Saturday, July 19, 2008

Girls Camp

I did not want to go to Girls Camp this year. With only five weeks remaining, I received increased responsibility because our Stake split and we were left with some vacancies. Three of those weeks I was on vacation, so preparation time all of a sudden became very limited. I was sad to leave my boys, and our A/C went out--TWICE (the second time was the day before camp)!

I was also annoyed that it wasn't really "camping" like the Girls Camp of my youth. On my High Horse, I judged these spoiled Texans with their electricity, air conditioning, mattresses, showers, swimming pools, and food cooked for them! They were spending WAY more money than we ever spent, and there were WAY too many preparation meetings where I didn't know all the traditions and lingo. Anxiety started taking over, and I began dreading it.

As I was dripping in sweat in my 100 degree, 80% humidity house the day before camp, decoupaging this, and laminating that, I talked to my friend/cousin Sara with the worst attitude she's probably ever seen from me (except maybe when she dragged me into coaching basketball with her)! She did lament with me for awhile, but also couldn't stop laughing. With the wisdom I've come to admire in her, she gently reminded me that in five days' time I'd be blubbering on and on about how wonderful it was and cry about how I didn't want to leave. I laughed and, honestly, this time, I really didn't think that would happen. Although I had loved Girls Camp in the past--both as a girl and a leader--I was annoyed and stressed enough about this camp that I couldn't fathom having a positive experience.

But then...
  • I got to know the sweetest, most obedient, valiant, fun, crazy girls I've ever met.
  • I felt loved and appreciated as I served.
  • I was able to reclaim the "me" that sometimes gets lost in the dizziness and monotony of motherhood.
  • I testified of special truths to these precious Little Sisters.
  • I bonded with other leaders, who now are part of my Stake family, rather than just a bunch of strangers I see at Stake Conference.
  • I found joy in seeing these 16 & 17 year-olds find their voice and lead their little sisters.
  • I felt the spirit over and over again.

Sure, no camp is perfect. It was a camp of 120 girls plus their women leaders. We had our fair share of:

  • Drama
  • Misunderstandings
  • Sweat and A/C units not working
  • Medical issues
  • Searches for missing girls
  • Backbiting
  • Bugs
  • Messes
  • Nazi leaders
  • Broken rules

And yet all the bad things seem to have been erased, and what lingers is a sweet place in my heart for the incredible week I've just experienced. So, Sara was right: I did cry because I didn't want to leave. And yes, I've been blubbering all day about all the great things at camp.

I'm left wondering just one thing: is it too early to start preparing for next year?


  1. Oh Sally.

    Oh Sally.

    Oh Sally!!

    This post touched my heart to the core!! I LOOOOOOOOOVE Girls Camp and have felt similar thoughts prior to going each time with all the work involved. But just like you, ended up not wanting to leave after being enveloped with the Spirit all week.

    Our camp starts this Monday... and guess who doesn't get to go due to a nursing baby??? I even asked Kathy C. (jokingly, of course) if I could bring a motorhome and stay in there with my baby!! haha.

    I'm glad you had a great time and shared this post with us. HUGS!

  2. I'm smiling so big with a little chuckle in the back of my tearing eyes. I love you, I love Girls Camp, I love thinking of YOU at Girls camp. Lucky leaders and Lucky girls to have such an example and friend.

    I seriously think that was one of the things you were born to be a part of. So happy your talents were able to be shared.

    hmmm...9:40 on a sunday morning. :) You're part of my inspiration for the day!

  3. PS- I totally adore the new pic of ty and the family photo.

  4. I still need to develop my testimony of girls camp. I liked it as a youth, but I've yet to go as an adult. But with four (almost five) girls I'm sure there will be many years of girls camp in my future. Hearing your experience gives me hope that when I do have to face that opportunity it can be a good one.

  5. Yay for you. Yay for Girls Camp. I only went twice as a teen and once as the camp nurse right after nursing school. I'm glad you had a great time and that all your hard work paid off.

  6. Sally you are so great! ☺ Those girls were VERY lucky to have you!

  7. glad you had fun...i used to hope that i would NEVER have to go to camp, but right now I could really use a break from my kids! :)

    I agree with meg, those girls are so lucky to have you! I bet they all had a ball!

  8. I can totally relate to how you feel about girls camp. I never wanted to go and my mom practically had to pack for me but when you go there and see the beautiful spirit that accompanies you you wonder why you put up such a fight! You would be so much fun to go to camp with! I am glad you had such a positive experience.

  9. I'm glad you had such a nice time! I can totally relate to the frustration and anxiety beforehand and then having to eat your words! I do that often! I actually haven't been to girls camp since I was a girl myself but I'm sure I will end up back there someday. I loved your description of the whole thing! It made me smile and laugh! The Nazi Leader bullet cracked me up too, every stake has 'em! Lol!

  10. You are too cute...I am so glad you ended up loving it. I just got put into young womens...girls camp is next week and I don't get to go...maybe if I am lucky I will get to go next year!


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