In my church our youth have their own groups, classes and activities. From the age of 12 they enter Young Women's if they are girls, and if they are boys, they receive the Aaronic Priesthood and join Young Mens.
In Young Women's there is a program called Personal Progress that each girl begins working on when she enters at 12 and the goal is that she finish the program by the time she leaves when she turns 18.
Personal Progess is a goal based progam focused on 8 values. They include activites and projects for each value that must be done and signed off by a parent or leader. They are not easy. They take time and sometimes a long term committment to complete the value experience or project.
At the beginning of this year, our YW presidency issued a challenge to the girls. They had several experiences required to complete as well as a project. They had a time frame in which to get them completed and for every girl who did, they were invited so this "Totally Awesome Super Fun" activity. It was held highly secret until a few weeks ago.
When the activity was finally announced, it was also explained that while it was an incentive to get the girls working on their personal progress, it just wouldn't be as fun without everyone. So EVERYONE got invited to a huge sleepover at a ward members cabin. The girls were STOKED!
We met yesterday in the church parking lot, loaded cars, and headed north to Ogden Valley. The cabin was beautiful! We settled in, had a big production for the girls who completed the challenge (which were MANY), ate dinner, and then the fun began.
There was a lot of hanging around, eating, laughing, and chatting. We also had some guitar hero going, DDR in another room, and then a big screen showing of a movie in yet another area of the cabin. There was no lack of something to do, or someone to talk to.
Even some of the brave leaders got into the fun:
I tried really hard to make it a later night than my usual 8:30, 9:00 if I'm lucky. But finally at about 9:30, I caved. Asleep. Other than hearing some running outside on the deck at who knows what time, and some constant talking, I didn't stir again until 5:30am. Re.Freshed.
I made my way upstairs to find bodies sprawled everywhere and every which way. However, a handful of troopers had done the ultimate. Pulled the all nighter! (Suckahs!) I guess that is the fun of being young.
I on the other hand, was feeling GREAT! Was it the 8 hours of pretty good sleep or was it the Monster I allowed myself to have that morning?
More talking, laughing, telling me everything that happened while I slept, and me schooling several of them in the game of speed.
After some finishing off the junk food, having breakfast, and cleaning up, and one last picture with mi tres amigos (they are actually all sisters) we loaded back into the cars and headed home.
We did wake up to snow, which didn't sit well with me since all I wore was my jammies and slippers.
It was a blast! It was a great reward for the girls working hard and an incentive for the others to keep working, making, and completely their own goals.
A huge thanks to the Hovorka's and especially Dana who served as our priesthood leader. This his how he felt when he finally stumbled out of his bedroom.
For me, if was fun to be around them all. They are the absolute best girls ever. They love each other, they are kind to each other and they look out for every other girl in our ward. Much can be learned from the example of our youth.
Thanks girls, and most importantly....thanks for letting me sleep and not doing anything obnoxious to me! I slept in my bra for a good reason!