This year was my first year back to girls camp since I was a young women. I was a little nervous about leaving Mae and Jayson, but I was so glad I went. I had such a great time with the girls and leaders. It was incredibly spiritual up there, and I think we all came back rejuvenated. We went to the Heber Valley Camp, about an hour away. It is a gorgeous spot. There was plenty of wildlife about...even a bear that was caught our last night. Yikes!
There is something about aspen trees that just speaks peace to my soul. I love them.
The camp is called Ni Desh Da. The first night they preform an act about Ni Desh Da and the elements that surround it. The story goes that a young women went on a journey to find out about herself, and she finds the beautiful things around her. She collects objects representing earth, fire, water, and wind, and puts them in her spirit pouch. Everyone at camp Ni Desh Da receives a spirit pouch to collect special things to remind them of their journey in becoming a young women.
Here are some of my sweet sweet girls; Keilani, Sam, and Mary. Strike a pose, ladies.
Sam found this beautiful moth right when we arrived. It was very friendly and allowed us to pick it up and handle it. So interesting.
I took this picture for two reasons. Number one: that is our stake presidency cooking hot dogs and hamburgers for us. Our stake presidency came for the entire week of girls camp. I was so amazed by this. I couldn't believe that these men would take 5 very hard earned vacation days and be with us. I know vacation days are hard to come by, and I was so grateful that they would choose to spend them with us. Number two: I took this picture in protest. At Helamans camp, the camp our stake puts on for the young men, they were served J Dawgs. What, I ask you, are those dinky things President Mortensen is opening, and where is my husband to serve us some REAL dawgs?
The second morning we spent at the confidence course at the camp. I've always loved confidence courses because I really feel like they challenge you to do something difficult. You think you can't do it, but then you succeed and you feel so fantastic. That's the true way to build confidence. Here the girls are learning the life application of the task they've just completed. Jessie, one of our fabulous girls, is telling them how to work together to succeed at life.
I wished I could have participated in the course activities, but they just didn't have any space for the leaders. There was one particularly challenging activity that ended in a HUGE zip line. I kept trying to look young so that they would think I was a young women who hadn't had her turn. Alas, I spent most of the time wandering around and trying to snap pictures of the girls. Instead, I ended up with pictures of ants on flowers. Oh well.
Later that day, we participated in a "gratitude project." We got to help clean up an area of camp to make it lovely for those who would come after us. Here is Sam and Keilani moving a big tree out of the way.
Some of the younger girls and I worked on clearing out the area by the future volleyball pit. There were lots of rocks they asked us to move. After we were done with that, we started weeding. Our area looked stupendous. Here is Alex, Anna, and I doing the American Gothic.
We have such great girls. Here we are at our pavilion. I was in charge of the food at girls camp, so I felt like I spent quite a bit of time here. I was so grateful to the girls who were always so willing to help. Left to right: Keiliani, Anna, Mary, Audrey, Ashley, Alex, McKell, McKenna.
Here we are at the lake, and finally the leaders catch a break! We didn't get to go on the confidence course, but we were the only ones allowed in the paddle boats. I went out on the lake for a long time, and Chris (our camp director) and I just paddled around and caught pictures of everyone falling in the swampy lake. It was a blast. If you think those clouds are looking ominous, you are quite right.
The second we got all the girls off the lake, mother nature let loose. It rained harder then I'd seen in years. Yes, that's hail.
It didn't keep our girls from enjoying themselves. They all went out and played in the rain and LOVED it. Here is Ashley, Alex, and Anna.
Audrey, Ashley, Tayler, Alex and Ashley. So thankfully, one of the leaders who had fallen into the lake came down with her suburban and shuttled us all back to camp. The Lord watches out for us, even at girls camp.
I loved it there. I'd go back again and again and again and again. I'm a lifer, for sure.