August 08, 2010

Real Girls. Real Strong.

Girls’ Camp 2010 was amazing.  These YW are real strong.  They love each other.  They love the Lord.  And they love their standards and live them.  And this makes them strong.  I was privileged to spend a whole week with them and to feel of their strength.  It was amazing to see them in action.
Paula and I were the 4th yr. leaders.  We were in charge of the 4th year ‘Overnight Hike’.  5.3 miles.  Singing part of the way.  Sweating part of the way.  Smiling all of the way.  Some of these girls didn’t want to go but that didn’t mean they couldn’t do it.  They were real strong. 
Day 1 (Monday)
12:00 4th years and Leaders Check-in
Met all the 4th yr. girls by playing a get-to-know-you game.  The first girl says her name and then something about herself.  The second girl says her name and something about herself then repeats what the first girl said.  The third girl says her name and something about herself then repeats what the second girl said followed by what the first girl said.  And so on down until the last girl (28 total plus 5 leaders) repeats everything that was said.  
Here was our list...
Katrina is OBESSED with chocolate
Sara loves video games
Miriam loves purple
L’Nique can’t remember names
Mandi likes Sushi
Hannah likes Drama
Hannah likes Chinese
Emily is blonde inside and out
Bailey likes to dance
Breanna likes to hang out with her friends
Markell is in love with Justin Bieber
Sam is OBESSED with Taylor Lautner
Kalee is a DIVA
Maddie dances?
Alana likes Twilight and the Jonas Brothers
Allanah sings
Tara plays the piano
Elena lived in Mexico for a year
Ali likes to read
Melanie (was late and didn’t get to play)
Cassara (was late and didn’t get to play)
Adam is a NERD
Bro. Cohen is a COUGAR (BYU)
Sheri is not as young as she use to be
Paula likes to play
Staci likes to Snowboard
This is all I could remember.  After our game, choosing leaders for our group, and waiting for SLT to arrive...we were shuttled to the Mill Creek Trail.  
2:30 Overnight Hike
We went 2.3 miles the first day.  It was fairly easy.  And I say fairly because we did have to carry backpacks so it wasn’t a leisure walk in the park.  There was singing, chatting, laughing, picture taking, sweating, guzzling of water, snacking, and resting.  We got to our campsite and the girls spread out their tarps and sleeping bags.  We had some down time and some went exploring.  Some took a nap.  Some threw rocks in the lake.  

We played 2 relay games.  One with marshmallows and the other with mens underwear.  So funny.  We divided the girls into 2 teams.  For marshmallow game each girl had to lick one side of a marshmallow and stick it to her forehead.  Run down and around a marker and tag the next girl.  The team who finishes first wins.

For the Ginormous Underwear game 2 girls had to get in the underwear and run down and around a marker, get out of the underwear, and pass them to the next pair.  The team who finishes first wins.

We got Adam, a camp dad, to play the marshmallow game but Bro. Cohen didn’t want to play the underwear game.  I don’t blame him.  I had fun taking pics of the girls.  They had a lot of fun.
That night the girls made their own dinners which consisted of soupy spaghetti, chili mac and beef, really yummy beef stroganoff, and Spaghetti O’s.  

We had a fireside that night from Bro. Cohen about virtue and boys. Paula led us in a discussion about the stars and read from the scriptures.  I loved hearing the testimonies from the girls about times in their lives that they have felt the love of their Savior.   
That night was amazing sleeping under the stars.  There were so many.  We found many constellations.  I remember sleeping good enough to dream.  Then waking up and having to go to the bathroom really bad.  It was about 3:00am and I didn’t really get back to sleep.  
Day 2 (Tuesday)
The next morning we were up and out of camp at 8.  We made really good time.  Our hike got a bit harder with steeper hills and a few streams to cross.  

The girls did amazing.  They were hot and tired but I never heard anyone complain or whine.  I only knew of girl who got blisters but I didn’t find out about it until camp was over.  She was a trooper. We all got back to camp about 10:30.  
11:00 Check-in and set up camp
They got signed in and took all their belongings to their respective camps.  We would see them throughout the week but for the most part our leadership responsibilities were done.  We had a great time with them and getting to know them better.  One of our responsibilities was to give them all nicknames by the end of camp.  So now we got to sit back and observe them till Friday.
After getting gear put away, Paula and I headed straight for the showers.  Ahhh, to be clean for a few minutes.  It felt so nice.
Kennidy arrived with Emily Larkin and the rest of our ward.  She was placed in ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ camp.  Kennidy was with her friends, Emma and Victoria.

I can’t remember too much of Tuesday but I know we did more than just shower.
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Opening Ceremony/Photos/Games
3:00 Certification
4:00 Free Time/Swim Test

5:30 Dinner
6:30 Campsite clean up
7:00 Solo Time
7:30 Get to know you games
8:00 Fireside & Flag Ceremony
Bridget Peterson was in charge of retiring old flags and burning them.  I have never seen this done but I was so touched by the Spirit testifying to me that this was truly a promised land.  That men and women give their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy everyday.  How thankful I am to be an American.  To be at Girls’ Camp of my own free will.  
9:30 Canteen
11:00 Lights out
Paula and I were actually in bed by 10:30.  We were so tired from our day that it was lights out way before lights out.  The girls were all excited to finally be at camp that I don’t think they ended up going to bed until 1 or 2 am.
Day 3 (Wednesday)
5:40 Mountain Biking
Woke up way too early.  I took a bike ride with Paula, Emily, and Bridget.  It was mostly up hill and I didn’t get all the way to the top.  I felt kind of stupid.  Then Emily got a flat tire and she said she felt stupid but that was nothing compared to how stupid I felt.  Anyway...we ran and biked back to camp.  By the time we got back it was rise and shine. 
7:30 Stake Camp Mtg.
8:00 Morningside
8:30 Breakfast
9:15 Capers (fancy term for chores)
10:00 Conservation Project/Certification for 4th years
Paula and I went over first aid with the 4 years.  Then we sent them off to clean up the camp grounds.  They were done in about 15 minutes with their project...which meant early free time until lunch.
12:00 Lunch
2:00 Solo Time
2:30 Free Time
Bridget, Paula, and I climbed the Rock Wall.  It was fun.  I haven’t been rock climbing since before I was married.  I forgot how much fun it is.  Kennidy climbed twice.  The first time she only went up half way and after some gentle prodding she made it to the top on the harder side!  I was so proud of her for giving it another go.

We also tried our hand at the Archery Range where I got a bullseye!  Kennidy hit all over the page but I only made that one bullseye and never hit the paper.  I did get a really pretty bruise on my elbow.

5:00 Meal Prep in camps
6:00 Cook in camps 
We prepared foil dinners.  I love foil dinners.  And they were so yummy.  Carrots, potatoes, meat, onions!  Oooo, tasty.  Then we had cherry cobbler.  One made with chocolate cake and one with white.  I liked the white cake better.
7:30 Campsite clean sweep
8:00 Fireside on Swim Beach
Our theme for the day was Faith and Hope.  We heard from Bridget Peterson and Devree Hamblin.  We were entertained by 2 musical duets.  Both inspiring and beautiful.  After the spiritual thoughts, we gathered in a circle and each camp sang a song.  Then a closing prayer and the girls headed up to canteen.  As stake leaders lined the stairs up to camp, we sang a song for the girls called ‘Be Strong’. 
9:30 Canteen and last trash pull
10:30 Certification for 2nd and 4th years on Canoe Beach, Snipe Hunt
11:00 Lights out
I don’t think we went to be until 12:00.  It was cold and sitting by the fire felt so good.
Day 4 (Thursday)
6:00 Early Morning Hike
7:30 Stake Camp Mtg.
8:00 Morningside
8:30 Breakfast
9:15 Capers (fancy term for chores)
10:00 Testimony Building Round Robin
Paula and I spent this time coming up with nicknames for the 4th yr. girls.  Very successful and many thanks to YW leaders who were at camp, camp leaders, and brainstorming out loud.
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Solo Time
1:30 Certification/Service Project
Our service project was making Thank You cards for the Ronald McDonald House at St. Jude’s Hospital for Cancer patients.  The girls made 400 cards total.
4:00 Free Time
6:00 Campsite clean sweep
7:20 YCL Evening Devotional
8:00 Testimony Fireside
9:30 Canteen and last trash pull
9:45 Testimony mtg. continues in campsites
I was able to attend Kennidy’s camp fireside where the girls shared their testimonies.  Some weren’t members of the church but they had their own beliefs in God and it was touching to hear that they loved God and knew that God loves them.
11:00 Lights out
Day 5 (Friday)
6:00 Polar Bear Swim
Okay for the record...these girls and Sister Keele are AMAZING.  And CRAZY!  The Polar Bear Swim is when people jump in the lake in the early am and swim!  Bro. Cohen made a small bonfire so when the girls got out of the water they would have some place to keep warm.  Paula and I went to watch and cheer on those crazy girls.

7:00 Rise and Shine
7:30 Stake Mtg.
8:00 Morningside
We gave the 4th year girls their nicknames this morning.  So fun.  Here is the run down.  Thanks to all the leaders and YCL’s that gave us much needed info for each girl.  We couldn’t have come up with great names without your help.
Katrina is OBESSED with chocolate = Kachocolate
Sara loves video games, is always happy, and willing to help others = Jolly Rancher
Miriam loves purple,
L’Nique is so strong...a hidden strength that is refreshing to see = Snapple
Mandi (Amanda) every girl wants A.MAN.DA (a man to) = Kiss n’ Hug 
Hannah likes Drama and wanted to kill a bear with one stab = Cuchillada Oso
Hannah stepped on some wood chips that turned out to be a deep hole in a stream = PFD (Personal Floatation Device)
Katrina loves to talk because she thinks silence is boring = Walkie Talkie
Katie is awesome and can do things like change a tire all by herself = Rock Star
Cassie and Maddie were inseparable, these girls were constantly making us laugh = Lucy and Ethel
Emily is blonde inside and out = Flibberty-jibbet
Bailey has the most calming voice and smile = Serene
Breanna enjoys taking pictures = Ansel (Adams)
Markell is in love with Justin Bieber, so after they’re married in the temple, she’ll be called = Sis. Bieber
Samantha is OBSSED with Taylor Lautner = Lava Girl
Kalee is a DIVA but you can’t name yourself, she also has a ‘I can do anything’ attitude = Uncle Rico
Brook is a leader and when she says something...people listen = Pit Bull
Alana doesn’t like to do hard things but when asked she will do them = Esther
Allanah sings like an angel delivering heavenly news = Gabriel
Anna is OBSSED with knives = The Butcher
Tara can weave music into her dreams = Dreamweaver
Elena found the Little Dipper for the first time on our overnight hike = Little Dipper
Ali was an Archery Champ = Bullseye
Caitlin loves animals and love to help others = Gizelle
Melanie and Cassara were our sidekick beauties, always together = Daisy (Duke) and Buttercup (The Princess Bride)
Adam is a = NERD
Bro. Cohen always hikes in = HIGH TOPS
Sheri is not as young as she use to be = Superannuated
Let’s Eat!
8:30 Breakfast
9:15 Capers
10:00 Certification
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Solo Time
1:30 Free Time
3:00 Lake Swim/Mountain Biking
We rode around the lake to cheer on Bridget and the other girls making the lake swim.  Once there we found out that we were 1/2 hour early.  So we rode on and then returned to camp to cheer them on the return stretch.  Bridget did amazing.  All the girls did.  
4:00 Skit Rehearsal
5:15 Welcome Bishops & Ward Devotionals
6:00 Dinners with Wards
7:00 Skit Night
Our Stake Presidency is not afraid to go all out for Girls’ Camp.  They dressed up like Justin Bieber and lipsinked one of his songs!  So HILARIOUS!  I am trying to get my hands on the video.  I have never laughed so hard!  All the skits were so fun and the girls really got the message...Real Girls. Real Strong!
8:30 Canteen/Bishop’s Time
Bishop Heusser gave a great lesson on focusing and perspective.  Such a good lesson for all ages.  The girls in our ward are so blessed to have a Bishop who cares about the choices that they are making.  These girls are not alone in this great big scary world.  They have leaders all around them that love and are waiting to help them on their journey through this life.  They are so lucky.
11:00 Lights out
Day 6 (Saturday)
7:00 Rise and Shine
7:30 Breakfast to go and pack up
8:00 Morningside
9:00 Capers
10:00 Checkout
We were out of camp just before 10.  I had such a wonderful week.  I met some really strong girls.  I saw some incredible service.  I witnessed miracles.  I had time to reflect on my life...I didn’t like what I saw all the time but I hope that since seeing it...I will be able to make it better.  Stronger.  I hope that I will have the strength to make the choices that will please my Father.  Thus making me happy.


Veronica said...

Wow. Your week sounded amazing!! I can't wait to do the Girls Camp thing with my own girls one day :)

Johnson Family said...

love it Love It LOVE IT! Sounds like you had a wonderful time, so glad you were able to go.

P.S. Would you guys please stop going on with your awesome lives without me? I am fighting my jealousy and you're totally depressing me. Thanks. ;)