Friday, August 7, 2015

Anchor Yourself In Africa

A few weeks ago, June went to her first Girl's Camp. It was a great experience for her, and I'm letting her write her own post about it.

Before I (June) start writing about Girl's Camp, I just want to say how amazing it was. I felt like my testimony was really strengthened by going to Girl's Camp, and the young women really made me feel like I was welcome.They made sure I had an amazing experience. 

On Monday, we got our luggage on the bus and had a long, long ride up to Heber Valley. (Unfortunately, I hear the ride up to Shalom is even longer.)

The bus ride was long, so everybody was ready to be off the bus and into their cabins. Cassie was in Cabin 5B, so naturally, all the Beehives found a bed in 5B also. (The leaders call Cassie the Beehive Magnet. It's a pretty good nickname for her.)

The cabin was pretty nice. There were dusty bunk beds, and lights. It may not sound like much, but I've heard enough stories about Shalom to know we were living in Girl's Camp heaven.

Their were also bathrooms and warm showers, both of which Shalom does not have. (Can't wait for next year, right?)

This year, all of the stakes were a different country. We were Africa. There were some pretty awesome decorations, but it was too dark inside to get good pictures. Allie even created an African Tribal Dance.

The first activity on Monday was one of my favorites.

Grab a life jacket, a paddle, and jump in the canoe! Each canoe had three seats. Hannah and Naomi were in my boat. We really enjoyed paddling around, moving the boat ourselves. (I was impressed with how strong I was; sitting in the front required more strength than I thought.) I got to steer, which made it extra awesome.

After a few minutes of paddling around, somebody splashed somebody else and splash wars started. I'm not kidding. If someone who was good at splashing got close to you, you paddled for your life. I thought we were pretty good splashers myself. We totally soaked Amrin and Sariah.

Anyway, it was a fun activity. Go team!

On Tuesday, the major activity was the Challenge Course. We spent half of our day there. 

It was my kind of place. There were seven different activities, each difficult in it's own way. All of them were so fun. After every activity there was a brief reflection where we thought about how the activity compared with our lives.

The activities were:
1. Lifeline. A chord was woven between trees, and we were blindfolded. But it wasn't like any similar activity I've ever done. On some of the trees, the rope branched off two ways. You had to make a choice about which way you would go. I suppose that in real life I would have an easier time choosing a good path, but I really enjoyed the activity. Especially the part where I finally got to the end and the guy helping us said, "Welcome home, sister."

2. Balance Test. A long log was lain out on the ground. The girls walked across it in any order, and then they had to organize themselves without falling off the log. It was not my favorite activity because I'm small. I squatted down and the taller girls stepped over me. Oh well. It was still a fun activity with a good moral behind it. The lesson was about the importance of diversity. How could we have won if I wasn't small enough to step over, or if Danja and Sabrina weren't strong enough to switch places without falling?

3. Spiderweb. The goal was to get everyone to the other side of the web without touching it, so it was also a fun activity that I would have enjoyed more if I wasn't small enough to lift through a high hole. The spiderweb symbolized Satan's traps for us in life. Friends and family can help us avoid his temptations,sort of like strong girls can lift you through a hole. We had a really great discussion on that one about letting your friends and family support you, but not carry you.

4. Zipline. SO FUN!! Not spiritual, but not everything about Girl's Camp has to be spiritual.

5. Abyss. This was the only one we didn't complete, but no one else completed it either. There were three stumps and three boards. The goal was to be able to get everyone to the other side of the abyss without touching the ground, a.k.a. falling in. The only problem was that the boards weren't long enough to touch the stumps, so they had to balance on each other, which made it really difficult. The message was about getting through trials, which none of us did, apparently.

6.Rope. We were all in a boat that was slowly sinking into shark-infested waters. There was a rope that was just a few feet too far awat to grab. The rope would take us to a rug which was Heaven. Of course, the idea was that the rope was the scriptures or something that would help us get to Heaven, and the sharks were Satan's traps. We tied stuff together to catch the rope, but after the fact, Allie jumped and actually caught the rope. Lucky to have athletic girls on your team. :)

7. Wall. This one was my favorite. It was so fun, plus we got second place out of all the groups. There was a thirteen foot wall with a board about eight feet up for grabbing. Everyone had to get up and over the wall, using one of the three foot holds Brother Underwood taught us. Since I'm one of the smaller ones, I was over third or fourth. I helped from the top for about 30 seconds, then I was unable to help anymore. (Those were the rules.) Everyone went like that, until there was only one person left. Athletic as she is, Allie could not jump up to the board. The moral was to ask for help, and your friends, parents, and teachers, will help you. In this case, Brother Underwood lifted Allie up and she went right over.

Since we were fast, we got to do it again. All 11 young women in our group made it over the wall in 2:20.

Snipe Hunting was as good as it gets for my first time. Can't wait for next year when I can help the younger girls. :)

Wednesday was Hike Day. The scenery was nice, and I walked with Amrin basically the whole time. It wasn't even steep. But it was three miles. Of course, I was lucky. I was in the only small group that didn't get lost and lengthen the hike. Half of the first years walked five miles, as did the third and fourth years, but the second years walked the longest by far. They were already supposed to walk five miles (which I am not looking forward to next year), but they walked nine miles in all. I heard they didn't complain at all, though.

We walked almost all the way around Legacy Lake.

Thursday was the last day of camp. I was ready to go home, but I didn't want Girl's Camp to be over. Can you tell how tired out I was?

Testimony meeting was one of the best parts of Girl's Camp. I shared my testimony and listened to a lot of really great spiritual testimonies. I fell asleep, but I got woken up when we shared Secret Sisters. Suzy had me, which I knew from Tuesday, because she left a letter of her name everyday. I had Rachael.

The only bad part about camp was the bus ride home. Although the ride there was nicely uneventful, after a week without cars or driving, the windy bus ride awoke my stomach. I threw up all over myself, but overall it was great.

A few highlights of camp that I forgot to mention in the post were the sunrise hike, which was early but really enjoyable, and the Chocolate Buffet.

Also, Anchor Games. This is Aaliyah trying to hit only the black water bottles with the tennis ball that is hanging from a nylon on her head.

Thanks for making Girl's Camp a blast, girls and leaders! I loved it!


meganmushrat said...

Thank you June for giving such an interesting and informative narrative of your experience at girls' camp. As I mentioned once before, the gift for writing entertainingly (which your mother has) is yours as well. I can hardly wait to hear about next year's camp!

Sharona said...

June - I remembered my own girls camp experiences as I read about yours. And no, everything doesnt have to have a spiritual component but you'll find in life that it usually does. Sure loved reading your blog.