Sunday, June 29, 2008

Why I Go to Girls' Camp

Quinlan and I just returned from five days at Girls' Camp. This was my seventh year to go as an adult. I have been blessed enough to attend three of the times even though I didn't work in Young Women. Now that I do, it's just kind of a thing I can jump right in and say I'm planning on going and be pretty much assured a spot.

This year, I had the opportunity to work as what is known as a counsellor advocate with two girls from my own ward. They are very mature young women, and I knew I would have no problems. They had eight 12 and 13 year old girls to watch after in our cabin. Debra May (one of my favorite people) and I were the "grandmas in the closet." We had a small area in the back of the cabin (really like a closet) where we slept. That way we were out of the way, so the girls could lead without us being too intrusive, but we could be there at a moment's notice if necessary.

It was a wonderful week!

Some women, especially those with little children, don't want to go to camp. I must admit, each time I go I feel a twinge of guilt for leaving my little tribe to fend for themselves, but what I come home to, reminds me why I go time and again.

Today, as I sat in church, I figured it out. When I get back, my family loves me so much more. they want to do everything they can to please me and make me happy. As I've listened to Zan in dealing with the kids in the past twenty-four hours, I have noticed an increased patience. As I leave him to be a single parent (a role I feel I've carried many times in our married life as Zan has had busy times at work and in callings), he has learned to be a more creative and loving parent. Don't get me wrong. He is a great dad, but it just has a different, more polished quality.

This past Monday, I went on the high adventure with a group of youth camp leaders. We who went were told to let the girls make all the decisions and just drive them around. If they asked for our opinions, we were to direct them to think for themselves and to learn from their own mistakes. As I'm getting older, this seems to be a recurring theme. We can only truly learn if we're allowed to make choices and have successes AND failures.

As I went to camp, my family was allowed to learn from their successes and failures. I wasn't there to coach or direct (a role that it feels like I fill a lot lately). It looks like they did a beautiful job without their coach.

So, will I go again next year? If I have my way, I will. I hope this new improved family I returned to stays this way for awhile.


Rachael said...

It was so great to get to hang out with you and get to know you even better. I love serving with so many great women. The girls are awesome too. I agree about the coming home bit. This year it wasn't really hard for Jeff, with only two left that can fend for themselves, but the dog almost died. It has been great to make a new friend, you can sit on my couch anytime!

Darilyn said...

I'm so happy that I was able to meet you and get to know you this past week. What a great place to meet and bond with other women.

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