And We Dwelt in a Tent

Dwelt in a Tent blog

Girls Camp...the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s January, and many of you are starting (if you haven’t already) to plan this summer’s girls camps. Sign me up, I’m ready to go! I love planning, preparing, and attending girls camp. It is truly one of my favorite times of the year, and I’m always a little sad when I don’t get to go.

Last year we had, what I truly feel, was the best camp ever! I am hoping that you have felt that way about your girls camps, too, because that’s how it should feel at the end of something you have worked so hard to pull off. If you are looking for ideas for how to make your girls camp awesome, I am hoping you will find something here that will inspire and help you.

Our 2018 girls camp theme was Turn Your Light On

(or Turn on Your Light, which ever tickles your fancy).

This is the graphic we used for sweatshirts, song book covers and all paper media that we handed out.

This is the graphic we used for sweatshirts, song book covers and all paper media that we handed out.

The theme was based on Sister Eubanks’ talk by the same name. You can purchase the graphics for personal and non-commercial use here.

This theme was super inspiring and really fun to work with. It lends itself to so many great light based ideas, games, talks and more. Think of all the things you can do with flashlights alone! Here are some fun games to check out just to get you started.

One night we put on a giant shadow theater show that focused on some of the times light has appeared in the gospel. We sewed five king sized sheets together, placed grommets all the way down each end and, using the grommets and rope, tied them to volleyball posts creating a nice, tight screen. Then we used one giant light behind to light the girls. We were able to create some really amazing things using shadows, flashlights and cut out images. It was amazing and really brought the spirit. Download the script here to see what we did!

We did sweatshirts for all of the girls and leaders in the stake. It was a big expense ($13 per girl) but I am so glad we did it. I see girls wearing them all the time and I know they wear them more than they would a t-shirt.

This was the first year my girls were able to go to girls camp and it was such a treat for me! I served on the stake girls camp committee, which meant I wasn’t with them all the time, but I got to see them and hug them and be there for some of the big things.

This was the first year my girls were able to go to girls camp and it was such a treat for me! I served on the stake girls camp committee, which meant I wasn’t with them all the time, but I got to see them and hug them and be there for some of the big things.

You can purchase the artwork for the sweatshirt and the graphic art here!

One of the really fun things we did was a light quest. We came up with a list of challenges for the girls to do, and gave them a special bead for completing each one. They had a necklace that they could put their beads on and wear. It was so fun to see each girl accumulating their beads and showing how much light they were gathering and sharing. Many of these challenges included getting to know girls from other wards. I really felt like there was connections made, and new friendships established. You can download our light quest here.

We didn’t have any speakers at this camp, instead we invited girls (first year beehives to be specific) to share experiences they had had at camp where someone had shared their light. It was a fun way to involve them. Afterwards, we had a dance party (slightly out of control) that the girls LOVED (and during which some leaders aged significantly, mostly me). One of my very favorite things we did was that, instead of a speaker our last night, we watched a movie of camp. I visited each ward and every activity I could and filmed as much as possible and compiled it all into a movie. It was a perfect way to remind them of the wonderful time we had had together over the week.

One of our fearless stake leaders (Cecily is so awesome!) came up with the most fabulous idea. She thought we should set up a stake lounge. This would be a place the girls could come visit, sit and rest, have a treat and, of course, have FUN! So we packed all sorts of things…blow up lounge chairs, canopies, throw pillows, lanterns, tables, snacks, string lights, battery powered candles, bulletin board with s’more recipes….you name it, we had it. IT. WAS. AWESOME. And it did exactly what we hoped it would, it brought the girls together (and to us). Here is a truly unflattering pic of me in our lounge. I would highly recommend this for any and all stake camps! It was a total highlight.

No, I didn’t eat all that by myself. Especially not the Fritos, those things are DISGUSTING.

No, I didn’t eat all that by myself. Especially not the Fritos, those things are DISGUSTING.

Proof that I didn’t eat all that food, and that Fritos are gross.

We saw lots of interaction between the wards, which was awesome! That seems to be something we struggle with as a stake. Most wards would prefer to just do ward camp, and not go as a stake. I really felt like we managed to create a great situation where they had lots of ward time and also some great stake interaction time. A couple of wards started kidnapping each others girls and issuing ransom notes. It all ended in a dance off with everyone from the stake being invited. There was much laughter and good times had over this exchange.

Some of my favorite things I took to camp were:

Leather mosquito repellent bracelets

Pura vida bracelets (I got one for each of my YCL’s)

Inflatable lounge chair

Megaphone (because who wouldn’t want to be louder)

Shower wipes!

What are your favorite things to take to camp? I would love to know what I need to add to the list.

Happy Camping!

Amanda