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Not too long ago, I saw a young women leader wishing she had a check list for planning girls camp. I thought I’d put one together here, for those of you who want it. I’ll include some resources and/or suggestions under the categories where I have them. I also tried to put this in order of items that need to be decided sooner, rather than later. However, it should not be written in stone. Camp will not be a failure if you choose a theme before choosing a location.
If you want your own PDF copy of it, I’ll have a form at the bottom you can fill out to get it.
This is one of the first items I liked to get nailed down. If you’re in the United States, LDS Recreation Camps website has a list of Church-owned camps inside and outside of Utah. You can also check the National Forest Service Campgrounds (United States only) website for locations, too.
If you are in Utah, Camp Sunrise provides a nice balance of unit time with program time. We had a great time the year we went!
The theme is something you can choose early on and I like to get it out of the way, so I don’t forget later. We usually use the current Mutual theme or some variation on it. I let the youth camp leaders be in charge of selecting the theme. You can always give them a short list of theme ideas, to get them started, if needed. Here’s a list of ten theme ideas to help with that.
It’s good to get this one out of the way by the time you’re 3-4 months out from camp. You can look at this list of t 10 unusual fundraising ideas for inspiration. Just skip the wine-tasting idea!
I like to guide the youth camp leaders through filling the schedule, as follows:
- Start with mealtimes, bedtime, wake up time, devotionals and solo time (personal prayer and scripture study). I let the girls, within reason, select these times.
- Then move to certification requirements- some of them make excellent activities for the whole group, for example the requirement to lead a get-to-know you activity.
- Once those items have been added, other open spaces can be filled with other activities that interest the girls or free time. I limit the free time to no more than 1 1/2 hours each day.
Menu for Food
Once again, I let the youth camp leaders plan the food menu. Bonus points, if you connect it to the certification requirements for cooking. The Dating Divas has a list of 25 camping recipes you can use for inspiration.
Plan for Certification
You need some plan for certification, whether you do all of it before camp or some before and during camp. This year, out stake made checklists for each girl and let her be in charge of completing the list. This could be a great way to teach them to take the initiative!
Generally, certification doesn’t fill all of the time on the schedule. I’m a big fan of some free time for two reasons: 1) it allows for margin if any activities run over, 2) it gives your young women time to choose how they spend their time.
Even with some free time, there’s a good chance you’ll have room for other activities. I like to let the young women decide what those are.
Camp Song Books
I’ve noticed a big shift in the last few years. The young women in our ward and stake are a lot less-interested in singing. Whether you have song books or not is for your and your young women to decide. Ultimate Camp Resource has a very large collection of camp songs, organized by category.
My Computer is My Canvas has a set of printable tags for pillow treats.
The Mormon Home has free printable awards you can use!
All of the items on this list can be delegated. I highly recommend sharing the load. Camp is a lot of work!
Head Count of Young Women Leaders/Priesthood Holders/Young Women Attending Camp
The best way to do this is to give everyone a deadline. It can be really hard to buy supplies without an estimate of how many are coming.
Shop for Supplies
You can probably divide this into two shopping trips. One for food and one for other supplies. Share the load on this one and take a youth camp leader or two with you. It can be a really good experience for the to learn about how to get the most for their money using unit prices and how to figure out how much to buy for your group.
Camp Information Packet with Permission Slip
This is pretty simple. Make sure you include a permission slip, proposed schedule, packing list, rules,information about meeting times and places for drop off and pick up, dates for camp and due date for permission slips.
Your turn. What would you add to this list?
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