Tuesday, June 30, 2009

girls' camp 2009

Last week was our stake girls' camp at Heber Valley Camp. One of the camp missionaries told our camp director that the Lord must really love the young women to inspire President Hinckley to build this giant facility for them. With cabins, bathrooms, showers, propane stoves and the like, we are really spoiled at this camp, and I love every bit of it.

I am such a camping wimp, I don't know that I would be able to hack it if we were sleeping in tents and cooking over the fire. Don't even get me started on latrines.

These flags at the entrance were a stirring sight for me, a hint of good things to come.

This year we were assigned to the yurts (round cabins) instead of the traditional rectangular ones. The girls weren't thrilled with them, as they seem to have a smaller central area, but I thought they were pretty cool.

We all got these cute water bottles (from the dollar store, in pink, green, and blue), monogrammed in vinyl lettering.

The Laurels painted everyone else's nails as a fun little service during ward time on Monday. I tried to decline, as I can't even remember the last time I painted my nails (other than toenails, of course), but I was informed by one of the Laurels that "sometimes we need to make sacrifices for camp". (Like I didn't know that!) I chose a sparkly hot pink.

all of this polish belongs to just one girl!

This is a large "potgut" that frequented our campsite. His size was such a contrast with the tiny chipmunks and squirrels that we saw everywhere that he was dubbed Chuck the Mutant Squirrel. Some girls tried to chase him away and others felt the need to champion his cause.

I taught two people to knit at camp! (1 leader, 1 Laurel)

On Tuesday we went to the Confidence Courses. We were complimented on our girls' ability to work together as a team. What can I say? We have wonderful girls -- they really do get along and help each other out -- I've never seen any fighting among them.

a group photo after successfully completing the spiderweb task (everyone has to get through to the other side, using each hole only once, and without touching the strings)

The high rope/rappelling challenge proved my undoing. I am just so afraid of heights, I couldn't talk myself into doing it. As I sat watching the girls face their fears, I kept wondering if I could do it, but ultimately I decided that I was too big for the harness and stayed safely on the ground. Wuss.

The trust fall was really cool. Most of the girls did it, even some that surprised me. (By the way, this missionary that helped us was named Sister Alvey. She told me she is distantly related to Amie and Jimmy.)

The Relief Society presidency came up on Wednesday night and taught the girls to make these tissue paper flowers. (I was home that day.)

In a neighboring cabin, the girls found a mouse caught in a glue trap. Our secretary couldn't bear to leave him stuck there, struggling to get off until he starved to death, decided to put him out of his misery by drowning him in a cup! This was high drama.
On Thursday we went canoeing on the lake! After everyone was out on the water, we had two minutes of silent contemplation. That was my favorite part, although the splashfest that ensued was pretty fun as well. We have one leader who is normally quite shy, but when she's out on the lake, she turns into a demon hell-bent on getting everyone as wet as possible. So funny.

Proof that I was there. Incidentally, I got sunburned on the first day, and a little bit more each day thereafter, despite the fact that I used sunblock with spf 50 (a new bottle, to boot). What the? How can I be 38 years old and not be able to avoid getting sunburned?! (Oh, and now I have my lovely cold sores on my chin, triggered by the sun. Another sacrifice for camp, no doubt.)

I love this scripture that was displayed in the pavilion by the lake.

After hiking back from the lake, our girls found this pool waiting for them. The other ward we shared our campsite with had set it up, along with various soaps and lotions, so they could soak their weary feet. They even brought them sherbet floats while they were relaxing! It was a huge hit. (I never ever would have thought to bring an inflatable pool! This further cemented my idea that camp is more fun the more stuff you bring...)

The girls did a great job helping with the cooking.

Except on Thursday night, when our bishopric came up and one of our counselors (over the food at Thanksgiving Point) brought up a delicious catered dinner! While everyone else was scrambling to cook a nice dinner for their bishopric, we were just hanging out and having fun. You definitely don't expect to have food like this at camp. So spoiled.

Our bishop's wife brought up her guitar and we sang several songs before our testimony meeting.

I love the guitar, I love to sing alongside her lovely, clear voice, and I love Thursday night at camp. Bishop's night and testimony meeting are always the highlight, and this was no exception. What is it about the bearing of testimonies outside, in nature, surrounded by trees and birdsong? With the campfire and the fading light of day, everyone seems to be more comfortable sharing their true feelings, their true selves. It is the perfect conclusion to a week of spiritual learning and bonding as a group.

Later that night, the Laurels gave out awards to everyone, hilarity all around. (I got the Paris Proposal award, since the girls had asked all the leaders about their proposal stories.) I also videotaped one of the fifth year girls doing an amazing rap that she made up for teaching purposes during certification. She really channeled her inner gangsta. Sadly, Blogger doesn't want to load it.

I cracked up on Friday morning when I found this guy as I was rolling up my sleeping bag! I don't have one of my own, so I took Lucas's. He had used it just before I brought it to camp, and apparently this little friend had been his sleeping companion. I thought it was so funny that it was there all week and I only discovered it on the last day.

Several of us modeling the flower rings we got to go with our theme (and our painted nails).

One final group portrait, just before leaving for home.

Goodbye, Heber Valley Camp! Until next time.


Melinda said...

That place looks just beautiful. I haven't been to girls camp since I was a YW. It looks like it was a great time.

Hannah said...

It looks like you had fun! I can't imagine getting the food catered, that rocks!

I kinda like the pink nails on you, I can't lie...

Jill said...

I love it at Heber Valley Camp and think it is a tremendous opportunity for growth, both for the girls and the leaders. Even though the thought of going sounds daunting or unpleasant, it always ends up fun. I'm so glad you were able to go again this year!

Seeing this pictures is making me exciting for my family's 1st ever family camp out up there in 2 weeks!

Natasha said...

I am cracking up over the mouse, given all of the mice posts you have done!

But seriously, great pics.

Next summer Luci will be old enough (entering 4th grade) to go to overnight church camp for a week by herself. She is already talking about it and it's a whole year away!

wende said...

our stake is headed to heber in august and i am lucky enough to be camp director this year, again. i LOVe girls camp. love it. and heber spoils us rotten, i am excited to go back there.

i LOVe the water bottle idea, i might have to copy that one!

my daughter allie easily has a nail polish collection that big. and we are planning on bringing it to camp! :)

Robyn said...

Wow, this looks like so much fun! It's so beautiful up there, I can't wait to go in two weeks. Your girls seem so cute and easy going. I love the nail painting story of sacrifice. I am not into painting my fingernails either. A natural french manicure is about as crazy as I get.

rebekah said...

wait, she actually drowned the mouse? for some reason i find that hilariously funny. is drowning more humane that starving to death? she's a sarah prine character, for sure.

Susan said...

That is one awesome girl's camp! I love the account of everything and it almost makes me think I could go to girl's camp again...although I think I would be too much temptation for all kinds of pranking.

Your young women all look to be exceptional.

Claudissima said...

seriously camping has change quite a bit since I was there......that table looks like a great buffet table.....oh my my oh la la ....and polish? and it is just beautiful...I love the photo with the canoes and the lake....your pictures are just beautiful! amazingly so@

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