The Spanish Trails District of the Boy Scouts of America has appointed a new district chairman.
Beaver County’s Von Christiansen has replaced Ken Carpenter of Iron County, who has accepted a new assignment as the chair of the Thunder Ridge Scout Camp near Parowan, Utah.
The district includes Sanpete County as well as nine other counties in southwest Utah, including Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Millard, Piute, Sevier, Washington and Wayne counties.
Having been part of the Scouting program for more than 24 years, Christiansen is the recipient of several awards and recognitions including the Arrow of Light and Eagle Scout rank in his youth, the Scouter’s Training Award and Scouter’s Key, the District Award of Merit, and the Silver Beaver Award for outstanding service to the youth and volunteers of the Scout Council.
Christiansen has also served as the district attorney for Beaver County since 2002. He has a law degree from Brigham Young University, is married and has four children. In addition, he is the advisor to the Beaver High School debate team, a three-time recipient of the UHSAA 2A state championship.
Carpenter, who served for two years as the district chairman, also serves as the Iron County Sheriff. The Spanish Trails District is part of the Crossroads of the West Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Prior to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leaving the Boy Scout program at the end of 2019, Utah’s Boy Scouts, consisting of about 4,000 youth, had three separate nonprofit organizations, which they have since combined into one. The program has also shrunk by about 75 percent. The Crossroads of the West Council includes Utah, the Arizona Strip, the northeast corner of Nevada, southern Idaho, the southwest corner of Wyoming and parts of Colorado, said Rawlin Bagnall, district executive, who lives in Ephraim and will work with Christiansen.
“Those people who want to be involved in Scouting [now] are very actively engaged,” Bagnall said. The regional reorganization “has created much stronger scouting units.”
The district’s Spring Camporee held in Quail Creek in Washington County this year included 27 of the district’s 29 troops, or more than 200 people including youth and their leaders. A separate Camporee was held for Cub Scouts, which also attracted about 200 people, Bagnall said.
The Boy Scouts is designed to teach leadership skills and build character. Merit badges that youth achieve are designed to expose them to different career paths.
Bagnall said that his favorite Boy Scout story of all time was that a mother sent letters to famous people to announce that her son had achieved the Eagle Scout award. One of them who replied was Steven Spielberg, the famous movie director. In his letter, Spielberg explained that it was through the cinematography merit badge in the Scouting program that he discovered his love for making movies, and, as they say, the rest is history.
There is a boy troop in Ephraim and a girl troop in Salina that are very active. The Ephraim troop consists of 40 registered youth who go camping every month. At the Spring Camporee, the girl troop announced that they had outsold the boy troops at least 2 to 1 in their latest fundraiser selling jerky, Bagnall said.
For more information or to join, go to http://www.beascout.org.