Monday, April 25, 2016

a new and improved post about our 4th year adventure {now complete}

Each year our church holds a girls' summer camp (see ours from a few years ago back HERE).

This year we're not doing a real camp since we are doing a Trek (comes around every four years, our last one is back HERE).  

But the 4th-year campers always do a pretty cool "high adventure" activity to get prepared for summer camp and we figured, camp or no camp this summer, we still needed a little adventure :)

I got to go with my sweetie-pie Grace:
(I feel like the luckiest mom that I get to be with that girl so much.)

We went with all these girls and leaders too:
We stayed in these cute little cabins...
...and soaked up the gorgeousness of being in the mountains.

But let's back up to the beginning.  

Half the group went up in the afternoon, but these four and I came up late because we were waiting for cheer tryouts to finish up:
The tryouts are a post for another day but for now I'll just say GRACE MADE IT AS A JV CHEERLEADER (as did these other girls) and we are SO proud of her!  It was tough competition and she was nervous as could be but I'll post more about that when I get the pictures from her.

We had a pretty fun car ride.  I got to pick these girls' brains about what's going on in their lives right now and we had quite the DJ's keeping the music going.

It was 90 degrees in the valley and as we drove the velvety night sunk in as did the SNOW!
These are horrible pictures, but just imagine their excitement as we pulled up to wait for my friend to show us where to go.  One of these girls had never seen snow actually falling from the sky and although you can't see it in these pics, the snowflakes were those gorgeous humongous kind that are so magical.

Great way to see your first snow if you ask me.

They hopped out and did a big blasting dance party in front of the car with all the energy they could muster up for five minutes until we were guided to our little cabin.
 Then we got all settled in for the night...

 ...ready for a few games that Grace and I were in charge of.

The first one we did was the "box" game (for lack of a more creative title ;).

You just get a cereal box and go around the circle taking turns trying to pick it up with your mouth.  Only your feet can touch the ground, nothing else, so you have to be pretty creatively limber.

Once you pick up the box with your mouth/teeth/lips whatever, you rip off the top part and the next person gets to try a little lower box.  (Kind of like the limbo but opposite??  Not sure how to explain.)

I know, sounds weird, but it was pretty fun.

So I started taking pictures when we got the box down pretty low.
But these girls were just trucking along no problem.

I got out pretty early but check out these other leaders:
 They stuck right in there with the girls!

The box got shorter:
...and shorter:

I mean, look at that thing!
 But most people were still going strong!


 I kept thinking they were going to be done, but no, they just kept going:

...until we literally just had a piece of cardboard on the floor.

Pretty limber girls (and leaders) I tell you!

Then we did the candy bar game (explained back HERE).
 ...and had a devotional (conducted by the girls...the devotionals were my favorite), and headed to bed.

We woke up in the morning to this beauty:

The girls all helped whip up an awesome breakfast.
 ...we had another devotional.
 We were so grateful for these men that came to help out too.
 The trail we had planed to bike was too snowy first thing in the morning so we waited around a little and went on a pretty hike/walk through the trees.

We had a little bonfire and devotional and lunch...

...then headed to get outfitted for the ropes course.
 (We combined with a couple other wards by the time we did the ropes course so we had a few more people in our group.)

We ran into Elle's friend who had just completed the course:
She was so excited because she had completed the whole thing and got us all pumped up about it.

My friend took over my big camera so I could be up there with the girls (she was nervous about heights and was content as could be to be the photographer:)

We had a little low-to-the-ground instruction course: 
 We learned how to hook these carabiners on and all the safety rules to go up and down the high ladders and how you have to have one hook facing out, one in, both hooked on at all times, etc.

 Then we were good to go.

It was fun and adventurous but I'll be honest, for the first three "courses" I was hoping it would get tougher.

I wanted a real challenge.

It was fun, yes, but come on, they call this the "extreme" ropes course for a reason, right?

There were zip lines at the end of each course.  We all liked those ones a bunch.

All fine and dandy...and creative (there was even one that had a skateboard attached that you rode across from tree to tree 50 feet above the ground), but when we got to the 4th course, that's when the real fun began for me.

That's also when the camera battery died and my friend had to quit her awesome picture-taking job.

I'm telling you, that is not for the weak of heart!  The fourth round was tough, and we were all pretty nervous when we got to the 5th "black extreme" level.  

I had to do a little sweet talking to get some of those girls on to that last level (just the ones with sparkles in their eyes who you could tell really wanted to do it but needed a little cajoling).

And boy oh boy we were ever happy we did it!  
There's just something so invigorating about working your tail off and doing something scary and hard.

Of course, we knew we were safe.  Those carabiners did their job well and they were pretty thorough with safety.  But just having something hold you up in the air doesn't GET you anywhere unless you WORK.

Good analogy for life.

We have to keep on trucking, putting one foot in front of the other, and push through all kinds of obstacles in life.

And after all that work, "fight accomplished, summit won," our hearts were soaring.

(And our hands and bodies were shaking from exertion too!)

On the way down from the last tree on the black level you get to take a coveted black rubber bracelet as proof that you made it.  Some of the girls are showing theirs off below:
What a day.
Thanks for being my adventure partner Grace Jam.  


  1. Watch out, it's a teaser post! ;)

  2. That looks so fun! I wish I'd done stuff like that as a YW. Can't wait to see the rest.

  3. You make having teenagers look so picturesque. I'm thoroughly enjoying life with a toddler and a baby but so hope that our life is as fulfilling and fun as yours looks with older children once we get there.

  4. I just did this Flagstaff ropes course with my extended family this summer. Those last 2 were so hard, but also fun and super rewarding! I was so glad I finished! I tell everyone to do it now :-)

  5. Not a Mormon, but I recently watched Once I Was a Beehive and that, coupled with this post, makes me wish I could go to girl's camp!! :)

  6. CONGRATS! I'm not sure I could do that last one! I am really terrified of heights! So glad you both made it! Can't wait to talk about it in person!

    1. I'm scared of heights too.

      Even looking from my landing to the bottom of my stairs scares me.:)


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