Scout camp, the MTC and 3 LDS apostles: A list of 8 memorable activities this summer

If I were going back to school in a few weeks, this is what I would include in my “What I did this Summer” assignment. 

1. Landscaping: With money saved, a great deal of planning and coordinating equipment, and the help of a local landscaper, we installed a sprinkler system, put down sod and some bark mulch and planted some trees in May and June. Phase I is complete. We hope to do phase II next spring. This was one of the harder and more rewarding activities of the summer.

We added sprinkler system, sod and a few trees in June. What a difference.

2. Surviving Scout Camp: Although we reserved our shady campsite in a prime location one year ago, the high water level of Bear Lake turned our campsite into a swamp and we were forced to move to a different location a long walk away. But we made due. The boys earned merit badges and had fun. We also make a milkshake run to LeBeaus’ in Garden City. We had fun, but honestly, I’m grateful it’s in the rearview mirror.

Troop 125 at Camp Hunt in late June.

Relaxing in camp.

3. Meeting Tim Ballard: Tim Ballard is the founder of Operation Underground Railroad and an author of books about American history. It was an honor to meet and write about him in June.

If you enjoy American history and LDS Church history you will like meeting Operation Underground Railroad founder Tim Ballard through this article. Hugh Vail

Posted by Trent B. Toone on Wednesday, June 28, 2017

4. Golden interviews: I was fortunate to have several memorable interviews as part of my work at the Deseret News. In June, I was invited to the home of Sister Donna Packer, wife of the late President Boyd K. Packer, to visit with her and her son, Elder Allan F. Packer, on the topic of Temple and Family History work.

In 1977, then young LDS apostle Boyd K. Packer gave a talk at a regional representatives seminar outlining new long-term…

Posted by Trent B. Toone on Thursday, August 3, 2017

In the weeks that followed, I also met with three apostles: Elder M. Russell Ballard, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Quentin L. Cook, all of the Quorum of the Twelve. We talked about their missions in England in timing with the 180th anniversary of Joseph Smith sending Heber C. Kimball and others to open the work in England, where several of my ancestors embraced the gospel. I felt very blessed to have these experiences.This is the article I wrote on the Packers and here are links to the three articles I wrote about the apostles (1, 2, and 3).

In recent weeks I was fortunate to have in person interviews with a trio of LDS apostles — Elder Ballard, Elder Holland…

Posted by Trent B. Toone on Thursday, July 13, 2017

I have just one more thing to share about the interviews with Elder Ballard, Elder Holland and Elder Cook. The whole…

Posted by Trent B. Toone on Thursday, July 13, 2017

5. Youth Retreat: One day in July we took the young men and young women from our ward down to Temple Square to experience the Family Discovery Center, the symbols on the outside of the temple, the Church History Museum and the Conference Center. Many leaders agreed it was well planned and went very smoothly. We hope the young people felt something and came away appreciating the experience.

The Garland 1st Ward youth and leaders on the Conference Center roof with the Salt Lake Temple and Temple Square in the background.

6. Hike to Temple Fork Sawmill: At the end of July, some of the young men and leaders drove up Logan Canyon and hiked several miles to the location of the saw mill used for the Logan Temple. The hike turned out to be a little longer than expected, but still scenic and fun.

At the Temple Fork Sawmill trailhead, the day after Pioneer Day.

It was a scenic hike.

There were signs of beaver along the river.

7. Back to the MTC: The next day I got up early and drove to Provo to take part in a media tour of the new facilities at the Provo Missionary Training Center. Walking around the campus brought back a flood of memories. In addition to the tour, members of the media were permitted to interview Sister Bonnie Oscarson, Young Women General President, the Provo MTC president David Martino, and Gary Crittenden, managing director of the missionary department. This link will take you to my article. I shared some of my memories in a Facebook post.

With the Provo Missionary Training Center preparing to host an open house for its new facilities, local members of the…

Posted by Trent B. Toone on Thursday, July 27, 2017

8. Great-grandpa’s Missionary Journals: And finally, completing the transcription of the John Alfred Toone missionary journals. For the last few years, I have transcribed three small volumes of Great-grandpa’s mission to Virginia. It was hard to read his writing at times, but it was like I had traveled back in time to the early 1900s. To visualize all the places he had been, I asked a graphic artist friend to help me make a map of all the places he mentions in his journals. Here is that map, and I hope to make the journal available to everyone soon.

A map showing where my great-grandfather traveled on his mission in Virginia in the early 1900s.



Trent Toone

My name is Trent Toone and I’m a journalist for the Deseret News, where I write for a variety of feature sections. I was raised in Northern Utah and graduated from the University of Utah in 2003. Since then I have worked for several newspapers and received various awards over my journalism career. I am the author of “No Excuses, No Regrets: The Eric Weddle Story,” the sports biography of San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle. I served an LDS mission to Santiago, Chile, and spent a year teaching seminary. Like my father before me, I am a proud Eagle Scout. My wife Lisa and I have four children and live in Northern Utah. Feel free to contact me by emailing to trent.b.toone (at) gmail (dot) com.

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