As you may have read, I am recently returned from Girls Camp. And as you may have also read, you know that I had an amazing week.
Our stake is blessed to be able to go to an amazing camp- complete with cabins, electricity, indoor toilets, running water and cooks who kept us well fed. And those who were in charge of the spiritual feasts were even more amazing. I came home with so much more than I went in with.
I was in charge of 2nd year certification and cabin mom to 22 girls, ages 16-18, who were some of our youth camp leaders. These were stellar young women. They were so prepared for camp- their main responsibility was to teach these 2nd year girls all the certification requirements- and they truly fulfilled their assignments.
I was paired up with a woman in another ward whom I had never met before our first planning meeting in March. I so loved getting to know her and it was a blessing for me to work with her. And, you may recall a while back when I worried about my fun factor slipping- well, thanks to her, I am happy to report that I believe I have retrieved a bit of my fun. And I believe, in time, I shall have all my fun back! And let me tell you- YOU can't wait for that day.
Friday was hike day and as we started, it was a beautiful day- overcast with a nice little breeze. We were just over 8 minutes into our 5 mile hike when two of the girls lost confidence and wanted to turn back. As I listened to them, it came to me that they had never felt the satisfaction of succeeding on a hard task. I talked them through their anxiety and they continued on. Within a minute, the path flattened and our hike was small rises and easy terrain the rest of the way. It occurred to me that in life, we often stop just short of our ultimate rewards. Just when the path seems too hard, but if we persevere, it usually straightens and we find we are really much stronger than we thought we were. And we are blessed with beautiful rewards.
At the top of our hike, we stopped for lunch and completed a couple certification requirements. Then we unfurled a golden flag with a large "V" appliqued on it. I talked to the girls about committing to leading virtuous lives. Lives that will result in temple blessings. All those willing to commit signed the flag and declared their commitment. It was a wonderful moment- all these pure young women who had desires to live lives that would result in the greatest blessings possible. I'm telling you- spiritual experience.
Both girls completed the hike, all smiles and extremely proud of what they accomplished. Ready to take on the world!
But, the thing that impacted me most was a special assignment I was given to study the story of the woman taken in adultery in the New Testament and prepare a 5 minute account of the incident as if given in her own words. And then, I was to recite her experience- in full costume- 4 times on a particular night of camp. I was in great company. Some of the other women were Mary, the mother of Jesus; Mary and Martha; Mary Magdalene; the woman at the well; the wife of Jairus; the woman with an issue of blood. Each of us traveled around to 4 separate groups and shared our accounts of these women.
As I studied the account of this woman, I was touched with her story and humbled to attempt an enactment of her experience. I felt a love for her that transcends anything that I can explain. I was blessed to be given the assignment.
Check back Sunday- when I will post my script, along with a few feelings and a bit of my reflections following the experience.