I just returned from five days at girls camp with my young women. What a fun week! My amazing parents watched the kids while I was gone, so I didn't worry about a thing at home and just focused on my girlies in the woods.
Here are just a few photos to document my amazing week. When I say "my girls" or "the young women," I'm referring to 22 teenagers from my ward. Five other adult leaders from my ward were there, too, plus our great bishop. We had such a good time together!
We stayed at Camp Joseph near Rye, Colorado. The Church owns a great facility there. Although we camped in tents, they were on flat ground. The stake leaders cooked for us (320 girls and leaders from 11 wards) in fully functional kitchens, and we ate under a huge pavilion. We met a few times in a large amphitheater. We used flushing toilets, running water, and electricity in the bathrooms. I got to take two (very short) showers. Pretty posh, right? Camping there was still very, very, very dirty. SO MUCH DIRT! Haha.
Girls camp is designed to be super fun but also spiritual and character-building. The stake leaders planned excellent activities to promote teamwork and friendship. We took hikes in different age groups. We also enjoyed daily devotionals, a musical program, video presentations, symbolic journeys in the woods, and opportunities to share testimony. Because I didn't/couldn't take pictures of all of the spiritually significant things (and for me, there were many), these are some of us just having fun.
These are from the hike with girls in their second year of camp. We (six girls and I, plus dozens of other girls and leaders from other wards in the stake) had a blast on our six-mile jaunt up and down a mountain.
I was impressed with our girls as they worked through cooperative games. I observed parallels with Christ's atonement as they helped each other do things that one person alone could not do. They also performed a skit based on Dr. Seuss's story about the Star-bellied Sneetches. It illustrated our individual worth but was also very funny.
The girls (and Bishop Groe) made crafty things like duct tape purses and flowers, friendship bracelets, fabric head bands, and button bracelets. We soaked our feet in a pool, lounged in a hammock, ate a lot, and played games (my favorite was Pterodactyl).
On the last day the girls all pledged to "stand in holy places and be not moved," which means to stick to high standards and create holiness in our hearts and in places all around us.
Although I love my girls to pieces, I also treasured time with the other young women leaders. I will always remember tender moments and hilarious moments with these lovely ladies. I'm already having withdrawals from so much grown-up time and conversation!
I hope I'm lucky enough to go to camp again next year!