Thursday, June 29, 2017

Girls Camp 2017 - Ask, Faith Opens Doors

I was asked to be a part of Girls Camp again this year as the first year certification leader.  That means I got to be Lorien's leader for her first year of girls camp.  How exciting is that?  Both Cadence & Lorien have been really excited about camp this year.  The theme this year was

Ask, Faith Opens Doors

and everything was centered around C.S. Lewis' series "The Chronicles of Narnia."

I was a "Certie" & there are 4 certies at camp, one for each of the certification years.  Our certie name was "The Peven-Certies"
Camilla the Magnificent
Patti the Gentle
Katy the Just
& Dani The Valiant
I got to be a QUEEN the entire week.  I'm a dork & even wore a royal robe & crown every day up there.  It just made it that much more fun.

Cadence was a 3rd year this year so she got to do her first overnight backpacking trip.  She slept under the stars & hiked for 12 miles with the other first years.  It was quite the adventure for her & she loved every minute of it.  Tylee lent us all her awesome backpacking gear so she was set.

She left a day before Lo & I went to camp.





She was put into the unit that called themselves 
The Righteous Reepacheeps!
It was adorable.  Her friend Kaitlin was in her group as well.



Cadence left for her backpacking portion of camp on Monday & Lorien & I went up early Tuesday morning to get my 1st year things all set up & ready to go.  The rest of the first years arrived at 9am.

Once I got all my girls (there were 15 of them this year) & my 3 Unit Leaders, we went to set up camp.  We had 3 units with 5 girls in each unit so we had to set up 3 tents.  None of the girls had set up a tent before so it was a learning experience for them, but they did great.


Once camp was set up, they got to relax for a few minutes with their units.  Lorien was in the 
Faithful Fauns
unit with her friend Sarah.  She met a lot of other wonderful girls in her unit as well.


Once we got camp all settled, we took the girls on a tour of camp so they knew where the bathrooms were, where the dining hall was, & where campfire would be.  Then we reported to the dining hall for our all camp welcome.  The entire building was decorated in our theme.  Seeing the Narnia lamp post just made my heart happy.





After the welcome, it was time for me to take over for 5 hours.  Tuesday was my big certification day so I was nervous & excited all at the same time.

I first taught the girls about sanitation & garbage & storing food in the outdoors, then I taught them how to cook food using propane camp stoves.  Together we made walking tacos with taco meat, beans, Doritos, & all the fixings with bananas.






They were delicious & the girls loved them.


Then we set off for our 4 mile hike down the mountain to the Waters of Mormon.  This hike is hard.  I won't lie.  It's really hard.  It's straight down the side of a cliff & is scary at parts, but boy do you feel accomplished when it's all done.  Going down is pretty easy & fast, it's going back up where things get scary.


The girls loved the Waters of Mormon.  They got to play in the water as well as read letters from their parents & bishop while they were there.




They were such wonderful girls.  We had such a great group.


The hike back up the mountain I thought would take forever, but we did it in about 45 minutes which was amazing for how hard it was.  The girls decided they didn't want stops/breaks.  It was SO hard that they just wanted to get back to camp as fast as possible so it would be over.  ha ha ha.  And they did it.  It was crazy how well they did.

When we got back to camp, I ran to the bathroom & I found Cadence & her friends in there.  My heart was SO happy to see her.  Even though I knew she'd be fine on her backpacking adventure, it was nice to see her happy & alive.  I hugged her a little too long in that bathroom.


It was SO fun hanging out with my girls at camp.  There were SO many activities & crafts & things to do that I didn't take pictures of everything, but it was so fun.  I loved having both Lorien & Cadence there with me.




For our 2nd day of certification we finished all of our first aid stuff & then for our service project we wrote letters to all the missionaries in the stake.  The girls really enjoyed that.


Choice time each day was everyone's favorite time.  Every afternoon the girls & leaders got 3 hours to do whatever they wanted to do.  There was mountain biking, road biking, archery, bb guns, crafts, painting, hair braiding, ukelele lessons, etc.  My favorite area was the hammock area.  Naps in hammocks are amazing.


I was able to catch Lorien at the archery range one day.  That kid is a natural.  No matter what the men would put up on the targets, Lo would hit it.  They started with balloons, but she was popping every balloon they put up, including the balloons on the other girls' targets.  Then they started whipping out plates, bottles, & other smaller targets.  She hit every one of them.  She spent most of her choice time doing archery.  She loved it.

Cadence turned out to be really good at archery too.  It was pretty fun to see them.  I didn't get to watch Cadence, but the men in charge of the archery station told me she was really good at hitting the targets as well.  They both make me so proud.






The other highlight for the girls was campfire each night.  Skits are SO fun, especially at girls camp.


Cadence was in a cute little skit on the 3rd years skit night.




The most exciting thing that happened to me this year was the tree fiasco.  I shared a tent with my 3 unit leaders.  On Wednesday night the wind was blowing really really hard & we could hear the trees bending in the night.  One tree sounded like it was going to blow down, so at 12:30 am, we all went out to investigate with flashlights.  We could see a HUGE crack in this tree right at the foot of our tent.  The entire tree was bending in half every time the wind hit it.  It was going to come down, but we were SO tired & didn't want to move our tent.  Plus the crack made it look like it would fall forward which was safe for our tent.  We said a prayer together & tried to fall asleep.

The next morning I brought it up to the men that the tree really should be looked at & when they saw it, they told us we should have slept at Helaman Hall.  That tree could have killed us if it fell on our tent.  They called church headquarters & got the okay to cut the tree down so it didn't harm anyone.  We ended up having to move our tent to a new location so they could cut it down.





That afternoon, I went with the first years to help with their skit planning.  Skits are hilarious.  Lorien got to be Ariel for her skit.





After the skit practice, we went back to camp to find the tree down.  The men were amazed & pointed it out to me.  When they cut the tree, it did NOT fall the way it should have.  It fell to the left & fell exactly where our tent was the night before.  We could have been dead.  I'm SO grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who answers my prayers & who kept me safe when things could have gone terribly wrong.




We had a fun water volleyball game one afternoon that the girls LOVED.  What's not to love? Camp, water balloons, & fun!



Lorien also enjoyed the craft time.  She painted a rock to look like Aslan the lion.


I was able to catch a picture of Lorien's unit at the unit leader appreciation night.  I was sad I missed a chance at getting a pic of Cadence's group, but all the units at camp this year were so fun.


Lorien also got Alfie one night.  Alfie is this awful looking lobster thing on a rope that you wear around your neck when you're being a good friend to someone.  At every meal & campfire, Alfie is passed to another girl who has been a friend in some way.  I can't remember what exactly Alfie stands for (something like "a loving friend in everything" or something like that), but it's a fun camp tradition that helps the girls remember to be a friend to everyone at camp.


Campfires were so fun up there.  Our camp directors are hilarious.  They were the Leading Lions & they did a skit that was literally the beginning of The Lion King with the Men (Men-otaurs) & the YCL Unit Leaders (Unicorns) bowing to them like the animals in The Lion King.  We were all laughing so hard.



Friday at camp was our service day.  We started out the day by planting 30 new trees for Camp Lehi.  A lot of the trees up there are old & dying so we're trying to encourage new growth up there.  Our little trees were so cute.



Then we did a 2 hour service project with a company called "Feed The Children."  It was SO MUCH FUN.  We set up the dining hall with 12 table assembly lines where we prepared & packaged over 30,000 meals for families around the world.  It was HARD.  It was TIRING.  But it was A BLAST.

It was seriously one of the funnest service projects I've ever done.  I'd love to do it again.










After the service projects, all the girls & leaders went to a local watering hole in Boulder Creek for several hours for some swimming fun.  The girls had an absolute blast there.




I was one of 2 people that stayed back at camp.  I had some work that needed to be done & someone needed to stay behind so I didn't mind it one bit.  It was peacful & quiet & to tell you the truth, it was really really nice.

I finished up organizing & labeling & inventorying all the certie bins so they were ready to go home on Saturday.


And then I spent the rest of the time doing my favorite thing at camp: 
napping in the hammocks.


Yep, while everyone else was swimming, I climbed into a hammock with my crown on, (because I'm a queen after all) & I slept for 2 HOURS.  It was glorious.


Friday night was our big Bishopric dinner where the bishops came up & then we had our testimony meeting at Gideon Grove.

Saturday morning, we took down the tents, cleaned up camp, & headed back to real life.  It was a wonderful week & I loved the opportunity of spending it with my 2 girls.

"Courage Dearhearts!  Until we meet again!"