Tell Me the Ugly Beautiful Truth about Girls Camp

So, usually when I post, I have something long and boring and complex and vaguely theological to say. Not this time. This time, I just want gossip.

Next week, I am off to our stake’s Girls Camp as a daddy/chaperone/supervisor/priesthood leader/male flunky/take your pick. I’m really quite looking forward to it. Partly because it isn’t, or at least presumably won’t be, Scout Camp, which I, thankfully, somehow managed to never attend during the three years I was our ward’s Young Men’s President. But mostly it’s because I have four daughters, and I love them, and in going to Girls Camp I feel as though I will be entering into a new stage in my fathering of them. A stage that will last, in all likelihood, for a long time–depending on what the future holds, I could be doing this for the next 15 summers. Which I’m okay with, I should note.

So anyway, I’m soon off for five days in the non-electrified, out-of-cell-phone-range Oklahoma wilderness, or something like that. As I sleep for four nights in the no-doubt increasingly-stinky cabin reserved for the male volunteers, there will be much opportunity for developing friendships, which amongst men usually means telling outrageous and hopefully funny lies to each other. Now, the best lies have kernals of truth to them, so that’s what I’m looking for: kernals. Crazy, nonsensical, borderline-scandalous kernals of truth about Girls Camp experiences past and present. I don’t expect anyone to be able to top the one story I already have in reserve–a story that has been vouched for by actual survivors, and which has undergone only minimal exxageration in the retelling–but perhaps if you could give me others, it would ease my acceptance by the old Girls Camp hands (one fellow in our stake has been going every summer for the past 30 years).

So have at it, sisters: what’s the best/worst/grossest/most spiritual/craziest/happiest/most apostate/ludicrous Girls Camp story you have to share? Fathers, brothers, husbands, feel free to chime in, adding extra violence and/or farts as you feel appropriate.

Comments

  1. pffft

  2. My daughter enters YM this year and I will be going to Girls Camp for the first time (with four boys I’ve had lots of Scout Camp experience). I’l looking forward to these stories. Teach me.

  3. Out here in Orange County, “camping” does not enter the equation for Girl’s Camp. Sleeping is done on beds in electricity-enabled cabins. Toilets flush. No open fires. Hiking is only done if gift cards to H&M are promised.

  4. One year a friend and I invented a girl (Angie Vanderherff) and told everyone she was lost and we needed to go look for her. Mostly our lies were met with skepticism, until we convinced a girl from another ward to come back to our campsite and call herself Angie. Apparently she’d been found. I think that’s the same year we waxed all the matches.

    Nothing too apostate or scandalous here, but I’ve _heard_ stories of bra hikes, cabins lit on fire, people getting chased by bears, girls hitchhiking back to civilization . . .

  5. …Sleeping is done on beds in electricity-enabled cabins. Toilets flush. …

    Yes, but such things permit you to run the midnight blindfolded initiation ceremony, which should include a stop at a toilet bowl (or a large kitchen bowl which you tell the initiate is a toilet bowl, which she will believe because she has seen the flush toilets), filled with cold water, a few long pieces of toilet paper, and a peeled banana or two, as well as the earring you require her to find in the bottom so it can be returned to its owner.

    (Should I have posted this under a pseudonym?)

  6. (Yes, but mostly because I flubbed the italics.)

  7. Jessie T. says:

    One year our leaders were thrilled to let us “learn a valuable life lesson by preparing our own dinners”. Yeah, we learned a great life lesson: Always put your tin foil dinner in the hottest part of the fire, otherwise your chicken will not cook and you and about 30 other girls will get violently sick 45 miles out in the middle of the North Carolina wilderness with food poisoning.

    Lesson learned.

    No flush toilets or sinks to wash up in with made the various bodily fluids squirting out of both ends an interesting exercise in the saving properties of bottled water.

  8. Camp is full of good intentions and works wonderfully for many young women. Our stake often has “value hikes” which involve hiking from one white-clothes messenger to another to get guidance. A little hokey for some, but a real pleaser for others. My daughters did not care for camp and felt it rather manipulative. I, on the other hand, had a wonderful time back in the olden days when I attended.

  9. Nothing very interesting ever happened when I was at Girls Camp, unless you count the time we snuck into the kitchen and ate all the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms and then resealed the boxes. Scandalous!!

  10. I do have one piece of advice. Don’t offer to give any of the girls a back massage, even if she is in severe pain, you are in the presence of other adults and you are a licensed massage therapist.

    People will still get the wrong idea.

  11. Aaron Brown says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to share about Girls Camp, Russell. This post is so timely, as I was venting about this topic just the other day. I can’t compete in the wacky story department, but after attending Girls Camp for the first time last year as a male “chaperone”, I do want to gripe briefly:

    1. Are all teenage girls this annoying? Seriously. I knew going in that I might be giving a priesthood blessing or two, but I had no idea there’d be a veritable flood of “injured” young women seeking my services, the most damaged of whom had maybe half a dozen mosquito bites.

    The inundation surprised me, but so did my reaction do it. I was genuinely annoyed. I wanted to tell the girls to grow a pair, but, well, “if my aunt had two balls, she’d be my uncle,” as the saying goes.

    I do have a daughter, so I suppose this is all good preparation. But I refuse to allow my daughter to be this dainty and dependent on the priesthood to solve her every papercut.

    2. The daily campfire ceremony had a “Hottie of the Day” feature. I think Orlando Bloom was the winner the day I attended. We also learned that the “Hottie of the Week” was David Archuleta (of course). I thought to myself that this is one aspect of camp that was sadly missing from my Boy Scout experiences (at least from the formal, adult-approved program), and I intend to complain to the powers-that-be that the boys strangely aren’t permitted to enjoy similar activities.

    AB

  12. I went to camp my first year as the non-member guest of a friend from school. While I was there, I felt the Spirit, and I learned truths that I had always personally believed, despite not having been raised in a religious home. I took the missionary discussions and was baptized about 6 months later. Since that time, I’ve gone on to serve in the church and serve a mission.

    As a result, I’ll always have fond memories of camp.

  13. Sorry for the double post here, but I had to address Aaron’s comment. It might be annoying for the girls to ask you for blessings for seemingly minor things, but for some of them, the week at camp may be the only time they have ready access to the priesthood. When I was a teenager, my dad didn’t go to church, and my home teachers never came to visit. The week at camp was the only time I could get blessings without feeling like I was inconveniencing someone by calling up a random ward member.

  14. My daughter turned 12 this week, the day girls camp started. So she gets to go (actually, she got to go on Day 2, Day 1 being reserved for older girls).

    So on her first night at girls camp, North Texas ends up in the throes of multiple tornado warnings (and observed touchdowns), torrential rain, flooding, etc.

    I hope she’s having a great time…

  15. I intend to complain to the powers-that-be that the boys strangely aren’t permitted to enjoy similar activities.

    Do you really want the Young Men salivating over Orlando Bloom and David Archuleta?

  16. So, this one time at girl’s camp….

    … I heard that one of the girls – an acquaintance of mine – conducted a seance. (Honestly, I wouldn’t put it past her.)

    My grandmother was a counselor at GC for years – she looked forward to it every time, had a blast.

  17. Mark Brown says:

    Russell,

    I’ve done priesthood duty at YW camp a few times, and my experience is much like Aaron’s. I never knew that girls required priesthood administration for blisters, chigger bites, and being frightened by the dark. Also, since you will be the resident male pack mule, be prepared to carry coolers, tents, firewood, etc.

    It can get quite monotonous though. The only excitement you will have is when some of the young women “forget” that men are around. I found that I had to provide my own entertainment, and my advice to you is to invest in a few realistic looking rubber snakes, mice, and tarantulas.

  18. oh I love girls camp! I love really getting to know the girls and being away from texting for a week. I love to be out in the mountains. I love reading my scriptures out by myself in nature.

    I love singing around a campfire.

    Perhaps some girls need to better understand the priesthood and blessings of comfort. 3/4 of our yw doesn’t have an active father in the home.

  19. I’m going this year too! My first time as a leader.
    As a camper, I remember hoisting toilet seats to the top of the flagpole, putting live crabs in my mouth (we camped by the beach), protecting our food from the ravages of the wandering raccoons, playing silly games like “light as a feather, stiff as a board,” scoffing at other girls’ fears about the haunted cabin, and staying up very late talking about boys, but invariably other really good things, too, like the kind of people we wanted to be, and the kind of lives we wanted to live.

  20. Jennifer says:

    I’m disappointed at the lack of stories this far.

    My first year, the older girls took us on a “snipe hunt.” There were no flashlights allowed and they led us away from the camp. They caught the “snipes” and made us hold them tightly in our hands without looking at them. When we go back to camp, we could open up our hands and saw that they had given us pom-poms. I guess it could have been something worse. Two years later when one of the first-years was my sister, she refused to touch it, thinking it was some horrible bug. We teased her for being a chicken all week.

  21. Kevin Barney says:

    In 2002, my wife was girls’ camp director. There was a girl there with a fresh piercing in her eyebrow. This was not long after the women’s conference that made a big deal about piercings, and so the stake YW president (who was really calling the shots) wanted her to remove it. But you can’t just take out the stud or it will heal over. So my wife and the YW president sister took this girl, and they found a tattoo parlor where they could get a clear stud to keep the piercing from healing over. That’s funny on two counts–the pharisaism that sees a clear stud as somehow fixing the metal stud piercing, and that one sister entering a tattoo parlor!

    Also, my wife has two piercings in one ear and four in the other. She never even thought about it, but eventually she figured out that the leaders were obsessing over the piercings. So, even though it pissed her off she removed the extras.

    There were some girls with pink and other colors of hair, which they just let go, figuring they had to pick their battles.

    Some girls were accused of smoking, but my wife refused to send them home, as there was no real evidence.

    And one girl ran away. Someone came up with a bloodhound, and they finally found her–sleeping in her tent. (She had legitimately run away, but apparently she had snuck back in.)

    Good times.

  22. Aaron, our stake Young Women’s President–a good friend; she was the YW leader in our ward while I was YM leader–has already warned me about the frequent requests for blessings, telling me to bring plenty of consecrated oil. Who knows what the reason is? Some combination of homesickness, feeling independent (“I get to decide if I need a blessing now!”), and tradition, perhaps.

  23. Proud Daughter of Eve says:

    Girls Camp is awesome. Some of the best weeks of my life. The year before I began attending, it rained so hard and so long they digging trenches around their tents and sleeping on the floor of the bathroom since it was the highest ground.

    Thereafter they stuck with cabins. Much to my disappointment.

    Oh! When I was on my fourth year hike, they sent us off to do some orienteering. My friends and I got lost and found the highway (or what passed for a highway out there.) Eventually the leaders came for us in the car.

    You realize you have to come back and tell us what you’ve made of these kernels.

  24. Proud Daughter of Eve says:

    Also, my first year there was a rumor that the fourth years were going to prank the first years on the last night. So my ward leaders had our fourth years take us and our things into their cabin to keep us safe.

    I had to go claim my underwear from the flagpole the next morning. Thanks, guys.

  25. Oh girl’s camp. My first year some girls in our stake (not me) put the beds on the roof of one of the cabins (not mine). It was so epic that all I wanted to do was imitate it, so a few years later we carried my sister’s mattress out into the woods with her on it and left it there. She woke up at some point while we were carrying it, and then I think she went home the next day. (It turns out that was a mistake) If you want to get in good with the girls, play whatever obnoxious game they’re most obsessed with enough to get really good and impress all of them.

  26. True “scary” story.
    Girls camp, one year, was accompanied by a single man in his early forties never married (not that there is anything wrong with being unmarried in your forties, just being single at girl’s camp and not a parent). The Priesthood holder aka Chester did not spend the night in the tent with the other fellas, but instead pitched his tent right smack dab in the middle of the girl’s tents. He said he was there to “protect” the little darlings

    The teenage girls spent the evening grabbing his arms and giggling, “Chester is mine!”

    “NO mine” chimed another and another and another.

    One of the YW leaders demanded Chester remove his tent from the girls camp ground and join the rest of the men. The YW leader said her “Mama Bear Radar” was pinging loudly. She was shushed by the other leaders. It seems Chester was a “good friend” of some of the girl’s families. The YW leader was not deterred, stayed awake all night with flashlight in hand watching Chester’s tent. Nothing happened.

    A few months later one of the girls, who’s parents had given Chester a key to their house for him to house sit, awoke one night with him sitting at the foot of her bed tickling her feet. When Chester saw that she was awake, he tried to slip into bed with her.

    Needless to say, Chester was run out of the stake on a rail.

  27. OK, so call me a killjoy, but I detested the hijinks as a kid. I didn’t go to youth conference until I was 16-17 because it wasn’t worth it to me to pay all that money just to screw around. I only went to summer camp once, and never returned.

    My daughter seems to have inherited some of my sensibilities. Her biggest concern going into this week was that the other YW would try to pull pranks on each other.

    Hopefully the rain this week has dampened the pranks.

  28. Ardis (5.),
    You corrupting influence, you. It took me like 10 seconds to figure out what the bananas were for.

  29. Me too!

  30. I only went for one year because I converted late in my youth, but the best girl’s camp story I ever heard was through the friend of a cousin of a friend (yes, really), and it illustrated the biggest difference between the Church in the east VS Utah.

    Apparently, the girl in question attended a girl’s camp where the older girls decided it was a good idea to go hiking up to a general store to get some goodies for the evening and were nearly “picked up” by polygamists. It was everything I could do to stifle the giggles at what, if it was a real encounter, had become completely unrecognizable through the eyes of a giddy 12 year old girl.

    No tall tale from the east could ever smack of polygamists and be even remotely believable. Welcome to Utah, I guess :P

  31. Re priesthood blessings, in my stake the young women must memorize and recite the following passage in the Young Women Camp Manual before they can go to camp (they must memorize and pass off a total of 40 camp manual mastery passages before going):

    “An adequate number of adult priesthood leaders should be at camp at all times to assist with security, participate in camp activities as needed, and give blessings when appropriate.” “Responsibilities of Leaders: Priesthood Leaders,” Young Women Camp Manual, p. 86

  32. Molly Bennion says:

    What am I missing? I see more harm than good in blessings for trivial ailments. Raises my feminist hackles and trivializes blessings, priesthood and God’s time and concerns. OK, maybe time is not a concern in the heavens. But surely, however He counts its passage, more important concerns scream for attention. Humor this odd penchant for comfort someone suggested. How about teaching girls to use the powers of prayer and meditation and the satisfaction of caring for oneself and enduring for comfort? How about extra emphasis on first aid? Perhaps we have it wrong, but at our house priesthood blessings are considered and carefully offered or requested, special and sacred as a prayerful decision. If my daughter had forever asked her father for blessings, we would have had a very serious talk about these issues.

  33. Coffinberry says:

    Girls’ Camp… the only redeeming thing about YW (or at least so I thought as a kid). My mental calendar of good things in life went Christmas–Girls’ Camp–School Starts–Repeat.

    A note about my personality: I am a “Lawful Good” type (in other vernaculars known as teacher’s pet and goody-two-shoes). I detest pranks, and severely roll my eyeballs at them (grow up!). So no snipe hunts for me, and I clearly conveyed the “buzz off” meme if any such were going on around me. So, I guess I missed out on the fond memories of pranks. (And that is also probably why I didn’t much enjoy hanging out with my own ward–they didn’t much enjoy me! Loved meeting new girls from other wards in the stake.)

    I do recall with gladness a campfire where a member of the stake presidency (who was a professor of astronomy) taught us about the constellations and stars and told us of Abraham’s interest in astronomy and how the stars testify of God.

    At another campfire, the priesthood leader’s tale (which I now know to be a fairly common Utah folktale… but I heard it in Indiana) was the story of the “farmer who ploughed up the body of a little Nephite girl and watched her shin-bone-connected-to-the-knee-bone resurrection right before his very eyes, and his stake patriarch coming to him the following Sunday to deliver the confirmation and interpretation of what he saw.”

    Also part-singing at the campfire: “Tell me Why” and “America America” and “If I had a Hammer”. Plus silly songs, like Waddlyacha.

    Got to hike in the Great Smoky Mountains for my capstone hike… pack was heavy and clunky, and my shoes didn’t fit well. But I’d been looking forward to it for months, so I wasn’t about to complain.

    The weird: Being the only one/first one ever attending from my branch (we had recently moved there my third year in or so), my very impoverished parents drove me 80 miles to the place where the rest of the stake was meeting to travel to where the Girls’ camp was. But nobody had planned on anyone from our backwoods Branch, so there was no space left in any of the cars. So I rode the next (50-70-100?) miles to the camp lying curled on my side in a hatchback, trying not to get sick.

    The next year, the priesthood leader ran up to us pitching a fit and commencing on a 45 minute lecture about inviting the devil because a couple of us girls decided to sit cross legged on the ground with our palms up on our knees and our eyes closed while humming softly. (I thought he was making a really big fool of himself).

  34. Coffinberry says:

    Ugh. Why on earth would they treat the camp manual as if it were scripture to be memorized. Ugh. The more I hear about modern girls camp, the less I like it. (I guess we’ll see next year, when my only daughter is 12).

  35. esodhiambo says:

    First, I heard the name had officially been changed to Young Womens’ Camp. Not true?

    Second, the scariest camp story I know is that last year in my stake there was a massive lice outbreak. Yuckeroni!

  36. I’ve been the priesthood holder for several girls camp and a scoutmaster for years in Alaska. I enjoyed it all and found that YW were not more ‘needy’ than the Scouts, they just brought more clothes… You eliminate the neediness by taking them into the outdoors early on; they all want to camp and float in the wild.

  37. >”The next year, the priesthood leader ran up to us pitching a fit and commencing on a 45 minute lecture about inviting the devil”

    Mark it, Elder Evans! “Pitching a fit” was just used for the first time at BCC.

  38. As a long-time lurker, for the first time I think I have enough insight into a topic to comment! Re: priesthood blessings, remember that the part of girls camp that isn’t filled with pranks is filled with an abundance of (over)-spirituality. After three days of faith walks and testimony meetings and singing hymns in the middle of a tornado which then veers to the side and miraculously leaves your campsite untouched, as a teenage girl you are on a mega-spiritual overdose. I know at that age I didn’t think I had much of a testimony, then I went to camp and was nearly bludgeoned by it. So, the outpouring of faith and over-reliance on priesthood blessings may be a little misguided, but nearly every reaction you have as a teenage girl is out of proportion to the event itself.

  39. This is great everybody; thanks for contributing. Keep it up!

    (I’m surprised no one has asked me about my can’t-beat-it reserve Girls Camp story yet.)

  40. I’ve been a leader at girl’s camp for many years and have loved most of it every time. Be prepared for a lot of heavy lifting, repair jobs, and a severe lack of sleep, as some girls seem to think it necessary to stay up all night, running around to break as many rules as possible, sometimes skinny dipping, or at least swimming after hours, playing mostly harmless pranks on girls in other cabins. But that’s the price for the sublime spiritual moments that often the priesthood holders get to witness. Getting the girls away from many distractions of the world where they can focus on the beauty of the earth and things of the spirit brings some wonderful experiences. There are places in the camp our area used to own that I consider holy ground, because I had so many overpowering spiritual experiences there. I love seeing girls feel the spirit, sometimes for the first time, seeing them bond together and love each other and their Father in Heaven — I’ve seen girls transformed at camp. There are usually more of those moments than the sleep deprived melt-downs that invariably also occur. But there are always some girls that find camp difficult and not fun for one reason or another. Hopefully it will be a good experience for your daughter(s) and you will enjoy (as you must, from a distance) sharing the experience with them.

  41. Ok Russell #39, I bite what’s your story?

  42. Welcome out of the lurking closet, Lilly! (Go SoCal!)

  43. Kevin Barney says:

    OK, Russell, here’s some serious advice for you. Bring some earplugs to sleep with. Inevitably some guy in the men’s cabin is going to be a big time snorer.

  44. Jamie B says:

    I live in a very urban area where the youth haven’t spent much (any) time in nature. They run in terror from deer and think that the chipmunks are rats.

    The hike is always a humorous part of camp. One year a girl showed up in skimpy little shorts and flip-flops carrying her purse and a book (I don’t think she understood what a hike was).

    Another year all the girls headed out for the hike and I stayed behind thinking I could have some down time. About an hour later girls started randomly appearing and I quickly learned that the girls had all gotten split up and some had taken the wrong trail. The girls some with leaders some without were walking and hitchhiking to get back to camp. Soon two elderly women showed up explaining that they had helped 2 girls get back to camp and that one of them had stolen $60 out of her purse.

    As I was trying to work through that situation a rather large police chief came in and with a booming voice yelled, “Who’s in charge here?” That unfortunately was me (I was the Camp Director). After 8 hours we finally had everyone back and testimony meeting (which I must add is composed of “shout outs to the girls peeps”) was full of stories of how they were lost and scared but were lead by HF back to camp.

  45. I never went to girls camp, but I did go to a couple of youth conferences. In defense of the girls asking for blessings: I’ve observed more “peer pressure” blessing requests in those sorts of environments than I can count. Youth overwhelmed by cheap spirituality often inappropriately suggest to a hurt friend that they get a priesthood blessing, and it feels silly to say “no, I don’t want one”. Leaders are sometimes similarly guilty of suggesting a blessing to go along with every band-aid they hand out.

  46. Wow–I’d never heard of a penchant for priesthood blessings before reading this thread. In all the years I went to camp, and in the entire summer I spent as a counselor, I don’t remember a single blessing being given. I wonder if it’s is a recent trend, or if it’s a trend that’s taken off in some areas, and not others.

  47. Asphodel says:

    #17: “The only excitement you will have is when some of the young women “forget” that men are around.”

    One year, my year went on an overnight hike. It was about a million degrees that day, and they decided that having to carry our tents, etc. was a health risk, so they had one of the priesthood leaders drive to the campsite with all the stuff. Well, when we arrived at the campsite after our hike, it was still a million degrees, so of course we spent the rest of the evening sitting around talking about how hot it was. We really weren’t thinking about the presence of the priesthood holder, so it got slightly awkward when we started putting ice in our bras to cool off. He reminded us of his presence and then decided to leave us to our own devices and go listen to sports radio in his car. (I don’t know about everyone else’s experience, but what I recall is that once you start talking about bras at girls’ camp, you’re pretty much going to be talking about bras, breasts, underwear, periods, etc.–the whole gamut of “girl talk”–the rest of the night, so I don’t really blame him.)

    What I remember for sure is that the whole ice-in-bra thing was instigated by one of the (female) leaders. There was always a tension between the by-the-book leaders who were on patrol 24/7 to make sure rules were being followed and the leaders who were much more into the silly pranks and goofing off.

  48. Ok Russell, spill it!

    Here’s mine:

    1. I was aked to go to girls camp as chaperone when i was in Law school and, as I and several other men were standing guard outside the cabins, some of the girls took it upon themselves to yell out that they voted me as the “guy with the best butt.”

    You have to take your claims to fame where you can get them, y’know?

    2. A few years ago, by infamous report, the girls in our ward tried to get back at an overzealous female leader by peeing in the drink cooler which she kept in her tent. The resulting repercussions have been echoing through the ward ever since.

  49. The resulting repercussions have been echoing through the ward ever since.

    Such as?

  50. Grudges held, gossip circulated, reputations trashed, you know; the usual.

  51. There’s a special place in hell for youth that terrorize their leaders. Oh wait, we don’t believe in that. Well, the repentance process should be lengthy and difficult…

    Again, I’m a killjoy.

  52. Ardis, that is truly impressive.

  53. This is probably my favorite camp story:

    My last year they had all the “junior leaders” staying in two large cabins. One of my good friends was in the other cabin for about 5 hours, when two girls moved out and into mine. Apparently she and some other girls had started a dance party, complete with hip hop music. These two other girls complained that she had brought an evil spirit into their cabin, and requested to move. The troubles didn’t end there, and they requested that the stake president bless our cabin to drive the evil spirit away (apparently we had one too). We laughed at them, if that is any indicator of our spiritual worthiness :) We did think it was odd that out of 20 girls in our cabin, only those two felt the influence of the evil spirits. But what’s girl’s camp with some strange spiritual sensations, after all.

  54. queuno, maybe. And I wouldn’t want to take sides here, but this is camp, after all, not the temple, so what about the leaders who terrorize the girls and make camp deadly serious and devoid of all fun? Isn’t that a problem too?

  55. Like many others, I adore Girls Camp. It is my very very favorite part of the YW program. (I’m completely bummed that they un-called me as Camp Director to call me into the RS presidency.)

    My stories: 1) Quaking Aspens don’t have very deep roots. We camped in tents in the mountains near Brian Head, Utah, and one year with high winds five huge, tall quakies were blown over. One took our outhouse with it. Another crashed into a tent with five girls inside (minor injuries).

    2) My sister’s Catholic friend came to camp with us one year. She had a very bad attack of food poisoning late one night–the nurse thought it was appendicitis. Before they hurried down the mountain into Cedar City, they offered her a priesthood blessing. She looked at them, scared to death: “Is that like Last Rites?”

    3) A gentleman from our ward came up on the last day to pull the gear trailer home with his truck. On the way down the mountain–steep, switchbacked dirt road–he was pointing out a deer to the girls in his double-cab truck, and ran right off the road. Amazingly (really, it was a miracle), the quaking aspens caught the truck and trailer just twenty yards down, and stopped them from tumbling into the creek far below. No one was hurt.

    Sorry for the novel-length reply. I love Girls Camp–have fun!

  56. The only story I have is the now very (in)famous story in our ward that ended any newly weds going to camp ever again. The one about sex in the women’s shower house. That was 10 years ago and still talks about quite often. So Russel, don’t do that.

  57. Russel, I disagree with Matt W. Go for it!

  58. When somebody starts a thread about “most interesting youth activities,” somebody let me know so I can tell about out ward’s coed campout.

    Never been to girls camp, but I do remember the year my youngest went, and they had “face cards” on the list of things not to bring. Seemed kinda weird to me.

  59. Oh boy. My best girls camp stories come from Oklahoma.

    Growing up, my older sisters and mom always went and I was always jealous. Then we moved overseas, and I missed the first 3 years since they didn’t do girls camp any of the places I lived.

    Then we moved back to Oklahoma for the infamous 4th year and I was SO excited. I brought my 2 best friends, neither of which were members. The first night the leaders tried to split us all up to force us to make friends…my friends were not too happy about that. Drama ensued, we kept our tent. Then, as happens in Oklahoma, that night was extremely severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings. Our tents completely flooded, everything we owned was totally ruined. No one slept all night and they wouldn’t let us sleep during the day either. The over night hike was canceled. So, being the obnoxious 15 yr olds that we were, we got a little crazy the rest of camp playing practical jokes and being loud and um, obnoxious. Only took a day or two before we got kicked out (they even made our parents come in the middle of the night). The leaders pretty much wouldn’t allow anyone to have any fun.

    It was a horrible experience. Definitely makes for good Girls camp stories. Also makes it interesting that (before I left the church) I was girls camp leader in 3 different wards after I got married. I usually would lead the girls in snipe hunts, wrapping tents and the like :)

  60. Summer 2002. Northern Arizona. None of this sissy Lo-Mia stuff. I was 16, and went up to camp a day early with the other YCL’s. The sun was red in the sky, and we could see a distant cloud of smoke. That evening, it started raining ash. The leaders told us not to worry. The next day, the ash was coming down harder. The rest of the girls arrived, and we had everything set up. The leaders told us not to worry. We assembled for our Olympic-themed opening ceremonies. When the stake president stood up to welcome us, he instead said that we had 20 minutes to grab our purses and medication, nothing else, and had been ordered by the sheriff to evacuate. We left everything where it was, and went to the Show Low stake center. We sang hymns and camp songs for a while, generally bored, before we were told we had to go home. The men would collect our stuff “soon”. The stake president praised our quick responses and promised us that we would be blessed. Six weeks later, when the massive Rodeo-Chediski (sp?) fire had receded and they were finally allowed back on site, the fire had raged around our campsite. The leader that had set up her scrapbooks for a demonstration lost everything. Other leaders’ tents burned. But the fire stopped less than a foot from the first girls’ tent. NOT A GIRL LOST A THING. Where our opening ceremonies were set up, the flags of “Faith” and “Integrity” still were flying.

  61. Ok Russell, spill it!

    The basic components of the story:

    –A couple of hundred Mormon young women, ages 12 to 17.
    –A hot, humid summer by a lake.
    –A dozen or so non-Mormon male ranch hands, ages 16 to 19, brought in for an activity to teach the girls, placed in a campsite near the aforementioned lake.
    –Horses.

    Really, the story writes itself.

  62. #61 – Really, the story writes itself.

    Yes, and you could probably make a bundle from it…

  63. Researcher says:

    “None of this sissy Lo-Mia stuff.”

    Those are fighting words! We braved… um… we braved… spiders! moths! skunks in the woods! poison ivy! pranks! ghost stories! graffiti in the cabins! early-teenage drama!

    Some of the old Lo-Mia (Arizona) memories: the “haunted cabin” out in the woods over toward the second camp. It was always good for a late-night visit with first-year girls. Of course the only thing we saw was a parade of skunks, no ghosts. And then there was the girl who held a seance or used an ouija board at camp and that night [this has to be told in a spooky whisper, of course, and add evil spirits to the story at your discretion] almost suffocated to death in one of those mummy-type sleeping bags. Or maybe she actually did die. [Your choice of endings.] Some of the stories that the adult leaders told us were extremely hair-raising. They should have known better than to tell those stories to a bunch of teenagers. At night. In the dark. (Looking back on it, though, those stories would probably stop anyone from wandering off!)

  64. More advice: Beware of experimental cooking methods. One year when camp had a Hawaiian theme, the camp director wanted to have a luau with a pig cooked in a pit. Probably some men had to dig the pit — I don’t remember. The pig was down there supposedly cooking in the coals for a few days, but when it was unearthed before our big dinner, it was clear that someone had misjudged the amount of heat needed to cook the pig and it was mostly raw. For a few hours, some of the older girls had a wild time in the dining hall kitchen wielding knives cutting up the pig to cook it in the oven. Finally the camp director decided that it wouldn’t be safe to eat the pork even after cooking in the oven and the whole thing was thrown away and everyone in the camp shared their leftovers for dinner. It was kind of scary the glee with which some of the girls were stabbing and cutting up this whole pig.

  65. My daughter is 3. I still have ten more years before I get into that world. My wife could tell you of her experiences though. I’ve never had the torture…er the pleasure of going to a Girls Camp yet.

  66. No real stories, just an observation:

    Girls Camp food is so much better than Scout Camp Food. I’ll always go and help when invited.

    As to the killjoy leaders, our stake has had excellent leaders, and the girls have great fun. In a previous stake, though, the leaders were infamous for stifling any kind of spontaneous activity or anything that looked like fun, or was not under direct supervision of a leader. And the Stake President would visit, way up in the mountain wilderness, and wear dress slacks, dress shoes, and a short sleeve white shirt with no tie while he was there.

    Our current stake president and his counselors, a bishop, and another stake member brought their guitars, amps, drums and did a little concert gig for the girls. Thee girls loved it.

  67. Kevinf, That is totally awesome

    I recently tried to covince our SP during the dance at the end of YC that if he threw caution to the wind and jumped into the middle of the dance and boogied with the kids that retention would increase, missions would be served and temple marriages would happen (hopefully later). He agreed and then told me that he had 0 dance skills. So I jumped in there on his behalf. Like a proxy dancer

    We have had several girls discover venomous snakes at very inconvenient places at the last couple of Girls Camps. These incidents ended with the proper use of a shovel by either a YW leader or a PH leader

    Also the girls seem to want to stay up all night

  68. well, I haven’t gotten through all the comments yet (I will), but here’s my story:

    We had bathrooms too, but one year they were all closed and we had to hike a mile to the neighboring camp to take showers. They were closed b/c the septic tank had overflown and the priesthood leaders were having to take apart the piping and clear out all the feminine product debris that was clogging them (along with the rest of the normal toilet stuff). So guys, if you have to give a few extra blessings, know that it could be a whole lot worse.

    Also, I was a YCL (youth camp leader) that year, and we heard that there was a boys group camping at the other camp, so we marched our 12 year old charges out late one night to all take “showers” and see if we could find any boys. No boys, but it was a fun middle of the night hike :)

  69. oh yeah, one more – my friend and I killed a rattlesnake on a hike, by pinning its head with a rock and then cutting it off with a pocket knife. one of the priesthood leaders then skinned it for us. We were gonna eat it, but it was the last day of camp and so there wasn’t much time and we didn’t want to take it home.

  70. StillConfused says:

    I was wickedly bored at mine. All of the food was cooked over a very smoky fire – which was gross. No electricity etc. Forced testimony sessions. To pass the time, my friend and I had a pickle juice drinking contest. Have not been able to have a pickle since.

  71. Worst story: My last year we had camp on the beach in Galveston, TX. The girls in my ward thought it would be fun to collect crabs, cook them, and eat them. I’m a vegetarian, I put up no fight or objection, and just decided I would take a nap inside our pavilion rather than take part in killing and eating crabs. Another girl thought it would be fun to smash a crab with a rock and throw it on my face while I slept, then later told me (after I got very angry) to get over it.

    Best story: Also in Galveston, a girl in a ward camping next to us brought a kiddie pool with her, and had it filled with water. We thought it would be fun to throw a tampon in the water and try to convince people it was a baby stingray (it really does look like something like a small stingray). We didn’t think anyone would actually fall for it, but one 13-year-old did, and she still didn’t catch on while we talked about how funny it was that some people believed that it was actually a stingray.

    Craziest story: Again, in Galveston, we had a really bad thunderstorm one night. The winds were so bad that a few girls had to get out to fix their tent. While they were fixing the tent, lighting struck it and knocked the girls back. They were shaken, but fine.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Girls Camp was always one of the highlights of my summer, aside from 2-a-day field hockey and band practices. Until the year I was 15. . .

    Every year I brought my best friend to camp with me. In PA, I only had 2-3 YW in my entire ward–1 was my sister and the other lived an hour away. So Amy always came to camp with me, and most years she loved it.

    One year she brought a Seventeen magazine, and we sat in the tent and read it. There was an article on *gasp* devil worship. We read it, and discussed how different it was from my LDS beliefs or her Catholic beliefs. We were both very religious and faithful, but the YW leaders who overheard our conversation must’ve missed that part.

    All of a sudden, the entire YW presidency was searching our tent, calling us in for “disciplinary hearings” for the Seventeen magazine– telling us we had to either: 1) rip up the article; 2) tape the pages together or 3) paint over the article with black paint. They searched the tent for “sheep’s blood” (why they thought I had that is crazy! where would I get that from??! gross!!) The irony is that I was your typical preppy, 4.0 straight A, early morning Seminary President, etc. . .

    We had to go in front of the Stake YW Presidency and the Stake President when he came up. We were somewhat exonerated after the testimony meeting, but I was still appalled at their closed-mindedness, and ability to believe the worst without more information.

    Needless to say, I conveniently scheduled my EFY experiences to coincide with this stake’s YW camp for the next few years. Such a shame I had to go to the neighboring stake ;) I had a blast, and so much more fun when people assume the best and not the worst.

  73. My favorite scout master was the one who, at scout camp, threatened to throw out the food for each meal if he discovered any pranks played on anyone… Tyrannical, but he knew how to have fun. Personal pranks are not fun. Children are antisocial and psychotic enough without our encouraging it…

  74. This one isn’t strictly Girls’ Camp, but it’s pretty similar. When I was in law school I got roped into chaperoning a three-day Young Women’s retreat where we stayed in a pretty swanky chalet. There were a couple hot tubs on the decks, and the girls spent much of the evenings in the hot tubs, making a lot of noise and shouting to the neighboring cabin. On the first night there was a knock at the door, and I fully expected it to be a sheriff telling us to knock off the noise late at night. Instead it was two mid-20’s guys with beers in each hand, asking, “Is this where the ho’s are?” I was secretly entertained but made them repeat their inquiry before I assured them that they were mistaken. I didn’t also mention that the girls in the hot tubs were mostly under 15.

    I also mentioned the incident to the Young Women’s leaders and had the satisfaction of the girls’ mortified expressions when their leaders told them what had happened.

  75. Blain–as an 18 year old I was asked to be the leader for the young women in my ward at a stake youth campout. I took along several packs of face cards and was caught playing card games with my girls. The resulting lecture left me so shocked I haven’t touched a face card since.

  76. Taco Breath says:

    Loved camp as a girl.
    Yes to rattlesnakes.

    Hated it as a leader went one year, here’s the statistics:

    One biker babe co-leader with bladder problems
    Allergic reaction from hell
    One really obnoxious and manipulative daughter of a leader (of course)
    One truly great stake president helping to keep everything safe

  77. 75 — Sorry to hear that. Afraid it’s what a perl programmer would consider a “dead camel.” There are a number of these dead folk-policy points running around the Church.

    I’ve never stopped playing with face cards. Can’t imagine that I ever will.

  78. GIRLS AT CAMP THIRTY YEARS LATER.

    So one winter, the leader of our women’s book group discovered that the Boy Scout Campground–somewhere northeast of SLC; don’t know more specifically than that–could be rented very cheaply (because it was winter, of course). We could rent a cabin for the ten of us; the mess hall would be opened so we could fix basic meals; the pine trees were stunningly picturesque covered with snow; we’d have the place to ourselves. Idyllic!

    Not so much.

    The plumbing froze solid. The only working toilet was at the far end of the campground from our cabin, about 500 yards through the snowdrifts. We improvised a large plastic bucket on the cabin porch. It might have bearably accommodated twelve-year old behinds, but inflicted cruel and unusual punishment on forty-something fannies. And during the night, the temperatures dropped and dropped some more, finishing up at twenty below. No heating whatsoever in the cabin.

    The cold activated our bladders, so there was a steady parade of campers in and out of the cabin, to the accompanying yells of “SHUT THE BLEEPING DOOR!” Only one camper fell asleep. She was, of course, the hearty snorer. The rest of us tried to solve the dilemma: nose outside the blankets? It quickly became a popsicle. Nose inside the blanket? No air. Solution: inside, five minutes, outside five minutes. Side effect of solution: no sleep.

    About 3 a.m., I shoved my feet into my cold boots, banged out of the cabin, and stamped across the grounds to the mess hall, which DID have some heating. There on a large vinyl sofa close to the warming lamps lay a large black Lab, sleeping peacefully. “Move over, darling!” I cooed. She did; I wrapped my arms around her warm furry body, and we both slept the sleep of happy non-campers.

  79. This will be my first year attending girls’ camp as I did not grow up in the church and am now a YW leader. Looking forward to it. My girls are very entertaining.

    A friend of mine has a great story from one YW camp where the campsite was equipped with porta-potties. Someone made impromptu signs and put them up on the doors. one said “Poo only” and the other, “Pee only”. It took a little while before the girls figured out this was just a joke. But it was an incredible source of humour for the rest of the week.

    The next year, someone brought poo/pee signs again – printed on the computer and *laminated*.

  80. Haven’t had time to read all the responses yet…
    One thought on the number of requested priesthood blessings…never underestimate the desperation of young women for safe male attention.
    My 12 y/o daughter just got back from camp. I had been highly reluctant to have her go. I had been invited to attend as well, but the reality of having 5 other children at home, including a nursing 1 y/o, made it not feasible. But I did get to see some of their planning notes, which included a study of Prov. 31, with little notes alongside different verses. Alongside the “she perceiveth her mechandise to be good; her candle goeth not out by night” – chastity.
    What the heck???
    But, she went, and the worst offense seemed to be the t-shirts. On the front, “A virtuous woman: priceless”
    On the back, an acronym: “AWESOMENESS”, elaborated thusly:
    Attractiveness
    Wacky
    Eternal
    Sweet
    Obedient
    Magestic (Yes, spelled wrong)
    Electropositive
    Natural
    Earnest
    Smart
    Selfless

    Apparently, the Awesomeness and Attractiveness part is from a movie, Kung Fu Panda? This was explained to me, along with the fact that “they” let a 12 y/o girl choose the camp theme, and that quote was what she chose. I’m not sure which is worse, that they are putting attractiveness on the top of the list of what it is to be awesome, or that our leaders are not actually leading at all, but are just following our youth’s dumb ideas. I have no problem with the idea that girls will naturally get silly in large groups; I just can’t understand creating an environment just to foster such behavior.
    Carrie – the Girls’ Camp Grinch

  81. TaterTot says:

    Thought I’d de-lurk to tell a story. Some of my fondest memories of YW come from the years that I attended girls camp. Most of the time we had really great leaders, but one year our leaders were Sister Fun-Police, and my fun-loving mom. In large part because of Sister Fun-Police, we decided to sneak out of camp and go skinny-dipping in the middle of the night. This was a big deal to us at the time, but it seemed OK because we figured it would be dark and we wouldn’t be able to see each other. We thought up a code name –crunchy twinkies– so that we could talk about our plans in front of the leaders without them knowing. We executed our plan and about half of us went without getting caught. The rest of the girls wanted to go the next night. As moms do, my mom figured out what was going on. Being concerned for our safety, but not wanting to spoil our fun, she told us that she would walk to the pond with us. We still felt like we were sneaky because the other leader didn’t know. My friends and I still laugh about crunchy twinkies. I’m really glad my mom let us be kids.

  82. Naismith says:

    My girls love it. One was sobbing because it is her last year.

    Our stake doesn’t do pranks.

    We showed up for supper the final night, and most of the girls with long hair had it braided into all kinds of fancy french braids, the kind of thing that could only be accomplished by two sisters doing it for you. It was a simple and sweet statement about what they’d been up to that day.

    I’m impressed at how much of it is girl-generated. The t-shirts were designed by a girl, many meetings are conducted by a girl, inviting the adult leaders in to speak. Of course it takes zillions of hours of adult volunteer time to pull it off, but the girls get a sense of having contributed, rather than merely being entertained by adults.

    When they sang a song for testimony meeting, it was a congregational hymn sung a capella but with impromptu harmony parts. Or maybe that was the voices of angels who felt comfortable in their presence.

  83. Bahahah…girls camp.

    I was so excited to see there were comments on here mentioning Lo Mia. Oh, how I miss Lo Mia. The girls in my ward were described by one young man to be leaving “cushy beds and things for less cushy beds and things.” Yup, pretty muchly.

    Someone already mentioned the “haunted cabin.” I don’t believe in ghosts and have never been told if the Church had an “official” stance on the issue, and thus never bought such outrageous stories like the creepy monkey cult. Okay, I don’t know what the name was but the story I got was that the older girls in one ward were initiating the younger girls into some cult in that cabin as a prank. They made them sit down on a wet rag and various other things to make them look like morons, then excused them to scared out of their wits by a monkey that made noise and dropped from the ceiling.

    Then snipe hunting was always fun!! The one year I got to be a “snipe” (we coordinated who was hidden in the bushes to be snipes…) I couldn’t find any rocks where I was at so I growled and snarled and rattle branches and leaves…and though they shone the flashlight (just one, strategically placed in the hands of a leader) right on me the couldn’t see me. One girl started crying and was reassured by a stuffed animal, others were just scared enough to want to go back. We faked a twisted ankle, I miraculously joined to group and we headed ‘home.’

    The last one I was a part of failed miserably because the girls I had already knew what snipes were and were extremely vulnerable to being anti-social. So we hunted for shrews instead in pitch blackness and faked a ‘shrew’ bite. Then I told them prematurely that it was all fake but to go along with it (they were more than happy to oblige) and was consequently hated the rest of the night.

    Other than that there was just the usually forced happiness and spirituality as always. I’m incredibly grateful that we didn’t have to do faith walks or that thing I always hear about with the iron rod and blindfolds? Yeah. No me gusta. My sister doesn’t go because she doesn’t like the young women her age and can’t get over her Dr. Pepper addiction; when she came with me I was a YCL and good friends with the Camp director, so we worked it that she could bring her soda pop in secret.

  84. As a camper:
    -skinnydipping
    -‘moose run’ (late night topless run through the grounds – I can’t remember what we were thinking at the time!)
    -for some reason, most of the Mia Maids were bent on mooning one year, which culminated in my younger sister mooning a Bishop (not ours, thank goodness!) and his wife (who took pictures)
    -mild pranks
    -a tornado heading right for our campsite, then ‘jumping’ over us
    -wonderful testimony meeting under the stars

    As a leader:
    Good camp:
    -some kind of creature getting into our food tent when one of my Laurels left cheese sitting out on a picnic table
    -in my first year, I remember passive-aggressively doing too much cooking & cleaning up after the girls, only to have one of the Beehives tell me with a few hours left of camp, “last year Sister L. had us do all the cooking – we all signed up to do a different meal every day!” Grrrrr…

    Weird camp:
    -camp based on a ‘princess’ theme – each girl got crowned as they walked to the campfire
    -getting an email from the camp director wanting all the leaders to wear their temple dresses to the campfire testimony meeting (followed a few days later by another email with directions from the Stake Pres. asking us not to wear said temple dresses and to just dress in white!) The camp director did wear her dress after all.
    -to kick off the campfire, they had a newly married couple come out of a nearby shed in their wedding dress & tux and speak about the importance of temple marriage
    -and whatever you do, don’t try to light the campfire via zipline!!

    Have fun!

  85. Joyce in Oregon says:

    Ah Girls Camp. My oldest daughter is going as certification leader in her stake next week. But she says our camp here in Oregon is the only true camp on the earth. We have the girls cook their own food for 3 breakfasts and 3 dinners. They pick up the raw food at the kitchen and cook it back at their kitchen sites. Well a hole in the ground by the creek. They have to make their own fires and learn all the activities from the camp manual. All my 4 girls love camp so they can see other LDS girls (we’re in a tiny branch), learn from the older Junior Leaders, and soak up a real spiritual atmosphere.
    Yes, there are lots of Blessings given but not for trivialities–alot were for cramps.

    One completely endearing aspect of our camp is the use of beads. We have beads for the accomplishment of the manual requirements, flag ceremony, gourmet for good cooking, clean cabins (3 walls and a roof), Polar bear and other good things. The girls and leaders wear these beads all day everyday of camp and to church the next Sunday. Rather than hokey these are a wonderful representation of our accomplishments and joy from camp. Many leaders have been to camp 10-40 years and have massive amounts of beads. They are the one real treasure my adult daughters have from their YW years.

    Camp teriyaki chicken is sacred around here. I love camp and go as a cook because the girls are too high maintenance for my skills. :-P

    My daughters have come away from camp knowing that since they can build a fire without a match, they can do anything. Just the attitude I want my girls to have as teens.

  86. Oooh, ooh, this is my favorite- at our girl’s camp, two piece bathing suits are not allowed. Even the tankinis that actually meet in the middle. I asked for the rationale behind this and was told “the top might ride up and expose (gasp!) the girl’s stomach.” That very year one of the daughters of a leader wore a one piece suit with no straps. Apparently it is okay if a swimsuit slips and exposes one’s chest, but not one’s belly. True logic at it’s finest. But really, snarkiness aside, one year when my older sister was at girl’s camp in No. California, it rained so hard that there were mudslides, and the fourth year girls who were on an overnight hike had to abandon all their gear in the mountains and run for their lives.

  87. livin in zion says:

    MUST COMMENT!!!

    As a YW in AZ. I went to Camp LoMia every year and loved it.
    The last year things went bad. My “secret sister” (everyone exchanged names) gave me a gift of candy every day of camp. On the 3rd night of camp, I woke in the middle of the night to find a creature with a rather long “rat like” tail sitting on my head, eating my candy. Oh, how I wished for a gift of stickers instead! It was completely gross.

    More seriously, some girls came up with the prank of putting dye in the shower heads in the bathhouse. One of the leaders using the showers almost got face full of dye. It turned into a huge big deal.

    At first the leaders put the girls with their wards and tried to get a confession. That didn’t work, so then all of us girls (well over a 100) all filed into the lodge where we were told the prank and how dangerous it was, and all the awful things that could have happened. We were asked to stand up if we knew anything about the prank. No one moved. Then we were asked to close our eyes and bow our heads. The prankers were asked to identify themselves, in this “private” way. No one confessed. The Camp Director was so upset this happened on her watch, she quit after camp. She had been the leader for years.

    Lots of gossip and speculation about that unknown prankster.

    As an adult leader, I have seen the girls need for priesthood divine interventions. I have come to the conclusion it is the girls who don’t have a good father figure at home who need constant male reasurrance.
    I did have one young girl who was openly flirting with the priesthood leader. The poor guy was clueless and didn’t get it. I had to talk to him and explain what was happening. He was mortified and reported back after camp to the stake priesthood leaders the importance of making sure no male leader is left with a camper, etc. so no one’s reputation is tainted. (The girl involved had made false allegations of sexual abuse in the past)

    By day 3 of camp, everyone’s emotions are running high, due to a lack of sleep, the heat, junk food and female hormones run amok (leaders and girls!)

    Lastly, the BEST camp activity ever was a realistic first aid drill I set up, with the YCL girls as victims in staged accidents around camp. It was great fun to create bloody, gory wounds and see how the girls would deal with it. Every year there was at least one 1st yr. who would think it was real and start freaking out. I like to think of it as “Motherhood training 101″ . It toughens you up real quick.

  88. I’ve been to a couple of girl’s camps, and my husband has come as one of the priesthood to help out. Last year, less than half of the priesthood who had signed up came, so the few who were left for the week were worked 24 hrs in the heat with very little sleep. There are some stake leaders in charge whose names are still 4 letter words to those brethern. Which may explain my husband’s actions one night when he decided to prank my girls. A thunderstorm was coming in, and he said that the OK state police had put out a warning that the state mental institution prison had an escape and they were looking for the guy right outside our camp. We had a nonmember girl who had never been camping or had any contact with the Church before. She burst into tears. Unknown to us, she came from a family that really had a family member committed to such a place after attacking her family in the middle of the night a few years before. NOT FUNNY. Believe me, I had him apologize A LOT after that one, especially to the poor girl. Thankfully she accepted his apology and seemed to have a good time for the rest of camp.

  89. Beckthewreck says:

    My camp experience…
    We were on “the night hike”.
    As the hike commenced, we went to various stations and listened to the YCL’s (Youth Camp Leaders) sing songs about gospel related subjects.
    During the middle of the hike while at a station, the older girls were trying to sing/teach us their lesson, and a Priesthood holder came running into the wooded area we were standing in.
    He came running, out of breath, gasping, exclaiming that the Second Coming had happened, and that Christ had returned to Jerusalem and our lives (as we knew them) were complete.
    We had been out in the middle of nowhere for 4 days already… no electricity or communication with the outside world, so it seemed plausible.
    Immediately the girls in my group started crying and all I could think about was all the bad things that I hadn’t repented of and now would have no chance to – since Christ was here.
    One of the girls was so upset that she went home that night.
    The leaders were trying to let us see how we needed to change our lives so that we would be ready when the second coming did happen.

  90. Jessyca says:

    It wasn’t true, so they lied to the girls. Lying to build trust? Lying like Jesus lied?

    Lying is wrong, period. These “leaders” set a horrible example, unless God changed his mind and no longer hates liars or lying.

  91. anonymous for this one says:

    When I was a Beehive one of our leaders had a baby at our camp in the high Sierras. She had her dates wrong. It was exceedingly cool.

    Years later, after a large scale food poisoning mess one year we (the Stake YW Presidency) found a camp with real bathrooms and a great modern air conditioned kitchen and dining room. The girls still had tent sites. Since I had planned meals for years for a week long family reunion at Lake Powell I got put in charge of not making anyone sick with the food. Each unit was assigned to help and to clean up with 2 meals. My real work was the planning and shopping. The girls did all the work. It went well and I did it for 11 years. Twice I was pregnant, and one year I brought my nursing baby, and then I moved away. They offered me an assistant the second year, but she was so much trouble I never took one after that. The menus got better every year, both better food and less waste at both the midwestern camp and at Lake Powell. I passed on my notes to my successor, but she had a better idea, and girls got sick again. My greatest Girls’ Camp accomplishment was that in my 11 years, we had general sickness. I got the keys to the only air conditioned room, which after hours was occupied by only me and the Stake YW Presidency (where I only served that first year). Much as I enjoyed it, this is a light I keep firmly under a bushel in my new ward.

  92. anonymous for this one says:

    YIKES!
    we had NO general sickness. no sickness, no food poisoning.
    Ardis, put NO in italics for me will you please? :)

  93. going soon says:

    I’ve only been to one year as a camper, my 2nd year is coming up, but the best story is probably when our leader swallow a fly. during flag ceremony. All seven of us girls and the one other leader were trying to conceal our laughter at her trying to choke the bug back up while the other six wards stared at us strangely.
    Fun times.

  94. I HATED CAMP. so much. YW are only more cruel in group situations.

    Best story of young womens’ camp: Young women in my ward spent the week throwing tampons at other campers, or hiding them in other camper’s tents.

    EFY was a thousand times better-more organized and did a better job of planning good, clean fun for the youth without resorting to immature pranks.

    Wow. I sound bitter.

  95. I absolutely love/d camp.
    SO MANY STORIES….

    – My second year, (also the year I peed my pants in front of everybody) we were all playing cards in an empty cabin on the last night when this violent thunderstorm rolled in. Unlucky for us, we had open air cabins, so even though we were technically “inside,” we all got soaked. So we all just huddled together and waited for it to blow over. We woke up the next morning in a giant bundle of campers. I think I was using my friend Caroline’s butt as a pillow.

    – Two words: MOTHER MOO.

    – It seems as though every girl has their period at camp. I guess its true that “the cycles sync up” with the people you spend a lot of time around. Slightly awkward for the stake prez or any male within earshot of some personal conversations…

    – My fourth year we TPed the camp director, and we were all nervous because we had never TPed at this level before. So we were all on edge, and then I happen to look up at the door and I see the camp director staring back at me. I screamed and so everyone else looked and saw her, screamed, ran, etc. But she started laughing and hugged us and told us it was so cool that we would even think to prank her. Favorite director EVER.

    – My fifth year, when I was a JC, one of my friends heard that the first years were planning to TP us after dinner. So all the JCs finished dinner early and went to hide out in our cabin, lights out and totally silent. We were only there for a few minutes when we heard a bunch of 12 year old feet stomping up the hill. While they were TPing us we heard snippets of their gleeful conversation such as “Guys, we are SO bad!!!” and “Wait, why are we doing this again?” Once we felt we had given them enough time to adequately TP, we jump out of our cabin, thus scaring the living crap out of them, and chase them down. We caught them and escorted them back to our cabin to clean up what they had done. We get back only to discover that they had done the worst job ever and only two or three pieces of TP were lying on the ground. We still made them pick it up.

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