Sunday, July 23, 2017

Retreat for Girls

Back in January I was pondering about how to help Alysee really feel of the worth that God has for her. I wanted her to have a really spiritual experience but not have to worry about boys (ie. not EFY). My pondering lead me to find a week-long camp called Retreat for Girls. It is patterned after Academy for Girls that ran for years at BYU but no longer is offered. It is only for girls 12-15 years old (must be 12 by Dec 30th). It is held at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. The speakers are the same as EFY and the week is filled with service, classes, and fun. I decided that this was just was Alysee needed, though it's not cheap! They offered two sessions and each session holds 180 girls. You stay on campus in the dorms and are broken up into counselor groups.

It was a crazy time for us to make a quick trip to Logan, UT but Birch and I loaded up Alysee, Taylor (another girl from our stake), Chloe (to drop off at her cousins, the Kimball's house in Caldwell, ID) and hit the road Sunday morning.  We took a pit stop in Zillah for a Bishop's Training Meeting and then on to Fruitland, ID for sacrament meeting with Jill and Bernt White's family.  Our next stop was staying the night at the Kimball's new home in Caldwell.  It was so fun to spend some time with them and Tavia treated us to the most delicious dinner.  Monday morning we got up early and were on the road at 6 pm.  We made it to Logan just in time to stop at the temple for pictures and then on to campus to drop off the girls.
Alysee took this beautiful picture of the Logan temple
Alysee and Taylor - we really didn't know Taylor prior to this trip but she was absolutely delightful

At the registration table -- the girls were full of nervous butterflies

Meeting her counselor, Angel and picking up her room key and bag of goodies

Got her dorm room all set up.

Saying our goodbyes -- Alysee was still feeling very nervous and was hoping that she and her roommate would get along.  It is crazy to think that in three year we will be doing this for real at college.

Alysee and her roommate, Adaline from CA

Alysee said her favorite part of going to bed each night and waking up was the view out her window -- she was looking straight out at the Logan Temple

A beautiful building on campus that Alysee met in for some of her classes

One of Alysee's favorite days was when they received a fake mission call letter.  She was called to serve in the Manila Philippians Mission.  They had five minutes to throw on a dress and then they went and learned more about the mission from a counselor that had actually served in that mission.

Alysee had a WONDERFUL experience and is really hoping to be able to go back again.  As she has shared about all her experiences I could tell she had daily opportunities to feel the spirit.  She LOVED the speakers, attended a modesty Prom fashion show, made some super cute crafts, learned hair, make-up, and word lettering techniques, did a service project, met new friends, and learned more about herself.  

Taylor and Alysee became fast friends and enjoyed the ten hour road trip home together.

Today Alysee spent an hour sharing notes from the talks, her crafts, secret sister gifts, pictures, etc... from her week away.
I am thankful for the founders of Retreat for Girls at fulfilling a need that Alysee (and so many other girls) have in being comfortable in your own skin and being submersed in spiritual experiences.

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