Friday, August 6, 2010

Reunions - Part 2

10 years ago, I worked at Brighton LDS Girls Camp.

This is a camp up at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, and is for 12-14 year-old girls to come for 5 days to experience the outdoors, meet new friends, sing camp songs, and most importantly, become closer to their Savior and Father in Heaven.

It was an honor to work at such a place, and to have such responsibilities that I had.

"The counselors up at Brighton, they say are mighty fine..."

To follow tradition, which is VERY long-standing, (established in 1921) my camp counselor name was Jasper. I was lucky enough to share a room with 3 other counselors for the first half of our summer, and Cheers was one of those. (we didn't connect at the reunion, but I will see her next week!)

"... A time to remember the beautiful things..."

30 years ago, my mom was also a Brighton Counselor. Her camp name was Cracka', and when she came for her 20 year reunion, while I was still a counselor, she painted her name by mine in the cabin we both had been assigned to during our respective summers!

I loved Brighton as a 12 & 13 year-old, but really started loving it long before... My mom used to sing us to sleep with the sweet camp songs that sing of the mountains, friendship, the Savior, etc. I was destined to be a part of this wonderful legacy.

"... now I know that God has made this world for me..."

I don't get told that I "haven't changed a bit," since of course I have. But, dang, this girl - Bay - HAS NOT CHANGED!! This is her same huge smile she shared with all of us as well as her young campers 10 years ago.

"God didn't give me much, just the green leaves of summer..."

Tizzy was the first reunion from my summer of 2000. She (Liz) also graduated from East High School. It was great to see her again and share our memories of other counselors, catching and killing mice, the food, the campers... Seriously, it's amazing what things come back to you when you are with people you shared them with!

"I know a place where no one ever goes. There's peace and quiet, beauty and repose..."

Okay, I had to do the zip line for old times sake!

"Walk tall you're a daughter, a child of God..."

Horizon was probably one of the first people I met when moving my stuff up for that summer. She (Sarah) was one of the 3 roomates I had the privilege of living with. She was, and still is, so sweet and genuine. I was lucky to see her since her family now lives in Minnesota. (which is funny, because the 4th of our roomates' camp name WAS Minnesota!)

The wonderful thing about having reunions, which span many generations, is that the camp, like the Gospel, doesn't change. Sure, there have been some cosmetic work done, and the counselors change each summer... But the spirit of love and the beauty of the canyon will always remain.

"... the Gospel truth has come to me, I want to pass it on."

At least for me, this camp was probably where my personal testimony of our wonderful gospel started to grow as a 12-year-old. As a 19-year-old, I can tell you that this is definitely where I felt the pure love of God for the beautiful girls who were in my care each week.

"Shadows creep o'er the earth, darkness falls anew. Winds are still, heav'ns are clear. Stars their lights subdue. Moon above and our love say good-night to you. Say good-night to you."


natalie said...

I love that picture of you on the zipline! So fierce! I also love LOVE your blog header! Let's just say it's one of my favorite headers of all time. :)

Barb said...

Oh how fun!

Dawn said...

What a sweet post. I was grateful to share that fun evening with you...and have the memories of Brighton in common.

Marianne said...

I just ran across your blog...what an amazingly cute family you have! Bay is one of my favorite college friends-and it was fun to see her on your blog!

Catherine said...

I was a counselor in 2003 (Retro) and I'm so sad I missed the reunion. I love Bright and always will!

Ryan and Jamie Turner said...

This was such a sweet post. Aw, it makes me miss it so much and wish I had been able to work up there! It was so fun having you up there while I was there the second time. So many memories! ... Like accidentally telling my group your real name at least 5 times, but having to cover it up by saying "Lindsey" was my little sister. haha They stopped believing me after the first couple times and I felt bad that I let out the secret.

Emily said...

Jasper huh? Is there meaning behind the names you were assigned?
I agree, girls camp was the best! I remember my first testimony meeting by the fire as if it were yesterday. Powerful stuff!

Mama Adrienne said...

Thank you for the wonderful pictures and thoughts you shared about the reunion. Brighton is one of the most special places to me on earth. I am so happy you were able to be a part of that experience with me!

Crystal Farish said...

Oh my gosh!!!!! I am totally shocked that I happened upon your blog!!! I'm the music director for the Temecula Stake YW girls camp this year and I'm putting together a blog with all the music that I remember from camp when I was a girl. For some reason, when you leave Utah, all those awesome songs get lost. I googled the words "shadows creep" because I want to include it in the book. I will never forget the spirit I felt singing that as young girl at Brighton Camp. :) Now here's the shocker. I had such a powerful experience there, that went back a few years later as a counselor. I was a counselor with YOUR MOM!!!!! I saw the name "Cracka" and I thought, that can't be!!! Tell her Howdy said hello, will you? You mom is such a wonderful person. I loved our brief connection at camp. And by the way, if you know where I can get a CD or MP3 of any of the Brighton songs -- specifically Shadows Creep, will you please let me know. I've been hunting everywhere. So glad I found you.