6 Tips For Planning a Boot Camp Style Young Women/Girl's Camp

6 Tips for Planning a Boot Camp Style Girls Camp,

This year our girls camp was a stake camp and let me just say that the Stake YW Presidency, their committee and their YCL's (Youth Camp Leaders) did an amazing job!! Really I can't take any credit for all of the fun activities and cute decorations they did! 

But what I will share with you is my take away from this Boot Camp Experience...

First, it's important to have YCL's be involved with the planning.

There were meetings the YCL's were invited to attend, where they helped prepare and prep for camp. There was also a camp certification night, where each ward had a certification to teach and the YCL's were the ones to teach it!

The girls got a lot passed off that night! Most of the certification was focused on First Aid. All of the girls were separated into "camp year" groups and given wrist band and a schedule of their rotation. They rotated through each of their stations and had a great time passing things off.

As a ward we also had our YCL's be in charge of devotionals, more certification and helping keep track of all of our girls.

Here's a fun idea for First Aid Certification:

Second, you still need a ward camp director.
For our camp we were responsible for our breakfasts and lunches, for our hike, and all of our free time. We also needed to make a camp flag, pins to trade, a skit, organizing secret sisters, and anything else we wanted to do as a ward. I can not tell you how grateful we were to our camp director, she did such a wonderful job and made camp an enjoyable experience for the girls and us leaders!

For the flag we used a pillow case. Inserted cardboard in so the paint wouldn't bleed through. I designed what I wanted on the computer, printed it out, then using an exacto knife cute it out of freezer paper. Then I ironed the freezer paper onto the pillow case. The girls used foam brushes and craft pain to paint onto the flag. Then to turn it into a flag, to do this I unpicked the bottom part of the cuff of the pillow case &  then I sewed the end of the pillow case shut and I also sewed on the seam. So it created a spot for the pipe to go in.

Third, plan activities that the girls will enjoy and have spiritually uplifting experiences as well.

Here is when I'm going to break into the specifics of our camp. Some things were part of the camp, some were done by the stake and others were done just by our ward.

Matching shirts!  Our stake provided each young women and leader with a black sweatshirt! They were greatly used, especially when it got a little chilly at night and they were super cute too. Something the girls wouldn't be embarrassed to wear again. Each girl also received a dog tag with their name and word engraved in it.

We also wanted just our ward to have matching t-shirts for the night of our skit. So we took the same approach of getting something the girls would wear again. The girls loved them & I've seen them in there shirts since. I've worn mine too. We gave our girls their shirts during our first nights FHE.

Firesides and devotionals.... We were at camp from Monday through Friday, which meant Monday night we held a ward Family Home Evening. Our Young Women's President was over this and did such an amazing job!

The FHE focused on our trials and our strengths. We shared with each other who we know that is an example of strength. It was amazing to hear the young women share very personal stories of people they love who embodies strength, amidst trials. We then wrote on papers what can help strengthen us.

Next we shared trial. It was humbling and inspiring to listen to the the young women share their thoughts and feelings. We then wrote on a paper that had a boot print on it, a trial that we were going to stomp out!

We then discussed the importance of lifting each other and helping each other be strong.

Other firesides we had included...

An amazing lady from our stake, talked about the dot people. Which are those people who followed Satan who did not gain a body and now their sole purpose is to try to make us miserable. They are the ones who speak into our mind that we aren't pretty, or we are smart, or talented, or any other negative thing we think about ourselves. That are not true.

She had us do an exercise where we divided into "A" and "B" groups. We all thought about one thing that the dot people say to us, one negative thing about ourselves that we struggle with.  Then we were to turn that thing around to a positive. So for instance if yours was that you weren't pretty enough, you would turn it around and say you are pretty.

She then had the "A" people close their eyes, and the "B" people walked around to the "A" people and whispered into their ear that positive thing. Then she had the "B" people do the same to the "A" people. It was so amazing that so many of us have the same negative things going through our minds. And it was equally amazing the feelings that came as someone said those positive things about you and you believed they meant it and you believed it about yourself as they said it.

I had an amazing experience while doing this, while I was one of them to close my eyes and have such amazing things said into my ear, I had the clearest impression/feeling that we were not alone on that mountain. That at that moment, as well as throughout our everyday life we have heavenly angels there with us. Who are trying to lift us and help us in overcoming the "dot" people.

This activity was a profound activity for so many of our youth! It is exactly what they needed and what we each need to be reminded of.

Our last nights fireside was so neat!  The girls had a faith walk, they went on a trail along the path were pictures of the Savior and quotes of the Savior and His atonement. When the reached the end of the trail they were welcomed home and came and sat down in the outdoor amphitheater.

When everyone was seated, a couple from our stake, painted a large silhouette type painting of the Savior as one song played in the background. A member of our Stake presidency then to spoke to the youth. On the first day of camp, each of our youth and us leaders was given a rock, that would represent a trial/burden. We were to carry that rock in our backpacks everywhere we went, throughout that week.

Then that night as we were dismissed to go and have our testimony meetings we lined up and laid that rock or in other words our trial/burden at the savior's feet (base of the picture)  This faith walk was a huge testimony builder for so many of our girls!

Devotionals... Before camp a YCL was pared up with a second year and they prepared a devotional, (with help from one of our YW leaders). Each night, in each of the cabins we had a devotional. They were so beautifully done! Each night there was a message shared and a handout.

Fourth, TESTIMONY MEETING!!!!  Really, this is the most important thing of all of camp, the thing that will stick with the girls and that us as leaders really look forward to. I am so grateful for all of our youth and their testimonies born! It can be a scary thing to share thoughts that are so special and tender to us. But as I reminded them that it is important to do so! As they do their testimonies will grow and there is someone that needs to hear what they have to say. It will strengthen others testimonies. Each of their's strengthen mine. I am truly amazed by the faith and testimonies of these girls!

Fifth, FOOD! Food can be overwhelming, especially if all done by one person. What we like to do is to break it up. Before going to camp our camp director gave each group a meal they would be over. There would plan the menu, prepare the meal and clean up that meal. It worked out so great!! Here is was we had...

Breakfast Ideas:

Breakfast 1:
French Toast with butter and syrup, juice/milk, Oranges

Breakfast 2:
Breakfast Burritos: Tortillas, eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese, hashbrowns. Cantelope & Oranges and juice, milk or hot chocolate to drink

Breakfast 3:
Pancakes with butter and syrup, sausage, left over fruit, juice, milk or hot chocolate to drink

Breakfast 4:
Was provided by the stake it was that last day, so something easy since we were cleaning up and going home. It was packages muffins, gogurts and juice boxes.

Lunch Ideas:
Lunch 1:
Each girl was asked to bring a lunch from home. This we ate after we set up camp.

Lunch 2:
This day we went on our hike and to the lake, so we had sack lunches. In them were an Uncrustables sandwich, chips, fruit juice.

Lunch 3:
Sandwhiches, hoggie style, we also had stuff to make peanut butter sandwhiches for those who didn't like hoggies. We also had Watermellon!

Lunch 4:
Hot dogs, chips and fruit.

The first night we were in charge of dinner and we did tin foil dinners (hamburger, beans, potatoes and cream of mushroom soup) We cooked a lot at once, It was hard knowing when they were done. It would have been good to have two fire pits. The ideal thing to do is to place them on coals and cook for 10-15 minutes on each side. Also, a lot of the girls filled theirs up too much and just wrapped it in foil. The best is to leave room around the meal and roll the edges, so the steam can help cook the meal. You should see the foil puff up.

The rest of the dinners were prepared for the stake. It was a huge undertaking with over 400 of us there. They did an excellent job. I loved how they had everything scheduled. They had a couple wards come every 15-20 minutes. It was spaced out great, so we weren't all waiting in line forever and there were enough seats. The meals were (Pasta, bread sticks and salad; Soup, roles and fruit; Cafe Rio style Pork Salads.

We also had our fair share of deserts and snacks. Something we did as a ward was we had each girl bring to snacks to share. We kept them in our pantry, because food wasn't allowed in the cabins because of the rodents. We told the girls though that whenever they needed a treat they could get in the pantry and get them out.

Sixth, Crafts and things to do

The camp we went to was Heber Valley camp, in Heber City Utah. They have so many activities there that are planed for the camp.

The second day we went on a hike and arrived at the lake, where we played volleyball, horseshoes, played on the beach and went out in canoes and paddle boats. On the hike we stopped and had the girls write letters to their parents and read some scripture.

We had an activity for our girls where the leaders paddled out with flags and stickers the girls each had a paper. They had to paddle out to us and get the sticker and put it on their paper. The flags and stickers represented the Young Women Values.

Another activity we did was the Ropes Course. This was a highlight! We were able to climb up a pole, walk across a rope and go on a zip line. There were also other great activities, including the one I got to facilitate. It was lifeline and really is a very spiritual experience for the girls. They are blind folded placed on a line and told that it symbolized the journey of life and to hold on and not let go. The other facilitator gives them instructions on the course such as wrong way, go back, etc.

It was interesting to see the girls when they heard the voice for the first time, not know if they should trust the voice. But after they had listened and found that the result was favorable, they were more ready to follow the direction of the voice.

At the end of the course they were welcomed home (by the bishop) and sat down, waiting for the rest of their group to finish. They remained blind folded. Then one of the facilitators, had them take their blindfolds off and they reflected on the experience.

We also did a service project where we made bracelets for Operation Gratitude.

Craft time included making magnet boards out of stove burner covers and beaded bracelets.

As a ward we had plenty of stuff to keep our girls busy, such as color books, markers, pencils, nail polish, hair doing, dancing games, card games, etc.


I hope some of these ideas were helpful! Girls camp can be a testimony building and an opportunity for the girls to create bonds. Encourage everyone to come with a positive attitude, have a good time, and grow from the experience!! If you have any further questions about planning a Girl's Camp please leave me a comment below or send me an email at lifesjourneytoperfection@gmail.com.

If you'd like more Camp idea follow my YW Camp Pinterest page! Happy Camping!!


  1. Do you have pictures of what design was used for the sweatshirt and t-shirts?
    Thanks Jeanna

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