Mormon Youth in Utah Host Special Needs Pioneer Trek

Mormon Youth in Utah Host Special Needs Pioneer Trek
Mormon Youth in Utah Host Special Needs Pioneer Trek

Photo Credit: mormonnewsroom.org

SALT LAKE CITY — 

Every summer, Mormon youth groups reenact the trek pioneers made with their hand-carts across the Great Plains of the United States to Utah to escape persecution. The Mormon pioneers endured many hardships along the trail.

Many of the teens from the Bountiful Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been on a trek experience before and wanted to give the special needs Mutual representing 26 stakes in Davis County in northern Utah a sense of what the early Latter-day Saints experienced 167 years ago.

Mormon Youth in Utah Host Special Needs Pioneer Trek

Photo Credit: mormonnewsroom.org

As part of their summer youth conference, they invited the special needs group to join them at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City for a day activity on Friday morning, 11 July 2014, the location where the pioneers led by Brigham Young first entered the Salt Lake Valley on 24 July 1847. The overcast skies were a welcomed relief for the participants from the recent sunny and hot weather.

Mormon Youth in Utah Host Special Needs Pioneer Trek

Photo Credit: mormonnewsroom.org

About 60 members of the South Davis Special Needs Mutual, who range in age from 12 to older than 70, and their leaders were greeted by 130 Bountiful youth and their more than 30 adult advisers for the trek activity, which included pioneer reenactments and music. The youth wore clothing reminiscent of the early pioneers as part of the reenactment and they camped at the park overnight so they could be ready when the bus carrying the special needs participants arrived the following morning.

“It’s a shortened version, but it’s beautiful,” said Michelle Glaittli, Young Women president of the South Davis Special Needs Mutual, who described the two-mile loop around the park as a huge undertaking for the members of her group who struggle with many different disabilities. “They have heart conditions, they’ve got diabetes, we’ve got people with cerebral palsy, we have a lot of special needs; this is really something big for them.”

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