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Beaver High Adventure Base, Utah National Parks Council, near Beaver, Utah
Beaver High Adventure Base was a nice change from the standard merit badge-based camp that we had been, for the most part, visiting all summer. The camp caters to older Scouts, Venture crews, and Explorers and offers a variety of interesting activities for the older boys to enjoy, including horseback riding, a terrific C.O.P.E. course, a big, big zip line, and a mountain climbing course that we found probably the most interesting of all.
The mountain climbing area is a good hike away from the rest of the camp. For us, it was a long drive away, much of which was spent with the camp truck perched at a perilous angle. Units travel to the area for the day, taking their lunch with them.
Climbing towers are not used here--just craggy rock faces. We lingered here for quite some time, and we shared our vantage point with a marmot. As we recall, his name is Chuck. Chuck allows the Scouts to use his rocks during the summertime, confident they will leave for nine months and give him back his peace and quiet, but Chuck enjoys watching the Scouts practice their climbing skills—and he enjoys sunning on a rock. We did that too and took many pictures.
Camp Program Director, Mike Vangelov, was kind enough to drive us around the camp. There's a lot of property to cover and much of it is hilly. That's not a problem if you're going for the day, but if you want to cover four program areas well separated with hills in between, it never hurts to have some transportation.
The boys all seemed to be enjoying themselves wherever we went. As at Chisholm Trail Adventure, we were surprised, once again, to find older boys enjoying activities at which we wrongly assumed teenagers might turn their noses up. At Beaver, we found boys reenacting medieval battles, attacking one another across a dry stream bed. They were as enthusiastic with this play as we would expect younger boys to be. They were, however, more skilled than younger boys, and the battle was glorious and energetic and long.
In another program area, a frontier-style zone, we found boys engaged in a game of two-ball, an unusual lacrosse-soccer-field hockey hybrid played in mountain meadow and across and in a small gully.
Campsites were well designed, set among large trees with good shade, and well-separated one from another, yet they were all nearby the main camp. There are plans afoot to move and redesign the already more than sufficient C.O.P.E. course, along with moving the zip line and increasing its length. Plans for the future also include building a new lodge overlooking a generous meadow where we saw dozens of deer and antelope playing.