Wednesday, August 5, 2009

From Y Camp to YW Camp

My experience with camp has been amazing. Growing up, I attended a YMCA Camp that I continued to go to every summer until this summer. I have been a camper, a CIT (counselor in training), and AC (assistant counselor), head counselor, office manager, and program director. Most people who know me know that I love Camp Dudley. I talk about it every chance that I get. It means a lot to me, I learned a lot there and most of my cherished learning experiences happened there. Plus it is where I met the love of my life so its pretty special in that way too.

Kyle and I had a second reception up at camp for most of our Yakima friends. Prior to the reception, I decided that I wanted to go up to camp two days early just to have a little bit of it in my summer. This was both a good and bad thing. It was good because it really made me realize where I need to be right now, and that is with my husband in Seattle. It was REALLY hard because it was an official close to a MAJOR chapter in my life. As the final BBQ ended, I couldn't help but cry, I wasn't apart of the amazing experiences that happen there anymore. It was a sad thought. I was happy to leave that weekend because being there took an emotional toll out on me.

Fast forward to today, literally.

I just returned from Ensign Ranch which is a piece of land owned by our church in Cle Elum, Washington (about halfway between Seattle and Yakima). Our church provides a camp experience for all the Young Women (girls 12-17). They get to go up and be in the wood and have fun, but not only that, there is a focus on being spiritual. In my new ward, I was called as a mia maid advisor (I help the 14-15 year old girls) and in being this, I got to drive up to this camp and teach an hour long lesson about "the paths of virtue," eat some dinner, and then go home. Being there triggered something within me. It felt like YMCA camp, but it clearly wasn't. The set up was much different and I was talking about the gospel and spiritual things. But it felt so amazing.

Driving home I had an hour and a half to reflect on my feelings. First I thought about my lesson and hoped that the girls got something out of it. Second, I started getting nostalgic for YMCA camp, and then something dawned on me. YMCA was a huge part of my life and taught me so much but I felt that I needed to move on to something bigger. I feel like Young Women Camp is something that I need to be a part of next year. More so than this year, next year I want to be there the whole week with my girls.

Needless to say, I am excited about my life. I feel like I really have purpose and direction in my new calling. I love the Young Women in my ward. They have so much to offer and give to this world, I just hope they can see that and find worth in themselves.

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