My oldest left for Girl's Camp this morning for the very last year. This makes me kinda sad cuz she is growing up so fast! Our church has a camp for just the girls in the youth group and they go to some not-so-exotic places to experience the "outdoors". It is really a time for the girls to get away from mom and dad for a week and see what it is like to be around a bunch of giggly girls.
It isn't always camping in a tent, it is sometimes in a cabin that is owned by the camp director. And in some cases, they have gone to the same place more than once. My daughter went to Bear Lake four times in a row and said that even though she LOVES the lake, she really didn't want to go back to Bear Lake.
Actually, my daughter has had some really amazing experiences at girls camp. If you have ever watched the movie Once I Was a Beehive you will understand just how amazing a girls camp can be. All in all the movie is pretty accurate on what goes on at a girls camp, it only exaggerates a tiny bit. Oh, have a box of tissues handy, you WILL need them by the end of the movie.
I can remember when my daughter was getting ready for her first year at camp. The packing list came out an entire month before the selected date of departure. THAT is when she packed her bags. If she needed anything from her bag she would pull it out, use it, wash it, then repack it.
The next year was a little better. She was only packed three weeks before. The next year was down to two weeks, then the next was down to one week. This is her very last year for camp and she was packed....at 7:00 am this morning (2 hours before they were to leave).
I am really amazed how much she has learned from her years as part of the youth group. She has gained a strong testimony of Heavenly Father and has been an amazing example to the other girls. She has set her sights and goals high so that she can be found worthy of the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for her. It hasn't always been easy, at times it has been downright grueling! I have seen her experience the hardest trials in her life but still reach out and lift up another girl who is having a rough time. If my daughter was struggling, she never let it show. She always had a way to show others that even though times are tough, as long as you pray with faith and work like mad, things would all work out in the end. These are the things that camp has taught her.
If your child, or if you are a young girl reading this post, and you have the opportunity to attend a girls camp in your area with a local church group, I say DO IT! Don't let the opportunity pass you by. You will have your faith strengthened and you will be able to develop a compassion for the other girls that you are spending time with.