Thursday, July 23, 2015

Girls Camp: I Know I Am...United We Know

I had the great privilege of attending Girls Camp this year.  Our stake went to Aspen Grove.  It was great to be there with Michelle...it was her first year of Girls Camp.  It was wonderful to spend the week with the amazing young women in my ward, with the other leaders from my ward (Sara, Aly, and Kylee) and with the other young women and leaders from my stake.  There were so many wonderful experiences, and I wrote quite a bit in my journal about it.

When I first heard the theme, I must admit that it seemed a bit odd...or at least not catchy like some other themes.  But it turned out to be such a beautiful theme with layers of meaning and insight.  Each ward was assigned a word (loyal, noble, confident (That was ours!), witness, together, possible, trustworthy, and chosen.)  Each ward selected a woman from the scriptures that exemplified that word.  Ours was the widow of Zarapeth.  So as camp progressed, we heard a lot about these women, these words and how each of us is/can be loyal/noble/confident/trustworthy, etc.  The spirit bore witness that together, we can come to know our divine potential, our individual worth as daughters of God.  But I really loved on the last day as Sister Hunt, our stake camp director, pointed out that this theme also points our minds to our Savior, the Great I Am.  So another layer of meaning is that each of us knows Him.  And camp had a part in helping each of us come to know Him better.  I've written more about my thoughts and feelings about this theme in my personal journal, but it ended up being an incredibly powerful theme.

It was beautiful to be in the woods, to be away from the world.  It was wonderful to be surrounded by some of our Heavenly Father's creations.  To feel, as we sang "Walk Tall", that truly, "He's closer than you know.  Reach up, He'll take your hand."

To decorate, Aly had made a banner that spelled out "Confident".  The young women had made a banner that said, "Widow of Zarapeth".  The young women had made little posters with quotes about confidence.  Four of the young women drew sketches of what they thought the widow of Zarapeth might have looked like.  Also, each young woman had given Aly a photo of themselves doing something they felt confident doing.  These photos were laminated and hung up by the confident banner.  We also hung paper lanterns.  It looked great.  I am very impressed by the artistic talents of our young women...as well as their many other talents!







Stake leaders doing their skit

Stake leaders doing their skit

Our 1st and 4th years on their hike

Each girl got to decorate a puzzle pieces.  Here is Michelle with hers.

The hike was beautiful!




One of Michelle's favorite parts of camp was that the Beehives scared us leaders on the last night.  There is this creepy looking doll named Lester that has apparently come to camp before and given Sara and other leaders a scare.  Well, Lester was back and the Beehives put him in our tent.  Liv hid under Sara's pillow and was planning to reach up and stroke her cheek when Sara got into her sleeping bag.  Sara figured out the plan before that happened, but she still got a bit scared.  But then the darling/naughty/"terrorist" Beehives returned and began throwing wood chips on our tent (we didn't know that's what was happening at first).  I figured it was the Beehives, but it made an awful noise and to be honest, we were all quite scared.  Sara was on my matress with me, holding my hand.  Then a bit later, Liv tried to sneak into our tent again to scare us...and got her hair caught in the zipper of the tent (serves her right!)  :)  Silly, silly Beehives.

My favorite part, and I think the favorite part of virtually everyone who attended camp was the Remembrance Walk on the last night of camp.  The whole camp lined up in 2 parallel lines, facing each other.  Then each person, 1 by 1, was blindfolded and would walk between the 2 parallel lines.  As they passed, you were to whisper one word to them...whatever word the spirit prompted you to whisper.  It was one of the most beautiful things I have experienced.  It felt as if 1...you were being embraced by the Savior and those around you...and 2. as if these were the things that our Father would say to you if He were standing there...that each of us were allowed, for a moment, to feel and know who we truly are...to interrupt the world's voices that clamor for our attention and try to tell us who we should be... and whispered who we really are and who we are meant to be.  It was an experience that I hope I never forget...one I sort of wish could be repeated every few months because it felt so wonderful and helped me know/remember what I am meant to be.  So very special, and I think it touched most if not all of the participants pretty deeply.
Look at those beautiful young women soaking their feet!

Another thing that I thought was pretty special was Aly had made each girl a personalized tub and washcloth.  After the hike and service project, each girl was given her tub filled with water and bath salts.  They soaked their feet and then Aly washed and dried their feet and rubbed lotion on each girl's feet.  It brought me to tears watching her serve these young women in such a tender way, much as the Savior did for his disciples.

Such an amazing week.
Our ward...leaders and girls!  Such wonderful examples to me.  I love them!