The Trapper Trails Council Support For LDS Scouting Units And Families

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The Trapper Trails Council appreciates our longstanding partnership with the LDS Church.  The council remains committed to our partnership with the church, as well as to serving all youth through our many religious, educational, and civic based chartered units.  As a council, we are committed to helping Scouts reach their advancement goals, while strengthening their character development through our core Scouting programs.

LDS wards, families, Scouts, and leaders will continue to have access to many opportunities provided by the council.  These include:

Eagle Scout advancement.  While the church will continue to register all youth ages 11-13 years old in Boy Scouts, those youth who wish to continue working towards their advancement goals may remain registered in their local LDS sponsored troop.  Their trail to Eagle Scout will continue with support from both the council and local leaders.

Access to council sponsored high adventure programs.  The council will continue to make available high adventure programs to all LDS youth over age 14.  YW groups and Teacher and Priest quorums can take advantage of our high adventure programs to meet their needs in a fun, prepared, and safe environment.

Youth conferences.  The council will continue to expand access to its camping properties for LDS youth conferences.  We have the facilities and programs to meet your needs.

Training for adult and youth leaders.  National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) for youth and Wood Badge Training for adults continues.  These are both excellent leadership training opportunities that strengthen participants and provide tools for both unit level success and personal preparation.  And if you want a total family experience, register to attend Encompass Family Camp.  Encompass combines both Wood Badge and NYLT with age appropriate activities for younger children.

Order of the Arrow.  For more than 90 years, the OA has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. Arrowmen are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others. OA service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich and help to extend Scouting to America’s youth.

The Trapper Trails Council is fully committed to delivering quality Scouting to the youth of our area.  We look forward to the new opportunities 2018 will bring in our partnership with the LDS Church in helping the church to further their youth development goals.  Together, we will continue our mission “to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.”

Varsity Team Earns Letters


A Court of Honor was held on Wednesday, November 2, for Troop, Team, and Crew 576 sponsored by the Highlands Ward, Morgan Utah North Stake.  Rick Barnes, Varsity Coach, presented five Life Scout rank advancements and seven Varsity Letters (only five of the Scouts were present for the photo).  The Scouts achieved many of the required rank advancements, Varsity letters, and pins due to merit badges they earned and the activities they participated in at the Kodiak Challenge this summer at Camp Bartlett.  One of the Scouts said: “Wow, we earned four merit badges and didn’t even have to sit in a class!”

Sounds like they had a great experience at Camp Bartlett this summer.  If you and your unit are interested in participating in the Kodiak Challenge, go to the council website,, for more information and to sign up.

Green Bar Bill -FAQ for Patrol Leaders


FAQ for Patrol Leaders

The following is Question’s from Scouts to William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt in a 1943 edition of Scouting magazine.  Green Bar Bill wrote numerous articles for Boys’ Life and Scouting magazines, as well as three editions of the Boy Scout Handbook (1952, 1965, 1980), four editions of the Patrol Leaders Handbook (1929, 1952, 1967, 1980) and the third edition of the Handbook for Scoutmasters (1936).


“How important is it for a Patrol to hold Patrol Meetings outside of the Troop Meeting and what should the fellows do at these meetings?”

Green Bar Bill: “VERY.  What can be accomplished during a Troop meeting of an hour and a half in training the fellows?  Not very much.  So if the weekly Troop meeting were all the scouting your fellows got for a whole week, they wouldn’t have much.  But there’s one thing the Troop meeting can do.  It can inspire the scouts to get busy and do something about their Scouring;  it can suggest to them things to do until they meet again for another Troop Meeting.  That’s where the Patrol meetings outside of the Troop meeting come in.  It’s here the fellows can really settle down to work on advancement, on projects, to train for stunts and demonstrations to put on, to fix up camping equipment, and to plan the big events that are ahead for the patrol.”

“Should the Patrol Leader be selected by the members of his Patrol or by the Scoutmaster?”

Green Bar Bill:  “This is my opinion – your Troop may not agree.  “In a brand-new Troop where the boys don’t know each other too well, it may be advisable for the scoutmaster to pick the temporary Patrol Leaders.  But the ideal arrangement is to have the Scouts select for their leader the fellow they look up to and want to follow.  Scouts are generally pretty smart and usually pick the boy best suited for the job.  If they pick the wrong one – well, then I’m in favor of having them stew in their own juice for a while until they can find a way of solving the problem that will meet with their Scoutmaster’s approval.  That will teach them what to look for in a leader.”

“What are some of the things you can do to get your Scouts interested in advancement?”

Green Bar Bill:  “Take ‘em hiking!  Get them out-of-doors.  Give them real scouting.  Follow a compass direction.  Have them use a map.  Cut fire wood and light a fire – by permission, of course, and cook a meal.  Learn the trees, the birds, the stars.  Try Scout’s Pace until everyone has mastered it.  Signal with flags or smoke or fire.  Follow the animal tracks you come across.  Judge distance and heights.  Fake some accidents that may occur in the wilderness and have the fellows care for the ‘victims.’  If you go on like that for awhile, before you know a word about it all of your Scouts will have done most of the things that are required for second and First Class advancement.  Then it’s a matter of a little pushing on your part to get them to finish up and a bit of pinning them down to be ready for a date of the next local Board.  ‘Element’ry, my dear Watson’ as Sherlock Holmes would have said.”

“Is it necessary to have Patrol Leaders’ meetings with Troop officers and why?”

Green Bar Bill:  “BUT DEFINITELY!  Without those meetings your Troop wouldn’t be using the Patrol Method – that’s why.  Patrols are gangs of boys led by boys.  The Troop consists of those Patrols working together.  But how can they work together unless the leaders meet with each other and decide what needs to be done?  So, the Patrol Leaders sit down with the others officers of the Troop to plan Troop Meetings, hikes, camps and service projects.  The Patrol Leaders report on their Patrol activities and get help and advice on improving them.  But those meeting have another very important function:  It’s here that the Scoutmaster trains his boy leaders for the job of leadership in Patrol and Troop.  The Patrol Leaders’ Meeting, or Patrol Leaders’ Council or Green Bar Council, as it is often called, is the heart of the Troop, the key to the Patrol Method.”

“Is a boy a Patrol Leader because he wears two green bars?”

Green Bar Bill:  “Bingo!  Here, right off the bat, we have the $64 question!  The answer is NO – most emphatically NO!  Some may insist he is – technically, at least.  Well, I don’t give a hoot for technicalities like that.  A badge alone does not make a boy a Patrol Leader.  His actions do!  It is the way he can get his boys to follow him, the way he thinks up ideas and let’s the gang execute them, the way he keeps the fellows on the go that proves him a leader.  Unless a boy is a REAL LEADER OF A PATROL he should never be given the privilege of wearing those two green bars.”

“In many Troops the Patrol Leader picks the Assistant Patrol Leader.  How should this be done?  Should it be the highest ranking Scout or the most capable scout, for in many cases the highest ranking scout is not the most capable of the Patrol?”

Green Bar Bill:  “I, too, believe in having the Patrol Leader pick his Assistant.  Of course, while picking, he should think of the good of the Patrol and not so much his own preference.  He might have a very good friend among the Patrol members, but if he were smart he wouldn’t pick his friend unless that fellow were a good leader and acceptable to the other Scouts of the Patrol as a leader when he himself couldn’t be present.  The Assistant, like the Patrol Leaders, should be picked for leadership first, rather than for rank or age.

“Should the Patrol Leader be older than the boys in the Patrol or should he be the highest in rank?”

Green Bar Bill:  “It all depends.  It would be a simple matter if the oldest boy were of the highst rank and also had the greatest amount of leadership.  There are fellows like that.  Such a fellow would be the one to pick.  But if you didn’t have any like that around, I’d put leadership first, rank next and age last.  I’ve met First Class scouts that weren’t worth a hoot as leaders.  I’ve met fifteen-year-olds that couldn’t get along with twelve-year-olds on a bet.  So give me a fellow with leadership and I’ll take a chance on his age and rank.”

“What can I do for discipline at meetings?”

Green Bar Bill:  “My Grandmother would have had the perfect answer for that one.  When I was a tiny tot I wasn’t quite the angel I am today.  At times I’d cut up and make a nuisance of myself.  What did my Grandmother do?  She smeared my fingers with molasses and gave me a feather to play with.  The result was I got so busy trying to pick off that feather that I didn’t have time to be a nuisance.  Get the point?  Have your meetings so packed full of things to do that the fellows just don’t have the chance to stop for a moment to get into mischief.”

“Should a Patrol Leader divide the work and responsibilities among his Patrol members or should he be in charge of everything?”

Green Bar Bill:  “An emphatic YES to the first part of the question and an equally emphatic NO to the last.  For two reasons.  First, to produce an effective and efficient Patrol, and, second to give each fellow a chance for leadership.  A Patrol is a small democracy.   But a democracy can’t be strong unless each member of it accepts his responsibility and does his part.  Give each fellow a chance to help in planning the work and a job to perform in working the plan.  There’s a swell chapter on his patrol organization in the Handbook for Patrol Leaders.  Look it up.”

“How do I get my Patrol members to come to Patrol Meetings?”

Green Bar Bill:  “Why do you go to the movies?  Because movies show something you want to see!  Why do Scouts go to Patrol meetings?  Because they contain things they want to do!  There’s your answer.  The trouble is that in many Patrols the fellows would be much smarter if they stayed away;  there’s nothing but fooling around.  In the good Patrols it’s different for two reasons.  First of all, because they themselves have helped to plan meetings that are crammed full of things they want to do.  They know they’ll have fun.  And second, because they have accepted the responsibility for parts of the meetings and have to be there to carry through their job.  In patrols that work this way the fellows don’t want to miss a single meeting.”



Scouting as a Game – Green Bar Bill


William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt is the man who wrote the book on Scouting, literally. His Patrol Leader’s Handbook is, without a doubt, his best and most influential work. His understanding of scouting was simple, but not simplistic.

To an outsider, Scouting must at first appear to be a very complex matter. If it were only possible to swing the gates of Scouting wide open to him and show him from a vantage point in one immense view the full panorama of the Scout Movement! Under the open sky he would see gathered hundreds of thousands of wide awake, red-blooded boys, busily occupied with self-appointed tasks, practices expected and required of real Scouts, ranging from the sending of signals with flags from hill-top to hill-top, to lighting a fire by primitive means—all living, breathing, absorbing Scouting.

 The boys swarm around him, and as one of them runs by he asks him: “Tell me, what is Scouting?

 As the boy passes, his smile and his answer come back: “Scouting is fun!”

 He bends over a boy who seems to have forgotten his surroundings, completely absorbed in preparing a simple outdoor meal, and asks the same question.

 And the boy answers as he looks up wonderingly: “Scouting is adventure!”

 A bunch of Scouts, led by one of their number, comes running and, as they draw near, their answer sings out: “Scouting is comradeship!”

Thus the boys define their own activity, their game. And GAME—that is the word.

Scouting as a Game

To a boy Scouting is a game, a magnificent game, full of play and full of laughter, keeping him busy, keeping him happy.

 That is the strength of Scouting! A boy becomes a Scout for the sheer fun there is in it.

 The action in Scouting appeals to the boy’s impulse to be doing something. The meetings, hikes and camps are essentially periods of activity. Even the code of Scout conduct is presented to him in terms of action- “Be Prepared,” “Do a Good Turn Daily.” In fact, the basic principle in Scouting is “Learning by Doing.” There is nothing negative in it. There is no “Go up in the attic and see what Johnny is doing and tell him he mustn’t!” There are no “Don’ts.” Scouting does not say “Don’t rob bird’s nests,” but “Find out about birds.” It does not say “Don’t cut down trees,” but instead “Help save the trees.” That is talking boy language—stimulating, not prohibiting.

 There is adventure in Scouting. There is adventure in tackling a job alone—all by oneself, or with the gang. There is adventure in finding Good Turns to do every day. There is adventure in pioneering, exploring, out-door living.

 There is companionship and fellowship in the Patrol, the natural unit in Scouting. There is always present an urge to achieve. A harder task, a higher rank always looms ahead; there is distinction to be gained.

Scouting in a Nutshell

Here, then, is Scouting in a nutshell: A game for boys under the leadership of boys with the wise guidance and counsel of a grown-up who has still the enthusiasm of youth in him. A purposeful game, but a game just the same, a game that develops character by practice, that trains for citizenship—through experience in the out-of-doors.

The Boy’s Game

Immediately upon arrival at a camp site, a Troop’s Patrols establish their “duffel-lines.”  The Troop Leaders’ Council gathers and makes a survey of the site for the purpose of giving their Patrol Leaders a chance to select campsites for their Patrols.  As soon as the selections are made, the Patrol Leaders are dismissed, each Patrol Leader leads his Scouts to their site, and they go to work – while the Scoutmaster and the other Troop Leaders keep hands off, possibly going into a huddle about special activities to take place later. You—the Scoutmaster—and your assistants should be present to advise, but you should not volunteer any.  And most important of all, you should not go near the Patrol set-ups until after the Patrol Leaders come to you and announce: “Camp completed, sir!” Your fingers may itch on the first few camping expeditions to help the various Patrols put up the tents properly, or to rearrange the stones of the primitive fireplaces produced by the Scouts.  But, please, don’t! This is the boys’ game.   Let them do their best.  Then, after they have done the job, you may aid them with friendly advice and suggestions that will help them do even better the next time.

 When tents are being put up for the leaders to sleep in, you will naturally give a hand.  Otherwise be a free but exceedingly interested onlooker.  You will have a chance as never before to study your Patrol Leaders at work, to find out how well they distribute the jobs, to see with what willingness the boys follow them and perform the duties assigned to them.  Make written notes of points which may be bettered, and have friendly talks with the Patrol Leaders later suggesting how they may prove your leadership—by not pitching in to do work which honestly is none of your business.

 To make such smooth sailing possible, the Patrol Leaders must, of course, have received proper training in advance.

A Scout is Trustworthy


Over the last weekend, I had the opportunity to enjoy many hours of windshield time traveling to Scouting events at Camp Bartlett.  It gave me plenty of time to consider and contemplate a few items that have recently been on my mind.  One of those is the importance of having integrity and being trustworthy.  So on my return I spent one afternoon going through some of my old Scouting resource books looking for thoughts, ideas, and stories to share.  I have always found it interesting that in the Scout Law being trustworthy comes first.  Unfortunately, in the world today, too many have forgotten the value of this important character trait. 

I hope you enjoy some of these thoughts and stories and take the time to help a Scout or Scouter along the trail who needs a gentle reminder.

Allen Endicott
Scout Executive

Destruction From Within

A giant tree was standing on the slopes of the Rockies when Columbus discovered America.  How many times it had been hit by lightning and bent by storms before he came, we do not know.  But there are visible evidences that lightning had hit it six or seven times since, and it has stood the ravages of floods, the destructive forces of violent storms and has furnished shelter for many kinds of wild animals during these storms.  But now it lays crumbling in decay on the mountain side, brought to a state by the work of termites eating away its strength and heart from within.  Their destructive power was not visible from the outside until it was too late.  The insidious work of hidden destroyers had felled a giant.

(The Scouter’s Minute, Published by the General Board, Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1957)

A Warped Wheel

If you loosen five or six adjoining spokes on a bicycle wheel, it will warp out of shape so that it no longer makes a true circle.  Pretty soon you’re going to have a bumpy ride.

Your character is something like a bike wheel.  The spokes are a series of rules that in Scouting we call the Scout Law.   The points of our Scout Law are guides to help you stay straight and true.

If you get loose and sloppy on any point of the Law, the result will be the same as loosening the spokes on a bike wheel.  Your personality will be warped and out of shape.

One way to stay true to yourself is to keep your observance of the Scout Law always foremost in your mind.  When doubts creep in and you might consider violating one of the points of the Law, think about the warped, out-of-shape bike wheel and resolve to live up to the ideals of Scouting.

(Woods Wisdom, The Boy Scouts of America)

Spell it Honesty

Tonight we’ve spent a lot of time talking about ethics – about honesty and fairness and respect for others.  Now I’ll tell you a true story about a Scout who showed what those things mean.

His name is Andrew J. Flosdorf, and in 1983 he was a First Class Scout in Troop 42 of Fonda, NY.  Andy was in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., competing for the championship and a chance for a scholarship.

During a break in the competition, Andy went to the judges and told them that although they thought he had spelled “echolalia” correctly, he had mistakenly substituted an “e” for the first “a” in the word, which is the name of a speech disorder.  He said he discovered his error when he looked it up afterward.

By admitting the mistake, which the judges hadn’t caught, Andy eliminated himself from the competition.  The chief judge said, “We want to commend him for his utter honesty,” and the crowd gave him an ovation.

But Andy didn’t tell them about his error to earn cheers.  He wanted to win as much as the other contestants, but he wanted to win fairly.

“The first rule of Scouting is honesty,” Andy told the judges.  “I didn’t want to feel like a slime.”

I don’t know what has happened to Andy Flosdorf since then, but I’m sure of two things.  He learned one of Scouting’s most important lessons, and he gave us an example of honesty and fairness that all of us should shoot for.

(Woods Wisdom, The Boy Scouts of America)

Section Conclave

Dear Scouters and families,

The past weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Order of the Arrow Section Conclave at the Cache Valley Fairgrounds in Logan.  What a great opportunity to see Scouting on display.  For those of you who are not very aware of the OA and their purpose in the Boy Scouts of America, here is a little background.  image007


The Order of the Arrow, or “OA,” is a service organization and the national honor society of the Boy Scouts of America. Members are elected from within their units and recognized as those who best live the ideals of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service. Under the guidance of selected capable adults, OA members under 21 provide leadership to the organization. The OA has enjoyed a long history of service. Founded in 1915 by Dr. E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson, the OA emphasizes servant-leadership nationwide in nearly 285 Boy Scout councils. In addition to local community service, the OA provides service on a national level, too. In 2008, for example, the Order of the Arrow improved five national parks during an event called “ArrowCorps5.” In 2013, the OA coordinated days of service at the National Scout Jamboree, resulting in significant service to the Mount Hope, West Virginia area. image003


For more than 90 years, the Order of the Arrow (OA) has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives.  This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well.  Arrowmen are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others.  OA service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality leadership development and programming that enrich and help to extend Scouting to America’s youth.  

At the Conclave I had the opportunity to watch our Council Ceremony Team participate in a competition.  The team was made of four great young men, dedicated to both the Order of the Arrow and the Boy Scouts of America. They did a great a great job and came in first place among all the participating councils.  Congratulations to Adam, Kyle, Bryan, and Zach! image002

If your son is interested in becoming a member of the OA or if you just need additional information, please contract our Council Lodge Staff Advisor, Josh Haacke.  His e-mail  Josh is happy to help.

Scouting is alive and well in the Trapper Trails Council.  The Order of the Arrow is just one example of a group driven to provide a quality program experience to every Scout and Scouter.  Thanks for your support of the Trapper Trails Council and I look forward to seeing you along the Scouting trail.

Allen Endicott – Scout Executive