I survived! It was a crazy week but a lot of fun. The last night of camp some of the girls told me they didn't want to go home, so I will count that as a success!
The stake ended up being in charge of a lot of activities this year and we did some fun things. We got to tie dye, decorate hats with homemade buttons, canoe on Tibble Fork, go hiking, etc. We had some great firesides too... my particular favorite was the one given by sister Liz Lemon Swindle (30Rock fans--how awesome is it that her name is Liz Lemon?) She is an artist who paints Christ in many of her pieces. Here is her Web site if you are interested.
My favorite part of camp was the bishopric night on Thursday. Our bishopric went all out. Our camp theme was "Daughter of a King" and they (and their wives) planned a royal feast for us for dinner. We were in the middle of the woods eating a five-course meal on our bishop's wife's china! They had Martinelli's for us, silver candle sticks, name cards, cloth napkins, etc. Did I mention our bishopric dressed up in tuxes and escorted the young women to the table? Their cute wives (two of which are pregnant) were dressed up too and were even wearing heels.
Here was the menu each of us had on our plates:
If you can't read it it says:
Chilled cucumber soup
Mixed greens with pan-roasted pears, shaved parmesan, and toasted almonds in a light vinegarette
Mango sorbet (to cleanse the palate of course!)
Honey-lime Tri-tip steak or Marinated grilled chicken
Vanilla bean cheesecake
All of the food was amazing, but I'll tell you what... I am still dreaming about that cheesecake. I am not joking when I say it is the best cheesecake I have ever eaten. I didn't think it was possible to top Cheesecake Factory's dulce de leche cheesecake, but trust me when I tell you this beats it! There were white chocolate shavings on top and it was made with real vanilla bean. I will stalk the bishop's wife until she gives me the recipe.
Other fun highlights:
-Getting to know the girls in our ward. They are strong girls who face a lot of difficult challenges and I came away from camp really caring about them and wanting the best for them.
-Sitting around the campfire and singing songs with our bishop on the guitar. He sang a really sweet Jack Johnson song about angels for us. We also sang funny songs mostly made up by Megan (one of the YW counselors and honestly one of the funniest people I have ever met).
-Canoeing and watching our bishop splash everyone with his paddle and tip over the canoes with our girls in them. He was ruthless!
-Thursday night testimony meeting
- Our ward skit. We made up a song and had the bishop prance across the stage as a Gazelle with ribbon dancers tied to his head with a tube sock
-Giant s'mores with the famed marshmallows I blogged about awhile back
-Singing camp songs that I hadn't sung in 10 years and had forgotten
-Winning the award for "Prettiest princess camp"
Not so fun highlights:
-We got rained on the first night and our tents ended up not being waterproof (even though they are supposed to be). I literally climbed into a soaking wet sleeping bag and lay on a soaked through pillow. I also had drips of water falling onto my face all night long-- seriously something you'd see in a movie. Obviously there was no sleep that first night and we had to be up by 5:15 a.m. the next morning for a sunrise hike.
-We walked an unreal distance each day-- I am glad for the exercise, but our campsite was the furthest away and it wasn't very convenient when we had to hike to the bathrooms and activities several times a day.
-I worried about bears the entire time. As I said, our camp was farthest away from the rest of the stake and we had candy all over our campsite. No bears, but we did have a raccoon visitor the last night of camp who loved the cheesecake as much as I did!
On another note, I had a lot of fun decorating our campsite:
Castle painted onto a sheet and hung at the entrance to our campI gave my right pointer finger for this castle... the tip of my finger is still numb from holding down the spray paint nozzle! Note: Jackson did not attend camp. He was just there helping me set up the night before.
Camp chair "thrones"
The assistant camp director made these really cute baskets for the girls for secret sister stuff, etc.
I made these medieval flags with the YW values on them
It was a great week and I am grateful I was able to go. I am so thankful my mom was willing to come to Utah and babysit Jackson for the week so I could go without reservations. Jackson behaved and seemed to really enjoy his time with her. I'm not going to lie though, it's good to be home!