I spent 4 1/2 days away from my family, up in the mountains, with about 200 women and teenage girls at Young Women’s (YW) Camp.
I learned a lot about the gospel and the Holy Ghost, but for the purposes of this post, I want to record what I learned about myself:
1. I love my husband. After 13 years, sometimes you can forget just how much you love someone. It took Girls Camp to wake me up a bit to how blessed I am to have Chad. First, he took the kids for the week (with help from family and friends) and I didn’t have to make him freezer meals. I knew he could figure it out. Second, his mom got sick for one of the days she was going to watch the kids, and he improvised and made it work. He didn’t call me asking me what he should do. He just handled it. Third, the house was clean when I got back and he even vacuumed and changed the sheets. But what sealed the deal for me was that he surprised me each day with little notes and treats. When I was unpacking the very first day, I opened my bag and found a letter attached to a big bag of peanut M&Ms. He had managed to sneak a little treat into my bag after I had packed it. Every day after that there proceeded to be a letter and treat on my bed when I came back from the shower in the morning. It took me awhile to figure out how he orchestrated the whole thing. It involved him arranging with one of the other camp leaders a head of time, and then she had to arrange with another leader because she was not going to be in my cabin with me. His letters each day picked up my spirits.
2. It is important for the Priesthood to be at camp. Chad has gone to Girls Camp for the better part of 10 years. He would be gone all week and I would be home with the kids. It was a bit annoying and a bit frustrating at times, considering I was home with little kids and babies. But this week I saw how important it is to have Priesthood at camp and what they do to support the leaders and the girls. The men are a vital part of YW Camp and we need them there. It made me happy that I “let” Chad go all those years, and it made me vow to not complain when he has to go again. I wish I could have caught the vision of the importance of the Priesthood at camp years ago.
3. I have many strengths. I saw one of my greatest strengths clearly at camp this week. I have an ability to teach pure, true doctrine through cutesy themes. A lot of people go either one way or the other. They teach doctrine or they have cute fluff — joining the two together is a true gift I have. For example, we had gray chevron print throughout camp. Most people would just think that was a cute, current pattern to work with, but, for me, I picked it because it represented the static in our lives that keeps us from hearing the voice of the Spirit. I will have to tell you more about our “Tune In” theme later.
4. I have many weaknesses. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to bask in my strengths all week. A few of my weaknesses blared at me all week as well. Among other things, I have a hard time forgiving people. You mess with me once and it is possible that I write you off forever. It baffles me how I can forgive my ex-husband and be totally and peace with that once painful experience, but I still hold a grudge against that lady that said something rude about me 13 years ago. Weaknesses are painful to acknowledge, but the closer you are to the Holy Ghost the more clearly you see your sins. I came home from camp knowing I have a lot to work on.
5. It takes every instrument to make a symphony. Our presidency and camp committee had less than 3 months to plan YW Camp and can I just say it rocked! Probably one of the best compliments I received while we were up there was one of the leaders said to me, “This couldn’t have been better if you had a year to plan it.” It truly took everyone’s skills and talents to pull it off in such a short time frame. The theme, Faith Walk, and other spiritual aspects of camp were my babies, but other leaders cooked, nursed, planned, and trained. They worked out schedules and details and certifications and hikes. Others cut and stuffed and copied and stapled. No one could have done it by themselves and everyone had to give their best of their strengths. We all had to play our assigned instruments to have a great camp. Although some instruments seem to get more stage time and more credit, I learned that no one instrument is more important than the other. It was great to reminded of every one’s worth.
I hope to tell you more about our theme and what I learned about the Holy Ghost as the weeks go on, but for now I am still trying to catch up on sleep.