Sandy father and son team create outdoor skills videos channel on YouTubeMay 11, 2021 11:47AM ● By Heather Lawrence
With son Tim Rowberry behind the camera, retired scout leader Vic Rowberry has started a new career teaching outdoor skills. (Vic Rowberry/Outdoor Skills Made Easy)
By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]
Vic Rowberry of Sandy said he could tell his 40-year professional career in the Boy Scouts was ending when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decided to discontinue their involvement in the program.
“I loved my career in Scouting. But I was close to retirement and I saw [the downsizing] coming. They started to consolidate all the Councils and I hung on for as long as I could, but I knew I needed to find something else,” Vic said.
Rowberry’s love of scouting started when he did the program with his three brothers. Then as a teen he got the opportunity to work in the aquatics program at Camp Steiner.
“Everything in aquatics appealed to me: canoeing, rowing, scuba diving and swimming. I worked my way through BYU as a swimming and canoe instructor. I got a degree in Youth Agency Administration, paired it with a business degree and started working with the Boy Scouts,” Vic said.
Thankfully, he married a woman who loves the outdoors as much as he does. “My wife Carol does a lot of camping. She’s been a church young women’s camp leader where they built igloos and slept in them. She hiked across the Grand Canyon. She loves it.”
The Rowberrys settled in Sandy and raised four outdoor-loving sons. Vic did a lot of work at Boy Scout properties used by the Church, young women camps and Boy Scout Jamborees.
Then Vic’s son Tim did two things that set the wheels in motion for a second career for Vic: he invested in crypto currency and decided to become a filmmaker.
“About 10 years ago Tim told me he’d sell the crypto currency to me if I gave him some cash so he could buy film equipment, so I did. I never would have invested in crypto on my own, but it ended up paying off big time,” Vic said.
And just like that, three seemingly unrelated things came together. “Tim became a filmmaker, I was getting out of scouting and we had capital from the crypto currency.
“I noticed that people online wanted tips on outdoor skills. So Tim and I tried out an idea: we made a video of me showing outdoor skills and posted in online. We got a great response and decided to make more,” Vic said.
With Tim as videographer and editor, and Vic’s vast skill base, they started posting videos once a week. The YouTube channel Outdoor Skills Made Easy, or OSME, was born.
“Things really took off when COVID hit last year. We found there were a lot of people who wanted to know the basics of outdoor skills. So for example, this past April was canoeing month —we posted short videos on launching, different kinds of strokes and rescues,” Vic said.
All the Rowberrys’ videos and posts can be found on their website, www.osme.tv. Their videos have had hits and comments from people all over the world. “About 40% of our audience is in the UK, then the rest is mostly in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand,” Vic said.
The Rowberrys have produced about 35 videos to date, and have over 1,400 followers. Tinfoil dinners and Dutch oven cooking videos have been favorites, along with winter camping hacks and 72-hour kits.
So for anyone who thought scouting skills were a thing of the past, or that a “seasoned” scoutmaster can’t be taught new tricks, the Rowberrys proved there is a way to marry technology with the outdoors.
“The technology has given us an avenue to reach more people and teach survival skills. I get to work with my son every week which is really cool—we work very well together. I’ve been invited speak and demonstrate for youth groups,” Vic says of his new career.
“Maybe in the future we’ll take people out and do some on-site training—that would be fun. But right now our emphasis is sharing what we know with a lot of people out there who want to learn outdoor skills,” Vic said.