Nick aside, these girls are my everything! I find it funny that such a HUUUUGE part of my life is only documented when we’re dirty, sleep-deprived and camping…but I have to say, after a year+ of loving these girls, this last week in the mountains is one I will never forget. I can’t really put into words what these girls mean to me. They have saved me many times this year and I am forever grateful for our weekly Wednesday nights and earrrrly Sunday mornings we spend together. There has been so much healing and growth and it’s just the beginning.
What I love most about girls camp is the 24/7 of pure bonding that happens. We all progressively get dirtier, smellier, and less inhibited as the week goes on and it totally rocks! I love it!
During a few of my scripture study sessions, I reviewed the last supper in John, chapter 17. This chapter is one that I hold very dear to my heart as this is one of the last times the Savior is able to love and prepare his apostles before his crucification. I cannot even imagine the heaviness and confusion that some of the apostles may be feeling at this point, as no one can really comprehend what is about to happen. These men have already sacrificed so much and devoted their lives to the Savior, but little do they know the impact this week will have on them. (*ALL of them will eventually give up their life for the sake of the Savior.) Through this dinner, the Savior takes them away from the world and buoys them up, giving them hope and comfort. The last thing he does is pray for the apostles to be with Heavenly Father, then he goes to perform the act that will allow them to do so. Everything about this chapter and the intercessory prayer is loving, empowering and selfless.
Often times, when I feel alone or discouraged, I’ll read this chapter and pretend I’m also in this room with the apostles, listening to the Savior’s sermon. There is so much unity and strength when we tap into the powers of God and His loving Son. I felt a few times that this week in the mountains was to a very small degree “our own last supper” where we (leaders + girls) were able to bond; share our fears; give encouragement; ask hard questions; look to the truths we do know (whatever they may be); and most importantly, love each other. It’s all about love and inclusion.
One of my favorite parts of the week was the second to last night, when all the girls from the stake got together to sing the mutual theme, “Press Forward.” It was dark and done by candlelight, but it was piercing. There is something sacred about women (young and old, alike) singing praises on the mountain tops. I got so emotional thinking about all of my girls and what they’ve endured this year. It’s been a looong, hard year for many of them. Though we often sand offbeat, there’s a special spirit that accompanies music and I was just grateful to be part of such a moment.
But of course, with any girls camp, nights are rowdy and crazy. We stayed up late every night playing mafia and other hoodrat games that kept us all on edge. We laughed and laughed until we were scared into being quiet by other wards:) (we’re that ward, sorry!)
All in all, girls are the best of the best. There will always and forever be a special place in my heart for girls camp.
Luckily one of the leaders brought her camera to snap a few shots for proof of us lasting the whole dang week:)
Right before skit night^^^