Monday, 27 January 2014

Young single adults celebrate Australia Day weekend with camp

Written by Abbey Gorniak, Devonport Ward.

Recently the "young single adults" aged from 18-30 from Devonport and Hobart, met together in Swansea at the Swansea Back Packer’s Lodge over the Australia Day long weekend, to take part in many fun and uplifting activities. We arrived Friday evening and kicked off the weekend by getting comfortable in our accommodation, playing board and card games and by catching up with old mates! That night we were also introduced to the YSA letter box. We had the opportunity over the duration of the camp to send letters (including love letters ;) to one another by posting them in our YSA letter box, where the letters would be delivered personally to the YSA each night. We all had a lot of fun writing letters to one another, as well as having the opportunity to write anonymous letters to that special someone!;) Later on in the evening to help break the ice, a Speed Dating activity took place, which allowed us to get to know one another better, as well to enable us to spot any potential ;) That night many heads hit their pillows early, to allow themselves plenty of sleep for the busy day ahead. However some wild ones stayed up till the early hours of the morning chatting away (which is expected on camp, of course.)

The following morning everyone was up bright and early, (well almost everyone) chirping away, organizing themselves for the service activity. Once a delicious breakfast was devoured, including bacon, eggs, toast, fruit, cereal (talk about a 5 star meal!) we set out to the Swansea show grounds, where the service project was planned. This service project wasn’t your typical every day service project, involving weeding or collecting rubbish…(not that there’s anything wrong with that sort of service ha ha) However this service activity involved the Ysa to run a few games and activities for the children to participate in at the Australia Day event. Some of the activities included, skipping, relay races and hula hooping. Although at first we had little luck in finding children to participate in the activities, eventually many children came along to join in on the fun, which made us all glad, as we helped put a smile on their face.

After a morning out in the sun and a yummy lunch, we all had a pretty breezy, relaxing afternoon, which was spent either outside on the beach, playing water balloon volley ball, or inside playing games and simply chilling. This laid back afternoon allowed us all the chance to get to know one another better, as well as to catch up on old friendships, or better yet, catch up on sleep, to prepare for the big night ahead! After another scrumptious dinner; tacos (delicioso!!) the clock struck 8 and our wild sides started to come out, as we all hit the dance floor for our Letter Dance. The Letter Dance meant that we were to dress up as anything starting with the first letter of our name. Many of the YSA’s costumes were very creative. Costumes included, Anne of Green Gables, Ariel, L Plates, Spice Girl, Dancer, Laundry, Roman, and even a piece of Bacon! As well as many more great costumes! We all had a great time dancing the night away, snacking on food, and chatting to one another. We also enjoyed a few slow songs here and there ;) Once midnight hit we all relocated back to our cabins to get some beauty sleep for the Sabbath day the next morning.

The next morning rolled on in, and most of us were up bright and early ready for an uplifting day ahead. After another wonderful breakfast, church was held in the main hall, where Brother Scicluna, Brother Jack and President Horseman spoke. Each spoke with the spirit, and delivered wonderful messages to the congregation. Again President Horsemen led us in teaching Sunday school, and Kim and Deidre taught combined Relief Society and Priesthood. Once church concluded, the afternoon was left free for us to relax and participate in wholesome activities. Many of us simply enjoyed the sunshine outside, napped or once again played some games. That night after another amazing dinner (you may have noted by now, that the food was definitely a highlight of the camp;) we all joined together in the main hall again back in our church dress to share with one another our testimonies. This part of the camp was definitely one of the greatest, as it gave us all the opportunity to connect with one another on a deeper level. Each person who bore their testimony had something different to offer to the congregation. Those who gave their testimony spoke with great conviction and in sincerity. It was wonderful to hear the YSA express their feelings of the gospel and to testify of its truth. Once testimony meeting concluded, we all enjoyed the rest of the night in one another’s company eating ice-cream, chatting away and in playing some fun packed games! Seeming it was the last night many of the YSA stayed up nice and late to get the most out of camp, however some, who were very tired, hit the hay early.

Unfortunately, Monday morning meant the camp had nearly come to an end, so once we were packed and had cleaned up, we soon left the Backpacker’s Lodge after thanking the wonderful owners, who helped make our stay such a delight!. (As well who would so kindly unlock our doors whenever we’d lock our keys in our cabins!) Fortunately, before we left beautiful Swansea, we were able to enjoy its beautiful beaches and scenery once more by joining together at Dolphin Beach. The beach was beautiful, and the weather was amazing. (Of course the weather is always great on the last day!) Many swam in the fresh waters, snorkeled, played sport or jammed on the sand with the uku. Once we were all beached out, it was time to go our separate ways back home!

Overall, it was a great, laid back weekend, which was clearly well organized and run by our amazing leaders of the State. We were very lucky to be able to have stayed at such a beautiful place, located in such a beautiful, free country. Over the duration of the camp, new friendships were made, and old ones were strengthened, memories were created, and fun times were many. On behalf of all the Ysa, I would like to thank all the leaders who helped out with the camp and who put up with all of us crazy YSA over the weekend. We look forward to all meeting up again and having more fun times, early March at our Overnighter and Dance.