Some of you Old Testament scholars may remember the story of Nehemiah. During his times, Jerusalem was under siege, the Jews were persecuted, enslaved, killed, and etc. The walls to the city were broken down and the gates were burned down. Nehemiah wasn’t with the Jews when this happened and he felt much sorrow for them He decided he needed to head to Jerusalem and lead a re-building effort, but this desire was not popular with those around him and in fact, he was laughed at and scorned.
At one point during the rebuilding effort, Nehemiah was asked to leave the job site and meet with some people in opposition to the work. Nehemiah’s response was great: “I am doing a great work, so I cannot come down…”.
This story and that one-line response were essentially the theme to a Youth / Scout camp I just got back from. It was only a two-day affair, but it was busy! Were all up to our camp around 10:30am, set up tents, got settled, and ate lunch. The camp is some property up Tollgate Canyon owned by the LDS Church but it’s usually reserved as a girl’s camp (this means there are bathrooms…). We started our activities off at 1pm with a short devotional where we learned about Nehemiah. Then each ward was given tasks to perform. The tasks included collecting and hauling lumber back to our build site, preparing rope for lashings, cutting the timbers down to size, and eventually making trestles that would support towers we would eventually assemble.
These tasks went well and it was really great seeing all the young men work so hard and as a team. The adults weren’t in charge; rather, youth team leaders were selected to lead the work. We got all the timbers selected, felled where necessary, and hauled back to camp. We also prepared rope for lashings, cut the timbers to size, and wrapped the tasks up for the day.
After dinner, we met for another devotional. This time, the young men were led on a “Holy Man of God” trail. They got to head down a trail and every couple hundred yards they would come upon an adult who would tell them about a prophet of old and why that person was a Holy Man of God. I got the lucky assignment to be one of the adults on the trail and told the story of Joseph of Egypt to each group that came by (6 wards). No pressure: the stake presidency was there as well as a member of the Quorum of Seventy. I actually really enjoyed this assignment.
A really good day 1 led to a pretty miserable day 2. It started raining around 7:30am and didn’t let up. It was about 40 degrees with a steady rain, which made us all pretty cold. After breakfast and an attempt to wait things out, the Stake (camp hosts) decided to call it. We packed up and were on the road by 10:30am. It was a miserable packing experience and we were sure muddy and wet.
It was a really good camp for the time we had. The boys that came had a great time and we all benefited from being there and working on the tasks. It’s really too bad the weather turned on us because we missed out on the actual tower building. I guess that’s bound to happen and the risk you take when camp is up at 7,400 feet.