The building, with its striking design in a breathtaking setting, looks almost too nice to use.
Fortunately for the Scouts and Scouters of Utah, though, the Thomas S. Monson Lodge has as much function as form.
The 18,000-square-foot Scouting masterpiece is the newest addition to Hinckley Scout Ranch east of Salt Lake City. The $6 million facility was paid for through donations to the Great Salt Lake Council’s capital campaign; no Friends of Scouting money was used.
Inside the lodge, you’ll find meeting rooms, a professional kitchen, a large dining room, a trading post, a commissary to house Scouting supplies and more. The lodge will host council leadership training courses — think Wood Badge and National Youth Leadership Training — and weekend and weeklong events. During summer camp, it’ll serve as the dining hall.
Outside the lodge you’ll find the new Court of Honor Plaza and an amphitheater with seating for 800 and a stunning mountain view.
When the facility isn’t being used by Scouts, members of the public and other organizations are invited to reserve space there.
A tribute to Thomas S. Monson
The building’s name is a tribute to LDS church President Monson, who has served for 46 years on Scouting’s National Executive Board and is a Silver Buffalo Award recipient.
His name also will grace the Thomas S. Monson Leadership Excellence Complex at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. Ground was broken on that facility in June 2016.
Monson’s son-in-law, Roger A. Dibb, represented the Monson family at the Oct. 5 dedication of the Thomas S. Monson Lodge.
“Thomas S. Monson,” he said, “advocates Scouting because he believes in young men and knows they can make a difference in the world.”
With a magical new place for Scouting like this one, it’s hard to argue.
Seeing is, of course, believing, so here are some pictures of the Great Salt Lake Council’s newest jewel.