I’ve always wanted to like camping. While dating, I wanted to be seen as “outdoorsy” because it was generally considered to be an attractive trait. Of course, I did (and still do) absolutely love some outdoors activities, no strings attached—I’ve always had a soft spot for rock climbing, hiking, and just being out in nature.
But if I’m being honest, I can’t exactly say that I normally “love” camping–given the choice, I will always choose a hotel, cabin, or trailer over a tent, and access to a hot shower over bathing for days in my own sweat and grime.
All that aside though, I have some awesome memories of camping, including the most recent memories of girls’ camp (which I just got back from last Thursday).
Each year, LDS young women in most areas of the world take a camping trip in the summer with their leaders. In our particular group, we are few (only five young women right now), but we love being together.
Camping as a leader definitely has its challenges, but there are a few things I definitely love.
I love the experience of getting to know the girls in a totally different setting than church or the weekly activities we hold.
I love teaching them such skills–such as starting a fire, preparing a camp meal, or honing their nature photography skills–and watch the exultation on their faces when they “get” something for the first time.
I love the excuse to be away from technology and the constant buzz that seems to accompany daily life in this crazy world.
I love the chance to explore new parts of nature through taking hikes, like the hike we took up to an abandoned mine (which had a deliciously creepy abandoned building right next to it).
I love the way that being out in nature and being around the young women and other leaders re-opens my eyes to the great truths in life: I am a daughter of God, He loves me, and I am on the right path (despite all my weaknesses).
I love the chance to be silly again, since it seems that those opportunities are rarer and rarer the older I get.
And even though my calling as a leader in the young women program has been challenging, I love how much it’s helping me to grow, learn, and progress in my own spirituality and talents.
Thanks to everyone (especially the other leaders) for another successful girls’ camp experience! I couldn’t have done it without you!
Do you like camping?