Earlier this year, it was announced significant changes had been made to the Young Women’s camp program. Included in these changes is a brand new camp guide, made available this week.
In the new guide, the purpose of Girl’s Camp is listed as such:
Camp should be simple and allow young women time to experience God’s creations and “be still” (D&C 101:16). Camp should not be elaborate or include staging, events, or decorations that distract from the purpose of camp. Also avoid experiences in which the young women may mistake strong emotional feelings such as sadness or surprise for feeling the Spirit. Appropriate activities, wholesome fun, and genuine interactions will invite the Holy Ghost.
Changes from former camp instructions include an emphasis on ministering to each other, flexible activity guidelines with eliminated certification requirements, and increased involvement with youth leaders.
Youth camp leaders are now primarily in charge of planning and evaluating their camp experience. The guide states:
Camp is an opportunity for the young women to develop and practice leadership skills as they plan for and lead at camp. Young women ages 16 and 17 can be called as youth camp leaders. These youth camp leaders should have the primary responsibility for planning, directing, and evaluating camp. They counsel with the Young Women presidency, ward and stake camp leaders, and priesthood leaders.
Youth camp leaders will hold multiple councils with their adult leaders throughout the process.
Of the changes, Sister Neill F. Marriot, former Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency said, “Because the new guide is principle based, it allows the youth camp leaders space to receive personal revelation for their own camp. They aren’t just told what to do. They are practicing the leadership principle of counseling together and learning to seek direction from the Spirit to meet their needs. These skills will bless the young women, their families, and the Church for years to come.”
Because many young women and their leaders live in places where traditional camp experiences are difficult, a broader scope has been provided to allow groups to plan a getaway experience specifically designed for their needs and situation.