Aug 3, 2011

Girl's Camp Part III: The Final Night

I slept much better and woke up feeling a lot more refreshed than I did the last night. I barely put my feet in my sleeping bag the night before because it was so warm but last night was blessedly cool. We didn't have any raccoon sightings but there was another animal that was right in my tent. I asked and teased the girls in the morning by asking if they heard that bear last night. The one that was in my tent. Kevin must have slept great because he snored the whole night. But I was tired enough that it didn't matter to me at all, I slept pretty good myself.

After we had all woken up (I think we were all exhausted from that epic hike) we started to cook our breakfast. Kristy had made these tin can burners to cook our food on. She also made these small tuna-fish can burners with cardboard and wax. We couldn't find any cheap wax so we went to the dollar store and bought these candles and melted them down. Every once in awhile while cooking you would get a whiff of vanilla. We lit them all up and gave the girls some assignments and waited for the food to cook. Some of the burners began to work quickly and some just didn't catch on. We felt bad for those girls whose burners were not working, it was not their fault! Unfortunately the girls had to go to the morning devotional so the rest of us leaders stayed behind and cooked the pancakes, bacon and eggs. It was funny because once they left, the food really begun to cook. By the time the girls were back, the food was pretty much all ready. The food was really tasty. After we finished breakfast (and a big special thanks to the girls that helped clean up) we waited for the older girls to come home after their overnight hike.

We gave all the girls a big round of applause when they came home. They went on the same hike that we went on only they had to lug a ton more stuff. But then we found out that they only went a portion of the way. So the younger girls (and older leaders) and the more difficult hike. After we finished up breakfast and rested for awhile, we had our special craft activity. Kristy and I were especially excited for this activity because we knew the girls would absolutely love it.

Hail the conquering heroes!

The activity was for the girls to decorate their own pair of flip-flops. Our girls are addicted to flip-flops and one of the camp rules was no flip-flops. But we allowed them to decorate a pair and wear them down where we were. The girls made some real pretty flip-flops and they were definitely excited about the activity.

After the activity we headed back up to camp to have some snacks (we were going to have lunch but we barely just had breakfast) and then it was time for the girls to go to some Stake workshops. I decided to stay behind and clean some of the camp and sit in the hammock and rest. Well, that is what I told everyone. The real reason I stayed behind was to use the bathroom. When they all went to the workshops, I hiked down to the bathrooms where I knew I would be by myself. I hate using the bathroom anywhere else than my home but if worse comes to worse, I would use one. But only if I knew that no one would be around! I hiked back up and got me a Powerade to drink and relaxed in the hammock. I had a squirrel come and run underneath me and try to steal some food off of our table. I chased it away and promptly fell asleep in the hammock. I was awakened by Shonda, who came back to get some music ready and then I saw one of the girls coming back. She sat by Shonda and then burst into tears.

I promptly got off the hammock to see what was going on. The spring on one of her braces was cutting into in her cheek and it was very painful. I could tell it was bad since her lip and cheek were bright red and swollen. She wanted to go home and I don't blame her at all. Shonda went back up to the workshops to grab Kristy and I stayed behind to talk with the poor girl. I knew earlier that this was bugging her and I felt like I should inquire if she would like a blessing but I ignored that prompting. I felt the prompting again so I asked her if she would like a blessing and she replied yes. I was going to go up and find the Bishop but I found another guy that was still at camp and I asked him if he would help me administer a blessing. As I was coming back to camp I had this overwhelming feeling that was speaking to me. "This is why you are at Girl's Camp. She is the reason why you came." Me and this other brethren gave her a blessing and immediately I could tell that she was going to feel better. The other guy gave her a bottle of cold water (she looked a little warm as well) and we waited for Kristy and Shonda to come back. The girl tried to call her mom but she was not around. We got one of the nurse's to come and help her and she did.

After the stake meetings we cleaned up camp and got ready for the special fireside to be held later that night. Michelle and her mom had completed the Young Women Personal Progress and they were going to be awarded their medallions. So we had Michelle and her family and the Stake President (her grandfather) was there as well. We got up there and ate a fantastic dinner (you definitely eat good at Girl's Camp) and we had the girls spend a few minutes reflecting and pondering quietly. And then the fireside began (quite literally since we had two fires going) and it was quite spiritual. It was hard not to get emotional up there, it was a combination of what was being said, sleep deprivation and knowing that this was the last night.

The testimony meeting that followed was awesome freaking magical! I was impressed by the girls and how strong they are. A couple of girls that I didn't expect to say anything stood up quickly and gave the most beautiful testimony. I cannot describe the feeling, I cannot describe what it was like to see these Young Women give these tender testimonies. It was something that can only be witnessed and felt in person. I was not going to get up and say anything but I had to say something. I got up and told them that they were feeling the Spirit, they were feeling the love our Heavenly Father has for them. Then I told them to write their experiences down so they can remember them (which is why I am blogging about it because I don't want to forget this experience) and feel this feeling again. I also told the girls that I don't have any daughters and I probably won't have any, and I never had a little sister...  ...but if I did, I would want them to be like these girls. I adore these girls and I thanked them for being examples to me, Kristy and Logan. There was not a dry eye at the camp and it was neat to be able to stand up and share these feelings under the night sky. The girl that I was able to serve gave one of the sweetest and funniest testimonies and it was a miracle. She was not bothered or in any pain with her braces and she stayed the whole rest of the time. I am so thankful that I could serve her. She thanked me during the meeting and I was a little embarrassed because it was not me at all who helped her. I was merely an instrument for Heavenly Father. We were up there for a couple of hours and none of us wanted to leave.

Yeah, I know I am getting a little wimpy here. But you really had to be there. I am so thankful that I was there to witness all of this and to be there with the girls. I think I might have gotten more out of this testimony meeting than the girls.

After we got back, the girls had to run down and clean the bathrooms (it was our assignment) and Kristy and I stayed behind to clean up some of the camp. We had a CD player that we needed to return to the Stake. The Bishop suggested that we sneak up and turn the radio on full blast with rock music and place it behind their tent. We snuck up and we were being real quiet until the Bishop warned Shonda and Kristy not to snicker. But that only set them off! Shonda gave me her flashlight and asked us not to leave her behind. But we did anyway, once the CD player was on and set down we all took off down the trail. It was not like they wouldn't know it was us since we were the ones that asked to borrow it! We went back up and I shook the tent and ran back. The Bishop remembered not to abandon Shonda so as he was running away, he shined his flashlight behind him so she could see!

When we got back to camp, we all surrounded the older girls tent to listen in but they were on to us. I was right up to the tent when I heard "Hello Dr. Pepper. Are you going to shake our tent?" I didn't say anything and Kristy replied that they were just doing tent checks. "Well, go ahead and shake the tent." They said so I grabbed a hold of the tent and shook it and they all screamed anyway.

It was again very cool outside and when I got in my tent, I think I fell asleep within minutes.


  1. I love Lynn Hobbs!

  2. Fun times. Braces suck! Blessings are awesome! Testimony meetings @ camp and under the stars are the MOST spiritual experience!

  3. I appreciated reading about your spiritual experiences - very touching and moving! On a less serious note, I enjoyed the humor in your post! And on another note, I am totally with you when it comes to feeling uncomfortable using a bathroom other than your own! I guess we got this phobia from our moms!