So it has been quite a while since I have updated my blog…not that I wasn’t thinking about it, or that I wasn’t reaching for my goal…I really have no excuse…procrastination should be my middle name. I have had some wonderful and some interesting experiences since I last wrote. I want to talk about an amazing week that I had with about 80 young women between the age of 12-18. Anyone who doesn’t have faith or confidence in the youth of today need to meet the young women I spent time with this month.
We went to brave the elements, become one with nature and deepen our relationship with God and friendships with each other. I went initially with the hopes of just surviving for you see I was their fierce leader lol…ok I was their terrified leader, not really sure of what I was doing and not sure that they would like me, or the workshops we had planned or the experience we hoped to build…camp surpassed every hope, dream and my greatest expectations. We called the camp– Camp Be- You- Tiful. We had a theme with hopes that the young women would learn to appreciate their talents, realize their self worth and develop a strong and lasting relationship with their Father in Heaven.
Life is hard in this world of chaos and peer pressure and tough decisions. I cannot imagine the tough choices that teenagers face today. Knowing and believing in a higher power that watches over you and loves you and listens to your prayers can be life saving, strengthening and empowering. We focused our days and workshops on a talk that focused on the “Six Be’s” which are six ways to happiness in todays world…Be Grateful, Be Smart, Be True, Be Clean, Be Humble, Be Prayerful.
There were of coarse many helpers and leaders and presenters who gave of their time and energy and love to make camp a success. It was incredible to me to see the service and examples of the adults who came to make my vision of camp all that it could be. We had awesome workshops delivered on being humble, prayerful and clean. And we had a wonderful couple come and tie the six be’s together to show how they can lead to a bright and happy future.
But even more impressive to me were the young women that attended. They were smart, spiritual, mature, kind, caring, talented, funny, compassionate, giving, helpful and many more positive qualities. I was proud of each one of them, they were the kind of young women I hope and pray would be influences and friends on my own daughter…they have many of the same qualities that I admire and love about her. They taught me and helped me as I tried to instill the need to realize one’s self worth, rather than worrying about esteem, to realize mine. They helped me be more grateful for the incredible world we live in and the opportunities and blessings that I have in my life.
I have no worries about the future with these young women as our future leaders. They have compassion, love, gratitude and have values and morals that restore my confidence in the world.
They seemed to have fun and I had a blast as we swam, sang songs, they performed awesome, funny, well thought out skits that I will always remember which included mermaids under the sea, cheesy confessions, a very beautiful door, great missionaries and of coarse “Here comes the bear” and my flying squirrel teaching us about gratitude :)… What a great time watching them and seeing their incredible talents and beautiful personalities.
I heard young women give powerful and meaningful prayers and share their testimonies that they knew Heavenly Father listened to them, loved them and answered their prayers. Most of these young women have faced trials and hardships in their lives, they have had disappointments and loses and situations that some adults could not deal with, but they have come through them with a strong knowledge of who they are and who they want to be, they are filled with love and service and gratitude and they are awesome.
I spent the week after camp recouperating…I am not as young as I used to be…camping reminded me of muscles I never knew I had until they started aching. But I tell you every second of it was well worth it. I was driving home, already thinking about and looking forward to next year. Anyone who needs a good dose of happiness, gratitude, faith and true joy should really get involved with youth. It is one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you will ever have and will help you find your passion for life, service and the future.