Jason Olson, Deseret News
Elton Jenquin and sons Luke, 5, left, and Chase, 6, check out a rifle at Scout-O-Rama 2008 in Sandy on Saturday, where 10,000 to 15,000 Scouts with families learned skills and earned merit badges.

Throwing tomahawks is a serious business, according to Riverton Boy Scout Troop 829.

Carson Park, 8, said it's all in how you hold it. Then concentrate, step forward with your left foot and throw.

For some Scouts it hits the mark. For most others, it doesn't.

"It's just like throwing a baseball, only kind of harder," Park said.

Tomahawk-throwing was one of a couple of hundred activities that 10,000 to 15,000 Scouts and families participated in Saturday during Scout-O-Rama 2008 at the South Towne Expo Center. The annual event has been around for more than 50 years and is put on by the Great Salt Lake Council. This year it also was attended by President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"This is about Scouts having fun, Scouts learning, Scouts having an education, learning skills, how to do service and have values," said Jim Davidson, chairman of the Great Salt Lake Council.

He said 200 of the booths came from local troops and packs, while others came from businesses and even military leaders. And many Scout leaders can bring new ideas for activities back to their troops.

On Saturday, some Scouts were able to gain merit badges through different activities at the event. Others were facilitators who helped run the hundreds of activities, like bike safety, rope-making and first aid.

There also were camping and boating activities, rocket launching and a popular giant Lego display.

But rock climbing on the three rock walls seemed to be the favorite among the Scouts — that and, of course, the food.

Leaders said the myriad activities boys participate in through the program give Scouts a thumbnail sketch of a number of careers and allow them to find their niche — be it a hobby or a future career.

Davidson said the theme of this year's Scout-O-Rama, "Rise to Greater Heights," refers to encouraging members of the Scouting program to lift themselves up and be better people — something that goes hand in hand with the program itself.

According to Davidson, the Great Salt Lake Council includes about 75,000 boys in 5,000 units from Lehi to Centerville.

"The program teaches character and skills to be of service," he said. "This year we are planning on doing 1 million service hours through Scouts in the Great Salt Lake Council."


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