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Ten Things of Thankful: Girls' Camp Edition

A sweeping view of pine covered mountains under a blue sky
I spent most of this past week at a church camp in Running Springs, California with 84 young women, ages 11-18, and a bunch of adult leaders.

My bunkhouse cabin home for the week, decorated with festive pendant banners.

The day before I left for camp, I got an emergency alert text, informing me that my house in Utah was under evacuation due to a nearby fire. (Sorry, Mom, I didn't tell you because I didn't want you to worry.) Within 20 minutes of receiving that text, I received another text saying the evacuation order was lifted and the fire was under control. 

1. I'm thankful for the firefighters who put the fire out quickly.

2. I'm thankful that no people were hurt nor homes were damaged.

3. I'm thankful that the whole incident was over before I left for camp, so I didn't spend the week worrying.

The camp theme was UP, as in Speak Up, Look Up, Cheer Up, and Rise Up. The girls were encouraged to make new friends, do something challenging, memorize the 2024 youth theme ("Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." 3 Nephi 5:13), and to be a disciple of Christ. 

The girls were divided into 4 different cabins. Two other women were cabin moms with me for Cabin 1. Most of the girls in our group were on the younger side, although we also had some older girls as youth camp leaders. Even though I admit I am biased, because my granddaughter was in our cabin, we had a great group of girls!  One of my favorite things about the week was watching the girls look out for each other. They reached out to include those who were shy, and comforted those who were homesick or scared about the bear. (Yes, there was a bear sighting!)

4. I'm thankful for the kindnesses I witnessed.

Two stakes (groups of local congregations) gathered together for camp this year, so many of the girls and leaders did not know each other prior to camp. It would have been easy for cliques to develop, but I did not observe that happening. Girls (and leaders) developed friendships across geographical boundaries. 

5. I'm thankful for new friends.

Although some challenges were to be expected--having some girls feeling under the weather due to altitude, homesickness, etc.--overall I think both the girls and the adults had a good experience. The camp leaders did a great job of planning the schedule, the cooking crew worked tirelessly to provide yummy meals, and the presenters prepared memorable messages. 

6. I'm thankful for those who put so much time and effort into planning girls' camp. (Did I mention that all of the positions are unpaid?) 

Friday night, the girls had time to share their thoughts and feelings. Several of them mentioned the "Faith Walk," which was a short walk from one gathering place to another that the girls took individually. Along the path, they encountered leaders who made simple affirming statements to them, such as "You are so loved." Clearly those messages made an impact. It was a reminder to me of the need to speak up and convey confidence in and love to those around me. 

7. I'm thankful for the reminder of the importance of words. 

The weather all week was perfect. A sweatshirt was sufficient at night and in the earlier part of the day, but the middle of the day wasn't blazing hot. I enjoyed the beautiful views, both day and night. (Did you see the strawberry moon rise on Friday night?) I noticed a couple of nesting birds--flickers in a tree, and bluebirds in a hole in the eaves of the lodge. I didn't actually see the bear, but it wandered through camp on Friday night, around the time we had all the girls outside to take a photo in front of our cabin. 

8. I'm thankful for the beauty of the world.

9. I'm thankful for safety.

While I enjoyed camp, I was happy to arrive back home and see John again. Drexel greeted me with a wagging tail, too. 

10. I'm thankful for home and family. 

What about you? What are you thankful for this week? As always, be sure to visit the Ten Things of Thankful blog Ten Things of Thankful blog and see who else has linked up with this week's blog hop! 



  1. It's lovely when these things go so well!

  2. sounds very fun (and, even more so) reaffirming of the positive side of the world
    and... and! a greeting from Drexel (after an absence) had to be very excellent.*
    *simply one of the many talents our canine friends have in a abundance...feeling welcomed home

    1. It really was nice to see so many caring acts of kindness. And yes, Drexel does have a way of making me feel welcomed home!


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