I spent all of last week at our church’s girl’s camp. I was an assistant leader for the 15 year old girls, the “4th years.”
The theme for the whole camp was based on President Uchtdorf’s talk “Your Happily Ever After”.
For the 4th years, we decided to go with a spy theme. Tricia, one of the other leaders, came up with the idea of Princess Protection- we all are princesses, but our identities are concealed, and we must protect ourselves and others, and help them to know their true identity. I ran with that theme and came up with all kinds of spy things to identify ourselves and set us apart.
When the girls arrived at camp, they got some awesome sunglasses, a top secret folder, a badge, an id card with a space to add their alias name and thumbprint (I laminated these later that day),
They were all junior agents, with the leaders being Deputy Chiefs and Chief
Also, their songbook and schedule book had my t-shirt design on the front
We had a field office…
and a headquarters…
and our swap from our year showed everyone they were undercover too…
During the week each girl got a set of notecards to send a note to other campers and offer service in the form of encouraging words…
They also received a mission to accomplish: each girl was assigned two leaders to find information about, then report to the camp director so she could make them a personalized gift at the end of camp. Here’s one of our camper’s top secret notes:
As 4th years we were able to go on an overnight camping trip and high adventure type activity.
So on Wednesday night we had chili and then banana boats, and Thursday was boiled plastic bag omelets and cinnamon rolls on a stick. But that was all after we…
climbed this huge rock climbing tower. That’s me on the left! I made it to the top, all the way up to press the Staples easy button. After climbing, we climbed stairs on the other side, to go off the zipline. Amazing experience. Very empowering.
At camp I also perfected , my glow stick photo skills,
learned some amazing recycling facts and a song that does not get out of your head…
pulled up some crazy weeds (these actually weren’t the hardest, the small ground cover ones were much harder to pull out)…
Practiced a lot of French braiding…on my friends…and complete strangers who heard I could do it…
And of course, perfected my Charlie’s Angels posing….
Ok, now on to our amazing stake leaders….
The stake established themes for each day- Your Divine Heritage, Learning to Dance in the Rain, etc. The stake leaders here are incredible, and gave amazing lessons for each devotional, fireside and extra lessons. Here are some pictures and explanations of the ones of which I snapped pictures.
One of the stake YW leaders (my friend Alli) wrote an allegory about two princesses, who are given blessings at the beginning of their teen years, and who must travel the land to fight the beast of the land. Each day a part of the story was read, corresponding to the theme of the day, and a new prop was put next to the backdrop of the campwide seating area.
Jordan (the old librarian who first reads the story to us) and Alli, the authoress.
The props- two mannequins for each princess, a mirror from an enchantress, frogs that love the rain, the sun that guides the princesses with faith, and the castle that became the Temple on the last day.
One of the lessons given during camp was about media and the Princess and the Pea- the lesson being that we must be sensitive like the Princess to the Pea (the Spirit), but it’s hard with all the other distractions and things crowding our attention.
Other campwide activities based on the fairy tale theme:
The YCL skit based on a fairy godmother meeting, where all the fairy godmothers of the princesses discussed their princesses life after the movie and their shortcomings. It was hilarious.
Our skit, the 4th Years, based on the song “The Princess Who Saved Herself” from a Many Hands album.
Princess relays- put on a dress, pour tea, walk with a book on your head, kiss the frog.
And similar relay for the Bishopric members who came to visit- Put on a snuggie, pour and drink the water, balance a book, get a cookie off your forehead without using your hands, answer trivia about Princess movies.
Crafts- make a fairy tale character of yourself using scrap fabrics and a cuttle bug die. With a quote by President Uchtdorf. They also made “Daughter of a King” Boards with their name on it, and journals with “Once Upon a Time” on the front- to wrote their own story as it unfolds.
For a campwide activity, recreation also planned an “Evolution” game- a mass rock paper scissors tournament- but instead of evolving as animals, the actions were related to their lives- crawl, walk, read, wave, hold a baby, pray, become a princess.
I had a great time and knew the girls did too. Being in an environment that rich with spiritual talk non stop, constant laughter, acceptance and joy in everything- even chores- is a real refreshment to the soul. There is an amazing sense of satisfaction in serving others for a whole week, seeing that the girls are learning what you’re teaching, and observing their strength and faith in action. I can see why camp leaders come back every year- and why girls say it’s their favorite week of the year. Thank you West Stake – Girls and Leaders- for being so amazing!