The Mesquite Nevada Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds Camp Ruth every 2 years, for young women, 16-18 years of age. This year it was held the second week of June at the beautiful Cedar Mountain cabin provided by Todd and Keri Leavitt. The Camp is designed to help prepare young women for the time when they will be out making their own lives, whether they choose to go to college, work, get married or even go on a mission.
The theme this year was based on the scripture “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.” (Doctrine & Covenants 50:24)
The Youth Leaders had the job of planning, delegating, conducting and running much of Camp Ruth. They prayerfully decided which group each young woman attending would be part of, their sleeping area of the cabin, and where they participated in morning and evening devotionals. The other activities enjoyed by the girls were games, quilt-making, singing and something called GAP sessions. GAP stands for Girls Along the Path. These were talks or devotionals given by different leaders on topics that were chosen by the Youth Leaders. One of the favorite GAP sessions was when the wives of the Stake Presidency told about their husbands, how they met, were proposed to, and they then answered questions from the girls. “That one is always a lot of fun for the girls, to be able to put themselves in these ladies’ shoes, so to speak, because they were once their age,” said Luana Browning.
For two evenings, there was a panel of bishops from the Mesquite NV LDS Stake that answered the girls’ questions. The young women put anonymous questions in a box and the bishops took turns answering them. They learned about the importance of being a good wife and mother, how to handle life when it doesn’t go as planned, and making good choices even when your parents aren’t there. Among the topics for the GAP sessions; Enjoying the Journey, Your Body is a Temple, Overcoming Trials and Repentance, and Individual Worth. The girls had goals to complete to earn a lanyard with the embroidered “R” for Camp Ruth. Some of the goals included memorizing scriptures, a hymn and reading specific passages from the scriptures.
Luana Browning said “I think Josie Garlick summed it up well, when she said, “Camp Ruth is an experience that has helped shape my life for the better. The lessons I learned won’t soon be forgotten.”