Last night at our activity for Young Women at church, Elle unveiled the slide show she’s been working on for a Personal Progress project.

It was to capture Girls’ Camp and share those memories with the girls.

Yes, Girl’s Camp was back in June, but with everyone being out of town for the summer and then all the beginning-of-school hoopla we haven’t had an opportunity to reminisce together until now.

I haven’t figured out a good way to sum up all the emotions and beauty of that place on this blog until I sat tearing up watching all these pictures with the girls last night.

What an amazing opportunity we had to bond together and be so spiritually uplifted in such a gorgeous place.

I LOVED the camp theme: “Seek His Light and Shine.”

I love the word “seek,” especially when it relates to all things spiritually. Having that “light” of Christ in our lives takes some effort on our part and when we seek it diligently not only are our own lives lit up in the beautiful glow of the spirit, but we can spread that light to others as we shine.

Some things not captured in the slideshow pictures:

–sleeping on a top bunk with no ladder
–hearing/watching the girls freak out about spiders
–trying to get girls to go to sleep at 2:30 in the morning
–trying to drag the girls out of bed at 6:00 for the morning devotionals/breakfast, etc.
–having the chance to get to know the girls and the leaders on such a deeper level
–the crispness in the air that is so welcome when you live in the desert
–comforting girls going through some tough times…feeling my heart stretching that much wider to encompass them and admire all they are doing to become stronger in the face of adversity
–observing the kindness of girls reaching out to each other
–the awe I felt for the stake camp leaders and all the work they put into making the week such a beautiful event
–the swell of the camp songs that brought in the spirit so tangibly that you couldn’t help but feel it engulfing you on all sides
–how that engulfing feeling followed us into our testimony meeting on the last night…the heartfelt words everyone shared
–how Dave laughed at me when he came to pick us up when we got home…I was in such a complete stupor of tired-ness I hardly knew which way was up. I’ve never, ever been so tired before. But the spiritual high sure made up for it.

I just feel so grateful for how those few days enriched the lives of so many of us and for the depth and strength and guidance religion gives us in our lives. I’m so grateful that all these girls have that bump of direction in a sometimes confusing world. But mostly I’m grateful for that Light from above. And for the knowledge that we all have part of it in us.

And last but not least, I was so grateful I got to be with my girl.

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  1. LOVE the slide show!!! Tell Elle that she did an amazing job! I LOVE the lantern idea!! Did the girls make those at camp or did you have the glass part done ahead of time? I'd love to do something like this for my Acheivement Day girls!

  2. I can't tell you how much fun I had watching that video. I danced around on that very stage, forever ago. And so did my mom before me. My husband has an interview in Tempe in two weeks, and we're really hoping we might be able to move there!
    Especially after that video! My daughter has to carry on the tradition!

  3. This video is SO cute . . . and I love the music! How did she make this video?!? What program did she use? I've been looking for a good vido-making program for a while now, because we were going to make a Girl's Camp video as well!

  4. I love girl's camp! And it looks like you had a great one.

    Now that I'm age-wise on the leader side of camp, as opposed to the young women, I'm curious how it works out for you logistically to attend girl's camp. Does someone watch the rest of your kids while you're gone? Your husband? We're running into these same types of issues with my husband serving with the young men. I'm just wondering how your family works it out.

    Thanks for your cheerful, uplifting posts. I sure love reading your blog!

  5. Wow, you got to go to girls camp on a bus? And you had cabins with bunk beds? We have to sleep outside in tents and car pool the girls there ourselves. However you get there or whatever acomodations, Girls Camp is great isn't it? I have gone 3 years now, it just gets better and better. Elle did a great job on the video, great idea for personal progress, I'm always looking for new ideas, keep up the good work!!

  6. Well done Elle! What a great idea for a Personal Progress project to capture the moments and memories made in camp – memories that will last forever!

  7. Is that etching on those jars and did they hot glue the handles on? Are there tea lights glued down inside the jars? So many questions! I think that would be a great activity for or achievement day girls…any chance you or your daughter could email me the specifics on how to make those lanterns? Thanks very much!

    Lynne in IL

  8. Great job, Elle! Thanks for the video and post! I was just called into YWs in July. I'll admit that I was nervous! But this post makes me SO grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the YW's program. I'm looking forward to girl's camp next year!

  9. Must be having one of those days, Shawni, but this made me get that catch in my throat. I always do when I see the strength of the youth — most especially young women — church wide. Maybe it's because my girls are this age and it always touches me to be a part of something so big and so great.

    Thanks for sharing that view today.

  10. Shawni, you have the brightest smile, and your kids gained that trait from you! I just love how genetics work, and when I saw that last picture of you, you looked just like Claire to me! Just like you, she smiles with her whole face! And Elle too! Happy weekend!!

  11. It is a blessing to me to have found your blog just this week. My daughter started kindergarten last Thursday, and I have been trying my best to be excited for her, but I would be lying if I didn't think to myself, "I don't want my kids to grow up!" any less than a dozen times a day since.

    That said, the last three posts of yours that I've read, I've found myself feeling even more excited to see them grow up! To see where your family is at with your older children, it is refreshing. I guess I am mostly emersed in famlies who have children the same age as mine, that I just don't think about the things they will be doing as pre-teens and teens.

    I loved going to camp in the summers and seeing this post just brought a smile to my face. Not just for the reminder of the memories I have as a kid going to camp, but also the excitement that as my kids are getting older, they are getting closer to some of these amazing opportunities, too!

  12. In answers to the questions:

    1) The girls made the lanterns at camp. They just took those jars, put stickers on and then sprayed the glass with a spray paint to "frost" it, then removed the stickers. Then they wrapped wire tight around the mouth of the jars and added ribbon to make it cute. Inside is just a battery operated little tea light. Easy peasy and very cute. Our stake camp craft women were quite creative! If you end up making them be careful because you forget how breakable glass is…a few of them broke.

    2) Elle made the slide show with iMovie. Love that program and as easy as they have made it, it's still tricky to maneuver 'til you get the hang of it.

    3) As for who took care of the kids, my niece helped with Lucy and Max and Grace babysat a bunch, but Dave was around a lot as well. It worked mostly because Lucy had "summer school" until 12:30 each day.

    4) Yes, we had bunkbeds and cabins…which is not really "camping" if you ask me. But I'm not going to complain 🙂 And yes, big nice buses which were awesome. We are spoiled.

  13. I read your blog all the time and love everything about it the camp video Elle made was very cute but I just wish she had chosen a different song, the one she used takes the Lord's name in vain. I went to girls camp this year with my 12 year old daughter and had an amazing experience and can't wait until next year!!

  14. I'd love to know the names of each of the groups at your camp. I could see that one group was the Fireflies. What were the others?
    Love the theme!

  15. Loved the Theme! It would go great with the Scripture for 2012. I would love to get the logo you used for your shirts and backdrop at the amphitheater. Please let me know how I can contact your Stake Camp Director! Thanks!

  16. Wow, thank you so much! This post gave me a brilliant idea for my girl scout Gold Award… A camping trip to help bond girls through Christ! Thank you, thank you, thank you! 🙂

  17. I loved watching your video and collecting ideas for Girls Camp 2012. I know you're probably super busy, but I'm wondering if you can direct me… I would like to contact the person who came up with the logo for the t-shirts? and I'd like to know what the theme song for camp is? my email is: cgmiller98atgmaildotcom
    Thanks- Carey!

  18. This is exactly what we are looking for this year. The whole week focusing on the Savior. Does anyone mind if we gleam off your stakes awesomeness? I would love to get in contact with someone I could email questions too regarding logo, camp names, songs, etc. Thank you in advance

  19. I LOVE all of your ideas!!! I just got called to Stake Girls Camp Director and I have never been to girls camp…EVER!!! I would love some info: shirt logos, camp names, camp song, etc… It looks like a perfect week at girls camp!!!

  20. I also was just called as camp director in our stake and would LOVE more info on your theme (logos, songs, scriptures, cabin themes, etc.). Would you mind posting more or emailing me directly? Thank you so much…wonderful job!

  21. Like everyone else I love your theme. Would also like to know if you would be willing to share your ideas for the crafts you did plus the music. Love the tee shirt logo!

  22. You have inspired our ward to adopt this theme for girls camp this year! Would you be willing to share your t-shirt logo with our ward or any other info regarding the theme (rotrav@hotmail). Thanks!!

  23. Hello, I grew up in AZ, and went to Lo Mia. (Married a 5th generation Texan who went to ASU, should have known :))

    We get to do camp all on our own this year, on a ward level. We are needing lots of help. Do you have access to the file for your camp shirts? Also what is the name of your Camp Song at the end of the video,and is it available on a cd or sheet music? Thanks for the help.

  24. Loved your theme, would definately go with the 2012 YM/YW theme. Also loved your logos on the shirts and your backdrop for your stage. Is there a chance you could email me where you got your logo or pictures of it and your backdrop? I would love to show it to our stake young womens presidency.

  25. I was hoping you could put me in contact with the sister who is responsible for this great camp. There are many aspects we would love to include in our girls camp this year. T-shirt design and song specifically. Here is my email address I look forward to hearing from you. If not, maybe she could be a guest blogger or update on It is nice to see this post and to recognize you from Time Out For Women. Thanks for your willingness to share your life.

  26. DId I read somewhere on your blog that you incorporated the 10 virgins with the lanterns you made?? Was is some kind of faith walk?? will you please share that with me? We want to do a 10 virgins faith walk and need some ideas!!

  27. Wow I love the video! It totally inspired our youth leaders. One question you have a song that your girls are singing towards the end. We are planning on doing the same theme for our camp this year and wondered if you would be willing to share the words and music? We need a good theme song! Thanks you can email me at
    Lacy Hanson

  28. We have our girls camp in a few weeks and we are using the same theme. Is there any way I could get your t-shirt logo or your stitchery pattern. Love the ideas that you used and wanting to create that same experience with our girls. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

  29. How long did the batteries in the tea lights last? Will they last from tuesday to friday nights? just for about an hour or two each time?

  30. how long would the batteries last in the tea lights? we have 4 nights to use them this year. And im new at girls camp (im the director and have never gone)
    Thanks. Summer

  31. I realize that it has been some time since you had this girl's camp, but I am one of many that love your T-shirt logo. My theme for my Grandma Party this year is "Let Your Light So Shine" and your T-shirt logo would be perfect. My party is for more than 27 of my grandchildren and I want their shirts to mean something to them. Please contact me at

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