Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Until Next Year, Camp MIA Shalom

I just returned from another week of young women's camp in the beautiful mountains of MIA Shalom.  It was an unexpectedly wet and rainy week with daily booming thunder but we enjoyed a couple of days of baking in the sunshine, too.  My week at camp is the one week of each year where I have time to slow down and study and learn and reflect in a place that seems closer to heaven than anywhere else.  I relish the rare quiet times there on the mountaintop.  I tend to stay awake long after the others have crawled into their sleeping bags for the night just to soak in the quiet and gaze at the stars or the moon as it glows brightly behind the clouds and occasionally peeks through the overcast sky.

I think that hike day is my favorite day of all as we walk along the rim of the camp and catch a glimpse of heaven in everything that surrounds us.  Every flower, cloud, tree, and rumble of distant thunder testify to me that there is more to life than what exists around us here below.  This song came to mind at least daily:

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made;

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee - how great Thou art.  

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
 When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook and feel the gentle breeze -

Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee - how great Thou art.  

In a lot of ways this year was different than any of my other years at MIA Shalom.  I'm not sure how to explain that except to say that I learned a lot about myself and my imperfections.  I learned to count my blessings and find the silver lining in every cloud.  I loved watching my two oldest girls serve as leaders over the whole camp.  I am constantly impressed by their abilities and examples. 

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from this week.  Each is a favorite for a different reason.  And if you think it's too many pictures you should be grateful I didn't post all 350+ that I took because I kind of wanted to.




I didn't even realize I was photobombing this one.


Pam Farley said...

Your camp is beautiful! What an amazing week.

Just the other day, I was remembering how Gma. Royce would play "How Great Thou Art" for me on her record player. Great memories. :o)

Mindy said...

What a beautiful area to have camp and what a fitting song. It's one of my favorites. It sounds as though your week was a powerful spiritual experience as well.

I need to take the opportunity more often to wander 'through woods and forest glades' or even desert splendor. I, too, have found that when I have the chance to be away from 'the world' for a while, especially if I can be somewhere in this beautiful landscape God created, I discover things about myself - the good, the bad, and the ugly - that I may not take the time to ponder in the rush of day to day living.

Loved the pictures! I think you hit the Goldilocks amount... It was 'just right'. :D

Anaise said...

Wow! Sounds amazing! Our stake president just had a new camp built for our girls . . . the inaugural year was great, and improvements are planned. Perhaps we'll develop a history there as special as your camp is to you!