Sunday, July 28, 2013

More Precious Than Rubies

***Caution- Churchy Post***
Encampment 2013 with my old stake in South Dakota was so fun!  I missed my girls so much.  I was so crazy getting ready for the craft I was helping with it didn't even cross my mind how fun it would be to see them and talk to them again.

Encampment is a girls camp kind of event, except the girls from 3 or 4 stakes get together in one place, usually college dorms, and have one gigantic slumber party.  Because it is so much work to put on and such an expense, they only do them once every four years and they don't do a stake girls camp either.  Girls camp is the ward's own responsibility if they want to put one on.

I will get to my craft in a bit, but first I wanted to show you a couple of the fun activities the girls got to participate in.  We did several get-to-know-you or trust building activities like this one.  Madison calls it "Toss the Bacon" and Eli calls it "Toss the Body" (they are still arguing about which one it is really called).  Essentially, the girls in the group get really close together and all put their feet on top of the center person's feet.  Then, the poor girl is to drop all stiff like and trust that the arms of the other girls will catch her.

Some girls had a really hard time taking the first plunge, but it was hilarious to watch the groups pass "the bacon" or "the body", whichever it is :0}

The trick is you have to stay totally straight, not bent at all.  Some girls had a really hard time with that.  I can totally empathize.  There is no way I could just let loose and drop with the hope that someone could catch me.  Thus, the beauty of these faithful girls.  

Totally fun!

They also played that game where you roll a bunch of candy up in seran wrap and send it around.  One person has a bowl with dice in it.  They roll the dice until they get a six, or any certain number really, and the person with the ball of candy can unwrap and keep any candy that falls out until the number is rolled.  Then the ball is passed on to the next person.  This game is better with either smaller groups or two balls if you have a larger group.  We played this game at one of my kids parties, but used packing tape instead of the plastic wrap.  It took forever, especially since I bought the cheap packing tape and it kept breaking and splintering off so we could never find the real start :0P

We had the awesome opportunity to have Jeremy Harvey, a decorated concert pianist talk to us and play for us all week.  He has cerebral palsy and is almost blind, yet has been playing the piano since he was just a toddler.  He shared his experience of being hit by a car a year ago while driving his scooter across the street and all the trials he has experienced since then.  Everything he shared about his challenges in life were so inspirational.  It really was a remarkable experience to see how touched and motivated the girls were by his words.

You can read more about Jeremy's story HERE by scrolling down just a bit or HERE in his campus newspaper.

On our first full day I got to do my stuff.  We had just over 300 girls, all from North Dakota, South Dakota, and a couple from Minnesota or Montana.  They were divided into four groups upon registering, mixing the girls from one unit into all of the four groups so they could get to know new friends.

On Thursday we had 4 different classes for the girl.  Sadly I didn't get to go and see any of the other presentations, but I did get to have all the girls in mine :0}  

Each group was around 75 girl.  They came in and listened to Sister Rhonda Bennett share part of President Thomas S. Monson's talk, Hidden Wedges, where he says, "Heavenly Father has a picture of you on His dresser. He loves you and will help you. Call upon Him.”   It was then my turn to explain to the girls about our little picture frame craft.  

When trying to figure out what to do for the craft, Rhonda had emailed me asking if I knew of anywhere to get some inexpensive frames for a 5x7 picture.  With the theme "More Precious Than Rubies", they wanted the girls to give all the girls a picture of Christ and have them decorate the frame with gems, or "rubies".  

I had just seen THIS post by DIY Mom on Pinterest about cutting down bead board planks and using a dowel to make them stand so you can have a frame.

They loved the idea and the frames ended up costing $.67 for the bead board part {$12 a package and you get 18 frames from each package}, then just a couple cents for the 4 1/2" dowel to go in the back.  All the leaders searched through their fabric piles to do flowers {since they would be cheaper than covering the frames in gems}, and each frame ended up costing about $1 total.  

I purchased 18 yards of burlap from Joann's Craft Store.  They had black, hot pink, and a blue color already there.  I used a coupon on the white burlap and bought 8 yards of just that one.  I took the burlap home, washed it, dried it in the dryer {don't do that!  It gunked up my dryer}, then used my custom dies I had made for my clippies to cut the burlap into circles.  My die is awesome cause I can cut 4 layers of burlap at once, and each die cuts 8 circles...  That means with one pass through my die cut machine, I got 32 circles.  Ok, understand that you need 4 circles for each flower, and with 300 girls I was aiming for 3 flowers per frame.  Long story short, I was itching with burlap fibers all over my body and down my bra for 2 days straight.  It was totally worth it when I saw the excitement on the girl's faces though :0}

Here are just a couple of the cute, unique frames the girls came up with.  I love each and every one!

These two cuties are sisters from my group back in Sioux Falls.  I totally love the color choices on their frames.

Oh, I didn't get to the exciting part of that burlap.  I took 1-2 yard pieces of the white burlap outside and spray painted it to get a couple more colors.  I used the bright green and light blue shown above..and the grey, then also made a bunch of yellow, light pink, and purple.  The spray paint worked pretty well.  I let those fabric pieces air out outside for a day, then cut them up just like the rest.  We bought one big carton of colorful pearls, one carton of plain gems, and one carton of colorful gems from Hobby Lobby {with coupon} and I added a couple colorful jars of buttons I had for the girls to use as flower centers.  We had 10 tables set up, two hot glue guns at each table.  I knew I had a ton of glue guns from Super Saturday, but didn't really think about the huge number of girls we would have.  We had 8 girls at each table and there was a lot of waiting for the glue gun!  I would have loved to have more.

***side note- NEVER buy low heat glue guns.  They don't work.  Once the glue dries, it falls off.  DON'T buy multi-heat glue.  It is also worthless.  If you learn only one thing today, ONLY BUY HIGH HEAT HOT GLUE AND GLUE GUNS :0}  Sorry to yell, but I had to get my point across.

Other important information, we had 45 minute from start to finish.  We really would have loved more time.
Also, burlap is very messy.  Be prepared to clean a lot of fuzz off of everywhere!  And, make sure to cover the tables with paper.  The girls are very messy with the glue and you will be scraping for hours if you don't cover the table.  One last thing, Jamestown, North Dakota is miserably hot and humid in the summer.  I don't really think that is fair for the poor residents of the area.  After all, they spend so much time way below zero in the winter, they should have a lovely summer, don't ya think???

OK, more fabulousness about encampment...

Camp cooking was never so easy!  We walk into the cafeteria, get our food {already cooked}, eat, then just set our dishes here on this counter and they simply disappeared!  I need a counter like that at my house.  Seriously!  I felt like I was on VACATION!

My cute friend Olivia let me take a picture of the paper bag album they made at one class, much like the one shown HERE .  They also did nails, hair, friendship bracelets, fabric tied flipflops and...
button bracelets
Button bracelets like these...{can't find a link, but saw them on pinterest HERE}

I was totally bummed to find out I missed hearing Hank Smith talk to the girls about being "A More Likeable You."  I did get to be there when he presented, "Break Up with the World."  We actually bought the audio version a couple years ago.  It was AWESOME to meet him in person.  You can find more of his talks and books HERE at Deseret Book.  I only have the one, but I am sure that will change soon!  You can also follow him on Facebook HERE.  

Here are a few of his breakup lines :0}

A fabulous quote he used in his presentation
From another presentation, how to keep technology from taking over your life.  These are suggestions that kids sent him.

This was a short excerpt from a letter he had a student write for the kids he speaks to.  She lost her older brother and had these words of wisdom to share.
AWESOME!  Totally reminded me that precious spirits are called home all the time and why waste the moments we have with the family that is here with us now.

Totally loved Hank.  He had the whole 300 girls and 50 leaders laughing and crying and "awe" ing every presentation.  What a talented speaker.

One surprising speaker we had was Brother Osmond.  His dad was one of the original Osmond boys.  He talked about going to music events with his dad and thinking that everyone in the world always had cameras flashing all around them.  It was apparently quite an eye opener when he realized it wasn't a typical lifestyle he had.

I think he said his dad was the Osmond on the far right of the picture???  Uhhh, I am probably really bad that I don't know who is who.  Mom?  A little help here???  They were a bit before my time :0)  
Anyway, Brother Osmond gave a fabulous talk about Spiritual Crocodiles that really brought the dangers of the world around us front and center.  

This was one of our unity experiences.  We broke the girls into their four groups.  We had them get really, REALLY close together and do a group sit.  It was so fun to watch :0)  One more activity I was glad to be on the outside of.  

Once we mastered the group sit as small groups, we tackled a whole-group version.

Talk about crazy!  You try and get 300+ 12-18 yr. old girls to sit all at the same moment :0}  Awesome!

The final step was to have them clap overhead.  It required balance AND a little trust.

The last day we had four service projects going on.  Our project was to put together 300 hygiene kits for the battered women's shelters in South Dakota and North Dakota.  Look at smiley Janet!  She was one of my girls back in Sioux Falls too.  Don't you just want to squeeze those cute cheeks :0}

We piled up hand towels, tooth brushes and tooth paste, soap, and combs then bagged everything up.

It is so touching to see how excited the girls were to participate in all of the service projects.

This little note was included in the bag of supplies.

They young women all took the time to write a personal note to the recipients.

A couple of the other service projects were making blankets for the shelters, playing group games with special needs children, and a little community clean up at the local church and surrounding areas.

Probably the most remarkable learning experience for me was meeting and listening to Sister Marriot, Second counselor in the General Young Women's Presidency.  WOW!  What a sweet and incredibly Christ driven woman.  She ACTIVELY sought out her Father in Heaven as a youth and finally found the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of 22.  She was Baptized, married her husband in the temple, and raised 11 children in the gospel of Christ.  She said she was serving in her local unit as the Ward Food Storage Specialist when the call came for her to serve in the General YW Presidency.  Yikes!  That would have been a shock :0} 

In addition to Sister Marriot teaching and sharing with the girls, the leaders had more than one occasion to listen to and learn from Sister Marriot.  Her lively spirit and southern charm were captivating as she shared her life experiences and bore testimony of the Savior.  

Wow.  What a fun time.  I am just glad I could sneak along even though we moved from the area.  I left encampment touched all the way to my stone cold heart :0} and excited to come home and teach my new young women's group.  I get to be a teacher for the 14-18 yr old girls in our ward here and I am SO EXCITED!  I LOVE to teach.  I love to share what I have learned in my crazy life and I love to testify of my Savior Jesus Christ.  What a blessing to know Him and to love him with all my heart.


  1. What amazing ideas! I miss the Young Women! I'm in primary now, but it's always nice to see what everyone else is doing! Thanks for sharing!

  2. My daughter just got back from BYS (Boise Youth Spectacular)and had the opportunity to listen to Hank Smith and loved him too. Wish I could have tagged along. What a cool thing to be a part of. :)


Novelty Print Quilt Pattern

I have had a hard time finding good quilt patterns for novelty prints the past couple times I purchased them.  I made up this pattern so tha...