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Loveland Stake Girls’ Camp 2019 S.M.I.L.E. Spiritually Minded is Life Eternal

Updated: Feb 16, 2020

By MaRynne E. Robertson 

For church camp this year we had Stake Girls’ Camp, which is when all the girls in The Young Women’s Program from Loveland (ages 13-18) go to camp go together, not as one congregation, but many. I love camp because I get to go to Wyoming. I get tent mates who are amazing.

I get to learn more about the Savior. When I go to camp, I always have a spiritual experience that is memorable and relates to my life just when I need it.  Girls’ Camp allows me to unplug from my phone and be with others that have common beliefs with me. Our camp leaders always make special efforts to plan activities that are memorable, fun, and unforgettable.  I always go away from camp having had fun by bonding with and learning from one another in our shared adventures and experiences.  Heavenly Father is seriously the best because He gives us these opportunities to really be spiritually minded and to reflect on the blessings in our lives.  Camp also helps me grow and think about my life and my goals.

On my first day, my ward, which is what we call our local congregation, met up at our church building and we put all our things in the trailer. Then we drove in our car and arrived at Camp Batel (the name of our camp).  Batel means “Daughter of God”; in Hebrew. “Bat” means “daughter” and El is in reference to Elohim (God).  We registered and right away Sarah, Jenny, and I were assigned as tent mates.  I also met up with Lauren. Lauren and I are pretty much already best friends along with Kennedy, Ellie and MiKayla.  That night Lauren and I had our scripture study time together. That night I ended up turning to Romans 12:7.  “Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching.” I found that seriously amazing because we were just talking about how we were given girls at camp to be ministering sisters with and to send them notes of encouragement and friendship. 

On day two we had our devotional.  The devotionals were pretty cool. One day at devotional we wrote on cutout paper stars how we let our lights shine for the good of others.  The other devotional was about symbolically burying a sword and ending things that we didn’t want in our lives like feelings of unhappiness, unhealthy habits, and anything that takes us away from Heavenly Father.  It was great! After devotional we did archery, went to the ponds, learned self-defense, practiced first aid. l learned about plant identification, and participated in shooting sports later in the day. One afternoon we went to the pavilion and we did a rope course with one of our leaders. At first the ropes course was hard because we had to trust people in our group not to drop us.  We eventually overcame our fears and learned that the people around us want to help us be successful.  Isn’t that awesome how we can relate that to our life? How many people around us are put there to help us get through tough things?  Like our family or friends or teachers?  There are people every day that help us to work at being our best.

That night we did a spiritual activity that talked about all the people in our lives that are there to help us shine and be our best.  We talked about families, friends, and leaders.  We also talked about how Jesus Christ helps us to return to our Heavenly Father.  At the end of our spiritual experience that night, we ended up right there at the top of the mountain with a picture of Heavenly Father.  We made it to the top! At the top we just had a huge group hug and at that moment I got an idea for how much our Heavenly Father loves us because all those girls in that circle were there for me and I was there for them. 

Day three was our last official long day and we did a lot of activities including hair tying.  We also

had our farewell at the amphitheater. At the amphitheater we sang and I was sad that camp was almost over.  I made some pretty amazing friends. So many girls and leaders up at camp were amazing.  The Mia Maids, which is what we call 14 and 15 year old girls in our program, had a testimony meeting and almost everyone shared their testimony, which is their belief in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and their love for us.  It was extra special because my mom gave a really powerful testimony and one of the girls there just cried happy tears because I think it really gave her hope.  I could feel my testimony building by just listening to all these people. That night my ward went up to the top of the hill, just us and my mom (she was a leader at Girls’ Camp).  We saw how beautiful all the stars were because they were like grains of sand sprinkled across the sky and you could see the Milky Way and you could see just everything up there. At home you don’t get to see that many stars that often because of the lights, distractions, and everyone is always trying to get things done and are in a hurry.

On day four my ward was one of the wards that stayed and cleaned camp.  We had two youth leaders, Natalie and Maggie who were great leaders and we got things done really fast.  Our

ward worked really well together. After cleaning we drove to the white water rafting company and got suited up and in our boats.  We were rafting! Going down the Poudre River was fun and I got to be with a lot of girls, my friends, in my ward.  We had a great time!  We were all a little nervous, but it was really great.  Sariah was brave. Ellie smiled the whole way. Marilyn laughed so loud.  MiKayla rowed fiercely, and my mom kept us focused. It was awesome! On our way down the canyon in the bus, we started to sing our Girls’ Camp Songs so loud.  It was fun to see the rafting leaders feeling the spirit. I was singing and having fun with the people I cared about.

Camp was amazing and I had so many good things happen and I got immersed in one of the biggest aspects in my life with people who I love and they love me.

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