Saturday, September 26, 2015

Youth Camps

Leo and Karly both had a chance to attend youth camps with their church groups in September. I was excited for them to go to some beautiful nature settings in Australia!

Leo's camp was located at Anglesea on the southern coast of Australia, right at the beginning of the Great Ocean Road. I can't even describe how in awe we were of the setting! It was beautiful. Cliffs, and waves, and rocks, and beach and water, water, water! I just couldn't believe he gets the chance to camp there for two days.

Pretty rough, right?

Here's Leo's summary of the camp:
"The camp started out right on the beach with a big game of capture the flag. The whole 'field' was about a quarter mile long right at the waters edge. It was a really warm sunny day, and there was no one else on the entire beach. After the game we walked along the beach for about Eumarella Scout Camp. The whole camp looked like a World War 2 training camp. The whole first day we were very active. From the game on the beach to the hike and then to all the games and activities we did that night. We played lots of ropes course games and some other things and then ended it with a Tough Mudder race. Our group went through the whole course in about 33 minutes, which was a pretty good time. We went back to camp and took our cold showers, and that was the end of day 1. The next day was Sunday, so there weren't any physical activities, but a bunch of church-related ones. We had sacrament meeting with a perfect view of the beach. The next day the whole camp did a service activity on the beach. We cut out invasive plants and replaced them with native ones. The whole camp was a very good experience and I'm very glad I went."

Most of the stories I have from camp were things that happened while we were supposed to be asleep. The first night they assigned us all cabins. It didn't end up mattering because most of the guys from our ward snuck in to our cabin and put their mattresses on the floor. There were lots of shadow boxing tournaments and plenty of rap battles. We had made plans to play poker with all the snacks we brought, but no one remembered to bring cards. The second night was Sunday, so it was a lot more laid back. Most of us went to bed early. There were still lots of shadow boxing fights though. The third night was the most eventful. Earlier in the day we had gone on little hikes and found some abandoned houses. We even found an alter for a dead woman and her child on a cliff. We did have to climb over a wire fence to get there, but we didn't tell the leaders that. That evening we went on a walk down the trail to see how far it was to the beach. We were running for about fifteen minutes before we gave up, because we realized we weren't even halfway yet. That night after lights out we decided to try again, but when we got a ways down the trail, we decided to go find a cool lookout cliff instead. We climbed another fence, this time with a couple barbs, and sat on an amazing cliff watching the moon and the ocean for a couple minutes. We ran back without anyone noticing we were gone. In hindsight, we really wish we brought a flashlight, because we couldn't see a thing. Throughout the camp, there were plenty of pranks, mainly played on us. Our shoes were taken and strewn about, we were nick knocked plenty of times, and we even had someone break in and steal our food. The worst prank by far was one that caused half the cabin to sleep somewhere else. Someone had come in and poured water all over half the bunks. We never found out who. The funniest part of camp for me was answering all the questions the deacons had about America. At times I wasn't sure if I should've played along with the stereotype or tell the truth. Overall the camp was a really good experience and I really enjoyed it."

Karly's camp was the following weekend. She wasn't quite so lucky to camp at the beach, but she had a great time anyway. I think it's a good thing she didn't know it was called "Snake Valley" until she got there. There is no such thing as a harmless snake around here. Notice the nice large gap between the floor and the door of her cabin? They didn't sleep very soundly. There were critters and spiders in their cabin. Fortunately none got too close!

It was really unusual for us for these camps to start on Saturday and go through Monday. It was a church organized camp so I guess that's okay to be camping on Sunday? They held sacrament services for everyone, but I think it was hard to keep a Sabbath day feel for most of them.

Karly reported:

"Luckily for me and my friends, we got the cabin with the 2 inch gap at the bottom of the door, and the 1 inch gaps in the windows. There were cobwebs and dead insects in all the corners, and as a person with self diagnosed arachnophobia, it was an anxious weekend. I didn't actually see any snakes while there luckily, and the food was pretty good. We went canoeing in the lake, and went on some nature walks, and did some fun games and activities, and had a lot of downtime. The downtime was good and bad, because it gave me a lot of time to relax and take a breather, but also a lot of time to think about the creatures lurking. On Sunday we had a sacrament meeting in the clearing at our camp, and it was plenty hot. It was a really cool and spiritual experience, as I have never had a sacrament meeting outside of a church building. After that we had some gospel related activities, and the next morning we were off!"

No comments:

Post a Comment