Thursday, August 15, 2013

Girls Camp 2013 and a Bag of Dirt

Girls Camp was amazing this year.  I feel so blessed to know some of the most amazing and beautiful girls.

It was a hard camp.  It was really primative, and I had been battling kidney infections all summer that turned into something more serious.  I didn't want to deal with it.  I wanted to fulfill my responsibilities and get on with life.

I got a shot from my Dr. and promised I would have the CT scan when I got back.   I am so glad I did.

We went high up into the mountains, and it was beautiful.  Wildflowers were everywhere. It rained a lot, but that helped out with the flies, so it was a blessing in it's own way.

On the second day, we participated in the 3 mile hike.  The Stake leaders made it into a treasure hunt where we recieved tokens at different stops that represented each of theYW values. It was very creative and meaningful.  The only rules during the hike were to stay on the trails, ask for help if we needed it, and to help each other. 

We walked along, enjoying the activity and each other.  It was hot and some of the girls were struggling.  There were 2 guys on 4-wheelers just off the trail who were offering the girls treats and drinks to get them to step off the path.  I didn't really realize what was going on at the time.  But I needed help for one of my girls who was not going to make it unless she got something from the tent that we had left at the campsite.  I asked the guys if they were mobile, and if they could go to the campsite to get an item from the tent. 

As one of the guys was packing up to help me, the other guy shoved a snickers in my hand.  At that point I felt like it would be rude not to take it.  So I did, and then they handed me a bag of dirt!  I asked why I needed it.  They told me I would find out soon.

It wasn't long before I figured out that the bag meant I had screwed up.  I didn't mean to, and I was mad.  I was just thinking of someone else and trying to help them, and now I had this bag of dirt I had to carry around.  I felt like people were looking at me and judging me.  Whether they actually were or not I don't know, but I felt it.  And I didn't want to carry around that stupid bag of dirt.

I did for awhile.  I even tried to hide it sometimes.  I let people know I was just trying to help!  I saw the camp director as we were walking down a trail.  A few other girls had bags of dirt too.  I told her I had a problem with my dirt.

She smiled and asked me why I was carrying it.  I told her the guys told me I had to.  She asked me if I wanted to carry it.  I said no.  Then she said, "well then give it to me."

Was it really that easy?

It was.  I asked if the other girls in my group could give her theirs as well.  They all gave it away.   She took it from us and all we had to do was to give it up.

Never in my life has The Atonement made more sense.

The director then told me that my journey was over, and that I had to leave the girls and come with her.  It took me a moment to realize what she meant.  I said goodbye to the girls, and walked with the director to the top of the highest peak in the camp.  It was beautiful there.  I waited with the other leaders for our girls to finish the hike and join us.

 I was so happy and excited when I saw my group of girls making their way up the mountain.  And I noticed that no one was carrying bags of dirt, and in all honesty, I couldn't remember who had even had them to begin with.  It didn't matter.

I gave letters that we, the YW's presidency and I had written to each girl.  They found a quite spot among the wildflowers to read all about how wonderful and they are.  Then we took a few minutes to look at the view below. 

It would be difficult in this place to doubt the love that Jesus Christ has for us all.  It would be impossible in this moment to not feel his love.

 I was not able to finish the entire week.  I ended up in the ER the following day to deal with my neglected health problems.  But I am so grateful for my experience there.  And I will never forget that moment when I realized I don't have to carry any dirt around with me. All I have to do is give it away.

And I love these girls!