Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Camp Koholowo!!!

This will probably be a super long post, instead of breaking it up into separate days I am just going to do one giant camp post!!!

The theme for our Stake Girls Camp this year is:
BE STRONG: Have Courage, Make a Difference and Don't Forget to SMILE!!
I am the assistant camp leader so I got to go with the girls to camp and stay there the whole time! I have to be honest, I didn't really do alot of work because our camp leader was SO AWESOME and she took care of everything!! She did a great job and I am glad that I could at least go up and help a little.
Tuesday morning at 7am we all met at the church to get loaded up and ready to go!! We have 24 girls and 6 leaders at camp this year, that is a pretty good sized group!! We loaded into the cars and headed up, my car made one last diet coke run before we hit the canyon.

We pulled into Camp Koholowo about an hour later and got our stuff out of the trailer and cars. We had some time to get things set up so that was nice. I stayed in the side of the cabin with the older girls. We went to the opening flag ceremony and our Stake President talked to the girls and dedicated the camp as we all kneeled. He challenged the girls to try to get 7 things out of this camp.
1. Draw closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
2. Feel the Spirit
3. Serve others
4. Develop friendships
5. Learn new skills
6. Appreciate God's creations
7. Have FUN!!

I just had to take a picture of this sign in all the stalls in the bathroom, I thought it was funny and it made me laugh everytime!!!
We ate our sack lunches and had a little free time before the certifications started. All the girls split up into 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year etc.
Alexa is a 3rd year. The YCL's (youth camp leaders) were in charge so I just wandered around to the different groups to observe. They worked on learning how to use a compass, with their awesome YCL (and my best friend) Chalese!!
I saw a trail by our cabin so I decided to see where it led...
it was a quick little hike, maybe 15 minutes and I was up on this hill with this spectacular view of the mountains and the blue sky!!! It was very beautiful and peaceful up there.

For dinner we had pulled pork and chicken sandwiches with chips and veggies, it was yummy!!! Then the stake had some different rotations planned for the girls. My friend Kathryn who is the stake camp assistant asked me if I would help her with one of the rotations.
It was a water game and it was really fun! The girls were in the same groups as earlier in the afternoon. We played the game 4 times and some girls got SOAKED!!!
The other rotations were Karate, learning a dance and playing Big Budha.

We went back to our campsite to build a fire and have s'mores!!! YUM-O!! I also tried my first roasted starburst, it was good! Then the thunder and lightening started and it was fun to sit outside with some of the girls and watch it. Who knows what time we got to bed??? It was a great first day of camp!!!

Our ward was in charge of the flag ceremony and the 2nd years did a great job. Then it was time for the 4 mile hike!!! It wasn't too hot so it was good to get it over with first thing!!
Each girl was handed a "gold egg" and was told that it was her Virtue and she needed to guard it and protect it while on the hike.
Little did the girls know that some of the leaders were asked to be "satan" and tempt the eggs away from the girls and smash them. I got volunteered to do this and I thought it would be easy. After hearing the talk that was given about how precious your virtue is and how carefully you need to protect it etc. it was VERY difficult to smash the eggs. Several girls asked me to hold their eggs while they got a drink or took off a sweatshirt etc. and I just couldn't smash them. As we walked along the road we saw many smashed eggs and so finally one of the other leaders was holding someone's egg and I ran into her so she dropped it and it smashed.
Then Maddy put hers down on the road by her as she was getting a drink and I stepped on it. The girls started catching on that the leaders were the ones breaking all the eggs so then they didn't trust us!
The hike did not go quite as planned and we ended up all finishing together so the last part of the plan didn't really work. For the girls that still had their egg they were supposed to get a ride the last 1/2 mile back to camp, some girls did, but there weren't enough cars for them all to get a ride but that was their reward for protecting their virture the whole hike! It was a great object lesson and I think the girls will always remember it.

After the hike I took a shower before all the warm water was gone and it felt GREAT!!! After lunch and a little free-time it was time for the girls to do a challenge course. There were several stations that they rotated through and most of them were teamwork type games. I watched for a little bit and then I headed back to camp to read. I got sleepy and decided to lay down and ended up taking a 2 hour nap!! It was fabulous!!
We had on and off rain. After the challenge course rotations it poured and even hailed for a minute. The girls loved it and some of them danced around in it and got super soaked!!!
We had Cafe Rio salads in the lodge that the Stake made for dinner and they were really yummy!!
We were going to have a fire but all our wood was soaked so we just hung out in the cabins braiding hair, all.night.long!! Not really but it was alot of braids!! Sister Woodbrey and I were the official braiders and I don't even know how many heads we did, nearly all of them I think!! The lights in the cabins turn off at a certain time and then you are left to only flashlights. I was mid-braid when they went off so I put my tiny flashlight between my teeth and finished the job!!!
Another great day at Camp Koholowo!!

This morning some of us woke up at 6am and took that little hike I was telling you about earlier to watch the sunrise. It was a little chilly and still a little muddy but it was so worth it!!!
We read scriptures and each found a quiet place to take in all the beauty and have some personal reflection. It was a powerful experience and even though the clouds hindered the full sunrise, it was spectacular!! There was lightening off in the distance and you could see the clouds leaking rain as well. It was such a beautiful experience that there just are not words to describe it!

We had breakfast in the lodge, french toast and bacon with the most delicious syrup ever!! We stayed in the lodge for crafts and the service project.
We tied blankets for a women's shelter and the girls really enjoyed doing that.
They also made notebooks for the young women in Africa. There is no money to buy journals and personal progress books so all the girls made cute journals and wrote a message or their testimony in the front of it. They all loved this project and were excited that someone so far away would be able to read their messages.
The 2 craft projects were a memory book and bottle cap necklaces. These turned out SO CUTE!! I didn't take a picute of mine but you can maybe see the girls wearing them if you look close in all the pictures!!!

We had sloppy joes for lunch (and they were actually really good) then our ward had kitchen cleanup so all the girls pitched in. Then there were some more rotations. They split up the girls 12, 13 and 14 year olds in one group and the older girls in another. There were different speakers at each rotation and they talked about things like virtue, friends and self esteem. They were all really well done.

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We all wore our camp shirts today so it was the perfect time for a group picure!! What a beautiful group of women!!!
The girls were busy making friendship braclets during most of their free time and of course there was more hair braiding. At least Sister Hargreaves helped us out this time!!!
The Bishopric arrived to make us dinner and it was delicious!! Bishop Ahrens wife (who couldn't make it, and we missed her) made her delicious rolls. Brother Black made 2 yummy salads, and Brother Shearer (the gourmet cook) made us buttermilk chicken fettucini alfredo that was amazing and to top it all off chocolate soup!!! Needless to say we were all stuffed!!! After dinner we went to the ampitheater and heard from Sister Bagley of the General Young Women's Board. She was amazing and she talked about virtue and I really enjoyed her message. Our youth have so much coming at them and we need to help them recognize the things that may seem harmless and help them avoid those things!
We went back to camp and got a roaring fire going and Bishop Ahrens spoke for a minute and we talked about our Choice and Accountability poster. We each made a pledge to do something and wrote them out on cards and then they will hang it in the YW room so the girls can read them each Sunday and remember them. Bishop then encouraged each of us to stand and tell what our pledge was and share our testimony if we wanted. It was a great night and the youth in our ward are really amazing. I am so glad that Alexa has so many great examples around her in her leaders and peers. We are truly blessed.

After we said goodbye to the Bishopric and their wives and some of the leaders we roasted a few marshmellows and then things got a little crazy...

some of us ended up in the rafters...ok I admit it, I wanted to give it a try and it was pretty fun!! We were pretty loud and the other side of the cabin and maybe our surrounding neighbors wanted to go to bed so we got into a little bit of trouble. We finally all settled down into our beds and were quieting down when a bat came out of nowhere and flew around the cabin for a minute. We all screamed and freaked out and then it disappeared. I guess we must have disturbed it while we were up in the rafters so we asked for it. It was a fun day and a great night and tomorrow we go home!!

I don't have photos because we didn't do much other than pack stuff up and eat breakfast. We had our closing flag ceremony and then we loaded up the trailer and waited for the truck to come and take it back to Spanish Fork. We got back around 11:30am and got all unloaded and then the girls got picked up. It was a long time to be away but it was a great experience and I will never forget it!

Here are random collages of some of my other favorite pictures...
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1 comment:

Melissa said...

Sounds like you had an awesome time "camping." I loved reading your post and experiences!