Girls Camp 2012 is now part of history, and it was marvelous. I loved it, but I'm still glad to get that one under my belt, and be back with my little chickens for a day or two before adventure number two begins.
Working on the stake level was a completely different experience then working on the ward level. In many ways, this was an experience that expanded my vision -- I never realized how much work happens at the next level up. We're so focused on our ward and the girls there (which is appropriate, of course), that we have no idea what is happening around us to make sure we are having a good experience and getting the guidance and support we need. Eye-opening, that is for sure!
I had a most wonderful time laughing my head off with women and young women I would have never had the opportunity to know otherwise. And let me tell you, we laughed our heads off. My favorite moment was being crammed in with the stake young women's presidency as we sat under a ridiculously short umbrella, playing Phase 10, while the whole stake busily played their assigned activities around us. I just can't express how truly hilarious that was. My favorite quotes?
1. "I don't know how they do it is Sweden."
2. "My husband tried to drowned me!"
I continue to learn weird habits I never knew I had, thanks to the public being so willing to bring them to my attention. For instance:
1. I am a hair flipper. I never knew this. Yes, I knew I moved my hair behind my shoulders, because that is most comfortable to me. I didn't know I flipped it. But apparently it's a one-fingered flip that is well known. And fills me with horror. Because who wants to be a hair flipper? I ask you.
2. I have a "church voice". One of my dearest friends in the world informed me of this, and then the whole table agreed. I don't really know what to think of this. But really, it should be mocked... it really should.
3. When I am talking in the 'let me share my profound wisdom' way, I look up and away into space. I didn't know this. But apparently it's true ('what is she looking at in those trees?') and it makes me sometimes hard to follow.
I am an idiot. I have known this for quite some time, but still. Sometimes I think we should move far, far away and then keep a very low profile. For the greater good.
Girls Camp is always exhausting, but this year, I would say I came home extra special tired. Just going the extra day early and then going, going, going, making sure everything was taken care of for every ward. Made me tired clear down deep inside! Fulfilled! And tired. I was called to take care of the 31 Youth Camp Leaders -- 16 and 17 year old girls -- and it was interesting to listen to their experience. Many of them talked about how much WORK it was, and how they missed having it all happen TO them in their ward camps. As we were saying the closing prayer, it came so clearly to me why this is such an important learning experience for these girls, and here is why:
Sometimes, like in our first few years of girls camp, we go up there and have spiritual experience provided FOR us. Through no effort of our own, they are dropped in our lap for us to enjoy and learn. This is certainly a good thing. That is an important experience to help us learn to recognize the spirit.
But as a YCL, these girls learn not to just take the experience, but to labor to BRING the experience to others. It's not easy. In fact, it takes a whole lot of unrelenting work. It is a sacrifice, and it certainly takes a whole lot out of you. But it is in that service, that effort, that we TRULY grow, that we have the best spiritual awakenings, that we change the most permanently for good.
So am I sorry they had to work hard, and maybe it didn't feel as easy or fun?
No. I'm happy that was their experience.
They might not realize it, but really it was a critical and special one.
Because one day they will be called on to do that ALL THE TIME. And they have to be able to do it. And they have to be able to accept the growth that comes with it. They have to be strong enough to realize that it's not about them.
In my humble opinion.
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have loved it more and more as I have tried -- and occasionally succeeded -- to forget myself, and go to work. To remember that it's NOT ABOUT ME.
I've got a long, long way to go. But that is okay with me. I know I don't have to do it alone, and I know I don't have to rely on my own strength. So it's possible.
The Bishop asked me to speak to my ward girls on Friday night before testimony meeting. I don't know how that went. I had thought and thought for more then two months to discover what the spirit would have me say. But I don't know how it went. So... not much to really report there. The Double B came to support me, because he's pretty much awesome like that. He said I did great (being the Double B and all). But I don't know... I just felt completely and utterly exhausted. So. There you have it. However; I do know it is the Spirit that teaches us, not necessarily the teacher. So that's good news.
Do you ever feel like you're standing on the outside of the circle? On the way, way outside of the circle? Like you're all alone out there? That was me.
But that's also okay.
It is really, truly okay.
Friday night the wind blew like a banshee all night long, and then we were up and at 'em! We were off the mountain about noon, and I was so happy to see my kids. They had had a most wonderful time with Daddy, and were so happy to see me! Katelyn was asleep when I got home, but when I went in to get her when she woke up, she just stared at me for the longest time. It took about a half hour of sitting on my lap and constant staring, but then she remembered there was a place in her life for Mommy and we have been completely inseparable ever since. Which is just the way I like it.
This is our fourth Girls Camp report on this here blog (1, 2, 3), and it was awesome! I completely enjoyed being a "stakee" and if we're still in the same spot next year, I'll get the chance again. Can't wait.
And can't wait to have the Double B all to myself for almost a whole week! Starting Wednesday at 10:30 in the morning. 10 years. Awesome. Hu-rrah!
Have a good one!