Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Girls camp 2008...long post!...



Well I did indeed survive girls camp...barely! Since being home I've had to catch up on a lot of sleep and housework. Being my first time to girls camp in 25 years, I was more than a little nervous. This is the cute little tent where I slept. It was right next to the nurse so that was good in my mind. Sleeping wasn't nearly as bad as I thought with a blow up air mattress. Going potty in the night was the worst part of being in a tent. Each time having to un zip and zip up. It was noisy! I didn't dare leave it open for fear bugs and/or critters would get in. The good part of that was I took a few minutes each time to enjoy the night view. It was gorgeous! My cramps hit me really hard on the way up the mountain and no amount of pain medication made them go away. It was very difficult for me. I did my best to work with the pain and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Camp Zion.




MONDAY: Just the stake leaders and the YCL's go to camp to get it all set up for the rest of the girls who arrive on Tuesday morning. Sunday night I was busy getting last minute things together as well as getting a last minute shower. I finally fell asleep around 2:30 then Mark woke me up at 4:30 so we could meet at the church at 5:30. I don't do great on 2 hours sleep even when I feel good. It's a 3 hour drive to Mount Lemmon. As soon as we got there we unloaded all of the cars and trailers and started setting up camp. I got all the crafts set up and organized in the Ramada so that it would be easy when it was time to teach. The YCL's helped set up and decorate the dining hall. The whole camp looked great!


This is the star at the entrance to the amphitheater. On the stage we had shimmery fringe, twinkle icicle lights and stars that hung all around it. I painted two wood boards black and painted at the top "Our stars are shining brightly through service" When we would see girls doing acts of service they would get a glow in the dark star on the boards. By the end of camp, the boards were pretty full. That says a lot about the girls we have in our stake.




In each camp site I made a sign for each group. Twinkle little stars were the first years. We had shining stars (level 2), shooting stars (level 3), star gazers (level 4), starbursts (YCL's), polar stars (Stake leaders), Big Dippers (Priesthood), Milky Way Mail (mailboxes), Cosmic crafts (craft shack), Galaxy snacks (snack shack) Mark drove up with me to help get everything set up. After he left I got feeling much worse. I was in so much pain, exhausted and was having a difficult time with the altitude. By the time we had dinner I was in tears and had no idea how I could possibly make it all week, so they had the Priesthood give me a blessing. I appreciated that so much. I was able to sleep that night better than expected.


TUESDAY: In the mornings we wake up to some fun lively music. I loved that! It puts everyone in such a great mood.The 3 girls in blue are our junior staff. They were amazing. Here they are setting up for the girls to arrive. Each level wore a different colored shirt. I honestly think it was inspired to have the girls camp as levels instead of wards. They got to make so many new friends their own ages and when school starts they will already have friends in place who share their same values. What a comfort that will be.


There were 4 YCL's assigned to each level. As the girls stared to arrive the YCL's would take them to the designated campsites and get them settled in. They would also take the girls to all of their classes, go on their hikes with them and eat meals with them. The YCL's really do run the camp. It great to see them work in a leadership position.The stake leaders waiting to come onto the stage to do their cheer.


I was sitting on the benches. I was lucky to make it down to the amphitheater. The thought of dancing around on stage was not an option in my condition. I so wish I could have though. Being goofy can be so fun.


I did get to teach two group of crafts on Tuesday. The girls all loved their magnet boards and not one looked alike. It was fun to see their creativity. They all loved the smaller crafts too. They decorated insulated canvas water bottle holders, patriotic candle boxes, friendship bracelets, camp journals, and made cards. I also brought up tons of fingernail polish so they could paint nails in their free time.




Mark drove back up on Tuesday night so that he could help with hikes on Wednesday morning. Little did he know he'd be turning right around and driving back home. He got up there just as the rain ended. The girl on the right (Julia-aka the sweet 16 birthday girl) fell and hit her head pretty bad and she needed to go home. I was still feeling really cruddy so we took her home right after singing trees that night. That is always such a special thing. There is so much power in music.


We got home about midnight and I was so car sick from the curvy road. It was horrible!





WEDNESDAY: I stayed in bed all day, still in so much pain, but missing girls camp so much. I laid there crying with my camp schedule keeping track of where the girls were all day. Wednesday is hike day. I don't hike so I'm not sad to have missed that part. My good buddy Shannon taught my classes for me on Wednesday afternoon. I also missed skit night which I heard was hysterical. Each level is given a bag that had 6 different items in it and they have 2 hours to come up with a fun skit to perform for everyone. Really sad to have missed that. Mark called me all day while he was working to check on me and ask me if I wanted to go back to camp. I was still miserable so I never answered. I went to sleep sad and missing my girls.





THURSDAY: We woke up and Mark called his part time guy to cover his schedule. He told me to get up and get dressed because we were going back to camp! We got up there just as lunch ended, so we missed out on the morning activities like archery, pellet guns, line dancing, volleyball, etc. It was so neat to see the girls faces light up when they saw that I had come back. That made me feel so loved and I love them even more.


When it's time to meet in the amphitheater there is always music and dancing involved. It's so much fun. Thursday is also the day the bishop of each ward comes to camp as well as the stake presidency. Of course we have to get them involved.Each level does a cheer every time we meet so of course the men had to do a cheer as well. I don't remember the words, but part of it had to do with stinky campers (from our lack of showers) It was pretty funny!


Here is a group shot of girls and leaders who came from our ward.


The junior staff running the snack shack. ( a favorite spot of the girls)


Our camp nurses who did an amazing job taking care of the bumps, bruises, scrapes, sprains, headaches, tummy aches, etc.


Here is the wonderful Cook Cooper who catered all the meals for us all week. He kept us full and happy with delicious food and we all appreciated his hard work. As it turns out he is the husband of one of my best friends from high school who I shared a locker with. They now own Coopers BBQ in Gilbert and run a catering business as well. So cool!




The stake president started a water gun fight running around hosing people down. He totally soaked me while yelling out "what happens in camp stays in camp" LOL! His daughter did manage to soak him down as well.


After the water fight we got a big rain storm which turned into a hail storm. Everyone took cover until it passed, but we had to hold our program inside instead of outside where we really wanted it. It turned out beautiful anyways.The girls in white are the ones who performed in the program. It was such a spiritual uplifting evening. I cried like a baby through the whole things. I was so glad Mark got to be a part of it so that he could appreciate how wonderful it was. You can hear some of the music here. If you have time to listen, I would highly recommend it, then you would fully understand how special it was. After the program the girls shared there testimonies. It was so neat to see how much they grew during their few short days at camp. After that we all split up into wards with our bishops. Our ward sat in a circle under the beautiful starry sky. We each took turns sharing what was the most special part of camp with each other. Of course there was lots of crying. We all grew so strong together and I will never forget my time with these sweet spirits.


Then we went inside to have desert and the girls started teaching Mark to dance. We laughed so hard because he was willing to do whatever they wanted. It quickly grew into a large group playing a dancing game of Little Sally Walker. We got the other men to participate with us. They pulled out all their cool moves. It makes me laugh just thinking about it. So dang funny! It was a great end to our very late night.


FRIDAY: we all got up and had our last breakfast. Our ward had the last devotional on Emma Smith. The girls did a wonderful job. After our farewell songs we cleaned up camp and did all our capers. Loaded up our cars and headed home. We listened to the CD of the program music all the way home. It was so beautiful and inspiring. Being at camp was fun and spiritually uplifting. Friendships were made and bonds between each other grew stronger as well as personal testimonies. I will never forget my experiences up there. It was wonderful...even with the ick factor. I've been asked to come back next year to teach crafts again. My answer is absolutely YES!!!

On a sad note Sunday I was released from my calling with the young women. I am now the ward librarian and in charge of the Sunday Sacrament programs and the ward newsletter. The girls are all upset. I'm upset. I can't say that I'm dealing with this change very well. The bishopric has been praying about who to put into this position and they kept coming up with my name. As sad as I am to leave these sweet girls, I will serve where I'm called to serve. At least I get to go to camp with them next year. I'm sure there will be some sort of growing experience in this for me. I just need to try to stay positive and keep my heart open.


Holy Crud! This was a long post! So sorry! If you made it this far...THANK YOU and please leave me a comment so I know you were here. Who doesn't love comments?! :o)



37 comments:

1RadChick said...

Sounds like you had fun!

CHAD & ELISE TYSICK said...

Im so sad you're not in YOung WOmens anymore!!!!

maren said...

That brings back memories. I'm sorry that you've been released from young women's. I've been librarian before. I quite liked that calling.

The Hills said...

Thanks Jolene!! LOVED the day-by-day journal of events from your inspirational, life-changing week!
I knew you'd be awesome!
You deserve to kick back now and veg!!
So take it easy adjusting to this yucky heat!

The Hills said...

Who in the heck are 'the hills'!!
'linda t' just left the last comment... don't know why it says 'the hills'!! I am so weirded out by that!

http://lindathompson.blogspot.com/

linda t said...

Sorry Jolene, I think I have my account fixed now... this should say 'linda t'.

Valerie said...

love your photos - but i'm so sad you felt miserable and more importantly that you were released from the girls!! i don't understand that; it makes no sense since you are so good with them AND you enjoy it.

that truly is your calling, my love.

~Telah said...

So glad you survived, Jolene! I have been thinking about you while you were gone. We have church camp in a couple of weeks and I'm in charge of planning some activities. I am gonna lift a few of your ideas if that's ok. If you have time, can you email me and let me know where you got the water bottle holders?

chrisg said...

I have been checking in all weekend anxious to hear about camp...So glad you are home and it all worked out. Looks like a lot of fun. Get rested up no telling what will be around the corner. hee hee

Brandon and Camille Smithson said...

It looks like you had fun!

Briana said...

So glad you made it back safe and sound. So sorry you were not feeling great the whole time though.

And so sorry you are not with the young women any longer. How sad! This will be a tremendous loss for them and I'm sure they are all feeling it. HUGS to you! You will do wel wherever you are though!

Cassandra said...

Jolene - I'm glad the end of camp week went better than the beginning...hope you are feeling better. I know you will be great at your new calling...but I'm sure those girls will definitely feel the loss! I often show my daughter your projects - she is jealous her leaders aren't as imaginative! ((HUGS))

jackson family said...

i am so glad you had a ggood time! and so so sad to hear you are leaving us!...Ill go were you want me to go...i guess right?
well know that you are missed in YW and we love you

Jenn said...

I am so glad you made it back to camp! Sounds like a wonderful time!

velvet brick said...

I love how camping challenges a person to get outside of their box and comfort zone. You always come away from it with a new appreciation for what you can do and for the memories made with the other people. I'm glad you ended on such a postive note and that you are feeling better. I know how change can be hard, but you will do well at it and learn from this new experience as well! Welcome home! : )
xoxo
VB

Anonymous said...

glad you ended up having a fun time

Monogram Queen said...

See you dreaded this so much and even left and went back!
Those girls were very lucky to have you. I"m sad about your move but God works in mysterious ways Jolene. We both know that.

Jane said...

I am sorry to hear about your release, I know I would be pretty sad to be released as YW Pres right now. I can imagine how hard this must be for you. I guess sometimes all we can do is have faith and trust God that these things happen for a reason. Maybe you need a little break, so they can call you to something else more demading down the road.

Thanks for sharing camp with us, it looks like it went really well. I loved ours, and felt like my bucket was full.

Jamie said...

Glad to hear that you had a fun time.

Tiffany (aka T, Tiffers, Tiffster, and Pally) said...

Greetings from Bermuda, Jolene! sorry you didn't feel well during camp. I'm sure do great in your new role. Best of luck,

Susie Q said...

I am sorry about your release...I can NOT imagine anyone more wonderful to act as a role model and teacher for those girls than you sweetie.
I am also so sorry you felt to lousy at camp. That is the yucky pits isn't it?

That is awful about Chad's car!! I am so grateful he was not hurt!

I send warm hugs and lots of love.

Sue

Chickenbells said...

Sounds like a whilrwind week...I'm so sorry you were not there for the whole thing, but happy you got to go back for more!

I'm sorry you're not serving with the girls anymore...I knew you would love it when you really got into it. At least you get to go back to camp next year!

Andi said...

Wow...what a week! I'm glad you survived camp. Your pictures are great and I love the one of your tent...it's really cute. And in the middle of the night any noise...like the zipping...sounds amplified.

Sorry you got feeling so bad. The girls are really going to miss having your creative talent for the young women. What exactly will you be responsible for doing as a librarian? I'm sure you'll be the best one they ever had!!!

Love and Hugs, Andi

Kassie said...

Jolene, I think your camp sounds wonderful. I'm sorry you weren't feeling well and missed part of it, but glad you were able to go back. We were just moved to a new stake and they camp by levels and our girls were not happy about it before camp. I wonder how they feel about it now. I'll have to ask.
sorry that your calling change is sad for you. Maybe you just need a less labor-intensive calling for a while so you can take care of Jolene and her family. I'm getting a new calling soon as well. It's a more labor-intensive one and I'm wondering what I've gotten myself into!

Nikki *Ü* said...

That sounds like an absolutely awesome girls camp!!! I'm sure the girls had an incredible time. So sorry about the girl who got hurt and you with cramps. Yuck!!! Sorry about being released and getting a new calling too. It's hard to adjust. I'm just hoping I don't have to anytime soon. LOL The Sally Walker with all the priesthood would have been hilarious to see!! My girls do that at dance competitions all the time, so I can only imagine how it goes with priesthood and YW leaders! LOL

Nikki *Ü* said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nikki *Ü* said...

Sorry! Posted twice....

Coleen said...

Holy crap! Yes, a long post indeed. I don't understand why they would put you as a librarian with all of your talent but I guess sometimes we can't understand things at the time until later. Hope everything is getting better for you now sis. When you are feeling up for it maybe we could have a sister's day out sometime.

Allyson said...

okay, its about time.....I have been waiting for this post. I am so glad you had a good time at camp. You are so perfect for this calling. I about fell off the pew when they announced your release. I know your sad. Hang in there. You will still have opportunity to work with them. I hate not seeing the big picture, but maybe you are being prepared for something great. Keep smiling---enjoyed the post!!!

mascanlon said...

So glad to see how well camp went. But sorry you didn't feel very well most of the week. I know the YW are the better for of having spent time with you and they will carry your sweet commitment and love of family in their hearts as they grow. Hoiw are your sweet grandbabies doing? Hope everyone is well!

Emily P. said...

Holy cow! 30 comments!!! You sure are loved. I always love reading your posts and your insights on things. What a sweet husband you have too, to take you back and forth. I loved reading this. It brings back a lot of memories of my former girls camp years. I'm glad you had fun!

Cecilia said...

Wow...what a week! I'm glad you made it!

How sad that you got released:(
Just remember, everything happens for a reason and you'll do great on your new calling.

crystal said...

Wow it's looks and sounds like a great time was had by all. I never went to any kind of camp as a child but my girls go to girl scout day camp every year and love it so much. Thanks to you those girls are going to have tons of wonderful memories.

Jen said...

Sounds fun....sorry you were sick. Watch out for the relapse! Thanks for the great overview of your week! :0)

familywithfivekids said...

I loved this post - thanks for the details. Since we camp at Camp Zion also you have given me sooo many fun decorating ideas. It sounds like we do a lot of the same programs such as singing trees, bishop nights, etc. It sounds like you had a fabulous week!
I'm shocked of your calling change. You have not been in that long so I'm sure it was inspired that you are needed elsewhere. I know you will do great wherever you are serving.

Deb said...

Sounds like girl's camp was tons of fun. I enjoyed reading the post. My husband and I laughed when we read about the stake president, the water gun and his comment what happens in camp says in camp. That really can't be true with the day by day post about camp adventures on your blog!

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