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Historic Boy Scout camp to reopen as a high adventure youth camp in the Uintas

Shad Stevens

The historic 80-acre Camp Steiner in the Uintas will soon reopen as the Sunrock High Adventure Base for individuals and youth groups.

If there’s anyone equipped to start a nonprofit dedicated to providing youth with meaningful opportunities in the outdoors, it’s Shad Stevens. The longtime Boy Scouts of America enthusiast has been a teacher, coach and, up until recently, was the vice principal and athletic director of South Summit High School.

Shad Stevens

Stevens’ longtime dream has been to secure a property where youth can disconnect from society and reconnect with their lives.

Last year, he learned the Boy Scouts of America would not renew its U.S. Forest Service special use permit at Camp Steiner. The 93-year-old camp has deep roots in the Uinta Mountains and at 10,400 feet, was the second-highest Scout camp in the world according to BSA. He said it was considered the “Flagship Camp” of the Great Salt Lake Council and was always the first camp to fill up.

The newly christened Sunrock High Adventure Base rests on the shores of Scout Lake. The property boasts staggering views of Bald Mountain, Reid’s Peak and Hayden Peak, with more than 30 lakes within a 10-mile radius.

 “There's three lakes on the camp, there is a natural rock wall that overlooks the entire property and it's a gorgeous view.," he said. "And so we have purchased all of the cabins and all the equipment from the BSA. So we should be able to start immediately to provide opportunities like the waterfront with boats and other equipment. We have a climbing program that we'll be implementing this year.”

Stevens plans to open Sunrock early-July to individuals and groups: Scouts, school, church and clubs, with a specific focus on disadvantaged youth. The property has 30 rustic cabins with a capacity of 300 but for the soft launch this year, Stevens said he’ll limit the numbers to around 100-125 people. Bookings will be Monday through Thursday and Thursday through Saturday. 

Shad Stevens

The Sunrock Foundation has a 20 year special use permit with the U.S. Forest Service and hopes to raise $300,000 to fix up the property that sat vacant for five years. Anyone interested in booking a retreat should email him directly at shad.sunrockfoundation@gmail.com and the 501(c)(3) is also accepting tax-exempt donations. For those visiting the new adventure base, Stevens promises plenty of recreational opportunities and service projects to make Sunrock shine again.

“The dream is that we have a mountain that is able to bring youth groups from all different types," he said. "Our mission is to play with purpose, or have adventure with purpose. So our dream is that we use the mountain to help inspire young people.”

Stevens said he has found his calling in life.

“That's my purpose. It's what I was built for. It's why I'm here," he said. "I see the unique issues our youth face in our society. And I see so much of the solution of what they're dealing with is to spend time away from it. And nowhere better to spend time than a camp like this.”

A camp, Stevens hopes, that will connect youth to their greater purpose in this wonderland of lakes, forest and sky.

Shad Stevens