Sunday, June 26, 2011
Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet...
So after three years of waiting for the new Young Women Campsite to be finished this weekend was it. Not only do we get our own awesome campsite 15 acres of developed land, which includes, an amphitheatre, running water, showers, toilets, eating hall, fire pits, Young Women memorial garden, shelter pavilions, trails, floating swim docks, canoes, soccer, baseball, and volleyball areas. With over 400 acres the campsite is truly peaceful. Even with the thousands of people that showed up for the dedication.
I was on the fence whether I wanted to go or not, but I really wanted to see the camp. After two hours of driving we finally arrived with rain gear seeing as it decided to rain on us. My kids were slow moving in the morning so I didn't get there as early as I would have liked to. So my parking spot? About 7 km from the campsite. Yea I know. We pulled up and were told shuttle busses would get us there. I didn't realize a Malibu was a shuttle bus. Okay they did have a couple of those vans too, but I was thinking, along with another lady, we are mormons don't you think there are a few minivans around that could shuttle the hundreds of us? Because well we only had an hour to get there before it started and going 4 at a time was not going to do it. Luckily some of the chartered school buses that had brought people from the 8 stakes which will use this camp were generous enough to act as shuttle buses. So sweet I couldn't be more thankful to them. We arrived to hear prelude music and I immediately knew we got there just in time.
Still raining and muddy ground, but actually not as muddy as I thought that it would be, we got comfortable to listen to the speakers. We sang "O Canada" which even though I am not Canadian I still love to sing and am proud for my children who truly are Canadian. The Young Women choir sang another song and because I was so far back I had to really listen to hear them, but the fact that it was so silent as they were singing said something. Like colourful angels they stood there dressed in white with value coloured scarves around their necks. I was proud even though I have no clue if any of my girls made it to sing in the choir or not.
President Baxter, who is 2nd counselor in the Ontario Mission Presidency, spoke first. He told of the miracles in how this camp was able to put together. Sister Barb Murphy, Church Service missionary, spoke and invited all those in the church to come to the campsite and find those peaceful spots to meditate and grow closer. Then Sister Ann M. Dibb spoke, "M" for Monson yes she is President Monson daughter as well as a counselor in the General Young Women, she spoke and the rain started to slow. I had hope that we could put down our umbrellas and that the sun just might come out. Some Laurels (16-18 year olds) from London Stake sang a beautiful musical number to set the mood for President Monson. As we know he started and made us laugh. He thanked us for giving the camp his name, which we did because of the impact as mission president he was all those years ago. Before he stood to speak McKayla pulled on me and said, "I can't wait to see him." They stood on logs so the could see over the crowd. I remember when I was a youth in the Young Women org. I went to a Youth Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Four stakes of teenagers gathered to listen to the prophet at the time President Gordon B. Hinkley. Granted it was a longer conference and there was a different spiritual message, but I still remember those things that he said and the feelings I had when I listened to him. I actually cut a trip to Milan short just so I could fly back in time to make it to that conference. I was so glad I did. So I jumped at the chance for my kids to be able to see in person the prophet. Who is just a man, but for us like a rock star.
Had to take some pictures. I wasn't the only one either everyone was snapping like crazy. I am surprised I only took maybe a dozen others were commenting that they had taken like 30 or 40 shots.
When it concluded and we sang "How Great thou Art" a song which almost always brings me to tears everyone crowded in closer hoping to shake hands with President Monson. It was really great he waved and we waved back. And I have no problem if my children want to emulate this rock star.
The difference between this and a real rock conference? No crowd surfing.
I was amongst those trying to get really close. I think if I didn't have my kids I could've forced myself through to shake his hand, but this was as close as I could get. He waved to the crowd and we waved back.
When it finished we waited another hour and a half or so to get shuttled back to our car. Luckily another bus driver was sweet enough to give us a lift or it would've been dark before we got out of there. I actually would have love to venture the property and see more of it, but by myself carrying a cooler and a bag for all of our other stuff and trying to keep an eye on the three kids I opted to go home. Although it did peek my curiosity enough that I want to go back. If only my hubby liked camping. I look forward to my children being able to use that camp. President Smith had told of a young man who was helping to build the camp who said he was doing it so that his children one day will be able to benefit from this camp.
I hope that as my girls go off to camp in a couple of weeks they value what so many people have done to make it possible for them to enjoy such a beautiful facility. My second hope is that my kids will remember getting to see the prophet and hear him bless that land and bless us.