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Camp Loll, Trapper Trails Council, near Ashton, Idaho
"May we help you?"
"Is this Club Med," I asked, partly tongue-in-cheek but partly because of the beautiful three-story lodge being built on the property we had just arrived at.
Camp Loll is found in the Idaho section of Scout Camps USA, but it is, in all actuality, in Wyoming. (As you know, we place our map dots adjacent to the closest town/camp post office town.) Traveling from a small town near the Idaho-Wyoming border, after about 14 of the 16 miles of dirt road that must be traversed, we came across a sign that stated "Welcome to Wyoming." From this point, we continued on and on, up and down, curving left and curving right, until we finally came to a sign pointing the way to Camp Loll. That's when we began to go downhill, and down and down and down. This was truly one of the steepest, rockiest roads we encountered all summer. However, when we completed our descent, we were rewarded with a warm welcome from Delose Conner, Camp Director, and his wife, Janice.
Delose certainly has his act together – he's been doing this camp thing for some years now and has quite a crew. It's the singingest, dancingest, laughingest, happiest group of staff members we've ever seen. They sing at morning assembly, they sing on marches, they sing, sing, sing, and, thankfully, they possess excellent voices.
Camp Loll, one of the smallest camps we've ever visited, is surrounded by literally millions of acres of national forests, state lands, and parks that are all put to good use by the camp's high adventure base. Trips to Web Canyon, Shoshone Lake, Jackson Lake, Belcher Canyon, and Teton Crest leave daily. The camp's aquatics department makes use of Lake of the Woods, a large crystal-clear lake that is reputed to contain some giant fish.
We don't attend campfires at every camp we visit; however, we're glad we did this time. The entire staff was involved with one skit or another with much singing, a bit of dancing, and a great deal of talent. Delose Conner, a master storyteller by our reckoning, awed the 250 assembled campers with a terribly scary story, of which one climactic moment describing a terrific storm and lightning that split the story's sky was timed to coincide with a real lightning bolt arcing across the lake over the storyteller's head. Miraculous timing? Coincidence? We think not. We'll always remember Delose as the Camp Director possessing the best connections with "The Great Lighting Director."
Physically, Camp Loll is compact, rustic, and surrounded by enormous trees. The snug older camp buildings in years gone by served as housing for workers building a nearby dam. The cozy structures were rescued and reassembled on the camp property, providing an interesting glimpse into the history of not only the camp but also the surrounding wilderness. The camp's mountain lake in early morning provided us with one of the best photo opportunities of the summer, and it provides brave Scouts a polar bear opportunity. All in all, Camp Loll is an enchanting camp rich with history and tradition and, with the surrounding resources, a great destination for younger and older boys.