September 2, 2013

chicago camp part II

(I took about 400 pictures of camp, but I'm a bit protective of my boys to post all their pictures on here.)

After spending 4 days in Chicago, we brought 36 boys back with us to Idaho for 10 days of camp. The boys were 12 to 16 years old and were all from inner city Chicago. I fell in love with each of those boys. They come from pretty rough situations back home, but you would never know it because they are the most fun, kind, and lighthearted boys. At camp, the counselors were in charge of teaching the boys life skills in daily classes. We did service projects, went on a hike, and just had a lot of fun! We spent a lot of our time hanging out and getting to know the boys. The boys changed my life. Their testimonies and spirits were so strong. I really couldn't believe the insight the boys had into scriptures and our Church. Every night we had a fireside where the boys could bare their testimonies, and it was my favorite part of the day. I grew so much from hearing from them. I learned that the things I care so much about really do not matter. Who cares if we have the latest fashions, nice homes, and nice cars. Material things do not matter. What matters is our families and the Lord. If we stay close to the Lord and rely on Him, things will fall into place. That doesn't mean that we are safe from hardships and trials, but what it means is that we will make it through whatever life throws at us. These boys are making it through life by relying on the Lord in what seem like impossible times and staying close to their families. I'm amazed by their strength. I went into camp with the thought that if I could positively affect one boy's life then I will have done a good job at camp. In reality, these boys changed my life, and I can only hope that I had the effect on them that they had on me. I love them. I love who they are. They are my friends and family forever now. I can't imagine them not in my life.

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