Girl’s Camp

June 15th, 2009 . by Melissa

After 6 years of Girl’s Camp as a youth, this year I went back for a 7th as an adult. There is something you should know about LDS Girl’s Camp…it is exactly the same everywhere. The crafts are the same, the food is the same, even the Mormon Boy Song is the same. I thought in 5 years it would have changed a little, but no. I was an adult leader over the 12 year old girls, the little firsties. I didn’t realize at the beginning the reason why I was placed with the 12 year olds, but after the first day of camp when I’d already been repeatedly mistaken as a 16 year old youth leader by both adult leaders and campers alike, I was grateful they placed me with the 12 year olds for the slight advantage in the age juxtaposition.


Some funny stories from camp:


Story 1:


We were sitting around the picnic table waiting for our food to cook over the fire.

I mentioned something about my husband.

12 year Hannah exclaimed, “YOU have a husband!? How old are you? Like, 17?!”

“No, no, Hannah. I’m actually 23 (and then I added the ½ because I was talking to a 12 year old and those extra 6 months might have really helped convince her of my maturity).”

20 minutes or so passed. Sister Morgan, the other adult leader, asked me something regarding my pregnancy. Hannah, again, shocked, “What you’re pregnant and you’re engaged! Wow!”

So, at that point Sister Morgan and I both felt the need to fill in the gaps that these 12 year olds were so unsuccessfully completing themselves.  “No, I am not a 17 year old immorality statistic, who got knocked up and thus has to marry some random boy from high school in a shotgun wedding. I am actually: a 23 year old who got married in the temple over 2 and ½ years ago to my college sweetheart who happens to be a return missionary. And now we are starting a family…”


Story 2:

Again, but on a different day, we were sitting around the picnic table waiting for our food to cook over the fire. Leah, one of our 12 year old girls, who was standing next to me asked Sis. Morgan if she could go to the bathroom. Sis. Morgan who was intently focused on the camp stove looked up at me and said, “Well, yeah!” And then burst out laughing. Leah left to do her business, but the rest of us just stared at Sister Morgan who  was still bubbling over with laughter.  Finally, after she regained composure she explained what all her fuss was about. “Sis. Newman! I thought YOU we asking me if you could go to the bathroom! I couldn’t figure out why you were asking to go to the bathroom! And why you were being so whiney about it!” So, not only do I look 17 but I also sound like a whiney 12 year old.



The theme of camp was “The Road to Virtue.” Many of the lessons and workshops and devotionals emphasized the importance of a temple marriage and how a virtuous life can prepare you to get married in the temple and be rewarded with an eternal family.

I often found myself reflecting back to my last year of girl’s camp as a youth. I was seventeen years old and really struggling with all of the baggage that accompanies such a wretched age. A temple marriage wasn’t important to me at the time, it sounded nice but it wasn’t a need…it was simply a want. 5 years later, I marvel that my want for a temple marriage turned into a need, and ultimately a reality. I don’t think a specific event could be labeled my turning point, or a specific person my rescuer. But there are those who I know helped me along the way. I am grateful for my best friend in high school who always supported and encouraged me to do the right thing, not only with her words but by her example. I am grateful for my father who instilled in me at a very young age the difference between right and wrong.

I am grateful to have met and married a man whose capacities for virtue, faith, and love far exceed my own.

Lastly, I am grateful for the waiting spirit in heaven who Heavenly Father will soon be entrusting us with. This baby represents my future goals and my need to set an example for my children by continually upholding the standards of the gospel.

One Response to “Girl’s Camp”

  1. comment number 1 by: Leslie Evans

    Melissa I am so jealous you got to be a leader at girls camp! I love love love girls camp! I wish our ward had more than 1 young woman in it because I would beg to be a leader or even just a cook so I could go. I love this post and your insights. We miss you!!!