'Rise Up' encampment celebrates century of LDS Scouting

10,000 youth, leaders attend Idaho event

Published: Tuesday, July 9 2013 3:11 p.m. MDT

"I've had a great time here with all the activities — but the best part of camp has been earning the Thomas S. Monson Award," said Caleb Rhodes, a 15-year-old Scout from Idaho Falls. "I've come to know more about President Monson and the award has helped me decide to set a date on when I will serve my mission."

Numerous leaders joined the boys in earning the Thomas S. Monson Award.

Scouters also enjoyed a break from the noise and bustle each day as they gathered at spots throughout the camp for quiet devotionals presided over by stake presidents and other local priesthood leaders. Then each night the entire encampment migrated to a rolling natural amphitheater to enjoy talent shows and listen to counsel from Scout and Church leaders.

On June 27, Brother Beck told his audience of 10,000-plus Scouters that "Rise Up" was the Church's largest encampment in 2013. He warned the young men of complacency and accepting mediocrity in their lives. Develop divine gifts, he counseled. Follow the dutiful example of President Monson and wear the award engraved with his name as a reminder of the prophet's example of service to others.

Wayne Perry, president of the Boy Scouts of America and a Church member, encouraged the young men to be on the lookout for that one boy who might be missing from troop or quorum activities. Search for and then rescue that Scout and bring him back to full fellowship and activity, he encouraged the youth. Brother Perry also saluted Scouting's century-long partnership with the Church, saying the program offers "extra armor" of protection for boys. "Scouting," he added, "is an inspired program."

For thousands, Camp "Rise Up" marked a week of fellowship, fun and recommitment as young men and their leaders focused on the opportunities and principles of the Aaronic Priesthood. For at least one Scout, "Rise Up" also offered moments of eternal perspective. Just three days before the first day of camp, Boy Scout Jacob Hymas, a 12-year-old deacon from Idaho Falls, was involved in a small airplane crash not far from the camp site. Jacob survived the crash and was not seriously harmed. His father, Brian Hymas, and the plane's third passenger, Mark Shell, 64, were both killed.

Brian Hymas, 43, loved Scouting and being outdoors with family — so to honor his father, Jacob chose to attend camp even as he recovered from his injuries.

Being at camp allowed Jacob to feel close to his father, said his mother, Ann Hymas. "We know [his father] is here with us."

Hanging around Jacob's neck was the Thomas S. Monson Award. On the flip side of that medallion are embossed a prophet's words promising comfort long after the camp's conclusion: "Look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue."

jswensen@desnews.com

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