I had a dream about teenage girls at YW camp last night. More specifically, I dreamt about having to direct girls in their leadership roles at girls camp, and they were having none of it. Things were going awry in a big way, and it seemed my night was filled with frustration for hours. It was kind of a restless night. I'm not sure why I was having dreams of frustration last night. We got back from camp over a week ago, and honestly . . . things went pretty smooth. No drama, no trauma, no poison ivy, no broken bones, no homesickness. . . just a bunch of girls having fun and enjoying the cool mountain air. I am completely rested and over camp planning, so it was weird.
Anyway, camp was actually quite fun. Last February, we had a big meeting with all the 16 and 17 year old campers - YCLs (Youth Camp Leaders). Girls' camp is a wonderful leadership program and the young women run the program in a very significant way. The first order of business is to pick a theme for the week. It might be along the lines of a rodeo theme, a hawaiian luau, etc. The girls were brainstorming some ideas and I think as a joke, someone suggested the theme be SWAG. A few of the women needed an explanation of what swag was and we told the girls they had to sell us on the idea. The idea started taking on a life of it's own. They liked the idea, but couldn't precisely see how they could use it in an appropriate context. It seemed to be too "slang" and too "common street language". We narrowed down their choices to two options - Princesses or SWAG (I know, opposite ends of the spectrum!). After some discussion, one of the women in the room raised her hand and I knew right then she was going to veto the swag idea because of the street slang issue. But instead, she gave an awesome selling point. Princesses are cute and demure, but don't have the strong connotation we need for our young women. These girls live here in the inner-city and they need SWAG in their lives, they need confidence, they need power, they need to stand up to the world and shine. From that idea, the girls went forward and started to flesh out the idea. They came up with an acronym Shine With Amazing Glory (to go along with the Mutual theme of the year "Arise and Shine Forth" D&C 115:5). Then someone had the idea, using the idea of "shine", that each cabin could use a sub-theme of sources of light. It was a fun process to see them think through their original idea and make it work to enhance the camp. The only thing awkward about it is that the word "SWAG" sounded so funny coming out of the mouths of all of us aging adult leaders.
This is the t-shirt design that one of the young women drew freehand.