Morning News â€” Leslie Mielke
Paul FitzSimon stands on top of one of the towers on the Boy Scout Encampment near Firth. FitzSimon has been working on the towers for four months. The encampment opens Wednesday.
FIRTH â€” The population of Firth will explode on Wednesday when over 10,500 scouts and their leaders arrive on site at the Boy Scout Encampment.
"Firth will be the 14th largest city in Idaho for four days," said Brent Stolworthy. "It's going to be a great time for all the kids."
Three activity centers have been erected on site.
All three activity centers are exactly the same, said Paul FitzSimon, who is over tower construction.
The climbing towers are 32 feet high. Zip lines come off each corner of the towers and are 300-400 feet long.
The length of the zip lines was determine at what distance construction crews ran into lava rock. The corner supports on each tower have been drilled down seven feet into the ground.
The climbing towers are ACCT certified, said FitzSimon. ACCT is the government body for climbing and rope standards. Each tower has been inspected and has passed inspection.
Besides the climbing tower, zip line and repelling opportunities, scouts will participate in pioneering games, handicapped awareness activities, a monkey bridge, shooting shotguns at clay pigeons, archery, geocaching, buckskins games (mountain men/pioneer era games), BMX track and bouncy houses.
Demonstrations, wood carving, family history, speakers (including LDS Young Men's President David Beck) are scheduled. Entertainment will take place each evening.
"We're expecting over 10,500 scouts and their leaders and we're ready," said Encampment chairman Dave Smith. "We have some kids running the zip line right now [Monday evening] to make sure everything works.
"It's exciting," said Smith. "I'm happy and grateful Brent Stolworthy let us use this area."
Smith and Stolworthy worked together in 1988 at a scout encampment in Island Park. That encampment was attended by 4,500 scouts and their leaders.
"You can see how much we've grown," Smith said.
Smith was approached by LDS leaders to develop a scout encampment to celebrate 100 years of scouting in the LDS church.
"I had worked with Dave on the Island Park encampment and there wasn't room for this many people," said Stolworthy. "I volunteered this location.
"There's nothing we can't do to help youth," he said. "This is a real training experience to help train youth to be future leaders."
The encampment is located on 300 acres of Stolworthy's land. He figures there will be 70 acres of just tents as well as 70 acres used for parking.
This encampment celebrates 100 years of scouting in the LDS Church.