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Planning for Young Women camp

Answers to questions regarding the purpose of Young Women camp, when it can be held and who plans it

Whether camp is in a forest, in a park, on a beach or in a meetinghouse, “Young women need a place where they can gather together,” explains the Young Women Camp Guide of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In such a place, young women can “separate from worldly influences, feel the Spirit of the Lord, grow in unity and love, and strengthen their faith and testimonies of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.”

The Young Women general presidency recently answered some questions about the purpose of Young Women camp, when it can be held and who plans it.

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Who can attend Young Women camp?

The introduction to the camp guide explains that camp is for all young women who are eligible to participate in the Young Women organization. Young women who are not members of the Church but who are willing to abide by Church standards may also be included.

With their parents’ approval, young women may attend overnight Young Women camps beginning in January of the year they turn 12.

The location will vary according to each area and needs. Usually, camps are held in an outdoor setting at a safe place away from home.

What is the purpose of Young Women camp?

The Church encourages camp for young women, says the camp guide.

Sister Rebecca L. Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, said camp has several purposes, but one is “to take the girls out of the world into a safe environment where they can feel the Spirit of the Lord and gain a deeper testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel.”

Camp is also meant to be fun, she said, where the girls can know that living the gospel is actually a really good joyful thing.

“We hope that it’s fun. We hope that it’s safe. And we hope that it provides leadership opportunities for the girls as well,” Sister Craven said.

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Can Young Women camp be held the same year as an FSY conference?

Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon said, “The answer is yes. You actually have Young Women camp every year.”

A multiday Young Women camp can be held each year on a ward or stake level. Other day or overnight camps may be held at the discretion of priesthood leaders to meet local needs and interests.

For the Strength of Youth, or FSY, conference is a large, five-day event that includes devotionals, classes and activities for youth ages 14–18. Stakes are invited every other year.

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A group of girls sit and laugh while at Young Women camp.
A group of girls sit and laugh while at Young Women camp. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Who plans Young Women camp?

In answering the question, “Who plans Young Women camp?” Sister Michelle D. Craig, the first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, pointed people to the Young Women Camp Guide online at ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

“The guide has important principles, and you’ll see there that the youth actually need to be planning your Young Women camp,” Sister Craig said.

Using the guide, youth camp leaders and adult leaders counsel together to plan camp based on the needs of the young women.

“Use your YCLs [youth camp leaders],” Sister Craig said. “They will have wonderful ideas, and they’re entitled to inspiration as they plan for the girls in their wards and stakes.”

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A section of ChurchofJesusChrist.org called Young Women Camp Training explains that young women are vital and central to the planning, carrying out and evaluation of camp — and the youth camp leaders should be part of the planning process from the very start.

“As an adult camp leader, you may at times think it is easier, faster and more effective to do it all yourself,” explains the training section. “However, as young women have opportunities to serve, organize, and lead, they are learning skills that will bless their families and the Church now and in the future.”

Expect miracles

As the young women return to their homes after camp, their experiences will stay with and strengthen them because they have come to a greater knowledge of their Redeemer, explained the intro to the camp guide.

Keeping careful records will allow camp experiences to continue to improve. Leaders should invite the young women to reflect on their camp experiences and encourage them to share what they learned with their family and friends.

President Cordon said, “Expect miracles this summer as you plan together camp for our young women all over the world.” 

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