|I absolutely loved these necklaces Danette had us make! The bottle cap says "Come Unto Christ". The white pearl represents the temple, the sea star the parable of the starfish ("it made a difference to that one") and the blue bead the ocean.|
|Our car: Nikki and Alexa in the second row, Taya and Madi in the back.|
|Beautiful temple. A great place to begin our girls camp.|
We were the last group to get there after a long detour. Two sweet sister missionaries spoke to us about the importance of families.
|Nikki, Mary, Madi, Taya, and I.|
We then drove down the Pacific Coast Highway for an enjoyable, scenic drive to Leo Carrillo State Park.
We ate like royalty, thank to Bro. Peterson and Bro. McDonald. For example, one night we had hamburgers but they were wonderfully homemade and came with a choice of provolone or pepper jack cheese AND and unlimited supply of super-crispy bacon. Every meal was that gourmet. I had to skip breakfast the last two days because I didn't want to undo a year's worth of good work in less than a week.
|Mary's "creepy face"|
|Girls around the fire--it was incredibly cold at night.|
|Um, lifeguard? I think I need mouth-to-mouth.|
We started the next day with a hike to the highest peak of the campsite, a mile up. This was Mary's lowest moment and she complained loudly the whole time. I was surprised because last year she did a difficult 7-mile hike, but this one-miler did her in. It was early (for her) and quite hot out, and the incline incredibly steep. She wasn't the only one who had a hard time. I, however, found it quite easy--which I attribute to my regular treadmill interval training and overall increased activity. I was proud of myself.
I didn't take pictures of everything but other highlights for me included getting to know the adult leaders better, watching the girls do their skits (Mary's group did a parody of the Phantom of the Opera), and sleeping in my car. I couldn't stand the snoring and I slept quite awesomely in the passenger seat, for real. I think I may start that way next year.
The girls loved going to the beach store and the owner apparently said he hopes our group comes back again because the girls were great customers. I think that is code for the fact that the girls must have bought tons and tons of junk food. They also were obsessed with all the "hot guys" around, from the beach lifeguard to all the other beach lifeguards to the guy who checked us in (Kevin) and the many, many men between 12 and 32 they saw along the way. They did not seem to be picky and they were obnoxiously vocal about it.
The final night we went back to the beach and released LED balloons that were to symbolize a commitment we made to come closer to Christ.
|All of the girls.|
|The girls plus their leaders.|
I was very glad that Nikki was there--she is a very sweet girl. She is almost exactly like Mary, which surprised me. I've known her since she was in 3rd grade but I didn't know the extent to which she also loves creepy faces, anime, candy, and avoiding people. However, she was perfectly behaved for me and did indeed participate fully, usually pulling Mary along. Her comments in testimony meeting were that she had never been camping before and she was glad for the new experience. She said that she felt very welcomed and taken care of and enjoyed meeting new people. I thought that was awesome.
As with all good things, camp came to an end. It was a great week and I'm glad I got to go and spend time with some great young women, wonderful leaders, and my favorite Mary girl.