Thursday, August 4, 2011

Girls Camp 2011

Hello Blogs and Blogettes! Megan here. About a week ago I attended my sixth and final year of Girls Camp. This year was probably my favorite of any of the six years that I went. From the girls, to the leaders, to the activities - every little moment was so fun. We first started planning for it in January. We met at the Stake camp leaders house and discussed the theme. We decided to make the theme centered on Angels. More specifically "Angels Among Us". We created a town called Angels Landing, where each ward was a different shop around town. We had a "Benevolent Sweet Shop", "Good Works Pet Shop", and the 6th years were the Rescuers of the town. For some reason the leaders thought it was a really good idea to give 13 seniors in high school life guard whistles. That was really fun. On the first day our leaders gave each of us a river rock, and told us to wear it around our necks the entire time we were at camp. We were told to bond with our rocks and let them become apart of us. We were supposed to pay close attention to all the ways they changed.

Every year at camp we do something with the other girls in our age group that we can't necessarily do here in the valley. But in years past, the 6th years have usually gone into town and shopped. This year the leaders decided to shake it up a bit. They told us at our first meeting that we would be trading shopping for hiking. And not just any hike.... We would be hiking the east rim. Eight miles, very steep, very hard. The night before we were supposed to go a couple of us girls were talking about the hike to come. None of us really wanted to go because none of us were that great of hikers. We even kinda joked that maybe the leaders were just kidding and would actually be taking us to town as a surprise. So the next morning we woke up and got into clothes we could hike in, packed our lunches, put on our rock necklaces and met our leaders at the flag pole. After a "Before" picture was taken, we were off. While walking to the trail head, our leader leader pointed up a huge mountain and told us that in 2 hours we would be at the top of that mountain looking down at the entire camp grounds of Camp Lomia. The trail was extremely steep and there were a bunch of loose rocks on the trail that made it extra dangerous. The entire hike up we looked for heart shaped rocks, mostly to keep our minds off of how steep it was. Whenever we stopped to take a break, we looked out over the valley where the camp was, and each time the view got prettier and prettier. It took about two hours to get up there and once we got to the top we had lunch and just admired the view. Before we hiked down we hung a white sheet at the top that we were supposed to be able to see from camp itself. Unfortunately after we hiked all the way back down we couldn't see it. But we know we were up there. We know we did it. And that was good enough for us.

When we got back from the hike, we all fought over who got the first showers. The cooks surprised us and decorated a fancy table with candelabras and a lacy table cloth. It was the most beautiful thing we had ever seen! For the rest of camp we got to go first in line, and sit at the fancy 6th year only table. They even brought us breakfast in bed one morning. Part of the reason was to show the younger girls all the perks you get as 6th years to encourage them to keep coming all 6 years. On the last day of camp we had our final fireside in the Sacred Grove at Lomia. In front of us was a picture of the soon to be Gilbert Temple. The Stake Camp leader spoke about temples and how they are the the ultimate goal for us as young women. She then proceeded to tell us that the rocks that we had kept around our necks, and infused into our lives, had not actually changed. They ones that changed were us. Now as silly as it sounds, that rock really did change me. Especially now that I know that rocks future. Our leaders husband owns the concrete company that is supplying the Gilbert Temple with the concrete for the base of the temple. They asked each of us to cut our rocks out of the wire and place it in a bucket up front. Each of our rocks is now going into the base of the new Gilbert Temple. How incredibly cool is that?

Summer fun!

Hey guys it Ryan here, and I just wanted to let you know how my summer has been going. Well I have had a great summer from the Caribbean Cruise to my robotics competition to planking all summer (and a couple hiking and water skiing trips in between). The cruise was a week long to the Cayman islands, Jamaica, and Cozumel. We all had a great time, but I forgot to put it on sunscreen on all of my belly. I only put a little on my belly button region, it looked funny afterwards (pictures on Facebook).

About a week before the cruise I took part in this robotics competition at Chandler High School. All year after school we had been working on a robot. It was a square made with aluminum L-brackets.  We wanted to originaly put a winch on it and also a claw that opens/closes and turns. Our control system failed and so we ended up just taping a stick onto the front of our bot and using that. Because of some technical issues we had to rebuild our bot during the competition - it took 6 hours until 2:00 am.  We ended up winning FIRST PLACE!! I dont know how we did it but we beat out all other competitors for 1st place in a national competion. I know... you're jealous. Hahaha

So if you dont already know what planking is... SHAME ON YOU! Just kidding, but seriously Planking is really fun! Planking is where you lie face down all over the place. Like you can plank on a chair...

Or on a clothes rack...

Its a lot of fun! And all of you should try it! You have to be creative and take a picture when you have it. Post the pics on Facebook so we can all see! Talk to you later! Bye,

                                               - Ryan Gardner

Amazing Summer!

Hi, this is Cameron. 
The last week of school brought our first week of being an official scuba diver. We are so lucky that we got to wear 7 mil wet suits in a 60 degree lake called Lake Pleasant. I don’t get why they call it Lake “Pleasant”, because it isn’t pleasant at all. It was three feet visibility with cold water. Yeah it wasn’t very exciting but all worth it!!!

Me and Ryan got our dives done before Megan because she had a cold and couldn’t equalize her ears very well.  But, after a week of drugs Megan finally felt good enough to dive again and she was successful! We were all very happy to be able to dive in the Caribbean on our very fun Caribbean cruise!!!!!

Our whole family went on a cruise to the Caribbean.  It was seven days long and left out of Miami Florida. Our ports were Cozumel, Mexico; Cayman Islands; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. In Cozumel we snorkeled in a cenote. A cenote is a deep natural hole found in limestone, especially in Yucat√°n, Mexico.  Parts of it were pitch black and we had to snorkel with underwater flash lights.  It was very cool.  We also went on a Book of Mormon tour of Tulum. Then in Cayman Islands we went Scuba Diving. It was the first "real" dives for the kids (our parents are old pros).  We did a two-tank dive with a dive shop called "Living The Dream" divers.  It was great - so much better than Lake Pleasant.  At the beginning of the first dive we saw a baby sea turtle. Then at the end of the same dive we saw another sea turtle. They both had remora fish clinging to their shells. Then on our second dive we saw a lion fish, but no one had a dive knife so they couldn’t kill it like you are supposed to. We also saw an angel fish that blended in with the sand, it was really cool. At the end of our dive we also saw some shrimp and lots of other cool tropical fish! Then in Jamaica we climbed up a waterfall called Dunns River Falls. We also went tubing down a river in the middle of the jungle.  After that we just went souvenir shopping. On the cruise I met this girl named Carmen, I know what a cawinkidink! She is just like me and a great hip hop dancer. I hung out with her during the whole cruise. She lives in Seattle which is sad but not very far. If she was from Florida it would be far, like other people I met on the cruise. I loved our cruise and miss it very much.

You know how annoying sales men on the phone can be? Well, me my dad, Megan, and Ryan are having a contest to see who can keep a telemarketing salesmen on the phone the longest. Megan is winning by twelve minutes, Ryan is in second place with ten minutes, and I am in third with six minutes. My dad hasn’t started yet.

We have had one amazing and fun summer this year. I am sad it is almost over!