Hey guys! I just got back from THE BEST girls camp EVER at Camp Browning and wanted to share a quick review for you!
First off, a little back ground info. I was called to serve as Camp Director for the young women of my church congregation 2 years ago. I was thrilled with the calling but also a little intimitaded because this was my first time being in charge of a huge event like this with no prior training. You just kind of jump in and wing it, which is totally my thing so luckily it worked out well. Last year, my first year, we went to Cinnomon Creek for stake camp (multiple congregations in the area combined). This year however, was just our ward congregation so I was in charge of planning the entire event down to the last detail.
I knew I wanted to do some fun activities so I started researching high adventure camps in the area. I found one that was "baby" friendly because I was pregnant at the time and knew that there was a possibility that I would be breastfeeding my baby and if he didn't take a bottle I would need a camp that would accomidate an infant. This is important to check for because not all camps allow babies or children.
Camp Browning was our answer. It's a high adventure BSA camp. It's close to home (about 45 minutes up the canyon from Layton) and it is baby/child friendly. The cost was $155 per person for a 4 day camp and that included all meals and activites. They even provide tents that are set up before your arrival!
We had a blast rock climbing, rappeling, zip lining, team building at the low and high copes course, learing to belay, swim, hike, canoe, paddle board, throw tomahocks, knives, and shoot arrows. They also offered a polar bear plunge and sunrise hike for those intresed.
We learned some valuable lessons at the copes course like how we are all unique and equally needed in a challange becuase our differances are what made the team successful. Also an important lesson in Failure. Failure is such a crucial part of learning and makes success that much sweeter. As much as us leaders wanted to step in and give advice, we knew that the actualy purpose of the course was not to finish quickly, but rather to push through the challange and not give up. Failing means learning from your mistakes.
Everyone pushed theirself to try new things. Even when it was scary.
Causey Dam was so perfect to swim and play in. I was surprised how warm the water was. The only down side of an August camp was that the water level was incredibley low, so carrying our canoes and paddle boards from the ice cold spring at the base of Browning, over the dam to Causey took a lot of work, but hey, we can do hard things right! Another learning exerience for these amazing girls.
Everything about this camp was awesome except the food. Luckily we didn't pick the camp for the cullanary experience, we picked it for the activities. We were served up frozen school lunch style grub for every meal. Portions size was good, and they always had left overs for anyone that wanted more so that was nice. And a dessert item was served with lunch and dinner. No one starved to death while we were there but I definity couldn't wait to get home for some homecooking.
One other downside was that the staff was made up of scounts (boy and girl). Now I love scouts, don't get me wrong, but they were just kids working a summer job, like lagoon. So they weren't always on top of things. There was no printed schedule so we didn't always know where to go or when unless our scount leader came and told us. Also, some of our activites were scheduled poorly, like water front before rappeling. We had to cut a huge chunk of our waterfront time out to walk there and back and get changed and geared up for rappeling. Oh, and while we are talking about walking. Be prepared to walk a half mile up the mountainside to get to camp. They don't allow cars at the top, but they did let us drive up to load/unload gear. They also let us keep one car at our site because we have a special need youth in our group so that was nice. But everyone else that actually followed the rules had to walk that hill a ton.
In the end, I would have walked the hill a dozen more times becuase it was so worth the fun that awaited us at the top. It really was an amazing camp overall and we all had a blast. No misquitos, but there were lots of hornets. And we saw a rattle snake and a raccoon came to visit our garbage bag that we forgot to lock up in the middle of the night.
We had 7 leaders and 24 girls ages 12-18. The perfect size group! There were several other girls camp groups attending camp with us from all over Utah and Idaho too. Each group had their own camp site and rotaions for the activites.
Our theme for camp was From Now On (greatest showman inspo)
My husband Dan designed the logo. I LOVE how it turned out! We got so many compliments from the girls. They loved that it was something they could wear again because it was cute and a high quality tee, not the usual cardboard boxy t-shirt.
For our camp song I just changed a few lyrics to the original song from the movie (changes in caps). Our theme was all about making a comitment or recomitment TODAY to make a change. From now on I will...
After hearing President Nelsons challenge to the youth, I wanted to focus on how our choices and goals will affect our lifes journey here on earth. For an activitiy, we made walking sticks, as the rest of the song goes "and we will come back home and we will come back home, home again". The purpose of these sticks was to represent our journey here on earth with our destination being our heavenly home. The girls searched the camp site for sticks. They were all different shapes and sizes (just like us). The knots along the stick represented the trials and experiences we have here in mortality. Then I had a burning tool and carving tools for the girls to use to personalize their sticks. The burn marks represented the impact that peoples choices have made on our lives for good or bad. The carving marks represented the choices that we make (good or bad) that can change the course of our life (example, setting a goal to get married in the temple, or choosing to save yourself for marriage, vs doing drugs or hanging out with the wrong crowd). Every choice we make will have an impact on our life in some way.
If you are looking for a little more adventure in your life, this is an awesome camp to try. Most of our time was filled with activites, so a just planned moring journal prompts with thoughts and scriptures, a few crafts including carving our walking sticks and thats about it. Our free time at night was filled with camp songs and smores, skits, and a fireside testimony meeting with fresh donuts (from our Bishop).
I hope this review was helpful for you! Please don't hesitate to leave a comment or shoot us an email if you have questions.
Book this camp via Trapper trails website