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The Youth Group Experiences That Shaped My Teenage Years CAMPING IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL A ug. 1 marked the 112th anniversary of the first ever backgrounds and tested his ideas for a book he was authoring on Scouting in the local area. Much like the activities of the Scouts today, the daily lessons at this first camp were centered around camping, observation, woodcraft, chivalry, lifesaving, and patriotism. Thinking about the importance of Baden- Powell’s endeavor to teach youth all over the world about thriving in the natural world all those years ago, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic for all the summers I spent at camp as a kid. organized Scout camp. Back in 1907, Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell gathered 20 boys from all different social
And I was right! I loved the camp so much that I ventured there every year until I graduated high school. Even now, the memories of playing camp games, trading scary ghost stories before bed with my tent mates, and making only the most delicious s’mores around the campfire fill my mind whenever summer rolls around. It made for some of the best (and even educational) experiences of my life. When I close my eyes and really try, it feels like I can actually smell the roasted, golden marshmallows. Fortunately, I’m still able to enjoy the camp in all the same ways I did as a kid now by going back as a youth leader. I love getting to see how the camp positively impacts the young campers, just as it did for me while I was growing up. As youth leaders, not only are we bringing the campers closer in faith, but we are also teaching them valuable life skills. Regardless of background, I think most people would agree that your teenage years bring about the most emotional, spiritual, and mental hardship. Our current world is complex for an adult to navigate, let alone a teen, and nothing makes me more appreciative of this camp than getting to build relationships with these kids during such a pivotal time in their lives. The happiness this camp brings to today’s youth makes all the difference to me, and I can’t wait to see what this year holds!
“Even now, the memories of playing camp games, trading scary ghost stories before bed with my tent mates, and making only the most delicious s’mores around the campfire fill my mind whenever summer rolls around.”
While the camp that I went to each summer wasn’t a designated Scout camp, it was equally as informative and memorable. Every year, all of us who were a part of The Church of Latter-day Saints High Adventure youth group would pack up all the belongings we’d need for weeks for living outdoors, load up into a bus, and make the journey to southern Utah for some quality time spent with nature. The first time I attended this camp, I was 10. I remember setting foot off the bus for the first time and taking in the rocky red terrain, the sparse arches over trees, and the vast desert landscape that seemed to stretch on for miles. While the weather was certainly warm, it was inviting and without all the extra city lights, noises, and people, I immediately knew this was a place I was going to love.
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