Young Women’s Camp may be God’s secret weapon

Photo: Megan Louise Carter

Though hidden from most males in the Church, Young Women’s Camp, also known as Girl’s Camp, is one of the Church’s most successful programs and could be Heavenly Father’s secret weapon. My involvement with Girl’s Camp began many years ago when my mother, a Young Women’s leader, asked me to pick up girls from camp. As an 18 year-old, this wasn’t a horrible assignment.  The thought of being the first boy the girls had seen in a week overshadowed the long, four-hour drive. My dreams died a slow death on the narrow roads of the coastal range in Southern Oregon due to bad directions and I never made it to camp. In fact, the girls arrived home before I did.

My father, connected with his priesthood responsibilities, attended Girls Camp for many years. He was there to provide support and protection. In a conversation, he admitted to me that he loved Girl’s Camp and that some of the most spiritual experiences he had ever had occurred there. This comment intrigued me and I decided that if the opportunity every presented itself, I would go to Girls Camp.

The chance came many years later in the mid-90s. A call went out for priesthood support to go to Girl’s camp and I volunteered. Since then, I’ve been blessed to attend Girl’s Camp almost every year. Some years I have gone just a day but most I have been able to spend multiple days. This past week, I was able to be at the Oregon City Stake’s Young Women’s Camp and once again, I came away amazed at the spiritual strength of our Young Women.

There are far too many examples to site here, but one brief incident electrified me to the core. At the nightly camp fire, one of these incredibly impressive young women stood and recited a quote they had learned earlier.  An inspired teacher had reworked a line from “The Lord of the Rings.” She discussed the importance of resisting, with unwavering commitment, the “world” with all its allure and temptations. She had the girls learn and repeat the line. Now, this young woman stood in front of the entire camp and with the talent of a seasoned thespian, recited…no, acted out this line:

I am a daughter of the Most High God. The King of Heaven and Earth and all things that in them are, is my Father. YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

The girls then repeated this line in unison with total devotion, determination and faithfulness. It was beyond moving. It was inspiring and intense. For a small moment, all eternity stopped, listened and acknowledge the strength and commitment of these young women. It caused me to remember the words written about Captain Moroni but in that moment the words belonged to and personified those Young Women.

Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all . . . had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto [the young women of the Oregon City Stake], behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men. – Alma 48:17

I can’t wait for next year.

Photo: Claire Couch


12 Responses to Young Women’s Camp may be God’s secret weapon

  1. kati says:

    I couldn’t agree more! So jealous I didn’t get to go!

  2. Diane says:

    I agree. There is something very unique about the experience “Girls Camp” provides to those who attend. Even the men that think they are only there to “lift heavy stuff,” keep the camp safe and good naturedly taste test food cooked by the young women come away with some ah ha moments. Can’t imagine YW camp without you President Parker.

  3. President Parker, thank you so much for the beautiful write up. It was an awesome experience on so many levels. We were truly blessed! Thank you for coming up and for your great support!
    Michelle W.

  4. Brooke says:

    Your write up pretty much said it all. I agree, President Parker, YW camp was most definietly a success. I can’t wait for next year either!

  5. Geniel May says:

    I love it. Thanks for posting this and I couldn’t agree more. It was a wonderful YW camp this year. Liz gave a quote to her girls that I love as well: “Be the kind of WOMAN who, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the Devil says, OH NO, SHE’S UP”

  6. Keile says:

    Love this! I always think of you, Troy whenever captain Moroni is involved! Thanks for your commitment to the YM, and girls camp.

  7. Pingback: The Parable of the Squashed Bugs on the Windshield « "The Things of My Soul"

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