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Posted 09 Apr 2001   For week ended March 30, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 06Apr01

By Mark Wright

Huge LDS Camp to Benefit Young Women

HEBER, UTAH -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always provided recreational activities for its members. With a strong emphasis on being engaged in uplifting activities, the members of the Church are well-known for participating in various Church-sponsored programs that provide positive experiences for young and old alike. The Church feels so strongly about the issue of providing wholesome recreational opportunities for its members that it typically builds basketball courts inside of most meeting houses.

Some local Church units have also constructed baseball and softball facilities and other sporting venues for recreational activities. In addition to these well-known efforts, the Church has also developed more than 100 wilderness camps where young men, young women and families can experience the outdoors. These camping facilities are used as venues for teaching Church-endorsed values and skills in an outdoor setting where the members can be close to God's creations and experience the spiritual nature of being outdoors.

One such Church-owned and operated camping area is slated for construction in northern Utah, beginning this summer. The new camp will be located in Wasatch County, just east of Heber City, Utah and will be located in the heart of some of the most beautiful mountains in the state. The camp site will be massive and include approximately 350 cabins spread out among 13 main camping sites. From the entrance, located at an elevation of approximately 5,500 feet to the highest elevation of almost 10,000 feet, the sprawling camp site will provide facilities for almost 6,000 simultaneous campers. Given the somewhat remote nature of the camp, planned construction includes two helipads for medical helicopters, thereby ensuring quick access to the camp for emergency medical situations, if necessary. Deer Valley Reservoir, a six-acre lake on the property, will be used for canoeing and fishing but swimming activities will most likely be curtailed by the 43-degree temperature of the lake's water.

Once completed, the new camp will cover more than 5,000 acres of the 8,000 acres owned by the Church and be the largest of its kind in the Church. The seasonal camp, open during the summer and early fall, will be used primarily for the annual Young Women's camping program that is held throughout the summer with different groups of 12-18 young women attending camp, usually for up to a week at a time. In addition to the Young Women's program, families and other Church groups will be able to schedule time for camping programs and activities when the facilities are not otherwise occupied. It is anticipated that groups such as the Cub Scouts and others from the surrounding community will also take advantage of the new facilities.

While the community around the new facility is mostly comprised of members of the Church and, accordingly, supportive of the effort, there will undoubtedly be some bumps in the road and some opposition to the proposed development. In addition, the camp has received preliminary endorsement from the Wasatch County Planning Commission. "I'd rather see that up there than 600 or 700 houses," said County Commissioner Ralph Duke.

The new camp is a comment not only on the Church's attention to the recreational needs of its members but speaks to the continued growth and investment that the Church is making in real property and facilities throughout the world. The planned development will require an investment of millions of dollars for the initial construction and then a sizable budget for continued maintenance over the years. Similar camps throughout the United States have been in operation for years and most members of the Church have attended them as part of their "growing up in the Church" experience. No doubt additional generations of Church members will have special experiences and develop fond memories of the great outdoors during their own camping experiences at the new Alpine Camp.


Huge LDS campsite east of Heber
Deseret News 30Mar01 B1
By Gib Twyman: Deseret News staff writer
First 2 areas out of an eventual 13 will open in 2002

LDS Church Unveils Plan to Build Alpine Camp in Wasatch County
Salt Lake Tribune 29Mar01 B1
By Karl Cates: Salt Lake Tribune


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