Day 1 of camp is all about hearts, obedience, and embarking to the temple. Our starting port is in the good ol’ USA.
DAILY SCRIPTURE & POSTER: You can find a ready-to-print version of this (without the blog website on it) here.
DINNER IDEA: What’s more American than a hot dog? Well, not much. Plus, they’re easy to make in bulk in the great outdoors. A hot dog bar with some pre-made salads (which is easy when this is day #1 of camp) and s’mores for your after-dinner-delight is sure to hit the spot. Be sure to check out this post for more ideas of how to take your hot dog bar from good to great.
And be sure to check out this post to find out our favorite way to do s’mores!
ACTIVITY: One of the great blessings of obedience is being able to participate in temple work and enjoy the blessings of temple worship. Our planned activity for the day focuses on the temple.
Amazing Race: Temple Edition
Split your girls into groups of 5, and assign a color to each group. We recommend that you have the groups start at different stations so you need fewer sets of the task materials.
You’ll need a temple puzzle for each group. This can be the same temple (your temple district temple, for example), or you can give each group a different temple. No need to go buy puzzle. Online or at your local distribution store, purchase temple pictures. You can glue the picture onto cardboard (cereal box cardboard works really well!), let it set, and then cut it up. We do recommend cutting each puzzle into the same (or close to same!) number of pieces. At each of the four stations, when the group completes their task, they’ll be given 1/4 of their puzzle pieces. So have them start with an empty plastic bag to keep together all of the pieces they collect.
The winner of the AMAZING RACE: Temple Edition is the team who is first to assemble their temple puzzle after having completed all four tasks.
Task #1: Write down 35 of the 144 completed temples.
All you need for this task is pens and paper. Cities have to be included! Just listing a state or country doesn’t work. You can find a list of all of the temples here. Once the team has written down 35 temples and the leader over the station has certified that all of them actually are completed temples, they can move on!
Task #2: Build a sugar-cube temple.
For this task, you’ll want a piece of posterboard for each group (as a building foundation) and plenty of glue and sugar cubes. We recommend that you select a temple (and have a picture of it posted in the building area) for all of the groups to build. We used the Salt Lake temple, because it was our ward’s temple at the time. Have the leader in charge decide on a few simple architectural highlights that need to be included (like four towers, or the spire in front, etc) before they’ll be passed off. This can get messy, so encourage the groups to think small (in terms of size) and simple. To add a little bit of flavor to the competition, you could hide the boxes of sugar cubes in the area of the task and have the teams find them. Just make sure you’ve designated which box belongs to which team by color-coding them.
Task #3: Name (match!) that temple.
This task requires a stack of numbered temple pictures and a corresponding worksheet. (Feel free to make your own! This is just an option.) You could post the pictures out over a spread out area so the teams are moving from place to place and aren’t just standing around a table. We recommend having them identify about a dozen different temples. These can be selected based on your area of the world and what will (mostly) be familiar to your girls. (Or you can go with the list and worksheet we’ve created. You can find your ready-to-print worksheet here.) For the worksheet, they’ll just draw lines between the numbers and the temples. So, if they think picture #1 is of the Nauvoo temple, they’ll draw a line from the 1 to Nauvoo.
It’s totally up to you how to handle the finishing of the task. You can go Amazing Race style and not let them move on until they have all of the correct answers. No hints or help. You could also decide to give hints or tell them which numbers they have incorrect. Whatever makes the most sense to you, but we do recommend that you don’t let it drag on for too long.
Just like the homemade puzzle we mentioned, you can find temple pictures online or at your local distribution center.
Task #4: In this task, the girls will actually hear/read stories about temples.
We have four stories selected that have been told in General Conference. We recommend that you set up a loop hike (a mile or so in length) and position leaders around the loop. Have each leader prepare to tell the story.
You can tell the stories and keep the trivia portion up by asking the girls where in the world this temple/story about a temple took place. (If you go this route, you might want to encourage girls in their study time at camp or before camp to read the specific Conference talks that these stories come from.) You could also create a multiple choice question about where these stories happen.
You could eliminate the trivia portion and have discussions about the principles taught about obedience and temples in these stories.
You can find a ready-to-print document of these stories, with links to the original talks, here.
There are so many reasons why I love this youth theme, but a big part of it is that I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for those brave souls in the scriptures who built boats and crossed waters. Really. I can’t imagine many things more fear-inspiring than being told how to build something I didn’t know how to build and then putting my family inside of it and trusting that 1) it wouldn’t completely fall apart and 2) that it would bring us to a place of promised blessings. But not after storms and waves and all kinds of other faith-trying things.
I think I love these people (Nephi, the Brother of Jared, Noah) so much because the older I get, the more clearly I see that I’m building something-a life, a family-that I don’t really know how to build. I need a lot of direction. A lot. And the waters around me and this family I love so much don’t look so calm and crossable. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve begged for air or light-or for someone to tell me where to find ore to make the tool I need, so to speak.
I’m sure we’ll get more into these courageous souls and their stories, but for today, we’re going to talk about some other people who made their living on boats. They were fishermen. But God intended them to become much more.
The words in Matthew 4:19 just reach out and grab my heart and give me hope.
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
I hear the Savior saying, “Come and see. Do what I do. Try your best. And in time and with my help, you’ll become what I intend you to be.” I think we can sometimes feel stranded when we look at commandments or callings, but I don’t think that was ever the intention of the Lord. He didn’t tell them to figure out how to be fishers of men on their own. He promised he would make of them who He needed them to be WHILE they followed Him.
He doesn’t tell us to figure out how to be missionaries or to figure out how to be moms (or great teenagers or students of the scriptures or anything else!) and then, once we’ve got it down, to come back and check in.
And these men, in verses 20 and 22, “immediately” and “straightway” leave their nets and their ships and they follow. They obey. And just like that, they’re on their way to becoming who Christ intends to make them. It’s not a short journey or an easy one, but we can cling to words and the help of the Savior.
This is just a list of articles, videos, etc that might be helpful as you prepare for and plan Day #1!
If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments by Elder Hale
Elder Andersen’s Challenge to the Youth (This goes into Elder Andersen’s recent challenge that the youth bring their own names to the temple to do baptisms.)
A Secure Anchor by Elder Scott (This is an awesome video, made especially for youth. It’s talking about anchors in rock climbing-not the nautical variety-but it’s really excellent!)
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!