If you ever have a chance to go as a leader, GO!!!
It's such a neat experience. The girls help each other. They include each other. They're supportive and encouraging to each other. They grow. Their testimonies grow. They become better young women. They're examples.
Some of my personal favorites from the trip are...
1. Seeing my temple. We also watched the Joseph Smith movie at the visitor's center. Cried and cried. It's amazing. Shan, I want you to see it.
2. Inside jokes. Love 'em. They'll be remembered for years. One of which was a deer or elk leg that followed us around throughout the week. The girls found it in the back of my dad's truck while doing a service project. They thought it was a riot, so it came along. He (the leg) was waving out the suburban with the older girls bouncing the car to "Satisfaction". He then showed up in different priesthood leaders sinks throughout the week. I have the pleasure of having it still in my suburban. I don't know how it will leave because I will not touch that thing!!
3. Seeing the girls help each other through challenges. We went on a hike that we were told we could choose to get wet if we wanted to. Well, joke on us. We had to get wet. We had to cross the river several times to get to our destination at which point we would turn around and return. We weren't prepared. Some of us were wearing watershoes, and others were wearing nikes and socks. The water was freezing. Did I just say how cold the water was? It was freezing!! What was neat about the hike though was watching the girls help each other cross the river. We as leaders were brought to tears as we watched our young women like those pioneers help each other across the freezing waters.
4. I had my own personal cowboy. C was worried when he saw the pictures and quickly said, "Uh dad, you might want to come see this." He didn't say much. That's because I was a charity case. Ya, I thought I'd be funny at the turn around in our hike, did a jig, and sprained my ankle terribly. I needed rides to and from the cabins at the ranch. Also, I was a scaredy cat on the horse. I really dislike animals. Especially large ones that could gallop away to my death. (I've watched too many movies and heard D's story when he was a kid). So...my horse Willy, was lead by my very own Cowboy Brian. Would I do it again? The jig or the horse you're wondering? Well, the jig...stupid thing. No. As for riding a horse, sure if it's the one you put quarters in out in front of Kmart.
5. Modeling. Hey, I was really limited on what I could do being a gimp and all. I'm pretty sure I'll be hearing from Cowgirl weekly soon though. Man, I've got talent! Not everyone can play with their hair like that.
6. Testimony Meeting. Wow! Can't say much, but it was great. The girls are great.
7. Meeting the staff. While the girls were out leg wrestling and such, I met the staff. Garth here (aka J.R.) ran the ranch. I got to know Virginia (she's from Virginia and has the thickest accent. I loved it!). Ledioux (he sang a bunch of Ledioux songs at the dance). My BFF from all over the place. The owners, their son, my cowboy Brian and the wranglers. Yip, I was awarded the something observer award. We were there the same time that the Roloft family from "Little people, big world) were there. It's weird seeing cameras everywhere.
So, there's my week. It's great to be back home. Chubby foot, black and green foot, desperately needed my embarrassing pedicure foot and all. Ready to be a mom again.