After setting up our beds, our "hosts" for the event--Chris Williams, Bailey Sigman, Sr. McAllister, and Sr. Hall--introduced us to the retreat theme of kindness. After being split into groups, our first activity was turning one of the group members into a knight using only tape, construction paper, and newspaper. When time was up, the judges announced the winning teams. To the surprise of the groups, they were not being judged on the final knight costume, but how they acted as a team, including people and treating each other kindly. Here are the winning teams with their knights:
A delicious dinner of chicken, potatoes, carrots and rolls followed where the youth were given the opportunity to get to know someone else (a name chosen randomly) for a later activity. I took advantage of the time to get to know each of the Beehives with a little questionnaire. I must say I really enjoyed it! We have a diverse group of young women and it was great to find out so much about each one.
At around 7:30 or so, we were gathered into one of the cabins so we could have a devotional taught by Bishop Gilbert on kindness and unity. This was when the youth would introduce the person they had been given and tell something about them for everyone else to know. Even though the "chain" was broken several times, everyone got a chance to share something about each of the youth (with only a few shockers during the night when 17-year-old Bridger announced his desire to take one of the beehives, Mckensie on a date were she a few years older and that Maggie Asplund was Maggie "Black," acknowledging their crushes on each other). He shared his experience with a cab driver in Washington DC when he asked this man from Yemen if he was judged as a terrorist by people. Bishop Gilbert said that the two of them engaged in a conversation about what people in his country looked for to train as a terrorist including people who were struggling with their parents and were looking to be included in a group. He displayed a Fuji apple and asked the youth how long it took to grow that apple from seed to fruit with the winner receiving an amazing looking caramel apple. Sr. Vieweg correctly guessed eight years and he used that to talk about how long it takes not just an apple but a person to come to fruition and that it takes light, nourishment, love and care, just as people need.
When we finished our devotional, we were dismissed to visit with one another and eat snacks of smores and nachos with a majority of the young women retreating to their room and the young men playing football in the pavilion.
Around 10:45, the girls gathered for a short family prayer and story given by Bailey and Sr. Van Dyke. I offered the closing prayer and we went to bed, while some stayed up to visit quietly long into the night.
The leaders and Mia Maids made breakfast of cinnamon rolls, an egg casserole, bacon, sausage and pancakes (no one should have ever been hungry!) After the teachers helped clean up, we once again gathered in the pavilion for a series of relays where we would switch teams for each event. The Knight of Kindness (Sr. Vieweg) would bring Bailey and Chris a decree for each race and they would introduce them with great quotes and scriptures. We did the following activities: the human chain, whistling after eating saltine crackers, blow up a balloon and pop it, spin on a bat and have to lead them to the other side, and the backwards alphabet. The last race was followed by a lesson on the still small voice where a few groups then ran from one end to the other since the rest of us were visiting and didn't hear the final instruction, winning the last race. Once this activity was finished, we parted ways to clean up the camp. After another meal (was anyone really hungry?) of navajo tacos prepared by the laurels and cleaned up by the priests, we headed back home.