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A new lodge for Boy Scouts has been named after President Thomas S. Monson, the 16th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and longtime Scouter. President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, dedicated the concrete facility, located on the north slope of Utah’s Uinta Mountains at the Hinckley Scout Ranch, formerly called the East Fork of the Bear.
“Each of us has found joy and satisfaction as we have invested our time, our resources and our efforts in the development of the rising generation,” said President Eyring during the dedication. “Over the generations ahead, boys, girls and their parents will thank you in their thoughts and in their prayers for the experiences and the growth they found in this place because of your contribution into their lives.”
The general presidencies of the Church’s Primary and Young Men organizations were also in attendance.
President Monson offered a video greeting for the dedication. “As ground is broken and foundations are laid for the buildings that will be a part of this complex, may all of us who served in Scouting be reminded of the need to provide solid foundations on which our youth can build their lives and serve God, country and fellow man,” he said.
“On behalf of him, I give you a salute,” said Roger A. Dibb, President Monson’s son-in-law, who spoke on behalf of the Monson family.
“The Scouting program is wonderful. It is part of our heritage in this state,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert, who participated in Scouting as a youth.
Ground was broken for the Thomas S. Monson Lodge May 27, 2015. The lodge will be the camp’s main building and includes a grand hall, several training rooms and areas for merit badge achievement. Outdoor amenities include a pavilion, outdoor amphitheater and road improvements. Thousands of Boy Scouts and their leaders, along with young women from girls’ encampments, will use the facility for training and other activities.
“There have been many hands and many hearts working diligently over the past six years to bring this building [to completion],” said Elder Robert K. Dellenbach, chairman of the ranch and lodge project and an emeritus General Authority of the Church who has been working to bring the lodge to fruition. Elder Dellenbach said adding the name of President Monson to the building was an easy choice. “I would venture to say that no person in all of Scouting has done more to foster, finance and strengthen and encourage Scouting than has President Thomas S. Monson.”
Elder Dellenbach is hoping the lodge will also be used by young adult groups and the public when it’s not being used by the Scouts. “You’ve got those seven or eight weeks of time in the summer you can take Scouts up there and then they have to get back in school.”
Most of the construction costs for the $6 million facility were covered by a contribution made by the Sorenson Legacy Foundation. The lodge also has a professional kitchen, a dining room that seats 180 people, a commissary for Scouting supplies, indoor restrooms and hot water.
The 565-acre Hinckley Scout Ranch is named after Bryant Stringham Hinckley, father of former Church President Gordon B. Hinckley who played a role in the Church’s acceptance of Scouting as the activity arm of the Church’s Aaronic Priesthood for young men more than 100 years ago.
President Monson served for more than 46 years on Scouting’s National Executive Board. He received Scouting’s Silver Beaver and Silver Buffalo Awards; the Bronze Wolf, International Scouting’s highest award; and Scouts Canada’s Silver Fox Award.