Young Women Camp this year was amazing, but what else would it be? This was my first year leading as Camp Director. I have a strong testimony of the power of camp to give the girls great leadership and friendship experiences, and to be a anchor of spiritual experiences throughout the year.
Our theme was “ROCK SOLID: Built on the Foundation of Christ.” Our scripture theme was Helamen 5:12 from the Book of Mormon. And our weekly hymn was “How Firm a Foundation.” We sang it everyday, adding a verse or two.
Daily Themes: These dictated our devotionals, some activities, and some crafts emphasis
Based on "The Abundant Life" by Joseph Wirthlin
Tuesday- Lay A Foundation: Obtain a relationship and testimony of Jesus Christ
Prayer, Scripture Study, Listening for answers, all help us learn about Christ and establish a relationship with Him. I presented a devotional about building our lives on Christ, the rock, versus trends or philosophies of the world (sand or ice). We talked about starting our relationship with Christ with what we know and building from there, and keeping a record of what we learn so we can look back at experiences with Christ make up our foundation of faith. This is the first day of camp, which included get to to know you games, rotating through crafts and certification times. The girls were asked after my devotional to think of one word or experience to describe what they know about the Savior. It was written on a sticker and added as a brick to our house.
Face board for photo ops after the skit, the finished house of faith- wood covered with girls honest answers, stuck on to make bricks.
Wednesday- Brick by Brick: Strength by Choosing the Right everyday
For the Strength of Youth, developing habits of Righteousness. The devotionals today centered on being stalwart and strong in doing what you already know is right, finding the courage to do it and follow through. The girls rotated through a service project and crafts. The evening activity was rotating through activities centered on the theme- the girls problem solved to build a tower, played a dodgeball variation, did trust falls, played twister and had girls trying to knock them over. After the stations the Youth Leaders in charge bore testimony of building their lives on the Savior. The girls were asked for their house of Faith sticker, to think of a time they’ve felt the Lord’s reassurance before or after choosing the right.
Sister Daley droning on about something spiritual….Trust falls at the youth leader activity
Thursday- Furnish with Love: Serve and Support others
Developing Charity and love for others and serving everyday. The devotionals centered on how to receive God’s love and how to give God’s love. Thursday was a crazy day. Weather earlier in the week forced the girls to do their hiking and certification dinner on this day, as well as the 4th years going canoeing all day. We also had a slip and slide on a hill with lots of soap as our extra water activity. The bishops visited at night and we subjected them to be on a Girl’s Camp version of Whose LIne is it Anyways? They were great sports about it. Then the camp divides into their wards and their bishopric members give their night devotional. The girls and visitors were asked to think of a time they felt the Lord’s love and record it on their sticker to add to the House of Faith.
Slip and Slide from plastic sheeting (From paint section- add dish or baby soap for extra slip). Our t-shirts, a word cloud of the daily themes and concepts we talked about all week
Friday- Weekly Maintenance: Christ's Atonement
On this, the last full day of camp, the devotionals centered on partaking of the atonement and every week partaking of the sacrament to be continually becoming more like the Savior. We did yearly pictures in the morning, with the girls in their camp t-shirts. The Young Women Presidency had an hour long workshop for each year, centering on how to bear your testimony with the acronym C.A.M.P.- Christ, Attitude, Minutes, Preparation. They have a song set to the YMCA tune with actions. Evening activity was a testimony meeting. It is so encouraging as a leader to hear the girls talk about times they’ve exercised faith and reached out to the Savior. On Friday they were to think of a time they’ve felt the cleansing power of the Atonement, to be better or repent and record it on their sticker. We also had a photo slideshow, put together by the Youth Leaders, with a darling picture of my recently decorated bed (they are evolving in their TPing, this year included nice notes on the TP!)
CAMP and my bed covered in TP love
Make your life a masterpiece (using Elder Wirthlin’s story about racehorse who started out a neglected horse at auction). I talked about all the various kinds of talents we can have (not just performance, but making someone feel included or planning a spiritual activity). I encouraged them to dream big and not let insecurities or fears hold them back from trying new things in every season of their lives. I asked them to write down something they are aspiring to be or talent to develop in the years ahead. We had closing activities where each year hands out silly awards for each girl. Love seeing all the friendship these girls have developed in one week of intense activities.
My seniors- receiving their gift of dollar store items that help when they go to college (markers for marking your food, post it’s to leave notes for your roommates, etc)
Other things about our camp-
Our stake leaders (Director and Stake Young Women Presidency) all wore neon shirts all week, with the theme of the day on the front. It makes it easy to find one of us, and reinforces what we are talking about each day.
The girls sleep by levels and are encouraged to have an identity that fits with the theme- this year we had the “Wise Girls” the “Lego Ladies” the “Diamonds in the Rough” and the “Gems” . They decorated their area with that theme in mind, name cards on their bed with that theme, had songs for roll call relating to their identity and usually some kind of useful thing for camp- hair bands or flashlights etc.
Crafts were great this year, I was sad I didn’t get pictures of them all. We did crayon art with embossing guns, value marble magnets, simple fleece hats and scarves for service project, and pictures of the Savior on masonite with scrapbook paper around.
The girls also rotated through serving and cleaning up in the kitchen, and this year we had mess kits they had to wash at each meal. Our kitchen setup ended up being perfect for having a hallway to do the washing.
This year we had our share of surprises (unregistered campers! imminent rain every forecast! Girls with special needs!) and a welcome share of hilarious conversations and successes. I was encouraged to see the 4th years make analogies and have positive attitudes about their canoeing accidents. I was so uplifted by leaders and girls asking me at every turn how they could help. And loved seeing leaders put their whole selves into camp and see smiles everywhere I turned. I know this program is inspired and can’t wait to start obsessing about next year and the fun we’ll have.
Hooray for Young Women’s Camp!