Sunday, July 19, 2009

It was "out of this world"!

I am back from Young Women's Camp!
I did not take my own pictures, I followed directions and did not bring my own camera...totally regretting it!! I had always heard about camp but never had experienced it before since I am a convert to my church.
This camp is for girls ages 12-18 in the mountains near Strawberry, CA. We camped for 6 days (mon-sat). The goals were:
Draw closer to Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ
Feel the influence of the Spirit.
Serve others.
Build friendships and unity
Learn skills.
Appreciate God's creations.
Have fun!
I had been thrilled when I was called to be a counselor over the 12 year old girls. It would be their first year at camp and my daughter will be in that group next year. Camp really is an experience that you will never truly understand until you go for yourself. I would like to record some thoughts and truths, so please enjoy and bare with me!
I named this post "out of this world" because after the first two days I really felt as if the world was far, far away. I suspect that is what it feels like in Heaven. We will remember our life here on earth, but it will not be our guiding source. By Wednesday I could only remember my family and friends, not my day-to-day responsibilities. I am so grateful for that experience.
I had a tough time on Monday and Tuesday. It was such a different life than I lead and I really expected pure spirituality from the first moment I arrived. I realized it took those two days to purge all worldly distractions so that I could get to the spiritual point I yearned for. I was without ANY contact with the outside world. I was worried before I went, but what an incredible blessing it turned out to be!
By Wednesday I was really enjoying the 8 remarkable 12 year olds that I had in my group! And I was thrilled to not only survive the hike, but actually enjoyed it!!! Unfortunately, Wednesday night I got really, really ill. At 11:00pm I woke up with a bad headache. As everyone in the camp was asleep I prayed and tried to go back to sleep. After lying awake until 2:30am the Spirit told me very clearly to wake up my co-counselor (LOVE HER!) and GO TO THE NURSE! I did not hesitate because I was getting worse and worse. I felt bad about waking K and the nurses up, but I felt horrible. By the time I got to the nurses shack I began throwing up and did not stop until after 6:00am. You know the type...where you are whining and moaning between each session????Awful! But by 6:30am I fell asleep in the nurses shack and slept all day long. By 7:00pm I was able to take a shower and was fine after that. I lost an entire day at camp!!! I really missed my girls! They each wrote me a get well note and the chipped in to spend their tickets on a bracelet for me...this is when I began to LOVE camp!
There were things up there that created an environment of pure spirituality. Some of the things that I felt attributed to this were:
  • NO worldly distractions. I even tried hard NOT to talk about Twilight!
  • EVERYTHING we did fell into two categories. 1) Knowledge we could use in this life and the next and 2) Serving others. It made me think that many things I do (although they may not be bad) do not fall into these two categories.
  • Morning scripture study scheduled everyday. I learned I need to schedule these times so that they do not slip away.
  • Being surrounded by worthy young women who love their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Some of my very favorite moments of camp were:

  • Meeting and getting to know the amazing girls I was with. I felt a deep love for each of them by the end of the week. I will continue to pray for each of them and hope to see them back next year.
  • The young bride and groom who came to speak to all the young women!
  • The Liahona ceremony, I really want to be a part of it someday!
  • Values night.
  • Singing in the outdoor chapel.
  • Chatting with an unbelievable girl from my ward on the hike!
  • Every single conversation I had was inspired. While lying in the nurses shack all day, a few girls came in for different reasons. I was able to chat with each of them. What a huge blessing that was!
  • I feel bonded with all the women up there, especially my co-counselor and the women from my ward.

Next year I will:

  • Bring my OWN camera!
  • Bring shorts for the car ride home.
  • Make sure my husband has the address and FORCE him to write to me before I leave! I really missed him and really wanted to hear from him!
  • Try really hard not to get sick!

I found myself missing of course my family, but many of my friends too. I pictured many of you up there with me and thought about what a great example you would be to the girls. When you find something you love you want to share it with those you love! That is why I can't wait to go back to camp again next year...if they'll have me!


Leslie said...

Sounds like a WONDERFUL week!! I'm sorry you got sick, I'm glad you got over it quick. Welcome Home - I missed you! Call me soon - I want to hear more, maybe over some yogofina!

Anonymous said...

i cant wait to go next year!! and i am also soooooo glad that u came home!! ♥♥♥ :D adia is funny!! XD

..Kris Naven.. said...

What a wonderful post! You are such a great writer, and I want you to finish that book- I will be the first one to buy it! What you said about camp is so true, and I don't think I could have said it better myself! I am so glad you woke me up in the middle of the night, and I was happy to help, but felt so bad for you. But I'm glad you recovered, and the memories, and talks that we shared I will remember for the rest of my life! You are amazing, and I could not have asked for a better partner! Love you, and miss you so much already!

tammy said...

You are exactly right about camp. I was so sad not to be there with you. I found myself saying..."We'd be doing this today" or "we'd be sneaking away to put our feet in the creek right now."

It's an amazing experience and Clark Fork has the most incredible setting for it. I'm happy you found the true meaning of the camp ...even while being sick!!!

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

Awww, Girls Camp! I went all six years myself and then as a leader I got to go several more times. There's nothin' like it. Funny, I posted about some linen bookmarks we made for Girls camp a few posts ago. I printed them on my printer!!! The wording was "The Daughter of a King".
So glad you had a glorious time. : )

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you had a good experience. I knew you would (although I know you're not a camper!) I can't wait until I can go to. I miss camp.


Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

I am sure you were such a blessing to the young girls at camp. What an amazing experience!

Poetry of Life said...

I'm sorry you got sick, but I'm soooo glad you had a good time! I loved camp and like you hope to be apart of the Liahona ceremony sometime too. I thought about you all week and had intended to write, then got sick myself! I'm sorry friend! I may have to make it up to you! Desert (Chocolate of course!) on me when you have time!

Alisa said...

I LOVED being with the 12 year olds when I went before. I think they're the most fun because you get to teach them how fabulous camp is. And you can be as goofy as you want and at least back then they thought it was awesome. Girls camp is the best.