Monday, July 8, 2019

There’s a Warrior in Me

This is our Original theme song for girls camp this year. officially registered with a copywrite and everything! The story behind how it was made was exactly the point we wanted to get across to the girls this year at camp. For my Devotional on our last night, the theme of the day was Women of God, so I shared this story with the girls, after I told them about the meaning behind their t shirts. I will try to retell the story, but it wont be as good as when I spoke from the heart in front of all those girls!

I wrote the song for girls camp this year, but it has been weird for me to get attention for it. Which is highly unlike me! I love attention! I love preforming! But this was different.
We had a whole lot that we wanted our girls to take away from our Women Warriors camp this year. When it came time to choose a theme song I really wanted to find the "perfect" song! Music speaks deeper than words alone. Music is powerful. Music is a universal language that can connect people that don't even speak the same language!

I searched for about a week. I searched everywhere, every combination of words. And I was coming up dry. As I sat down to search again wondering where else or what else I could search, I had the thought
"You could write a song"
"No, No I cant write a song. That's too hard, that would take too long." And again I thought
"You should write the song. That's the only way you are going to convey the message that you are looking for!"
And again I chased the thought away. "I am NOT qualified to write a song!I have never written a song!" And then the thought came to me
"...Well...if Nephi can build a boat!" (After I said this I paused and the girls all ERUPTED!! I did NOT expect that reaction! But it must have struck a chord with them, and I LOVED it!)
So I thought with the Lords help, I can do it! I prayed and I fasted and then I could see the song. I couldn't hear it yet, but I could see the blueprints of how it should go, "She is a warrior, I'll be a warrior, I AM a warrior!"

I would write lines in my notebook when ever I'd get an idea. But when I would sit down and try to come up with it on my own, nothing would come. As I would get in my car to drive, I turned off the music. I just drove in silence. (Earlier in the week we had a class about being still and listening, and letting the Lord talk to you and guide you) As I would just be still and listen things would pop in my head. Lines of lyrics, or ideas of what the song should say. And then I would hear music! Lines of melodies would pop in my head! I would pull out the voice recorder app on my phone and sing the melody, or say the lines I thought of so I could remember them later.

I had a whole notebook full of random lines, and verses. Some I used, some I didn't. Then I would start putting the words to the melodies. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. But Sometimes I would begin to sing and then I'd get all chocked up and I'd go "Yep! That's it! That's the one!"

Then I began putting the music into a program to write the music and play it back. And I could start to see the song come to life just a little. I would get this section done, and then another section done. Every time I listened to one small section I'd get SO excited! I couldn't wait to hear it beginning to end all together for the first time! When that moment came, I held my breath and listened. As soon as the song was over my heart just sank.
"What was I thinking? I can't write a song. This is never going to work. It doesn't even sound good. I just wasted 3 weeks of my life. I'm going to start searching again"

I sat there, sad and defeated for a few min, and then I thought again
"No, if Nephi can build a boat! I can do this, I just need more help"

Much more prayer, and fasting, and with the help of several very talented people in the stake I was able to learn more about how to write a song, and I kept working and working. It was really hard, and it took a long time, and it was ALL I could think about while I was writing it!

It is not a professional song. And it still has some mistakes. It is an electronic piano playing without any dynamics or emotion. And I can still hear so much more to the song, more layers, more instruments. But I don't have the skills yet to produce it the way I can hear it in my head.
But I have no doubt that the message of the song is for those girls. This song, is THEIR song. And I told them as they sing, to know that it is about them. Each of them individually. Its not just a song I searched for on the internet and we made it work. But it was written for them, and about them. And as they sing that last Chorus, I am a warrior! To BELIEVE it!

And let me tell you, they DID!! We sang this song every night at the close of our devotional. And after they heard the story behind their song, the conviction with which they sang was tangible! It was such an honor to stand up in front of them and conduct them as they stood and sang! It is an experience I will cherish forever and never forget!

If nothing more ever comes of this song, those 3 mins on that night made all the work I put into writing a new song 100% worth it!

Amazing Race -Lehi’s Dream edition

Lehi’s Dream
Amazing Race style

This was our big activity for girls camp this year. We wanted to give them opportunities to make their own choices, work together, accomplish something hard, and throw a little competition into the mix just for fun!

This was set up like "The Amazing Race" but themed after Lehi's Dream. I read Lehi's dream in the book of Mormon and wrote down all the elements that Lehi talked about and the scripture references. The tree of Life, the fruit of the tree, the iron rod, the river of water, great and spacious building...etc. Then came up with challenges to go along with each one.
Then we cam up with 10 additional challenges. Some were things that they had done at camp this year, like spear throwing and archery, some were just random, some were team building exercises.
Then we grouped a few of the challenges together to give them a choice. they could either do this challenge or this challenge. but once you start a challenge you can not switch to the other. So the teams had to choose together which they thought they would be better at.

Detour = a choice between 2 challenges
Roadblock = a challenge only one team member can complete
Pit Stop = a challenge the whole team must participate in
Route Info = after completing a challenge you get a ticket with your route info to your next stop
Fast Forward = an optional bonus challenge that lets you skip 5 challenges (only 3 were available, we had 16 teams)

The hardest part of the race was organizing the teams, and deciding the route order and setting up the tickets correctly for each team at each station. We ended up with 16 teams of 6 or 7 girls, and 22 different stations. Since none of these stations had been tested we didn't know how long it would take to complete each stop, we decided each team would go to all 12 of the stations for Lehi's Dream, and then only 5 of the 10 other stations. so we had route A and route B. The timing worked out pretty well.

For each station I printed the Station information that gave the station name, the scripture, and the challenge information. I also printed up a sheet of leader information. anything and everything the adult leader running the station would need to know. I put these in a big yellow envelope. I had one for each station. the envelope was labeled with the station name and all materials needed for the station. Most of the materials fit inside the envelope. Those that didn't were in a big box and the leader was able to grab what she needed. I also put my phone number on each envelope if they had problems or questions.

Passing Zones/Non Passing Zones
Some of the stops had enough supplies for multiple teams to do the challenge at the same time, those were our passing zones. Where teams were able to get ahead of other teams. Some stations only had enough for one team to work at a time. At those stations the teams had to wait in the order they arrived.

*Also, the teams were not aloud to start a challenge until ALL team members arrived at the stop.

When they finished the challenge successfully they got the route info ticket from the leader at the station. We put each teams number on the back of the tickets. When they finished the race they came back to the starting point where they presented us with all their station tickets. The tickets were in a small envelope included in each stop packet.

Stations and information
I just copied and pasted my word doc on here for all the station info. Some may be a little repetitive cause I had to give much of the same info the each of the leaders.

Leader Information:
Each team is numbered, and you have a “Route Info” ticket that corresponds with each team that will come to your stations. (The “Lehi’s Dream” stations will have all the teams, the other stations will not) There are “✅passing✅ stations” and “⚠️non-passing⚠️ stations;” if you have a passing station then multiple teams are able to participate in the challenge at a time, and that allows for teams to pass each other in the race.
If you have a non-passing station, then you only have enough supplies for one team to participate at a time. Then the teams will go in the order they arrived at the station. And they must wait on the team in front of them to complete the challenge.

If you are at a ‘Detour’ station and you have multiple teams, the other teams can choose the challenge the first team did not, and see if they can beat them, or they can choose to wait.

Fast Forward Pass:
All teams will be given the opportunity to to earn a fast forward pass. They will all receive the Fast Forward challenge after they have completed their 2nd challenge. This is optional. They can choose to leave the race and go down the hiking trail and look for a bonus fast forward ticket, or they can choose to skip the fast forward and continue with their next Route Info as normal.
There will only be 3 Fast Forward passes placed on the trail, and there is no way to know if other teams have already chosen to do the fast forward challenge or not.
If they are successful in finding a Fast Forward pass, it will allow them to skip 5 challenges of their choice. There is a place for 5 leader initials, if a team presents the fast forward pass to you, initial one of the spaces on the ticket, and give them their next route info ticket.

Tree of life:
⚠️No passing zone⚠️
1 Nephi 8:10
And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.
Detour: You have a choice between two challenges. Once you begin one challenge you cannot switch to the other.
1 Fruit from the tree:
One teammate must climb the rope to retrieve the fruit (flag) from the tree.
2 Fountain of Filthy water:
Every teammate must remove a shoe and sock and use their toes to retrieve 10 marbles each from the fountain of filthy (freezing) water, for a total of 50 marbles. Only one teammate can have their foot in the water at a time.
Route info: Go to the Tree of Life
Leader Instructions:
Girls must pick one challenge to complete. For the rope climb they can switch girls if the first one to attempt can not complete the challenge. If they have ALL attempted the rope and no one can climb it, then they can help boost, but only as a last resort! If they choose the marbles, they can choose to have one girl go at a time until she has pulled out all her marbles, or each girl pull out one marble at a time. As long as there is only one foot in the water at a time. Once they begin one challenge they may not choose the other, they must complete the challenge started. When they have successfully completed the challenge of their choice, give them their envelope with their next destination.

Fruit of the tree:
✅Passing ✅
1 Nephi 8:11
And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.
Roadblock: Only ONE member of the team can complete this challenge. If one teammate as already completed a roadblock they cannot do another one.
The fruit isn’t white, but it is sweet! One member of the team has to eat their slice of watermelon in less than 60 seconds. If they go over 60 seconds the team must wait an additional 2 mins before you can receive the Route Info to your next stop.
Route info: Your next stop is Fruit of the tree, located out side the dining hall.
Leader Instructions:
 The team will choose one person to speed eat the watermelon. Have a timer ready, give them one minute to eat their piece. If they don’t finish it in under a minute, set the timer for an additional 2 minutes before you give them their route info to the next stop.
***we did small picnic size watermelons and they were cut into quarters. The fastest time was 1:15

Rod of Iron
⚠️No Passing Zone ⚠️
1 Nephi 8:19 & 24
And I beheld a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood.
24 And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.
Pit Stop: All team members must complete this challenge.
Hold to the rod through the mists of darkness! All team members will be blindfolded and must hold on to the iron rod with BOTH hands from the beginning to the end. If one person let’s go with even one hand they must go back to the beginning of the iron rod and try again!
Route Info: Go to the Rod of Iron, by the main fire pit, in front of the great and spacious building (the motel).
Leader Instructions:
Take each of the girls to the beginning of the iron rod and blindfold them. They are to keep both hands on the rod (rope) at all times. If they let go take them back to the beginning. Your job is to be as annoying as possible to try to temp them to let go.  We don’t want the girls to know they will be tempted to let go, so keep the squirt guns hidden until they are blindfolded. Remind them to be cautions with their footing if the ground is rocky, we don’t want anyone tripping!

River of Water:
1 Nephi 8:13
And as I cast my eyes round about, that perhaps I might discover my family also, I beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree of which I was partaking the fruit.
Pit Stop: The whole team must cross the river of filthy waters by staying focused on the path. Much like the childhood game of “the floor is lava” you will not be able to touch the River of Water. You must get from one side of the “river” to the other by stepping on the “stepping stone.” Every team mate should start out standing on a stone in a single file line, the team mate in the back has one extra stone. They pass that extra stone to the front and the first persons places it in the ‘river’ and steps forward, allowing all other teams mates to step forward. The last person then picks up the extra stepping stone and passes it forward. Continue until you are across the river.
Route Info: Your next stop is the River of Water, located by the play ground at the “Great and Spacious Field” (big ball field at the end of the hike)
Leader Instructions:
Once the team successfully completes the challenge give them their next Route Info.

Great and Spacious Building:
1 Nephi 8:26-27
And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.
27 And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.
**We did not have a challenge for this one, but it was the location of the trail head for the fast forward pass

Straight and Narrow Path:
⚠️No Passing Zone⚠️
1 Nephi 8:20
And I also beheld a strait and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree by which I stood; and it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world.
Pit Stop: Stay on the straight and narrow path! All team members must cross the straight and narrow path without falling off. If you fall off you must go back to the beginning and start over.
Route Info: Stay on the Straight and Narrow Path, at the side forest next to the pool (the slack line that was by Ultimate Archery)
Leader Instructions:
 The whole team must cross the straight and narrow path. If one girl falls off she must go back to the beginning and start over.  Once they complete the challenge give them their route info to their next stop.

Dark and Dreary Waste:
1 Nephi 8:7
And it came to pass that as I followed him I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste.
Roadblock: Only ONE member of the team can complete this challenge. If one teammate as already completed a roadblock they cannot do another one.
You have found your self in the dark and dreary waste, choose one team member to wear the blindfold and throw the frisby into the target. The other teammates should work together to give them verbal directions. No physical contact with the girl in the dark and dreary waste!
Route Info: Your next stop is the Dark and Dreary Waste, located in the grassy section to the left of the ball courts.
Leader Instructions:
 The girls will choose one team member to be blindfolded and throw the frisby. The other teammates can help with verbal instruction only. No physical contact. Have the girls start 50 away from the target. Once the frisby gets into the target you can give the girls their next route info ticket.
***Teams got backed up at this stop, I had to round up more blindfolds and frisbys to allow for additional teams to go.

Large and Spacious Field:
1 Nephi 8:9
And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field.
Pit Stop: Team members must all work together to walk across the large and spacious field. Tape the tarp together to make a big loop large enough for your team to stand in. As you stand on the bottom of the loop, hold the top of the loop over head. Work together to walk the loop (like a giant hamster wheel) 20 feet across the field. If the loop breaks you have to start the 20 foot walk again.
Route Info: Go to the Large and Spacious Field (the big ball field at the end of the hike)
Leader Instructions:
Give the girls the supplies to make their human hamster wheel. They must tape the tarp together to form a giant loop. Then work together to walk the newspaper loop 20 feet across the field. If the paper breaks they have to fix it and start back at the beginning. Once they successfully walk the last person across the 20 feet without breaking their loop give them their next route info.
**I got a plastic drop cloth and cut it into 18 in wide strips. those were taped together into a large loop. the girls tried putting it between their legs and walking, that was not aloud. The point was to work together, they had to step on the the track and feed it over head with their hands.

Bringing Family to Partake of the Fruit:
1 Nephi 8:12 & 15
And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.
15 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.
Detour: You have a choice between two challenges. Once you begin one challenge you cannot switch to the other.
Going to the temple fills us with joy as we are able to bring our families to the gospel and link the generations through time.
1 Write down 35 current operating temples OR
2 Build a temple using marshmallows and toothpicks. Your temple must be 1 foot high, 1 foot wide, and one foot long. It must also include a steeple and the angel Moroni.
Route Info: Next you will Bring your Family to Partake of the Fruit at the tables just out side of the Chapel, opposite side from the cabins.
Leader Instructions:
Girls can choose to write down 35 current operating temples, or build a marshmallow toothpick temple. The toothpick marshmallow temple must measure 6in x 6in x 6in, and include a steeple and the angel Moroni. Once they pick one challenge they can’t switch. If they start naming temples to see how many they know that counts as picking that challenge! Warn them not to name any out loud unless they decide as a group that is the challenge they want! Once successfully completed give them their next route info.

Mists of Darkness:
1 Nephi 8:23
And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost.
Pit Stop:Send one team member at a time into the mists of darkness to retrieve a coin. You must find a coin with the birth year of someone on your team. If the coin does not match someone’s birth year, give it to the leader, and send a different team mate in to find another coin.
Route Info: Don’t get lost in the Mists of Darkness, located out side the ‘Great and Spacious Building’ (the motel)
Leader Instructions:
 The goal is for the teams to find a coin with someone’s birth year from their team. Only one girl can look at a time. Ask the girls their birth year before the first girl picks a coin. They have to pick up the first coin they touch and bring it to you. If it does not match a birth year, they must send a different girl in to pick the next coin. Continue until they find a matching coin.
Birth years: 2002-2007

People Wandering in Strange Roads:
1 Nephi 8:32
And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads.
If you complete this challenge you will get a fast forward pass that will allow you to skip the 5 challenges of your choice. But there are only THREE fast forward passes available for the whole camp. Choose wisely!
Starting at the great and spacious building, go down the “Strange Road” (hiking trail) to find the people that are wandering and lost from view. You will find the fast forward pass by the big painted tire.
If you choose not to use your fast forward then proceed to your next stop.

12 Apostles:
1 Nephi 12:8-9
And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the twelve disciples of the Lamb, who are chosen to minister unto thy seed.
9 And he said unto me: Thou rememberest the twelve apostles of the Lamb? Behold they are they who shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, the twelve ministers of thy seed shall be judged of them; for ye are of the house of Israel.
Detour: You have a choice between two challenges. Once you begin one challenge you cannot switch to the other.
1 Name all 12 current apostles using only the pictures provided
2 Match the conference quote to the correct apostle. Return your answers to the leader. If you got any wrong she will send you back to try again. But you must wait 60 before submitting your next answers.
Route Info: Your next stop is the 12 Apostles, find the table close to the road between the out door bathrooms and the chapel. To the side of our “Central Training Grounds”
Leader Instructions:
 The girls have to pick one of the two challenges, once they begin one challenge they cannot switch. 1 name all 12 current apostles, or 2 match the conference quote to the correct apostles. Once they submit their matches you can tell them which ones they got correct and which ones they missed. Give them back the ones they missed and have them try again. They must wait 60 seconds before they can receive the ones they got wrong and try again. Once they successfully complete the challenge, give them their next route info. Mix them up before the next group.
***We ended up using the apostle flash cards with info about each apostle instead of conference quotes

My Brothers Keeper:
Mosiah 2:17
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
Pit Stop: The whole team must work together to measure, cut and tie two sides of a blanket quilt. A long side and a short side. These quilts will be given to those in need, so do your BEST work!
Route Info: Go to My Brothers Keeper, located inside the dinning hall.
Leader Instructions:
 Give them the tape, scissors, and measuring template. And help instruct them on how to cut and tie the quilt. Encourage them to do their best work, as they tie this quilt they are in service to the Lord. When they have completed a long side and a short side you can give them their next route info.
****This was not part of Lehi's Dream, but this was our service project for the week.

Spear Throw:
Pit Stop: Each team member must throw the spear until it hits the target. The handle cannot touch the ground for the throw to count.
Route Info: Next stop, Spear Throw, located at the upper edge of our “Central Training Grounds” where you practiced yesterday.
Leader Instructions:
Each team member must throw the spear until it hits the target. The handle cannot touch the ground for the throw to count. Once they successfully complete the challenge give them their next route info.

Roadblock: Only ONE member of the team can complete this challenge. If one teammate as already completed a roadblock they cannot do another one.
One member of the team must hit the target 3 times.
Route Info: Go to Archery, located by the ball courts, where you practiced yesterday.
Leader Instructions:
One member of the team must hit the target 3 times. Once they successfully complete the challenge give them their next route info.

Tying or Folding:
Detour: You have a choice between two challenges. Once you begin one challenge you cannot switch to the other.
1 Tie 3 knots (that you learned yesterday) correctly OR
2 Using the instruction only (no help from other team mates) each team member must make an origami swan. Only one person folding paper at a time.
Route Info: Your next stop is Tying or Folding. Located at a table across the road from the chapel, you can see the dinning hall from here.
Leader Instructions:
They must choose to either tie 3 knots correctly OR
Using the instruction only (no help from other team mates) each team member must make an origami swan. Only one person folding paper at a time. Once they successfully complete the challenge give them their next route info.
***We had a knots tying class the day before using the old classic girls camp knots certification, if they paid attention this would be an easy stop.

Scripture Search:
Pit Stop: Using the topical guide you must find a scripture to answer the question the leader gives you. Paper scriptures only! Once you find a scripture, look it up and read it to the leader.
Route Info: Your next stop is Scripture Search, located at the main fire pit, close to the dinning hall.
Route Info: Your next stop is Scripture Search, located at the fire pit in our “Central Training Grounds”
Leader Instructions:
Ask the team the question provided. They must use the topical guide to find an answer, look up the scripture and read it to you. Once they successfully complete the challenge give them their next route info.
**WE had two of these stations, one for route A and one for Route B

Nature vs Ice:
Detour: You have a choice between two challenges. Once you begin one challenge you cannot switch to the other.
1 Nature scavenger hunt: Find 3 different types of leaves, a pine cone, 3 acorns with “hats on”, 2 three leaf clovers, a rock, something fuzzy, something straight, and something smooth OR
2 Work together to open a frozen t shirt. One team mate must put it completely on before receiving the next clue.
Route Info: Go to Nature vs Ice, found at the short wall across from the main fire pit, and in front of the dinning hall.
Leader Instructions: 
Teams must choose one of the two challenges, they cannot switch one they begin the challenge. 1 Nature scavenger hunt: Find 3 different types of leaves, a pine cone, 3 acorns with “hats on”, 2 three leaf clovers, a rock, something fuzzy, something straight, and something smooth OR
2 Work together to open a frozen t shirt. One team mate must put it completely on before receiving the next clue. Once they successfully complete the challenge give them their next route info.
**No using water bottles to melt the ice! They had to work together!

Stack ‘em:
Roadblock: Only ONE member of the team can complete this challenge. If one teammate as already completed a roadblock they cannot do another one.
Choose one teammate to stack 10 dice on top of each other. The tower must stand for 3 full seconds.
Route Info: Your next stop is Stack ‘em which can be found at the red camp store.
Leader Instructions:
 One teammate must stack 10 dice on top of each other. The tower must stand for 3 full seconds. Once they successfully complete the challenge give them their next route info.

Scripture Power:
Detour: You have a choice between two challenges. Once you begin one challenge you cannot switch to the other.
1 Memorize a scripture and recite it perfectly. If you mess up you must wait 60 before you can try again. OR
2 Complete a diagram of the plan of salvation. If you get a piece wrong you must wait one minute before you can try again.
Route Info: Take a break from the heat at Scripture Power inside the chapel.
Leader Instructions: 
The team must choose which challenge they want to complete. Once they begin the challenge they can’t switch. They can memorize a scripture and recite it word for word back to you. If they mess up they have to wait 60 seconds before trying again. Or complete the diagram of the plan of salvation. If they get a piece wrong they must wait 60 seconds before trying again. You can tell them what part is miss placed. Once they successfully complete the challenge give them their next route info.
***We used the Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me
It is an easy one, but they girls didn't know the scripture they had to memorize, they had to choose first.

Giant Stack ‘em:
⚠️No Passing Zone⚠️
Pit Stop: Working together play the giant jenga game until it reaches 3 ½ feet tall. If it falls rebuild the game and start over.
Route Info: Your next stop is Giant Stack ‘em located on the concrete pad next to the ball courts.
Leader Instructions: 
The team must work together to play the giant jenga game until it reaches 3 ½ feet tall. If it falls they must rebuild the game and start over. Once they successfully complete the challenge give them their next route info.

Mighty Pen:
Pit Stop: Working together, write our camp theme with everyone only holding the last loop on the string tied to a marker.
Route Info: Take a break from the heat at Might Pen which can be found inside the chapel.
Leader Instructions:
The team must work together to write “Women Warriors,” everyone can only touch the loop on the end of their string attached to the marker. Once they successfully complete the challenge give them their next route info.
**Women Warriors was our theme for camp

Sunday, July 7, 2019

LDS Girls Camp

I had the opportunity to be the assistant Stake Camp Director this year, this was probably my most favorite camp I’ve been to, out of the 14 times I’ve gone! The director and I really wanted new things that the girls hadn’t seen before, so we worked really hard to come up with great classes and experiences for these girls, and we would like to share it for anyone that may be looking.

Camp Theme

Women Warriors
We had 3 sub themes that we focused on each day
Women of Faith, Women of Strength, Women of God

Purpose of camp was to help the girls see that they could do anything the Lord asked them to do, and they can do hard things. We created a slide show with images of “Women Warriors” to introduce the theme. We talked about qualities of a warrior, then talked about REAL women Warriors in history, they did exist. They were rare, but powerful, usually impacting their tribe, or country for generations to follow.

We based our decorating off of a Native American feel, kinda boho, which was trendy this year so it’s easy to find lots of things to go along with the theme.

Tuesday: Women of Faith day
Warrior initiation day!
The stake leaders and YCLs camp up Monday to get camp ready, and then we took them to the lake just to have fun for a couple hours. We had a jet ski, pontoon boat, lily pad and a ski boat. It was an awesome afternoon where we had a chance to bond with the girls a little that we didn’t know very well.

Tuesday morning the wards arrived, we gave everyone time to find their cabins and then we had morning devotional and camp orientation. Then we started our activities.

Women’s Self Defense class:
This was totally awesome!! A sister in the stake teaches women’s self defense and she relates it to the gospel, being able to listen to the spirit is a huge part of her class, and she tweaked it perfectly to fit in with our Women of Faith day!

Warrior endurance: (Short hike)
We renamed everything for one to sound more exciting, for two, to keep a little mystery in the week, and for 3 so they didn’t see something like a hike or service project and have time to complain, it was just; here is this thing! I think it helped girls to just be in the moment.

After lunch we had crafts and our spiritual/sit down class.
Crafts: Only 2 crafts this year, dream catcher key chains, (SO cute!) and walking sticks (sticks harvested from my parents forest)

First class was about having self confidence, and changing negative thoughts in your head to positive thoughts. Second class was about finding your “inner peace” like Po from Kung fu panda, we talked about meditation and did a guided meditation at the end.

A couple hours of free time, and dinner, and then we had our evening devotional.

YCL skit
The YCLs had a skit for every night at camp that they had been working on, all continued from the night before and correlated with the daily theme. They were AWESOME!! It was like watching a mini episode every day! Then we did bag skits with each level. 4 leaders brought a bag of props and random items. Each level got to do one skit during camp. They got their bag of props and had 30  mins to come up with a short skit to preform that night at devotional. It was totally optional. It was just to give each of the girls an opportunity to get up in front of everyone if they wanted to. The girls had fun with it!

We gave out 2 awards each night. The clean cabin award, each day at a random time 2 of our leaders would look at all the cabins, the cleanest cabin got a cooler full of drinks for the night. This was a HUGE  hit for the younger girls! It really made clean up a breeze on the last day!

Girl on Fire award. This was EVERYONE'S FAVORITE!! Every day each girl and each leader got to submit one girl for girl on Fire. This was for anyone who you had seen go above and beyond, or stand out in any way. Every day after dinner, before devotional our two 18 year old leaders (who were the back bone to camp this year!! They weren’t YCLs, but they weren’t cabin moms, they were like the stake assistants. They were the runners. And they went from sun up, to way past sun down!! Seriously THE best!) they would read all the submission and pick 3 for the night. Any one that was really special they saved for the ultimate girl on fire on the last day.
They played “this girl is on fire” and during the first verse they would read the girls who won, and what they had done, and the girls would come up to the stage, and then as we got to the chorus “THIS GIRL IS ON FIRE!” everyone erupted and sang and danced! And the energy was crazy exciting! Celebrating these awesome girls up on stage! This year we gave them each a water bottle filled with red and yellow wrapped candies, and a super cute dream catcher bracelet. Totally epic award!! So fun!

After the crazy and the fun we had our spiritual thought given by one of the stake leaders each night, also correlating with the theme and events of the day, and then we would sing our theme song. I will have a separate post about that. This was one of my favorite thing about camp this year!

Faith Walk
After devotional we had our faith walk led by the YCLs. They each took a value and were stationed around the camp. The younger girls walked from station to station and got a mini devotional about the value and a woman Warrior from the scriptures that helped teach us about the value. This was quiet and reverent. They had jar lanterns for each group to carry with them. It was truly awesome to hear these Laurels bear testimony and fill us with the spirit station after station. They totally blew me away! We ended back in the chapel (our big in-door multi purpose room that was our main gathering place) where one YCL wrapped it all up.

Glow in the dark games
Each evening we had glow in the dark games for the girls and each morning we had early swim. These girls just kept going and going!! The activities after dinner and before breakfast were optional, but the girls LOVED them! We were very fortunate to have leaders that were available for kick ball, volleyball, swimming, and impromptu karaoke! I, on the other hand, was wiped out and had to opt out of the late and early festivities. So I was grateful for the leaders that were able to play with the girls!

Wednesday: Women of Strength
Warrior training day!
We met at the fire pit for morning devotional before breakfast, for a quick spiritual thought, and blessing on the food. This is also when the camp director and I would get up and talk about the activities for the day.

At breakfast we had face paint crayons and several simple options for the YCLs to choose from. They picked a design for their group, and during breakfast the YCLs put “war paint” on each of the girls. They all loved that! Our 4th years ended up with long mustaches. They are hilarious!

Then we began our warrior training! Everyone rotated through archery, knot tying (classic old school girls camp certification), spear throwing, learning how to build a fire, and ultimate archery tag.

We instructed the teachers of each rotation to tell the girls the things they do today will effect them tomorrow! That intrigued most of the girls. The fact that it was a race got leaked, but it was not what they expected!

The Spears were one of my favorites! It was the spear from the spartan race, you can get info on how to build and throw it on Pinterest. It was important that each girl learned how to throw the spear because during the race they were going to be expected to do it before their team could leave that station.
To make a target the spear had to stick into the hay bale and the handle not touch the ground. 1 cm off the ground counted! Just so long at it did not rest of the ground.
The more athletic girls got it right away and LOVED it! But the …less athletic girls ended up standing in the back ground. After about 20 Mins I asked who had not made a target. Hands slowly went up as eyes went down. They didn’t think they could do it. So we brought them all to the front and coached them individually. One girl would not follow through. So I told her when she throws it to stay there like a statue until the spear hit the target. She tried it the next throw and made her first target!! There was jumping and screaming and much high fiving!! That was EXACTLY what we wanted those girls to experience!! EVERY girls that stuck with it and tried and persisted was able to make a successful target! There was one girl, that I know of, that  was unable to make the target. She threw it once and said “I can’t do it” and never tried again. Definitely a lesson to be learned in that!

Archery Tag
The archery tag was SO fun!! We also had a slack line put up next to it for the girls that were waiting to play. (That was for the race also but they didn’t know that) If you are interested in archery tag, you can buy the equipment your self off of amazon for about what we paid a professional to come in for 3 hours, FYI.

After lunch we had our craft/spiritual class rotation. We had someone come in who I believe is a youth counselor, she specializes in working with kids that deal with anxiety and depression. Her class was AMAZING!! It was full of hands on demonstrations of what the brain can do! The girls really listened too! I could hear the things she taught come up in conversations through out the rest of camp! She just dropped into our lap at the prefect time! Someone needed that class, I have no doubt!

Then free time, dinner, devotional, and evening festivities! Just like that day before.

Fire competition:
This is where the “training” started coming into play. One of our priesthood men took over the fire instruction class for us. That was not planned, it was spur of the moment, but he couldn’t have been more perfect! He is a physics teacher at a local school! He was amazing!
We split the girls into their race teams for the next day, and gave them each a bag of kindling. They built their fires, and then we strung a piece a string above their fires with two wooden skewers. The object was to burn their string till it broke. This was the determining factor in the order they got to start the race the next day.

Thursday: Women of God
 Warrior Adventure day!
After breakfast we had the race! It was patterned after “The Amazing Race” but we did it to the theme of Lehi’s Dream. I will do a separate post on this as there was a LOT of moving parts, it was the most difficult thing at camp to plan and coordinate. It was “all hands on deck” that day!

Everything that they had been doing and learning throughout the week came into play during the race! It was really cool to see everything come full circle and to see the girls put into action things they learned from their classes and activities!

There was a slight mix up though. Each team was numbered. They had a series of 16 stations that they had to move through. At each station there was a challenge. Once they successfully completed the challenge, they got their next “Route info” ticket. Each of these tickets was numbered with their team number. The mix up happened when the teams went out the door for their first stop, some of them got the number of the order they were going out, the number of their placement from the fire competition, instead of their team number. Then at the stations they were given their team number and everything started to crumble! We had planned for 2 ½ to 3 hours for this activity, and 40 Mins into we had to stop the race and regroup. We ended up doing our 'after lunch' classes right then and moved the race to after lunch. During the classes we collected all the tickets and put them back into order and back in the correct envelopes for each station.
My heart stopped a little when the race was falling apart, cause countless hours went into to making it work! And the girls WANTED to do it! But the other leaders rallied together and we got everything back in place! We started again after lunch and everything went prefect that time!!

After the race was free time, and then BISHOPS NIGHT!!

I didn’t realize that this was more of a local tradition, but it has ALWAYS been the highlight of our girls camp!!
Bishops are invited to join us for dinner and festivities of the evening. They are usually asked to participate in something in front of the girls. This year we made it a competition!
We are hoping to start a new tradition. We made a small trophy for the winning bishop to keep on his desk in the bishops office. We bought a 4 inch “Captain Moroni” figurine cast in pewter. And fixed him on a small wood plaque with a little metal engraving “Girls Camp first place bishops night” with instructions on the bottom to bring it back next year to girls camp, to see if he can keep his title of 'first place' and reclaim the trophy!
Since the girls learned SO much this week we wanted to give the bishops a shot. Points were awarded for each thing. First was a watermelon speed eating contest. The girls had to do this in their race. 1st 2nd and 3rd place were awarded points. Then it was the spear throw, not as easy as the little girls made it look! And then archery.
Then we went inside for evening devotional and we did the awards ceremony with the added awards for the race. We made “medals” out of ribbon and candy. 3rd place got individual size candy, 2nd place got candy bar size, and 3rd place for movie candy size. We called them up and placed their medals around their necks. We presented the winning bishop with the trophy. I loved it because the bishop that won had JUST been called only a week or two in advance! It was a great way to establish that relationship with the girls!

I was the speaker for the evening followed by our awesome stake president. I used the explanation of the t shirt design and the birth of our camp theme song as the basis for my devotional. Because it is exactly the point we wanted to get across to the girls this week. I will go into detail of the song in another post. To explain the T-shirt’s is just started talking about how we use symbols in the gospel. And how the Native Americans used symbols. I showed them a pic of a feather,

 which symbolizes trust, and strength.

Then the symbol of the great spirit, or God.
The symbol for brotherhood (or in our case sisterhood)
and then we put our t shirt design up on the screen.
 Which is a combination of all of those symbols to create one simple design with not many words, but if you understand the symbols, it says
Women Warriors
Women of Faith (trust), Women of Strength, Women of God, and girls camp.
When I threw the t shirt image on the screen the all erupted!! Mind blown! It was great!

After devotional we separated for ward testimonies with their bishops. Some had fire pits, some had tiki torches, cause we LOVE testimonies around the fire, but we did not have enough fire pits at the camp ground, so we improvised. And it worked pretty well!

Then we had our Epic Dance party back in the chapel till midnight! So! Fun! And so exhausting! Lol and then some of our AMAZING stake leaders took the girls for a midnight swim!! Epic day!

Last day was pretty low key. After breakfast we met for our closing meeting. We awarded the ultimate girl on fire awards, who got the water bottles AND blankets that we had made during the race. And then we watched a slide show video of the week! One of our 18 year olds collected pics from leaders and girls all week and made a totally awesome slide show!! We sang our theme song all together one more time, had a prayer and finished cleanup and check out.

All in all it was a pretty amazing week!! We put a lot into it, and we would love to share to with anyone looking for ideas for camp.

Monday, November 7, 2016

10 minute Roman Costume

For this costume you will need:

         - Large Brown T-Shirt (turned inside out if it has designs on it)
         - Large Red T-Shirt (turned inside out if it has designs on it)
         - Strip of extra brown fabric
         - Large square of red fabric
         - Straight pins
         - Fabric scissors
         - hot glue
         - Paper bag
         - paper twine (or regular twine. I just like the paper cause it's wider and shows up nicely)

First things first, plug in your glue gun. You will want it warming up while you get your shirt cut. Take your brown shirt and cut off the sleeves. Then try the shirt on your child. You will need to mark with a straight pin on the front and back, a visible stopping point for your slits in the front of your shirt. You will want the slits to come up to the top of the leg, but not all the way to the hip.

The best part of working with T-shirts is they don't need to be zig zagged. You can cut them however and they don't unravel. Now, try the shirt on again and mark with straight pins where the twine goes to make the chest shape. Take the shirt off your little Roman and put a paper bag inside the shirt to prepare for gluing. (this step isn't 100% necessary, but sometimes the glue goes through the shirt. So I find this step helpful)

Lay your twine over your straight pin markings for the chest and cut to length. Then using the hot glue gun, glue the twine down in at least 5 spots per each side of the chest. It isn't necessary to glue the entire piece of twin down. I have washed this costume 3 times and the glue only comes off if the dryer is too hot. Even then it only comes off in a few places.

Now, take your big square piece of Red fabric (I had one in my fabric box, but you can always cut out the back of another red shirt) and glue the top two corners to the brown shirt shoulders. Gather it if necessary and glue again to make sure the cape isn't sagging.

Put the red shirt on first, then the brown shirt that has been cut. Make sure the cape falls to the back when your kid puts it on. Sometimes their head can get caught in the wrong place. Now take your extra strip of brown fabric (I had one in my craft box, but you can always cut the bottom off another shirt) and tie around their waist. No helmet, but unmistakably Roman. Not too bad for a free costume!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ketchup Bottles

PLEASE tell me that none of you throw these out when the Ketchup is gone. I have found a few uses that I just LOVE using Ketchup bottles for.

Turkey Baster, cut off the flip up part of the cap to keep it out of the way and you have a no fuss turkey baster. Just squeeze it tight and dip it in the juices of your turkey. It will suck it up quite easily and then you can baste your turkey.

Pancake pen.We have all seen these at walmart. Yeah they look cool, but really....why would I pay seven bucks for something I could get for free? [we have moved on from ketchup bottles because our family is too big, now we use a juice bottle full of pancake batter. We just drilled a hole in the lid]

If your cake icing is the right viscosity then these would be pretty handy.

Kids LOVE using these in water fights.

What would you use a ketchup bottle for? The list is endless.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hulk Muscle Shirt from a sleeping bag

Big shout out to all you DIYers out there. For me this is the biggest DIY time of the year because it means COSTUMES Yep, and boy, do my kids love the homemade costumes. They always look awesome. We have a huge hulk fan in our house. This is what we did for him.

I needed muscles so I thought I would have to stuff them and sew them...but then I found a green sleeping bag at the thrift store for three bucks. My thinking? I figure, if I just sew a shirt out of this and stitch muscle lines into it, it will look awesome.

So I started by taking off the zipper. I was lucky, some sleeping bags have the zippers sewn into the seams, this one was sewn on after the bag was stitched up. One less seam I have to do.

No, I dont really ever sew. So I didnt have any patterns. No matter. You want to sew a shirt? Find a shirt that fits your subject. I needed one that was a little bigger to account for all the layers. Turn said shirt inside out and trace shape onto your fabric, allowing for extra inches for the seams on the bottom edge. You can use chalk...but I didnt want to have to re trace my lines so I just did permanent marker. I started with the front piece of the shirt.

Use pins all the way through your fabric to make sure you don't loose your sleeping bag guts. Then cut out your Tshirt front. The back, since the fabric does not stretch, needs to be in two pieces. You can use ties, or saftey pins, or elastic. Elastic is the best bet because your child WILL bend over, and if the sleeping bag is sew together like a regular shirt, the seams will RIP. I cut my two back pieces from the edge of the sleeping bag so I had one less seam to deal with. The sleeves get a bit tricky because you have to roll your shirt as you trace it to make sure you get the entire sleeve. Or as an afterthought, you can just fold your fabric in half, and then cut it. But I am such a goldfish that I do better with rolling the shirt because if I folded it, I would end up having the folded edge on the wrong side. ANYHOW...tangent over. 

As I said before, the sleeping bag was an old one from the thrift store. Some parts of the batting were fatter than others. Im guessing this is because it had been washed and the batting shifted into random places. So I just dissected those areas and cut off the top layer of batting on the fat part to make it slightly more uniform. 

Once you have all your pieces cut out then you have to decide where you want your muscle stitches to be. I took FOREVER trying to decide how to do it, this is what I came up with. Dont forget the curved line above the abs, it looks SO WEIRD without it. This is my poor PAINT representation of what I stitched on to the chest.

The back muscles I didnt do much to, I just put a curved line under each spot where the shoulder blades would be. Most people wont be looking at the back anyway. In the picture below, the right side is the left half of the back of the shirt. Sew the sides of the back to the sides of the front.

Now, you need to sew up your neckline before sewing the shoulders because the shoulders will be uneven on the front and back.

Sew your front to your back This is what mine looked like. See how much longer the back piece is?

This is my kiddo trying on the chest piece Looks pretty good, but it NEEDS sleeves.Yes it is long, but I did that so he could wear it longer, and tuck it in if needed. The back is still open, you can opt to sew on some elastic, but I just ended up safety pinning the top corner of one side of the back to the top of the other side of the back. Didn't bother with anymore safety pins because when he bent over they fell out anyway.

Now onto the sleeves. I started with a short sleeve shirt, so all I did was extend the sleeve till it was the same length as my sons arm. Then I had to figure out what to do for the muscle lines. I looked all over at muscle man pictures and finally came up with this. 

Again, another poor PAINT representation of how I stitched the muscles. The arm was cut with the wrist portion on a seam so I had one less thing to stitch up as well. This is what my muscles ended up looking like. Take your arm and sew the long sides together to make a sleeve tube.

Now, to sew the arms to the arm holes on the muscle shirt. Hopefully you still have pins in your fabric around the sleeves, but if you dont, get some pins ready. Turn your whole shirt, inside out.

Now take your sleeve, DO NOT TURN IT INSIDE OUT. And put it inside the inside out chest portion. Yes, I know this is confusing, but stay with me. Pin the sleeve to the shirt. If you are confused on how to pin it, just pin it and then turn your shirt right side out. If the sleeve has its under arm seam on the outside, you pinned it wrong..

This is my finished shirt. The boy LOVES IT. He wears it all the time. The arm muscles are kinda hard to see, but they do add a nice touch when noticed.

Next I used the same tracing method with the pants, only I made them wide and put elastic in the waist. Then I decided he needed hulk feet. Cause Hulk doesn't wear shoes. And that is the one thing that store bought costumes always forget....the feet.

You can find my post on large costume feet here

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fixin my couch

I bought my couch 2 years ago off of craigs list, and it was not even a year old. It was EXACTLY what I was looking for. After having it for a while I realized that the top cushions were over stuffed and the bottom back cushions were under stuffed. Not ideal for someone with back issues.

Then a couple months ago Mark laid down on it. He just kind of plopped on the couch, not hard at all, and we heard this snap, and then something was protruding out of the back of the couch. Luckily not through the fabric. So I vowed to fix it. Oh, also it didn't have feet, I have wanted to put feet on it since we bought it.

So A while back I flipped it over and pulled out most of the staples on the lining and flopped it over so I could take a look in the couch. I could see the problem and I thought I could fix it, but when I tried It just didn't work. So I flipped the couch back over, pondering how in the world to fix it. For about 2 month the back rest of the couch leaned towards the back, not the front of the couch, and it was so uncomfortable to sit on.

My mom just reupholstered my sisters couch for her birthday last month. Her couch had amazing structure, but the fabric was ripped and quite worn.  My mom did a beautiful job.

(Marisa will insert a picture of her couch here) J

 So I got to thinking, my upholstery is great, but my structure is crap, so All I need to do if reinforce the structure. So then OFF came the back of the couch.
I love taking things apart, learning how the work and putting them back together.
So with the back off I could see the problem. The couch was build with freakin 1x2’s stapled together. WHO DOES THAT?!?!  You can see my little red arrows, these were some of the problem areas. The top one is pointing at a board that was supposed to be attached. That is what was sticking out of the back of my couch for months. 
So I used cardboard to create a pattern for 2 supports for the middle,  I used my cardboard pattern and cut 2 supports out of plywood. The structure is MUCH more solid with just a few simple changes. And I was happy cause I got to play with my power tools AND, they were a perfect fit. woot woot! 

and then I braced and glued the broken piece back together.
(my random upside down pic)
That alone wouldnt be enough, but I'm hoping with the added braces that I made it will have enough support. 

Now on to the cushions. I need good support for my lower back. Someone got smart and put a ZIPPER on the lower cushions on the inside. SO easy to add the stuffing. BUUUT, the top cushions (which were WAY over stuffed) had no zipper. FACE PALM. So I got out the old seam ripper and ripped a hole in my couch. I pulled the stuffing out of the top, and added it to the bottom.  All the while flipping my couch right side up to sit on it and test it.

At one point when I was flipping the couch back down the tack strip caught my ear and nearly ripped it out of my head! (ok, maybe that was a little dramatic, but I did get cut, and it bleed a lot)

I also ended up making some feet for the couch.  It was just too short. Which is great for short people. I got nothing against short people. Infact, a lot of my friends are short people….it’s just not my thing. I would have seriously loved to make it SO high that MY feet dangled. How cool would that be!  But I would have had to make the feet like 8 inched tall, and at that point the become more like stilts then feet. But I still made them tall, they are 5 inches tall. I spent like $7 on a 4x4, and 2 on the special screws. I cut it, sanded them, stained them (I already had the stain) and I used my fancy drill press to get nice straight holes. So $9 for 4 feet, as apposed to $8 for one already made foot. See, and THIS is why I do it my self. :)
another sideways picture. 
 D wanted a picture of him, so I took his picture, then i realized this shows how tall the feet are :) 
Today my mom brought over the awesome upholstery staple gun. I put the feet together, and after the kids went to bed I turned on the air compressor and went to town. I tacked everything back down, screwed in my nice new TALL feet, and flipped that puppy over.


It’s tall, comfy, and has the back support that I need. And to all of my short friends, maybe I can make you a step stool J

When I started this project I thought I might like to actually make a couch some day…but now, I can say that making a couch is officially OFF the bucket list. BUT NOW I want to make a big cushy ottoman to match. If I ever  find the same fabric as my couch I’m totally going to buy it.