When I was in YW, our California camp was hardcore. We weren't allowed tents, let alone cabins--we slept on the ground, and if it rained, we pulled tarps over ourselves. We had nasty semi-outdoor showers and bathrooms. We went on massively long hikes--the 4th years were out for 4 days and 3 nights! We made fun of the Utah camps, because they were so cushy. But now I am SO grateful for the cushiness. Part of it is because, obviously, I appreciate a cabin with a bunk and a clean hot shower. But I also feel like we were better able to focus on things other than surviving. President Hinckley said that he wanted a nice place so that the young women of the church could do just that, which is why he had this camp that we stayed at built. I really started to understand our Church's dedication to and love of women in that beautiful, dedicated place. We felt blessed every day to be there. I know that every single girl gained spiritual strength while at camp, and so did I. Our testimony meeting was incredible, and every single girl and leader shared their testimony. We bonded and forged friendships that are sure to help the girls now that we are back home. Some girls overcame huge personal challenges--I was so proud of them. We canoed on a pretty lake (the leaders got paddle boats, which was super fun) and did a crazy intense challenge course--which was pretty much the most terrifying thing I have done in a million years. I almost wet myself, and I did cry from fear. The girls wrote a hilarious skit based on Hunger Games that everyone loved--the skits are a really big deal in this stake, unlike at home when I was a girl We all learned a lot from each other and shared each other's light. It was incredible. The Sunday we got back I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting about camp, and it was the easiest thing in the world and I even felt good about it! I think it's because we had such an amazingly spiritual time and I had a million good things to say about the girls and what we all learned.
|All our girls, plus our camp director, Jami, who is incredible|
|Climbing the 30 ft. pole|
|Crossing the 20 ft. tightrope in my ratty slippery old Toms.|
|Not a flattering picture, but at least the zipline was an awesome non-scary payoff.|
|I told the girls to look miserable in this picture. Our ward is cranky in the morning.|
|The "Good Works Games" love triangle.|
|After our hike, about to hit the lake.|
|Jami is awesome and I learned a lot from her.|
|Our Bishop is AMAZING. We love him.|
I feel so good in this calling. There are a few things that I KNOW I am supposed to do, that are the reasons I was called to this position. It feels good to have such a purpose and know that I am on the right path. I haven't been very strong, spiritually-speaking, for the last couple years. I finally know that I'm doing the right thing and it feels amazing.
I'm in the process of making a slideshow, which meant going through the 700+ pictures that I took. Our Mutual activity on Wednesday is an after-camp party--we're going to watch the slideshow, eat treats, and play a game that we loved up there at camp. The girls and I are so excited!