Scout Training Lodge Named for President Monson

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 6 October 2016

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and the Sorensen family pose for a photo after dedicating the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016.  Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Article Highlights

  • President Henry B. Eyring dedicated the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at the Hinckley Scout Ranch October 5.
  • The multistory, 18,000-square-foot building will be used to train, host, and entertain youth and leaders.

“The need for strong, capable leadership is critical today, both in Scouting and in the world generally. To be associated in some small way with developing such leadership is humbling indeed.” —President Thomas S. Monson

HINCKLEY SCOUT RANCH, UTAH

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, was in chilly northern Utah October 5 to dedicate the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at the Hinckley Scout Ranch. The multistory, 18,000-square-foot building becomes the crown jewel of the popular camp and will be utilized to train, host, and entertain legion of youth and their leaders.

“Thousands of young people will have experiences that will lift their lives to a higher place,” said President Eyring prior to offering the dedicatory prayer. “People from different backgrounds will come together in a unity of purpose.”

Many business and Scout leaders and several Church officers and emeritus General Authorities joined him at the event.

President Monson, of course, is a lifelong champion of Scouting. He has served on Scouting’s National Executive Board for almost a half century and is the recipient of numerous national and international Scouting awards. President Monson shared a prerecorded message.

“The need for strong, capable leadership is critical today, both in Scouting and in the world generally,” he said. “To be associated in some small way with developing such leadership is humbling indeed.”

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, dedicates the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, participates in a ribbon-cutting ceremony before dedicating the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

It is essential, he added, that youth are provided opportunities to “build their lives and serve God, country, and their fellowmen.”

Named for the man who was instrumental in bringing together the Church and Scouting in 1913, the Bryant S. Hinckley Scout Ranch is an annual destination for youth of all backgrounds, including thousands of LDS Scouts.

The newly dedicated Thomas S. Monson Lodge was built for $5.5 million and financed by a group of donors. The Sorenson Legacy Foundation was the primary donor.

“The Sorensons were enthusiastic to have the lodge named after President Monson because of his long years as a member of the BSA National Executive Board, his efforts as a champion of youth, and his position as the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” said President Eyring.

The high-tech lodge features a grand entrance, a large kitchen, a Scoutmaster training room, a trading post, and the “King Husein Room” grand ballroom, which will be used for banquets and training events. Outside the lodge are the new Court of Honor Plaza and an amphitheater with seating for 800 people.

A large portrait of President Monson welcomes Scouts and other visitors as they enter the grand ballroom.

President Eyring spoke of his own Boy Scout experiences as a youngster growing up in Princeton, New Jersey. The leaders of his small troop helped him build self-confidence. The Eagle Scouts who volunteered at his troop meetings were his heroes.

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, takes a tour of the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at the Hinckley Scout Ranch with Bruce Hough before dedicating the building on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

“The leaders and volunteers who will serve in this place will stand on the foundation of Scouting pioneers,” he added. “[Latter-day Saint leaders] Bryant S. Hinckley, Oscar A. Kirkham, Ezra Taft Benson, and Thomas S. Monson all will be remembered and emulated by those who serve and lead young people in this place.”

F. Timothy and Joan Fenton from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation were instrumental in building the lodge. Brother Fenton called the new lodge a “safe haven” for young people and their leaders. It is named, he added, after “one of the greatest Scouters of the day.”

Sister Fenton spoke of her late parents, James and Beverley Sorenson, and their shared love and admiration for both President Monson and the Scouting program.

President Monson’s son-in-law, Roger A. Dibb, represented the Monson family at the dedication. Brother Dibb said he recently asked the Church President if he had any advice for today’s Boy Scouts.

Roger A. Dibb, son-in-law to President Thomas S. Monson, gives the Scout salute during his remarks before President Eyring dedicates the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

His response: “Learn from Scouting everything you can so you can build good character and values.”

President Monson, added Brother Dibb, “advocates Scouting because he believes in young men and knows they can make a difference in the world.”

Brother Charles W. Dahlquist, the former Young Men General President and Scouting’s national commissioner, said the Thomas S. Monson Lodge “will be a place for leaders to be trained and for youth to have unforgettable experiences that build character.”

The Primary General Presidency—Sister Joy D. Jones, Sister Jean B. Bingham, and Sister Bonnie H. Cordon—and the Young Men General Presidency—Brother Stephen W. Owen, Brother Douglas D. Holmes, and Brother M. Joseph Brough—also attended the dedication.

The Thomas S. Monson Lodge is seen from an outdoor amphitheater that seats more than 800 at the Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, takes a tour of the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at the Hinckley Scout Ranch with Bruce Hough before dedicating the building on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

A display of Thomas S. Monson Scouting memorabilia is displayed at the newly dedicated Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Primary General President Joy D. Jones greets Hinckley Scout Ranch workers prior to the dedication of the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert, President Henry B. Eyring, and Elder Robert K. Dellenbach share a laugh during dedication events for the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, greets Elder Glen Rudd as Utah Governor Gary Herbert looks on before dedicating the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Joan Fenton of the Sorensen Legacy Foundation, center, cuts the ribbon opening the Thomas S. Monson Lodge, as President Henry B. Eyring, left; Governor Gary Herbert, left center; and others participate at the Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

President Henry B. Eyring is shown a portrait of President Thomas S. Monson before dedicating the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Joan Fenton, left; President Henry B. Eyring, center; and Utah Governor Gary Herbert recite the Pledge of Allegiance at a flag ceremony before President Eyring dedicated the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at the Hinckley Scout Ranch in the Uinta Mountains on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Joan Fenton of the Sorenson Legacy Foundation and President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, share a laugh before he dedicates the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Caleb Collier, center, leads the audience in “On My Honor,” a Scout hymn, as Joan Fenton of the Sorensen Legacy Foundation, left; President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency; and Governor Gary Herbert, right, participate before President Eyring dedicates the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

President Thomas S. Monson shares a message to attendees via video recording before his counselor, President Henry B. Eyring, dedicates the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

President Henry B. Eyring shakes Connor Gustavsen’s hand after dedicating the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

President Henry B. Eyring takes a photo of the landscape to watercolor later after dedicating the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

President Henry B. Eyring writes a note for President Monson after dedicating the Thomas S. Monson Lodge at Hinckley Scout Ranch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.