Girls Camp

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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slavereeno
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Girls Camp

Post by slavereeno » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:32 am

I am in a real funk today. I just sent my two youngest DDs to be brainwashed. They have been super excited to go to girls camp, so I am trying to be supportive. They watched "Once I was a Beehive" last night to get themselves all psyched up about going this morning. Ug. They are going to come back all filled with the spirit of LDS Inc. I can't even have a voice in this argument, my best hope is that they will eventually find the way out on their own. How does one win the fight against a multi-billion dollar institution of this kind?

Maybe I just lack the courage to win this battle. :cry:

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Jeffret
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by Jeffret » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:52 am

For my girls, the church took care of that. My girls are used to real camping and outdoor activities. They like good food. Each went a year or two and then decided they weren't interested. We supported them in their choices.
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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Mormorrisey
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by Mormorrisey » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:00 am

I understand your pain, and maybe it depends on where you live, and the kids your kids hang around. But for me, no kid in this area kept their "strong testimonies" past the two week mark past girls/scout camp or youth conference. They like hanging around with their friends and having fun with them, and sure they cry during testimony meeting, pledge to be strong in the face of worldly temptation, and then they'll do what they've always done - acted like the teenagers they are a couple of weeks after they've been back. I'm pretty confident, unless your local leaders are at Moonie-level brainwashing ability, this will hold true for most kids in the church. That's why they're bleeding youth and millennials, and they can't stop it.

Again, that's been my experience as a youth leader, bishop, etc., so take it for what it's worth. But your quiet example, playing the long game, I'm entirely confident that you can help. Even one of my kids, the more conditioned of the lot, called me just this week to complain about some of the nonsense she has to put up with in her ward, simply because she knew I would have some empathy. I didn't rant, just listened with empathy. That's what's going to win the long game.

Good luck with the deprogramming when they get back. I don't think it will take as long as you think!
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:12 am

I feel for you man, I'm in the same boat. My wife is hell bent on making sure my kids think I'm the great satan in their teenage years via indoctrination. I've got the long game mindset though.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:29 am

I feel your pain too.

Our stake/ward just had camp cancelled at the church owned property due to fire dangers so they held it at the stake center instead. On fast Sunday there were girls who got up and bore testimony that they were upset at first but then realized it was the best experience ever! What did they enjoy the most? Solo scripture study in the chapel! WTFluff?

I've found a healthy way to dilute the mormon conversation is by diluting the mormon conversation. As soon as the conversation starts you gently shift it to logistics of the event. Did they have refreshments? Donuts? No way... That's awesome! I love donuts. Have you seen how they make the donuts at Krispy Kream!

I even do this with my parents and in laws. One time the wife picked up on my tactics and asked why I always change the subject when it comes to church stuff. I replied, where should we go this summer for vacation? :lol:
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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græy
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by græy » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:35 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:29 am
One time the wife picked up on my tactics and asked why I always change the subject when it comes to church stuff. I replied, where should we go this summer for vacation? :lol:
Like the brethren, you are as open and transparent as you know how to be. ;)
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Corsair
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by Corsair » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:43 am

I'm with Red Ryder on this. The church regularly shoots itself in the foot with requiring a spiritual purpose of each event. I just spent a week in Nauvoo with my believing family and I suspect that the teenagers got a different message than what was assumed. It's not that they had a bad time. But all of my children came to me and told me how glad they were to be home after a week where far too much Sunday School was injected into a historical site. The most devout adults got a little bit crazy unless the teenagers at least made a pretense of being excited to be there.

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Not Buying It
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by Not Buying It » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:47 am

Corsair wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:43 am
I'm with Red Ryder on this. The church regularly shoots itself in the foot with requiring a spiritual purpose of each event. I just spent a week in Nauvoo with my believing family and I suspect that the teenagers got a different message than what was assumed. It's not that they had a bad time. But all of my children came to me and told me how glad they were to be home after a week where far too much Sunday School was injected into a historical site. The most devout adults got a little bit crazy unless the teenagers at least made a pretense of being excited to be there.
This is a good point. On a regular basis the Church destroys otherwise enjoyable activities by injecting unnecessary gospel lessons or spiritual messages. The irony is they think this strengthens members’ belief in the Church, but it really turns a lot of them off and ruins a lot of fun events.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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Advocate
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by Advocate » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:45 am

I've been listening to Bill Reel a bit lately and one of his common themes is that the church is not authentic / he cannot be authentic at church. I think this hits the nail on the head with why the church is struggling. Youth and millennials want to be authentic.

Our family likes to watch Survivor, and there was a season a couple years ago (Season 33) that had a couple gay guys on it. One of them was older (around 50) and he kept his orientation a secret from just about everyone for most of the show. The other was a millennial (late 20s) and he told everyone he was gay from day 1. The two had a conversation that brought out generational expectations: The gen x'r just wasn't comfortable sharing something that was private with everyone, while the millennial couldn't imagine keeping something like that a secret.

As much as the church gives lip service to being authentic, we all know that it is just lip service and the culture doesn't bear it out. If you don't believe it, try bringing up something you struggle with in gospel doctrine on Sunday and see how it is received and how people treat you afterwords. The church and most churchgoers are not comfortable with being authentic, they'd rather see a nice clean surface and not dive into the condition of what lies below.

My point with this is that kids are smart and they will feel this which is one reason why spiritual experiences don't stick. When the girl said solo scripture study in the chapel was the best thing ever, how many kids believed it? How many will take it with a grain of salt or consider it an outright lie? I know my 2 teenagers would think it is BS.

I really like the idea of the long game, and that is what I'm trying to do. I don't shy away from bringing up issues or speaking truthfully, and my hope is that it will resonate with my kids and allow them to be authentic. If that means they leave the church, that is ok. If it means they stay in the church and push to change the toxic culture we have, that is ok too.

IT_Veteran
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by IT_Veteran » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:16 am

I have no advice to offer, just commiseration. My DD will be headed off to girls camp next month also. My work schedule means we weren’t going to have a lot of time to spend together anyway, but the indoctrination, especially as an objective of the camp, pisses me off.

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A New Name
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by A New Name » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:20 am

My granddaughter turned 12 last summer and was so excited to go to girl’s camp. She came home in tears and will never go again. A leader got up and started bashing gays with the normal rhetoric she had heard in general conference about gays being led by Satan. My daughter’s family has a close friend that is gay, and they interact with him and his partner socially. My granddaughter could not reconcile what she was hearing at camp with what she knew this friend to be. So she is not going back!

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MoPag
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by MoPag » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:45 am

Let me provide a female perspective:

I loved girls camp. Even when the leaders were mean or weird. There is a kind of energy there that is hard to describe. I think it's this concentrated female energy, this general freedom from oppressive patriarchy. Sure there are priesthood brethren there and the Bishop usually shows up some time. But it's like we had our own space and we could all just be our crazy selves. That was so important. That is what we ended up loving-not the crap LDS inc. was trying to shove down our throats. Of course we couldn't verbalize this. And the way we expressed that was to bear testimony and be all spiritual for a little while afterwards, but that's not what made camp special.

Try not to worry too much about your girls going to camp. Like many posters have said before me, it's not a win in the long game.
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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slavereeno
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by slavereeno » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:25 am

Thanks to all, this makes me feel a little better. I know the big draw is the being with friends. They did baptisms for the dead at the temple and DD2 said it's been the highlight so far. I need more patience.

dogbite
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by dogbite » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:51 am

Take them camping. Teach them real skills and real activities. It will quickly become apparent the difference in camping and indoctrination

Hopebeat
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by Hopebeat » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:37 pm

If it makes you feel any better my girls camp experiences made me feel closer to the girls I was with more than anything else. Our spiritual lessons generally involved reading scriptures in the forest and we were instructed to listen to the spirit in the forest. Another girls camp I went to was MTC/mission themed... heh. Mostly depends on the leaders in charge. My leadership thought it would be wonderful to have one of the 15/16 year olds plan camp every year with the help of a “shadow leader.” No joke, there wasn’t really much spiritual about it. I loved girls camp. Really the thing that kept me involved in the church so long was the young women’s program. After I graduated to relief Society things went south.

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whatififly
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by whatififly » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:24 pm

I understand why you are upset, but try not to despair! I went to girl's camp all the years but one and while I did feel "the spirit" there, it was more about being in nature with close friends. There was a sense of unity there that I didn't normally feel with the girls in my ward. Hopefully your daughters will have this kind of experience as well. It could be a bonding time for them, and the indoctrination may not stick! I don't really remember the church lessons I was taught at camp, but I fondly remember my best friend and I coloring our hair blue with washable markers!

If I was in your situation I would feel frustrated and helpless too. You're a good dad for trying to be supportive. I imagine that caring for your daughters' interests will forge a relationship that will enable them to come to you when they have doubts and questions. It's the age of the internet- they are bound to have questions at some point!
“There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky, and you ask "What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” ― Erin Hanson

Proud Doubter of Dubious Doctrines

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slavereeno
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Re: Girls Camp

Post by slavereeno » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:42 am

dogbite wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:51 am
Take them camping. Teach them real skills and real activities.
This is good advice.
Hopebeat wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:37 pm
If it makes you feel any better my girls camp experiences made me feel closer to the girls I was with more than anything else.
whatififly wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:24 pm
I understand why you are upset, but try not to despair! I went to girl's camp all the years but one and while I did feel "the spirit" there, it was more about being in nature with close friends. There was a sense of unity there that I didn't normally feel with the girls in my ward.
Thank you both for this. Most of what they talked about was this kind of stuff, the horseback riding and the kittens. The leaders keep going on about what a great testimony DD gave during the testimony meeting. I have heard them tell this to DW and DD at least four times now.

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