Friday, June 19, 2009

Our Girls Camp Experience

Earlier this week I kind of hinted that I had girls camp coming up. But I didn't really mention that I decided months ago that I was not going to Girls Camp this year. My life was too hectic and I felt that it would be okay if I didn't go this year.
Saturday afternoon my heart changed. I felt that I needed to go. I felt that I needed to go for myself, as well as for the girls. I needed to bond with them a little bit and show that I cared about their lives.

I don't go anywhere without Leif. Someday, I know I will be forced to break this habit. But that's not my point with this post. My point is to tell you about our experience.

Leif and I took a camper for us and the kids. This year was a stake camp (meaning there were several different groups of girls and their leaders that went up.) Anyway, we drove our camper up and parked it next to some good friends of ours (The Jensens). Harmony is in the YW leadership with me and she brought her family up too. Our husbands were considered our ward priesthood leaders. Well, our two families parked out where we thought we were on the outskirts. Unfortunately, other wards set up camp closer to the family camp then we had hoped. We wanted our families out away from the girls so the kids wouldn't disturb the camp experience.

Well, when we got up to the camp it was pouring rain. Not the most welcoming experience for anyone. Then Leif turned on the generator for our camper. Initially, we thought the camper would run off of batteries. Unfortunately the batteries were bad. I had no idea how LOUD a generator is. When you're out in the middle of a beautiful pine forest, a generator is like a predator all by itself. It was Very Embarrassing! We tried not to run it very often.

Luckily it stopped raining soon after we all got our camps set up. So much happened in that first day. I was able to spend some time with the girls and smile with them and generate a few smiles from them. That night I was able to visit with some of them around the camp fire. For the most part it was a good experience. I desperately wish I could share with them the AMAZING experiences that I had at girls camp as a youth. But it just wasn't to be this year. The whole time I felt torn between the girls and my kids.

-Kendra and Sarah- -Karin and Silver Hendersen-

Well, it all came to a head in the middle of the night. We turned the generator off when the sun went down. I really had no clue how cold it was going to get. The kids woke up FREEZING! Jakob ended up in bed with Leif and I. But Caleb is NOT a snuggler when he sleeps. So I couldn't put him in bed with me. He was Freaking out and that made me see Red! Leif finally insisted that we turn on the generator so we could turn the heater on. I was SOO mad at the whole situation! I knew right then that we had to go home. I refused to disturb the girls camp experience! There needs to be a harmony throughout the whole camp in order for the spirit to be present to touch lives. So I woke up in the morning and started packing up. It was sad because the Stake leadership asked the other family camped there to leave too. They had worked very hard to get there and they had worked even harder to help our ward leaders prepare for camp. So it felt like a slap in the face to them. So we felt really bad about that!

But for us, we're not positive why I felt so strongly all of the sudden that I needed to go to camp. Looking back, I think I just needed the experience as a whole. I needed to show the Lord that I am trying to fulfill my calling even if it always feels half baked. I needed to feel of the spirit that I did feel. And I needed a break from reality!! I think that was the main reason. I needed to get away for a little while.

Because we had the trailer and we were packed for a few days, we decided to go off and find our own camping spot. We found a beauty! I wish I had pictures. But I left my camera with Harmony. We had a good time!

We read our book together, went for a walk to gather firewood, had a deer walk right into our camp during dinner, ate tinfoil dinners (HCG Diet Style:), looked at the stars, sang a few songs around the fire, and slept well.
As a family, it was a great experience that I look forward to doing again soon!

As for a true LDS Church Girls' Camp experience, it wasn't complete. I wish that it was. I wish that I could get our girls to show love and respect toward each other and feel a sense of warmth within the group. But I only caught a glimmer. They love each other, but I know there could be more... I wonder if it will happen tonight... Maybe...

BTW: You may have noticed that every leader in my camp pictures is holding a baby. That is what makes our young women's' leadership a little unusual and often difficult. All but two of us as a presidency and teacher have little babies and small children. It makes the responsibility so much easier if you don't have young children to raise as you are trying to influence these youth for good...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

YW Lesson About Unity and No Camp Pranks

Thank you all for your great words of wisdom about girls camp! I really appriciate your help.

I taught today and it went Really well! I love when we as leaders get to catch a glimpse of the light that is within our girls. They felt the spirit of what we were trying to teach them, accepted it, and found excitement in the "Good" pranks that we have planned.

Have you ever read in Proverbs about the seven things that God Hates? It fit this situation PERFECTLY! The verses are Proverbs Chapter 6:16-19. The two things that turned the light on in the girls' heads were "An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief." They all chuckled when I mentioned Snipe Hunting after "Wicked Imaginations."

I am grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost that can comfort and wisper truths when understanding is needed. So Grateful!
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