5 Resources for Youth Camps and Conferences
Contributed By Caitlin Carr, LDS.org staff writer
Summer has officially begun, which means so have the camps and conferences for the youth of the Church.
As a leader, you may have spent months planning or you may be scrambling to find a last-minute activity that's fun and spiritually uplifting. Regardless of where you're at in the planning process, here are five resources that can help you enhance the experience for your youth:
1. 2016 Mutual theme album, “Press Forward”
Created for youth conferences and events, this album features 11 tracks with messages centered on the 2016 Mutual theme, “Press Forward,” and can easily be used as a teaching tool for your camp or conference. Play it during a service project to get youth pumped up, or use it to invite the Spirit to your fireside or devotional (sheet music and karaoke versions are available for download). Encourage youth to add the album to their Spotify or Apple Music library for an uplifting reminder of the spirit they felt.
2016 Mutual Theme album, “Press Forward.”
Wondering what your conference or camp should include? The Youth Activities site can tell you. The “Camps and youth conferences” page has information on everything from pioneer treks to Young Women camp. Here you can find links to other resources, such as handbook guidelines or Personal Progress objectives. Get inspired by reading the experiences youth have shared about each activity, and remember the real reason you’re planning this camp in the first place.
Youth Activities site on youth.lds.org.
It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, and as a leader, you can help prevent that from happening. This website has plenty of resources—including entertaining videos teenagers will actually pay attention to—that inform you and your youth how to stay safe. Here you can find general safety guidelines for activities, as well as the necessary Parental or Guardian Permission and Medical Release form for all non-local activities, overnight travel, or activities that require specific physical skills or experience.
Screenshot from a trek safety video found on safety.lds.org.
You may want to have posters and conference T-shirts, but chances are you don’t have a graphic design genius in your ward. Don’t worry. Someone’s already done the hard work for you, and it looks amazing. There are free downloadable 2016 theme graphics available at pressforward.lds.org.
Find downloads for music and graphics at pressforward.lds.org.
Get a feel for what other stakes and wards are doing for conferences and camps by reading these archived articles:
- Mosquitoes, Six-Legged Canoes, and Someone Who Cares. Learning survival skills, making new friends, and discovering gospel truths are all part of girls’ camp.
- Thousands of Africa’s Youth Gather in First FSY Conferences. Nearly 2,400 West African youth, ages 14–18, participated for the first time in For the Strength of Youth programs in the countries of Ghana, Nigeria, and the Ivory Coast.
- Something Grand in Grandby. Thanks to a “service conference,” this Colorado town may never be quite the same.
- Stars on the Trek. Want to boldly go where others have gone before? Youth all over the Church are finding out that trekking can mean fun in every footstep.