Young Women Camp 2016 Re-Cap {Girls Camp}


I love Young Women Camp!  Here is a little re-cap of our 2016 camp.  I love sharing ideas and thought these might be helpful to someone out there!  This might be the worlds longest blog post.  I’ve tired to break up the post into categories.  Here we go!  If you want any of the documents, click HERE to go to an online folder.  These are for personal, church use only.

Theme:  CITY ON A HILL,  inspired by Matthew 5:14 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”

 Theme song: We Are by Kari Jobi.  These lyrics are amazing and the chorus sings “we are the light of the world, we are a city on a hill.”

From these two places stemmed all the inspiration.

Camp Leader Training

We meet together as leaders each month for 5 months.  We talk about responsibilities, ideas, inspiration, certification, and the itinerary.  It sure takes a lot of preparation to plan camp!  The YCLs also meet each moth to plan for their responsibilities.  Our YCLs are amazing and they really run camp and are the heart of everything we do.


Back to Camp Night

About 6 weeks before camp we have “Back to Camp Night” which is when all the young women gather together and get to meet their level leaders.  The YCLs lead us in songs and skits, we have fun refreshments and each level gets to meet separately and start planning.  We used yellow and gingham for the decorations.  All of the food was yellow: lemonade, lemon cake, cheese puffs, lemon taffy, vanilla Oreos, lemon sours, chips, and popcorn, etc.





Camp Preparations

Preparing for camp takes months.  Here are some of the things we do before we get to camp.


Each girl gets a lanyard, bandana, songbook, itinerary, and camp shirt.  During the week at camp they earn buttons.  So I spend months making all these fun buttons!


This is about 100 lanyards.  Each lanyard has a match, so there are two of each fabric.  When the girls choose their lanyard they don’t know it but they are also choosing their “Pine Cone Buddy.”


Pinecone Buddies are kind of like Secret Sisters, only the girls know who their buddy is and they are paired up.  During the week, they look out for their buddy, get to know their buddy, and make crafts for their buddy.  I love that this has replaced Secret Sisters.


The buttons keep coming!  We make buttons for archery, hikes, games, certification, special campfires, KP, nurse, crafts, rock climbing, and so on.

Each girl gets an itenary to clip onto her lanyard.  This is the hardest and most time consuming part of planning camp – getting this ironed out!



Also on their lanyard is a camp songbook with all the lyrics to our favorite camp songs.


Each lanyard has a name card pouch and they write their name on the tag.  They also got a little Warm Fuzzy chart and every time they did something nice for someone they got to mark it off.  Once they received 10 marks, they turned in their chart and received a fluffy pom pom to put on their lanyard.  These were a hit!!!
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We have fabulous Stake Leaders and I made each of us a clipboard – everything was gingham at camp!!


Each level choose a City to represent them.  They created a cheer based on their city and decorated their cabins according to that city’s culture.  This was super fun and it each of the levels were amazing!!!

Once at camp we never sleep and run from activity to activity.  Some highlights were our Amazing Race to kick off the first day of camp, 4th year over-night hike, crafts, certification, rock climbing, camp fires and mini classes, water fights, swimming, and archery.

img_9204We asked the young women who were interested to bring an artistic representation of the temple to help us decorate our large mantle in the lodge.  I loved what they all came up with.


The first night the Stake Leaders put on a fun party – we were the city of Los Angles so we hosted “The LA County Fair.”


We had face painting….img_5755

country line dancing….

candy bar….img_5991

cotton candy & popcorn…img_5992 photo booth….

and awards and prizes!!!

In the lodge we hung a photo of each young women mounted on yellow paper and throughout the week the girls wrote sweet words.  They got to take them home at the end of camp.

Not sure who is having more fun….leaders or girls!!

Camp Crafts are such a fun part of camp.  We made pom poms and yarn crafts….


wood, nail, and string art….


Embroidery projects, and lots of other fun things.


For one of our campfires, we had a service night where we could “Let our Light Shine”.  We helped make these draw-string bags for the Days For Girls.  The girls LOVED it and it was super meaningful and brought everyone joy!!!

By the end of camp there is no room left on the girls lanyards!  These are a fun keepsake for each girl to look back at through the years and remember what each button represents.

I would say the highlight of camp was seeing our challenge we issued the year before come forth.  We challenged the young women to take this past year to memorize the Living Christ.  On the last night of camp before testimony meeting, we all stood and recited it together.  It was so AMAZING!!!  It had such a huge impact on everyone and really helped to strengthen our testimony of Jesus Christ.


Well, that’s it all in a nutshell.  It’s hard to summarize a years worth of work, prayer, service, and love in one blog post, but I hope you find a little inspiration from our experience.  Thanks for reading 🙂

2015 YW Camp Anchored in Christ Re-Cap

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 5.14.43 PMGet ready for the worlds longest blog post!  I didn’t know how else to get all the information in, so here goes!  I am our Stake YW Camp Director.  We have stake camp every year and we have about 85 girls who attend.  Our camp is Tuesday through Saturday.  We camp in cabins.  The 4th year girls go on Monday, hike 10 miles and camp in tents the entire week.  I have uploaded a file to dropbox to share with you – it has pretty much every file I printed for camp: itinerary, song book, packing list, etc.  CLICK HERE

yw camp art


We begin planning camp as soon as camp is over – so 1 year our.  We begin having meetings with our Level Leaders and YCLs in January and meet each month to plan and train.  Our camp is in June.   Here are some of the things we go over:

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 5.05.01 PMThe purpose of camp.

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 5.06.41 PMCertification

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Each year we have a “Back to Camp” night which happens sometime in the spring.  This is when all the girls and leaders come together.  We have treats, skits (from the Stake Leaders and YCLs) and we break up into levels so the YW can meet their level leaders.  They play get to know you activities and decide when to have their Pre-Camp level party.

back to camp night

Our theme was nautical and we took every opportunity to have fun with this!  In the dropbox file you can find our leader skit “The Love Boat”.  We wrote a saga that we kicked off at this meeting and then carried it on every night at camp.  Each of the Stake Leaders had a “character” and we had nightly drama that would get resolved.  It was so much fun and the girls LOVED it!!!  We also taught them a short dance to “Sea Cruise”.

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wood anchor sign 5

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wood anchor sign 9At the Back to Camp Night we had all the crafts on display so the girls could get excited.

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yw camp anchored in christ LDS girls camp 7PRE CAMP PREPARATIONS

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I made each of the Stake Leaders a covered composition notebook to use throughout the planning process to keep track of camp stuff.

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I made each of the Stake Leaders a messanger style bag so we could keep our clip board and other items handy.

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Each leader going to camp received a notebook with all the camp information in it.

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All cruise ship staff need a logo clipboard!  I stenciled the logo on with craft paint.

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The Stake leaders had matching shirts for each day.  This totally helps the girls locate us and for us to locate each other.  I suggest bright colors!!


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We decided instead of giving out random handouts and toys and candy that we would focus our money and efforts on lanyards.  The stake leaders each helped sew 100 lanyards.  The colors coordinated to what each level’s theme was.  And each lanyard had a laminated name tag.  Then the button making began.  I ordered 2000 button kits and began busily designing graphics for each one.  My friend Brittany helped me out big time.  Together, along with our kids, we got all 2000 buttons made!yw camp anchored in christ LDS girls camp 18
yw camp anchored in christ LDS girls camp 19We gave out buttons for Everything!  KP, fire starting, mini classes, nightly themes, nurse, the 4th year hike, etc.

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yw camp anchored in christ LDS girls camp 22The girls went crazy for these buttons and by the end of the week their lanyards were completely full!

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yw camp anchored in christ LDS girls camp 29Our camp shirts were amazing!  One of our counselors is a fashion designer in LA!  She rocked it on the design!!


welcome aboard


You can download our camp itinerary if you want to know how everything plays out.  I will touch on the highlights here.

Upon check-in each girl received her lanyard, camp shirt, and a banana.  Here is a list of the themes for each level – they were all to choose a theme based on a ship/

1st year – The Good Ship Lollipop

2nd year – Noah’s Ark

3rd year – Sea Cows

4th year – the Black Pearls

YCL – the SS Minnow

Each lanyard and banana coordinated with the theme.

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Every morning, we would meet for flag and have breakfast.  After breakfast each level would have scripture time where their leader would give them assigned scriptures to read.  We found this was more productive than just having the girls read at random.  After, the YCLs assigned to each level would share a 15 minute spiritual message.  This was a great opportunity for the YCLs to connect with their levels.  During this time the level leaders would meet in the lodge for a “Staff Meeting”

yw camp anchored in christ LDS girls camp

From there the day would progress: hikes, first aid, certification, swimming, rock wall, canoes, crafts, archery, and BB guns were all in the rotations.

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We take very seriously the #1 purpose of YW camp, “to draw closer to Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ.”  During the day we had what we called “Ships & Anchors”.  These were mini classes taught by the Stake YW Presidency.  Each class was taught 4 times and the girls would rotate.  These were amazing!  It’s hard to put it into words.  When you are up in the mountains, talking about spiritual things in a small group miracles happen and testimonies are strengthened.   Of course each girl received a pin that related to each class.


Our campfires start out fun and silly with LOTS of singing and our Love Boat Saga Skit.

skitWe pretty much wrote each nights skit during dinner.  I loved our characters!  I was Destiny, the girl who was on the cruse to find LOVE!


Then we sing our theme song as a transition into getting spiritual.   Each night we plan a different spiritual presentation.  The first night we kicked off our 1 year campaign to memorize The Living Christ.  Each of the stake leaders memorized a portion of The Living Christ and recited it.  In between sections we had musical numbers that coordinated.  Next year at camp we will all stand and recite The Living Christ together.  The following night we had 3 speakers talk about a scripture story that pertained to water/boats.  They were all amazing!  Another campfire activity was that we handed out envelopes with questions inside.  Each girl was to go a little ways off and read the question and write some answers – these were pondering questions.  At the bottom of the paper it directed the girls to go to one of 5 groups.  Each stake leader was assigned a group and we went to a location and had a discussion.  We each were assigned a nautical flag.  Have you ever read the meanint of nautical flags?  Total gospel parallels.  We came back to the campfire and each level sang a song they had prepared.  The final night is testimony meeting.


Following campfire each level goes with thier leader and has a devotional lead by their leaders.  These can be some of the most impactful moments of camp.


Because no one is ready to go to bed at 9:00 pm and they are all a little spiritually drained, we host activities in the lodge every night.  Since this years theme was nautical, we treated these activities as ports of call.  Each night we stopped somewhere new!  Here are all the places we visited:

Tuesday night – Hawaii


We decorated the lodge like a luau.  We welcomed each girl with a lei.  We had fresh pineapple juice and coconut cookies for refreshment.  We had a few YW who hula perform and teach everyone some dances.  We had a “friendship” dance where at the end, you would partner up, exchange leis and that would be your SOS sister for the week.  We change our secret sisters up each year.  This year we didn’t want them secret, we wanted the girls to get to know each other.  So we created SERVE OUR SISTERS.  The YW were encouraged to make things at camp and give their sister.  This is such a nice change from buying lots of junk and bringing it to camp.

Wednesday night – Mexico

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We decorated the lodge to look like a Fiesta.  We all wore Mexican dresses and we had 2 pinatas, churros and chips and salasa.  One of our counselors is a Zumba instructor and she taught the girls some fun zumba dances.

Thursday night – Florida, Disneyworld

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This night each of the stake leaders dressed up like Disney Princesses.  We had each girl choose a princess and we broke into groups and practiced a little routine to the song that goes with the princess.  Then we made a big circle and performed in the center.  The girls love Disney music!  We had made buttons of each of the princesses with origional artwork and each girl got a button from her princess.

Friday night – party

Friday night is kind of a free-for-all.


Each night the stake leaders hike up and down the camp to sing good night songs to the girls.  This year we created a newsletter to hand out, much like you would receive on a real cruise.  Here is a sample of one of the editions:

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Sunday night following camp we all meet together at the church and we present each girl her level award.  The church used to have actual certificates.  Now, I just create them.  They also receive a charm that coordinates with our overall theme and with their level.  We watch the slide show and have refreshments.


Camp is such an amazing experience for all who participate.  I hope some of our ideas help inspire you to plan a meaningful experience for the Young Women you serve.  I love hearing from you so feel free to comment or email me 🙂


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YW Camp Treasure The Truth Re Cap

It’s time to start preparing for this year’s Young Women’s Camp.  I thought I would write about our 2014 camp for any of those Camp Directors out there looking for ideas.  Our camp was AWESOME!  We had fabulous leaders, a great camp, and super fun activities.  Our theme was “Treasure the Truth”.  It was fun to use the idea of “treasure” for inspiration.  As you scroll through this post you can click on each section for more ideas – I didn’t want this to turn into the world’s longest blog post.  I hope you enjoy learning about our camp.

Our camp is a traditional camp in the mountains with a lodge and cabins.  We had access to a small lake and canoes, rock wall, archery, BB guns, volleyball, swimming, hiking, and crafts.  Below are ideas we added to enhance camp.

This is our camp logo.  Click HERE to download a high resolution version, you are welcome to adapt it to your needs.treasure the truth logoCamp Check in


Each level was a Gemstone based on a Young Women Value.  Click HERE to download all the gemstone printables.

Individual Worth

Good Works

choice accountability


divine nature




1st Years: Diamonds, 2nd Years: Sapphires, 3rd Years: Gold, 4th Years: Amethyst, YCLS: Emerald, Leaders: Fire Opal, Nurse: Ruby

Every level received a lanyard based on the color of their level with a gemstone name tag.  Click HERE for more pictures of the lanyards, tutorial, and printable name badges.

YW camp lanyard 3


Attached to the lanyards was a camp itinerary and a camp song book.

camp itinerary

I love reading other camp’s itineraries – here is ours.  Click here for the PDF.Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 6.10.54 PM

When we got to camp we had a treasure hunt where the girls received their bandanas, itineraries, songbooks, and other camp goodies like CANDY!  I went into LA and bought colored lace the colors of the values.  I cut them into triangles.  They were super cute.

The Young Women Camp Manual has been around for a while and I know some years girls don’t even bring them to camp.  I wanted to breath new life into the camp manual so we turned them into scrapbooks or smash books.  The treasure hunt ended in the lodge where we had tables set up and tons of scrapbooking & paper crafting supplies.  The girls got to decorate their camp manuals!  I had also printed out photos from the past few years.  The girls were encouraged to carry their manual with them at all times at camp.  Throughout the week we had handouts and quotes they could glue in their manuals.  This is mine:

YW Camp manual 2

I put tabs on the sides so I can easily find each level and other requirements.  Mine is loaded with pictures.  I love looking at it!!!

YW camp manual
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I think the girls had fun with this project!!YW camp manuals 7

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I love the lanyard idea because throughout the week the girls received pins for different devotionals or activities.  It was so fun to see everyone’s lanyard at the end of camp!!

YW camp pins

Name Badges – I made these by gathering streamers – click HERE for the tutorial and printable.YW camp name tag 7

When we kicked off our theme on the first day, we introduced our “Treasure Board”.  The leaders had made this before camp.  It’s a HUGE frame with a collage of material treasures.  The goal during the week was to cover the material treasures with spiritual treasures.  By the end of the week the board was covered with religious pictures, quotes, and uplifting pictures.  I love the idea of visualizing what our heart treasures.
YW camp treasure board


T-Shirts – We tried to save on cost by not having official camp shirts.  We gave each level a white V-neck shirt and they were to create their shirt based on their value gemstone.  I love this idea!  It was so fun to all the creativity!

Of course I tie-dyed the leader’s shirts
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The YCLs did a kind of reverse spray paint technique
YW camp YCLS


The 4th Years did an ombre inspired technique with words on the backYW camp 4th years

The 3rd years had gold 3s on the back and their name in cursive gold sequinsYW camp 3rd years

The second years did a tape/paint techniqueYW camp 2nd years

The first years had a diamond ring printed on the shirtsYW camp 1st years 2

Crafts: Our crafts were the best so far.  Again, money was tight.  We asked for donations and then created crafts out of what we received.  The girls had a BLAST!  Click HERE to see all the crafts we made.

YW camp crafts 2

Meet Gemma Diamond our Camp mascot.  Every evening at dinner the stake leaders did a silly skit/dance with Gemma.  Gemma got to go home with a different level each night.  She brought with her a letter, something for each girl to wear, and an owl pin to add to their lanyards.  The first night she brought tiaras, the second night large YW paper medallions, the third night capes, and the fourth night missionary badges.

YW camp owl 2

Here you can see Gemma at the end of camp – she really learned a lot!
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Here is a sample letter from Gemma.  If you are interested in all the letters, click HERE

gemma diamond

We had “Treasured Value” rotations where the girls rotated listening to an uplifting message based on a value.  At each rotation they received a handout to put in their camp manual and a gemstone bead to put in their bottle necklace.  The necklaces were really cute, but many of the girls played with them and they broke.  I would hand these out at the end.  But I love having a bottle necklace with the value gems in it!

value necklace

YW value necklace

In the lodge we had an area designated for “Treasured Sisters”.  This was to replace our traditional “Secret Sisters”.  Instead of shopping and bringing gifts to camp, we drew names at camp and encouraged the young women to make something for their sister at camp.  The sisters were not secret and the girls introduced themselves at the beginning.  For the most part it worked, some of the girls were shy and didn’t approach their sister for a few days.  We were inspired by the Frozen movie’s Elsa and Anna 🙂  Click HERE fore the treasured sisters form.  Every day we had paper and pens where they could write notes and we had a little item they could give their sister, like candy or a pin.
treasured sister image
YW camp treasured sisters

YW camp treasured sister pins

I typed my own certification table so we all could keep better track.  If you would like a copy click HERE


One night we had a Faith Walk.  I have seen many versions of this but ours was AMAZING!  We had 5 vignettes around the camp. A Nephite woman who was there when Jesus came, Mary the mother of Jesus, the blind man who Jesus healed, the young Joseph Smith, and the woman who touched Jesus robe.  Many of our actors also sang a song that went with their character.  The young women were asked not to talk while they walked on the journey.  It was very powerful.  We lit the whole camp with paper bag lanterns, 500 to be exact.  And then at night we turned them all off, and we liked them so much we turned them on each night!

Faith Walk YW campCamp was amazing and I did not want to come home.  The young women in our stake are so AWESOME!  The Sunday after camp we have an awards night and slideshow.  All the families are invited, we watch a slide show of all the pictures.  Then each girl who completed her certification received an award.  We give them a level charm that they can add to a bracelet or necklace, a certificate, and a camp photo to add to their manual.  Click HERE  to download a generic certificate.  I like that the certificates are smaller so they can be glued into the camp manual.certificate YW camp award 2

If a girl has completed 6years of camp she gets a gold or silver pinecone to wear alongside her Young Womenhood Recognition Medallion.

YW Camp award


The Future is as Bright as your Faith {Printable}

I LOVE this quote!  I made this little printable with BRIGHT colors so that it can go along with NEON items!!  We made these little handouts and tied the printable to the top: neon pencils, notebook, and magnets (all from Target).
Download PDF HERE
Download graphic image HERE