Last Sunday a man in the stake came into the Relief Society room to make an announcement. It’s one I think you will appreciate. At least I did.
Three stakes in my area including mine all use a rustic camp in the mountains for the annual Young Women Camp, with land that was donated by members some time ago. It has tent sites, etc., but no real facilities. The tri-stake group approached the church and asked for funding to build a large, multi-purpose building. The total cost of the building is $800,000.
On the condition that our three stakes raise $150,000 (about $70 per family), the church has agreed to fund the rest. They want to start this summer. As soon as we raise the money, they will begin building.
The leader stressed that this camp was specifically for the Young Women. It could be scheduled by other stake, ward, youth, or even family events, but Young Women get priority scheduling for the site.
He asked for feedback and whether we approved and supported the project. The responses were unanimously positive, with one older woman specifying that the updates and changes to the women’s program were welcome.
As the man left the room, I stepped outside. I didn’t want to take up lesson time, but did want to ?ahem ?speak up about the issue. When he was in the hall, I told him very briefly how envious I was of my brothers when I was a kid. How they had such a great program and so many fun things to do. He responded by saying, “I know! There was nothing for the girls!” I nodded. Then I told him how glad I was that the church was willing to use these resources to give these girls a nice campground and that our family would fully support the project.
It was interesting that when the same project was presented to the High Priests Group (I do not know if it was the same man), none of the info about how it was “primarily for the Young Women” was mentioned. I hope that isn’t because they think it would seem less important. Still, if you feel compelled as I sometimes do to speak up about things that seem problematic, it behooves us to speak up at least as often about things that are helpful.
Camping isn’t my favorite thing in the world, and I’m not sure that giving the girls a camping experience “just like the boys” is really the most efficient way to create a girls’ program that serves young women like Boy Scouts serves the Young Men. But I am sincerely grateful that the stake leaders and the church were willing to listen to the “complaints” about the camping facility and to take action to fix the problems. And I’m also grateful the church is willing to spend money to make the Young Women Camp a better experience for the girls.
Two thumbs up!