Get 176 young women from ages 12 to 18 years old together on a mountain and what do you have? A noisy, crazy and FUN summer camp!
The mountain was Kolob in southern Utah and the young women were from the Mesquite Nevada Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were accompanied by 60 women leaders and 20 men leaders who joined in the fun and made the camp a memorable event.
From July 8 – 12 the mountain rang with the voices of the young women as they played and prayed. They had canoes and hiking shoes. They played jokes on each other and then got serious about important things in their lives. Canoes were tipped over. People got wet. Huge amounts of food were eaten. Songs were sung. Special guests gave moving presentations on love of country, respect for the flag and the opportunity to participate in a ceremony to retire worn flags.
Required Camp Certification for the campers consisted of becoming knowledgeable about using compasses, fire safety, identifying plants and animals, tying knots, camp sanitation, purifying drinking water, how to signal for help in the outdoors, camp cooking, observing nature, protecting the environment, and other useful outdoor skills.
The young women also had quiet, reflective moments when they read their scriptures under a shady tree or wrote their thoughts and feelings in their journals. Spiritual enlightenment came with reverent discussions of their self worth and divine nature. Services around campfires gave them the opportunity to sing hymns and share their testimonies. Skits performed by the girls reinforced their striving for excellence in their lives.
Camp director Jennifer Woods was assisted by many helping hands and willing organizers, some of whom also helped with rifle and archery target practice. Another adult leader Luana Browning said “Pranks ensued throughout the camp every night that really bonded the girls and all in all it was a spiritual growing experience as well as good old fashioned FUN!”