by the Values of Scouting.

All our teachers are in uniform, teaching at many levels.

Andy Conlin will grow bigger, but even as a first year staffer, his uniform made him a big man in the lives of the boys he served.

Jacob Dansie shares his knowledge and his example; these boys will always remember that the man who taught them how was a Boy Scout.

Dave Hopper wears his uniform on the Rock. It is Scoutmaster Chris Conner who also proudly wears his uniform that shares the magic.

On the honor trail the Oath and Law come to life in the person of a Commissioner who personifies the Values these words define, and his uniform reminds all that this is the way of life as a Scout.

Camp Loll is eager to partner with the Forest and Park Services. Their goals are ours. They know and trust us, and we are eager to put out the name of Loll and the reputation of the BSA by wearing our uniforms when we hike into the wilderness these agencies administer and when we work with them to aid them in their stewardship. Whenever we meet with the Rangers we are in uniform. They know we are proud of who we are and what we do, and they are pleased to be associated with us.

In 1988 Yellowstone was burning. Our traditional hike past Heart Lake to our canoe trip on Yellowstone Lake was closed by the fire. Desperate for somewhere to take our hikers I took Trent Warner to visit the Bechler Ranger Dunbar Susong. I knew Trent would impress him, Trent was in uniform. Trent wowed both Dunbar and his wife. The Ranger revealed all the secrets of Bechler, and groups from Loll have hiked these wonders ever since. This is a picture I took of Trent on my first trip to Bechler Station. You can see the smoke of the Yellowstone Fire of 1988 in the background.

The next summer our entire staff travelled to Bechler. We were all in uniform, as was the Ranger.

We have had a long partnership with the U. S. Forest Service. Here some Rangers from the Ashton Office train the Staff in No Trace Camping. This was in the 1980's, long before such things were encouraged by the National Offices of either group.

In 1988 the forest service came to camp to train our crew on how to fight forest fires. They were in uniform and so were we.

The next year we were fighting fires. Here, High Adventure Director, James Coburn prepares to lead a crew into the forest to fight a fire miles from the nearest road. They went in uniform and spent hours containing the fire. James and I went to the nearest phone (The Circle K in Ashton) in the middle of the night and called in our report. The next morning, during flag ceremony they flew over and dropped in the smoke jumpers. They found the fire already beaten. Note that the Loll Staff even fights fires in uniform.

Here Ralph Murdock has just put down a lightening fire above the Spring. Who needs long pants when you have a piss pump?

For years Camp Loll Staffers have done work on the Forest for work-in-lieu hours to help pay off our lease. Deep in the back country Mike Mason, Braden Allan, Shad Burnham, do their service in uniform. Everyone who saw them at work knew who and what they represented.

The U. S. Government is not the only beneficiary of the Service of the Camp Loll Staff. In 2001 some folks showed up during Church services and asked for help. A short time later, the crew, in uniform, pulled their car out of the mud at Grassy Lake. It was obvious to the people rescued that their heroes were Boy Scouts.

A Camp Loll, a Staff Member in uniform is an excellent PR agent for our camp and for the BSA. When our staff members go to town on business or on a road trip adventure, they meet a multitude of people who will be impressed and want to know more about Scouting and Camp Loll. One of our favorite troops, a great crew from Texas, who has made the trip to Loll twice in the past three years, (They went to Cherry Valley in between.) came to Loll because one of their leaders met some of our Staff hiking in uniform along the Teton Crest. When we visit Yellowstone or Jackson, or stop at a town or business along the road to camp, we are recognized and welcomed. We are seen as representitive of what is best in the BSA, and they like what they see. Whenever Staf Members go into the communities we serve, our reputation proceeds us, and we are recognized because we are always in uniform. As Business Manager, Janice has more contact with the surrounding communities than anyone at Loll. She is always in uniform and often comments on the positive response she recieves because she is immediately recognized. In Jackson and in the Parks, I have received many compliments from locals and from visitors from across the country and around the world. They meet our crew, recognize them, and are eager to interact with them. The results are always positive. Were they not in uniform, they our wonderful group, would never be noticed. It is an honor to have Scouting represented by our crew, and they do Scouting honor.

Every year our crew spends two Saturdays in Jackson Hole. We send half the Staff each weekend. Here Josh Barton, Travis Williams, and Colton McBride grace a local icon.

What a wonderful example of the beauties of Scouting are presented by Cathy Hawkes and Ashlin Pulotu as they grace the board walk at West Thumb. Everyone notes them, and they do Scouting and Camp Loll great credit.

Our guys, Hunter DeVries, Trevor Billings, Kyle Billings, and Ryan Lundell look prety good as well.

On the trail to the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone the Loll Staff stands out proud because they are in uniform.

Years ago our crew attended the Playmill in West Yellowstone. Because we were in uniform we had the chance to represent Scouting to that community and to all who visited there. We did Scouting proud.

One of the great friends of Camp Loll was Mr. Dick of Ashton, Idaho. He did countless favors for the camp. Each summer we gave a little back with a visit to his beautiful home. He delighted in our visit, and we always made it special by showing up in uniform. Once we even made the local newspaper.

When we were at Camp Aspen Ridge we made a journey to the Jardine Juniper. I often quote Carol Clumsy's poem about this giant. Here the Aspen Ridge Staff rejoices in the beauty of the tree and of our common success in reaching it. We were all together in uniform.

The Loll Staff at Old Faithful Inn. We are quite the attraction, in our uniforms.

In 1982 and 1983 Janice and I went to Camp Treasure Mountain. We took many Loll Staffers with us. Aftre returning to Loll in 1986 we took the staff on visits there. We arrived in uniform, at least the guys were. I have told you that I got more demanding as the years have gone by.

On this trip in 1988 we met Captain Wadsworth. The Captain (Navy) was the founder of the Cedar Badge leadership training program. He was delighted to meet the Camp Loll Staff. They were representative of everything the Captain has long sought to teach. He knew that because they were proudly wearing their Boy Scout uniforms. Note: Mike Bronson, far left, is my Dentist.

Loll's crew wears their uniforms no matter what the nature of their destination. Here they lounge on the St. Anthony Sand Dunes. You will note that in this picture, our gals, Alison Conner and Katie Simpson, are in uniform.

The Loll Staff pose at the Antler Arch in Jackson Hole.

The staff of 2010 at Artist Point.

Look how well the Staff stands out at the Lower Falls. No hiding them, and who would want to.

We have been visiting the lower falls for many years. Craig Miller is probably thinking that it is good of the river to be wearing our colors.

I know that the staff in uniform has had a good influence on boys because it has had that influence on my own sons. Here Bryon and Lafe sport their scout uniforms above Lake of the Woods.

And the influence for good goes on. Here is my grandson, Jensen, in a uniform Alison made for a Christmas present for one of the Orme boys.

This is Jody and Julie's son Charlie in his "uniform".

And little brother Justin in his. (By the way - it has been all the same shirt.)

The flag is a symbol. It stands for America, and for freedom, and all the opportunities of this great nation. People the world over see it and rejoice. It brings hope to the world. The scout uniform is also a symbol. It has meaning to those who understand the Values of Scouting and it has the power to unite those Values to the good things that Camp brings into the lives of those who participate in and benefit from Scouting.

Here is the 2010 Camp Staff, all together and all in uniform.

In the winter of 77 of 78, Mahonri and I traveled to Philmont Scout Reservation and visited the Ernest Thompson Seton Museum. We were allowed to enter a basement room. There we found a wonderful jumble of treasure. There were glass tubes holding bird study skins, including ivory billed woodpeckers and passenger pigeons. We were free to handle these, and did. Paintings and drawings were stacked along a makeshift shelf along one wall. And Seton's hat and uniforms were just sitting there. We tried on his hat, and I put on his "merit badge" sash. It was a khaki green band all covered with small embroidered feathers forming a warbonnet spreading out from a ring in the center into two bands. I have seen with my eyes and held in my hands the source of the Method.
I know there are those who experiment with variations on the truth. To me it seems to be the blind leading the blind. As my dad would say, "There is no one as blind as he who will not see." National has come out with polo shirts and sportswear, but if one changes the incantation they will foul the magic. The Values of Scouting have not changed, the Aims remain the same. The Law, the Oath, Motto, and Slogan have not been altered, and are still best implemented by the Methods layed down by the founders. I have given my arguments. Abandon the truth and you will end up in the ditch.


Dan said...

The first picture of CCV is, as you suppose, in fact the summer of 97, that was the summer Tim Moser and I received our mission calls.

Actually, going through some stuff, I found a bunch of extra dark green uniforms, if you could use them for staffers etc., I'll bring em by your house.

Daisy Chick said...

One of my most treasured memories is going to Yellowstone as a staff, because we were in uniform we stood out and some how we ended up standing in a group and singing "On my Twentith Summer" I recall people gathering, some eyes were filled with tears I felt as if we were representing not only scouting but the past and the spirit of the park. I have always felt it an honor to be able to be part of Camp Loll, to wear the uniform. I remember my brother once saying he felt more brave in his uniform. When a Camp Loll staff member puts on that uniform they become a Staff Member. And it is in those uniforms that boys become men. Thank you so much for your posts, I am always touched, and feel as if I am partaking in a wonderful reunion with the past, the pictures are wonderful and the topics inspiring.

Lysis said...


Thanks for the verification and validation on the date of the picture. I am sure you understand that, after these many years, the staff all runs together in my mind; one eternal (well at least long playing) round. We would be grateful to accept your uniforms for our supply and to have a visit as well.

Daisy Chick,

Thank you for your comments. I post my ramblings in the hope they will mean something to someone. Your remarks and supportive remembrances are most encouraging.

I too remember watching generations of Loll Staffers mingle and stand out among the visitors to Old Faithful and other Yellowstone sights. On those days, they seemed to me to be the most beautiful things to see in the Park

Anonymous said...

I have a great love for the scouting program and the experiences and people it has introduced to me. I am proud of the uniform because it represents not only the values of scouting, but also, now it represents to me the memories and people and experiences I have had in scouting. Its was not always so. I remember being an active member of the OA in my home town of Tremonton Utah driving on my way to perform an Arrow of Light ceremony as a young 16 year old. I had on my uniform. (I had just got a job working at Camp Loll and had purchased a few uniforms, I would be leaving for my adventure in a few weeks) I came to a traffic light on main street, (one of the few in Tremonton) and a bunch of ‘cool kids” with their sun glasses and floppy hair and carrying their ghetto blaster and a big sheet of cardboard out to “break-dance” at the park I supposed. (Oh to have survived the 80’s). I made eye contact with them as they crossed the street and they pointed me out to each other and made comments about being a “Boy Scout” and buying Girl Scout cookies, mama’s boy etc. I was so self conscious as I pulled away as the light turned green that I unbuttoned my shirt and pulled off my sleeves so that my uniform would not show as I drove the rest of the way to the church that I would be performing at. When I got to the church I ran in and changed out of my scout uniform into an Indian “uniform”. Wearing my leather paints and Sioux ghost shirt as I danced the buffalo dance I felt more ridiculous than I had in my car. I remember thing I was glad that I was performing for a bunch of little kids, and most likely no one from my school who would recognize me was there. I was ashamed of who I was, and the way I was, and scouting and the OA seemed about as uncool as I was. But that was the last time.
A few weeks latter I found myself driving trough the back roads of Idaho and Wyoming, I remember drinking out of Soda Springs, eating squeaky cheese, and the antler arch in Afton Wyoming (which I would confuse with Jackson Holes for the next few summers) but what I mostly remember was thinking how cool all the people on staff were and how was it that I was luckily enough to be included in their numbers. For those who would remember me that first year in 1986 I was shy but hard working I think. Thinking back now I realize I didn’t think I fit in with that years summer staff. They were handsome, strong, smart, and cool and they were scouts. The only thing on the list that I felt I had in common with them was that I was a scout too, and the evidence was they wore a uniform like I did. I was a part of their team, their group; I was one of them even if I didn’t deserve it. I especially remember Doug Hopper. Doug, like Finny in “A Separate Peace” was the un-appointed senior patrol leader in my and I’m sure many other camp staffers minds. Whatever Doug did I wanted to do. He was cool incarnate and he was everything the uniform he wore symbolized.
I remember walking with Curtis Grow in Jackson Hole Wy, when two rather, I think, inebriated women where making some comment to us as we walked by the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. I had a very different reaction than the one I mentioned previously. I distinctly remember thinking if these girls were making fun of the Boy Scout they were making fun of Doug Hopper, and how silly that made them seem to me. I felt real pity for them and the small reality they lived in. They were a couple of girls with low self esteem and IQ, while I was a Boy Scout who stood for and was a part of something bigger that they could understand.
This is why scouting has uniforms. It is why sports teams, the military, missionaries, police, Wal-Mart worker and dance groups wear uniforms. It is to engender the power that comes from belonging to something bigger than self. To be a part of a team. To have a place of belonging. What makes the BSA uniform even more powerful is that that team uniform symbolizes. A force for good in the world.

Anonymous said...

This is why scouting has uniforms. It is why sports teams, the military, missionaries, police, Wal-Mart worker and dance groups wear uniforms. It is to engender the power that comes from belonging to something bigger than self. To be a part of a team. To have a place of belonging. What makes the BSA uniform even more powerful is that that team uniform symbolizes. A force for good in the world.
I smile to think now of those kids who mocked me as I went off to serve a group of cub scouts while they went of to spin and break dance and show off to each other. What great worlds were opened to them, how often to they get a chance to show off their moon walk or caterpillar now. I know I am a better person because of my Scouting experience. I know I have made the world a better place because I was given an opportunity to serve others and teach the truths of a happy life through example. Anyone who is embarrassed by the uniform has not yet come to understand what potential it can come symbolize for those who wear it and those who see it and what team it has the potential to represent.

Lysis said...


Thank you for your comments and for the power of your arguments. I am forever thankful to the great men in uniform that inspired your service to Scouting. In my opinion, you are as key to Loll’s success as the uniform.

I have noticed that there are those who use the words “Boy Scout” as a pejorative. I notice they are either nefarious types who disparage goodness, or arch criminals dissing on Superman. (Who, by the way, wears his uniform when he does good.)

I admit that uniforms don’t make people good – I am grateful that generations of great Camp Loll Staffers and heroic Boy Scouts across the galaxy, have made Scouting, and the uniform that represents it, synonymous with good for so many.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure the youngest Orme is Justin not Jason.

Anonymous said...

I too love the uniform. I think, if you take the uniform out of the program, the staff member no longer has the mantel of authority to lead the group. You no longer are a symbol of scouting, but a symbol of yourself, and we want to emulate the scouting ideal, not just one person.

Lysis said...

I can never keep those J names straight, just ask Jason - I mean Justin.

Anonymous said...

By the way, his mother doesn't care what you call Justin, she's just so complimented you would put a picture of him up. He is so cute.

Anonymous said...

Ah, uniforms are so much fun to wear too :)
-Jordan Osborne :)

Craig & Kathleen Miller said...

Thanks for the pictures of my favorite Class A uniform. After 16 years of wearing a uniform, I've never been part of a better unit then the staff at Loll. This weekend I took my oldest son to a Cub Scout camp out, every time I saw a green explorer shirt I had to fight the urge to ask them what year they worked at Loll. Seeing the picture of Curtis on top of the Grand is a wonderful memory of 7 Aug 91. Thank you for that and all the other great adventures.


Reach Upward said...

I remember how great it felt to be in full uniform when I received my Eagle Scout award at age 14. But following the court of honor, I had to attend a special evening band practice at the high school. I was horribly embarrassed to walk in there in my uniform. There was no shortage of laughter.

Three years later, I spent my first summer working on Camp Loll Staff. My view of the scout uniform changed forever. Never again would I be embarrassed of this fine emblem. I knew the ideals and values it represented. I had lived them along with a crew of others.

More than three decades later, I find myself comfortably in my scout uniform pretty regularly. Yesterday afternoon I attended a stake meeting in my uniform because I had to go from there to a court of honor. I felt properly clothed for doing my duty to God.

Through the years, my sons have sometimes felt that I am too much of a stickler on uniforms. While other boys in their units may not have complete uniforms, my boys always have them. And I tell them they have to wear the uniform pants too; not just jeans like everyone else.

Being in uniform tells others as well as yourself that you subscribe to the values for which the uniform stands. Being in full uniform says that you are more committed to those precepts.

For that reason, I think that wearing the uniform can actually change the individual in positive ways. One is more likely to think and act differently when in uniform. He can literally be more trustworthy, loyal ....

Lysis said...


Thank you for your comments. It is very good to hear from you. I am honored to know that your service at Loll has not been forgotten amid the many wonderful things you have accomplished. I am particularly please that you can now share Scouting with your son. It will bring you both great joy. I also have the fondest memories of those climbs you guys made. You blazed the trail for many Loll’s staffers, including my own sons, who still make it to the top of the Tetons. These climbs are representative of other summits all of you have reached. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment here at the Agora.


Your comments and experience are always appreciated here. It is particularly meaningful to me because we blazed the “full uniform at camp trail” together all those years ago. It has taken a long tour in the mountains to learn the secrets of this craft. I hope others will follow your example so that they can also gather the treasure you describe.

Finch said...

There is no substitute for the truth, really. I have always wanted to wear the uniform, because all of my heroes did, and many still do. Thank you all. As the camp director of Cherry Valley for two summers I often faced questions from some of my staff about wearing the uniform. Some of them had worked at Cherry Valley in years when the uniform policy was different, they had been allowed to wear street clothes to town and Cherry Valley t-shirts to work in program areas. I fought many small fights over the uniform. I hope that some were convinced.

During my second summer, I decided to make Friday - from the end of flag ceremony until dinner - into a "casual" day. The staff could wear any Cherry Valley t-shirt during that time. We offered 8 or 9 different styles of t-shirts in the trading post and this seemed like a way to increase our advertising, especially because the class C uniform which the staff wore on hike day, in the kitchen, and at the beach was not for sale to the campers (not by my choice). The staff seemed to love the relaxed policy, but I noticed something immediately that really concerned me.

The commissioners found a small stash of Cherry Valley polo-style shirts in the Camp Store and they each bought one. They began to wear them and it soon became a symbol of being more cool than the other staff. I remember being in the program office when one of the staff members came in wearing the polo shirt and one of the commissioners made a comment like "hey, we're the only ones who wear the polo shirt." I set him straight right there, but if I ever have the opportunity to direct another summer camp we will always wear the scout uniform so that the staff will know, just like the kids from Watts, that we are all the same.

Lysis said...


Thank you for your comment. There are very few who have stood where you have and been able to see with the clarity that actually being responsible for the whole picture creates. I often wonder when, as you and others have expressed, just being one of the group is such a good, that some would want to disparage that unity. I have seen the power of the uniform as one of the Methods of Scouting and I am happy that you share that vision with me.

Grover said...

I can still remember being pulled out of the chapel, and going to help pull that Ford Ranger out of the mud at Grassy Lake. Thank you for sharing that great moment!

Grover said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BDH said...

I have enjoyed reading and re-reading some of your posts but this one is such a poignant instructor regarding Scouting methods and ideals.

I must admit to creative plagiarism (a most sincere form of flattery) in using several of your collected thoughts to pass along the ideals of Scouting. I have looked forward to other posts you have provided as I find time to read and re-read them as well.

Now a request... During our visit to Loll our young men were especially touched by the flag retirement ceremony the Staff at Loll provided. Do you have, or would you consider, a text of the ceremony that could be lovingly plagiarized. I must admit my memory retains mostly thoughts and feelings rather than scripted words. Yet as I and others experienced that ceremony the words evoked thoughts and emotions to stir the heart.
If you would consider a future post regarding the Flag Retirement ceremony, it would be greatly appreciated.

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Lance said...

Lysis, my ad agency is doing a firearm suicide prevention PSA television spot for the Utah Department of Human Services. The camera will pan across photos of two men when they were younger, establishing a visual back story of a great friendship. We came across the second photo in your blog (when you were a staff member at Bartlett) on Google images and it had the right look-and-feel for our needs. We wanted to ask permission to use the photo for the PSA. Please reach out to me asap. Thanks.