While the Boy Scouts in the Woodbridge Stake were off on their adventures in West Virginia and the Young Women were at Verdun Adventure Bound for Girls Camp, youth aged eight to eleven had various camps and adventures near home right here in Prince William County.
The eleven year old Scouts in the Stake traveled to our own local Prince William Forest Park for an overnight campout. Thanks to Chuck Diamond of the Lake Ridge 1st Ward they spent Friday afternoon and evening earning two merit badges: Indian folklore and Chess. Friday night’s dinner was prepared and served by the Stake Primary Presidency. The scouts also had a flag ceremony, a flag retirement ceremony and campfire.
Saturday was filled with activities including fire building, knife and axe handling, lashing and knots, and orienteering. The final activity was an orienteering hike. The scouts came home with their own compasses and new knowledge.
Some of the wards in the Stake sent their Cub Scouts to Day Camp at Leesylvania State Park. They spent four days attending classes in leatherworking, woodworking, fishing, STEM activities, arts and crafts, nature, archery and BB guns. They theme of the camp was Bugs Alive and they found bugs for the bug houses they built, made bugs in arts and crafts, and they learned about bees in the nature class from a local Bee enthusiast, Christina Ek.
The last day of camp took on a new twist. Instead of having skits like they have in the past, camp leaders created an elaborate challenge course with many activities to challenge the boys. They had several races to run: a leap frog race, a relay race, a partner sack race, and a Worm in a Cave race. They also had to pretend to be a bug with a pool noodle as an antenna and push a ball with the antenna. They got to use slingshots and had to crawl through a string spider web without touching the string.
Some of the 8-11 year old girls in the Stake, the Activity Days girls, also had a chance to attend a day camp. A couple of the wards put together activities for their girls to have some extra time learning and being together.
Wendy Orr from the Bristow ward described their camp. “Our camp theme this year was Dr. Seuss “Oh the places you’ll go.” We focused on Missionary work. Our Sister Missionaries came on Wednesday to help the girls with their skit and participate in a missionary interview. The girls then wrote letters to our Sister Missionaries families which we sent with photos of each girl with the Missionary.”
She explained how they made Gospel Rocks. “Each girl painted a rock and put a message on the back, some put the church web address on the back some said something nice.” They also participated in a service project, pulling up cabbage from Wendy’s garden. She said, “I very much appreciated the help!”
The Lake Ridge 1st Ward ActivityDays also had a week long day camp. Activity Days leader Jennifer Gray said, “We learned about how we are all superheroes with a divine mission to fulfill. We had two days filled with crafts and activities and a final “fun in the sun” pool day with our families and friends.”
She described her favorite part of camp, the Holy Ghost obstacle course and the campfire testimony meeting on the second day. “During the obstacle course some of the girls listened to the tempting voices that encouraged them to let go of the rope. When they did, they were gently reminded that we all make mistakes in life but through the atoning power of Jesus Christ we can repent and return to complete our mission. With a picture of the Savior firmly in hand, they returned to the course and were able to finish with the assistance of the “Holy Ghost” (leaders quietly encouraging them through the course).
“At the testimony meeting shortly after, many of the girls shared powerful testimonies of the Savior, their experiences at camp, and how they felt when they completed the obstacle course, took off the blindfold, and saw their leaders standing next to a portrait of Christ. We have amazing girls and we feel so honored to share these experiences with them. “
Thank you to all the leaders who have spent countless hours planning and preparing so many wonderful growing experiences for the youth in the Woodbridge Stake.