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It’s that time of year again when Girls Camp Directors and Young Women’s leaders all over the world are sitting down to plan the big week(ish) long no-sleep sleepover in the great outdoors. Also known as GIRLS CAMP!!
Last year, we shared a week full of activities for a FROZEN-themed camp. This year, we’re taking it nautical style (because who can resist all those cute anchor prints?) and sticking with the 2015 youth them: EMBARK. We’ll spend a day each on the four different areas outlined in the theme: heart, might, mind, and strength. Which means we’ll be doing four days of activities, crafts, devotionals, and girls camp goodness. A full-service Girls Camp Cruise, if you will.
With the EMBARK theme, we’ll take you with us to a different port city on each day. We’ll hit Mexico, Italy, Japan, and, of course, the good ol’ USA. So look forward to fun and easy big-group-food that goes with each destination. But just like last year, we’ll be the first to say that these are just ideas. You know and love your girls, and praying about what they need and how they need it is the most important thing you could do in your planning and execution.
For those of you (like me) who like to see things written out simply and in a list you can stick on a post-it, here it is:
DAY 1: Embark to the temple. (Heart) USA
DAY 2: Embark through service. (Might) Mexico
DAY 3: Embark with the word of God. (Mind) Italy
DAY 4: Anchored to Christ. (Strength) Japan
THE KICK-OFF INVITE:
The invite to the camp kick-off activity is super simple and ready for you to download, edit, and then print. So, here’s how you do it.
1. Download the invitation here. (This version doesn’t have our website on it, so no worries about that!)
2. Go to PicMonkey and select the Edit option.
3. Find your just downloaded invitation and select it as the file you want to edit.
4. On the far left, you’ll see an icon that looks like “Tt” (it’s right between the lipstick icon and the butterfly icon). Click on the “Tt.” It’s how you’ll add text to the invite (your own when and where).
5. Select the font you want to use (it will be highlighted and at the top of the font list once you’ve selected it). If you want a perfect match to the font that our little Gilligan’s Island poem is printed in, you’ll need to add the font to your computer. It’s called Caviar Dreams and is a free download font. You can find it here. (Once you’ve downloaded it and done everything you need to do for your particular computer to add it as a font to Word, it will show up in the “Yours” section of fonts.)
6. Click “Add text” and a text box will show up in the middle of the screen. Type your WHEN information. You can change the color of the font and the size of the font in a window that will pop up that gives you editing options for your text. Highlight your text when you want to make changes, then change the color or size. Watch the size (it’s a number) so you can match the size for doing the same thing for your WHERE info.
7. When you’re done and everything looks right, save it (the Save button is in the gray box across the top). Then you can upload your image to a photo site (Wal-mart, Cost-co, whatever) and make as many 4×6 prints as you need. This is the easiest way. No cutting anything out for you!
We’ve got three prints that are ready for you to download and print! Here they are. (Great to use for kick-off and then up at camp!)
We also found a lot of fantastic things at Oriental Trading. We love this anchor garland. Darling! The anchor bandanas are great to pass out at camp (because what is girls camp without a bandana, right?) and use for underneath centerpieces for your kick-off! These little scalloped boxes were another favorite of ours. And that leads us to the treat…
We filled the boxes with popcorn (not really theme-y but a great filler), blue saltwater taffy, Swedish Fish, and Wint-O-Green (mint) Lifesavers! Goldfish are another great option when you’re sticking with the theme. We’ll be sharing a gorgeous nautical cupcake soon as another option, so stay tuned!
A maritime flag is a flag designated for use on ships or boats. Naval flags were considered important and identified the country or group on board. They were especially important when engaged in battle and showed strength and unity. Tradition dictated that if a ship lowered its flag it was deemed to have surrendered. So let’s make one!
Divide your shipmates (campers) into tent groups or age levels. Each group will design and create a flag together to identify their ship name at camp. The flags can be hung outside of cabins or tents at camp!
Materials needed: a pillowcase for each group, fabric or permanent markers, stick or pole for each flag, tape or pins to attach the flag to the pole.
Here are some ideas of famous ships/boats your groups could use:
The Good Ship Lollipop
Jolly Rodger (Captain Hook)
Black Pearl (pirates of Caribbean )
Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia)
The Love Boat
S. S. Minnow (Gilligan’s)
Endurance (Sir Ernest Shackleton)
USS Abraham Lincoln (20,000 Leagues under the sea)
Oasis of the Sea
Allure of the Sea
Explorer of the Sea
Scruffy the Tugboat
A great way to start your message portion of the evening is with the Youth Theme video this year. It’s amazing! It really captures the miraculous things that have happened in recent years so that the youth-your girls!-can be major contributors in hastening the work of God all over the world in beautiful and significant ways. Through the video, they’ll see all of the areas that will be covered more completely at each day of camp (temple, service, the word of God, and being anchored to Christ). I think there’s a lot of power in asking them what they notice, how they feel, and what they feel moved to do as they watch.
There are also some great things to pull from and teach in Elder Ballard’s most recent talk, Stay in the Boat. These are two of so many resources you could use. It could also be amazing to challenge your girls to memorize The Living Christ before Girls Camp. (I really love the idea of challenging them to DO something to prepare for camp.) This blog post includes information about the original challenge/story from Sister Neill F. Marriott in the October General Woman’s meeting. It also shares several links for ideas and resources for memorizing!
Like everything else with Girls Camp, we encourage you to think, study, pray, and trust that you’ll get the answers you need to reach and touch and inspire your girls.
I don’t know about you, but we’re excited about Girls Camp! Stay tuned-each week over the next month we’ll be sharing activities, recipes, and devotionals for EMBARK 2015! Subscribe to our email list (up in the top right corner), like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest to make sure you don’t miss it!