by Ashleigh Mark
Most of us have wonderful, albeit sometimes wet and bug bitten, memories of summer camp. Summer camps have changed over the years to include everything from traditional hiking and rappelling to video game design and development to religious programs.
For over 100 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has hosted Young Women Camp. The purpose of the camps is for young women to gather together, separate from worldly influences, feel the Spirit of the Lord, grow in unity and love, and strengthen their faith. This June, the Las Vegas LDS Lakes Stake will be holding their annual camp at Rising Star Sports Ranch.
For as long as many can remember, Young Women Camp for girls in the Las Vegas area has been held at Camp Stimson at Mt. Charleston. It provided the quintessential camp experience without having to rough it for food and water. Due to tremendous growth in the church, Young Women groups have been limited to going to Camp Stimson every two to three years instead of every year.
Camp leaders found it necessary to look for alternative locations to hold their event. Laura Brady, Lakes Stake Young Women’s President, heard about Rising Star and thought it was worth looking into. Once she toured the resort, she knew that it marked so many of the boxes of what they were looking for — close to Las Vegas, open conference space for workshops, and food available on site.
“We loved the room configurations,” she said. “It allows us to fit more girls in a room than a normal hotel room can accommodate, giving them a true camp experience.”
As planning progressed, other benefits became immediately clear. Because of Mesquite’s location, the young women will be able to visit the newly reopened Warm Springs Recreation Center in Moapa, Nevada, and to tour some church historical sites in St. George.
The young women are excited about the new location of camp and the new experiences. There will be 100 young women between 12 and 18 years of age attending. Ninety percent of girls from the ages 12 to 16 attend camp year after year. For the 17 and 18-year-olds, that number normally decreases, but has tripled this year.
“Hosting camps of all sorts, not just sports camps, was always part of the vision for the resort,” said Andre Carrier, the Rising Star COO. “We truly look forward to welcoming these young women.”