Thursday, July 10, 2014

Young Women's Camp 2014

One of the great pleasures of my life has been attending bits and pieces of Stake Young Women's Camp over the years, usually held at Camp MIA Shalom near Fairview, Utah, about an hour and a half from where I live.  The week-long camping experience is organized and run by the women of the stake--including many of the young women--and includes fun, craziness, music, adventure, and spiritual peace and power.

This year I got to attend as the bishop of my ward.  I was invited to make it in time for lunch on Wednesday, July 2, take part in a hike, followed by dinner, help present a skit, and then join with the leaders and young women from our ward in a testimony meeting around a campfire.  Several years I have brought cobbler I've made for this last event, but this time I brought Klondike bars.

The hike was lots of fun.  We did geocaching--my first time doing that.  We were given the coordinates, along with hints, and then (using GPS devices) needed to find ammo boxes, each of which contained a log book for us to sign, stickers, and a story to read.

Each box was associated with one of the Young Women values (faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity, and virtue).  The story in each box had to do with one of the values and was printed on paper of the color associated with the value.  We left candy in each of the boxes, the idea being that the candy would be of the color associated with the box's value.  (There's actually a Wikipedia article explaining all of this: )

In the evening everyone from Provo Utah Central Stake gathered for singing and other activities--including skits performed by the bishoprics of each ward.

There are currently 6 wards--geographical divisions of the stake: Pioneer 1st, Pioneer 2nd, Pioneer 4th (that's the ward of which I'm bishop), Pioneer 5th (aka Pionero quinto, the Spanish-speaking ward), Rivergrove 1st, and Rivergrove 2nd.  The other skits including a clever one based on the Studio C "Lobster Bisque" routine, off-key singing accompanied by throwing candy, singing "Cielito Lindo" with everyone joining in the chorus, pie throwing, and an amazing magic act.

I was the only bishopric member from my ward able to come, so I recruited Brian Grimsman, one of our Young Men leaders who had come for the day.  I told him while we were driving to the camp.  (He drove; the others in the car included me, Brian's wife Cody, and Courtney Bulsiewicz.)  We thought there was a chance my first counselor, Mike Hoffman, would make it, but he wasn't able to.  But it turns out Brother Grimsman was a godsend--he is a natural ham, and he does an expert job at saying "lobster bisque" in the bizarre Studio C pronunciation we needed for the skit.  For any who are curious, I've copied the skit at the end of this post.

After the evening's entertainment, we gathered as ward groups.  We built a fire, I shared Klondike bars, and then I gave a brief message (about how perfection is a process that will continue even after this life, and that we must be "patient until [we] are perfected").  Then we had a testimony meeting in which everyone said something.  It was dark by the time we finished (about 9:40 p.m.), and those of us who were not staying the night got ready to leave.  (They close the gates at 10pm.)  And I arrive home about 11:20pm.

I have lots of fun photos on Facebook, which you'll find by following this link: (I hope this works--even for people who are not my "friends.")

Here--for your enjoyment and illumination--is the skit Brian Grimsman and I performed:

[It began with me speaking:] I’m not sure we’re really following the rules: we sort of forgot about the skit until last night; one of my counselors is out of town for the summer, and the other wasn’t able to come.  So this is not a member of the bishopric; it’s one of our Young Men leaders, Brian Grimsman.  Anyway, we decided to do a skit about coming up with our skit; so imagine us last night trying to decide what to do.

(B=me, Bruce Young; G=Brian Grimsman)

G: So what should we do for our skit?

B: Well, you know I teach Shakespeare, and there are lots of funny things in Shakespeare.

G: I'm not sure that would work for Young Women’s camp.  You know, the language, and explaining the story, and all that.

B: I think you're right, unfortunately.
Hey, I know.  Back in 1997 at a Stake Picnic, I did a skit with my son, who was 10 years old at the time,
and he interviewed me and I answered every question with the title of a Beatles song. 
You’ve heard of the Beatles, right? 

G: Yeah. [we should have had him say: yeah, yeah, yeah]

B: I happen to be an expert on the Beatles.

G: No, I don't think that would work.  That is so YESTERDAY.

B: (singing) Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. 
(speaking) Seriously, I think I could pull it off--with a little help from my friends.
Get it? No?  Ok. So what do we do.

G: We could tell jokes.

B: My wife tells me I'm really awful at tellinig jokes.

G: OK.  But . . . do you know any jokes?

B: Sort of.   OK--you know what a kleptomaniac is?  I ask because I told this joke at stake youth conference and nobody got it.

G: A kleptomaniac is a compulsive thief, somebody who is always stealing things.

B: OK. And you know what a pun is, right?

G: Of course.

B: Something with a double meaning, right?  OK.  So do you know why you should not use puns with kleptomaniacs?

G: No, why?

B: Because they're always taking things, literally.  Literally, right? [BTW, this joke was apparently the creation of my nephew Brian Sabey.]

G: Uh, yes.  I think you kind of explained the joke a little bit too much.  Speaking of "literally," though, have you ever heard of Captain Literally on Studio C?

B: Yes.  Oh, that’s perfect.  We could rip off a skit from Studio C.  I hear another of the bishoprics is planning on doing that.

G: Yeah, that could work.

B: You know my wife is actually friends with Mallory.

G: Is she on Studio C?

B: yes.  She’s actually been in our house, literally.  (Oops, sorry.) 

G: So which skit could we rip off?

B: Well, one of my favorites is the one about lobster bisque.  Lobster beh-issk.  I can’t say that very well. [BTW, it turns out Brian Grimsman knows the Studio C skit and can say “lobster bisque” just like the actor on that show.]

G: OK.

B: Actually ... this is really true ... I was at Zupas the other day, and I actually said: Do you have have lobster beh-issk. [Every time I was supposed to say this, I pointed to Brother Grimsman, and he said the word.]  And they said yes.  And then they said they also had mushroom bisque too.  So I asked them if they had different kinds of mushroom beh-isssk.  And they said, no, they had only one kind.  And the guy behind the counter, the server, said—seriously, he literally . . . I mean, he actually said this: we only have one kind, and we don’t have any bisque made with poisonous mushrooms.

G: Well, you know the poison cooks out, right?

B: I’m not sure it really does.

G: OK.  Well.  So what are we going to do for the skit?  It looks like we can’t pull off a scene from Shakespeare, we’re not very good at telling jokes, Beatles songs will probably go over their heads, and if we do Studio C, they’ll just think about how much better those guys are than we are.

B: Well, maybe we could try bribing the judges. [Another bishopric had thrown candy at both the audience and the judges as a kind of “bribe,” so this was an allusion to them.] Anyway, it says here (in this letter from the stake Young Women’s presidency) that the young women like to see their leaders having fun.

G: I think that maybe means making fools of themselves.

B: All right.  I have an idea.  Let’s do rock-paper-scissors, and then just one of us has to make a fool of himself.


[rock-paper-scissors; the loser does a trick]

[I lost and did a “magic trick,” using my fingers as rings that got interlinked and then unlinked, while Brother Grimsman provided musical background.]

[Afterwards, the panel of “judges”—several of the Young Women—grilled me, mostly about whether I really thought they were not up to understanding the Beatles or Shakespeare, and I assured them I knew that they and everybody else there knew all about those things.  We were just short on time to prepare anything.  Unbeknownst to me, while I was trying to butter up the judges, Brother Grimsman was behind me, pantomiming the action of shoveling—I guess suggesting I was digging myself a deeper hole, or more likely that I was piling it higher and deeper.  Anyway, his action had people in stitches and probably helped ensure our 3rd place finish..  That and—as I later learned—the fact that I was so much more relaxed than they had remembered me being last year.  Which was true.]


One final note: For any who are curious about Studio C, here's a link:

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