Catalina Island—one thinks of boating and beaches and clambakes and sunbathing. But the vacation island played quite a different sort of role recently when it served as the backdrop for the North Hollywood California Stake Youth Conference.
The conference involved 290 young people, leaders, stake officials, and special guests in three days of spiritual seminars and just plain fun.
At a place on the island called Camp Fox, the stake housed itself in cabins and campsites named for books in the Bible. The camp itself became a sort of mini-community for the three days of the conference, including in its organization a dining hall, hospital, and a general store. “Professional” citizens included an official photographer, nurse, and lifeguard.
The tightly organized and well-run conference resulted from the careful planning of a seven member stake youth conference steering committee, which performed under the advisement of the stake Aaronic Priesthood MIA leaders.
“Who am I?”, “Whence came I?” and “Where am I going?” were the seminar themes of the conference. Each of the three special guest speakers focused on one of the important identity questions.
The conference weekend had its light-hearted moments, too. A concert called “Avalon Avalanche” featured the talents of local BYU alumni and the “Camp Fox Trot” dance the following night coaxed participants into best “duds.”
On Sunday morning a fast and testimony meeting was held in the amphitheater of the camp. That morning the young people bore testimonies of gratitude for their three days together on Catalina.
President Spencer W. Kimball announced at June Conference that the former Aaronic Priesthood MIA would now be known as the Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women. These two organizations will be under the direction of the Presiding Bishopric.
“We feel these changes will provide greater priesthood direction and involvement. In keeping with the revelations we have placed the responsibility directly upon the Presiding Bishopric, who by revelation constitute the presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood,” said President Kimball.
“The Lord has revealed this new organization for our 12–18-year-old young women. The organization will be called as stated: Young Women,” he added.
President Kimball stressed that it is “of the utmost importance that bishops realize that their first and foremost responsibility is the Aaronic Priesthood and the Young Women of their wards. … The bishops of the Church have the stewardship for 213,000 plus young men. This is the reservoir for future missionaries of the Church. The degree in which the bishops fulfill their stewardships will determine the percentage of these young men who fill missions,” President Kimball explained.
“In addition to these young men the bishops have the responsibility for 217,000 plus young women. And the degree to which they fulfill their stewardship with these young women and young men will have a vital impact on the percentage of them who are married in the house of the Lord.”
President Kimball emphasized the direction of the conference when he added, “It is our firm belief that we must give impetus to the service and activities dimension of the Aaronic Priesthood and the Young Women program so that our youth will increase both in their faith and in their capacity to serve their fellowmen.”
With the prophet’s directives given, the theme for the Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women for this year was presented:
“… When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17.)
“I enjoy seeing friends of my own religion at school, and I like the Church activities,” says Clair Huckfeldt, a 17-year-old Rotary Club exchange student from Brisbane, Australia.
“At home my brother and I were the only Mormons in our school. Our nonmember friends never pressured us to do anything we shouldn’t, but still, it’s nice to be here where there are other members.”
Clair has been in Skokie, Illinois, since January. “It’s very suburban compared to what I’m used to,” she says, “and sometimes I feel hemmed in by the tiny yards and the closeness of the houses. But I do like the shopping centers very much.”
Clair is active in the North Shore Second Ward of the Wilmette Illinois Stake, and attends a local early-morning seminary. “It’s a bit of a pain getting up in order to be there by 6:30 every morning,” she says, laughing. “It’s a good way to start out the day, though.”
Even though Clair was unable to attend seminary at home in Brisbane (she took it through home study courses), she has seen great growth in her own ward.
“I remember when our branch used to meet in an old hall—there were very few members then—and my father remembers when the missionaries ran the whole branch. But now we’re a ward. We have a new chapel, and things are progressing nicely.”
Clair has been a lifelong member of the Church. One of her three brothers is presently serving a mission in Western Australia, and her sister attends BYU.
In January Clair will return to her home in Brisbane and will enroll in a newly built, nearby college.
She has been living in a Jewish home during her stay in America. “Sometimes we have some very interesting discussions,” she says. “They think I go to church an awful lot. And they’re right.”
Blayden Thompson, a 16-year-old Explorer from Santa Ana, California, advised Scouts at a banquet honoring astronaut Gerald P. Carr to “Be Prepared for Life.”
Blayden spoke at the banquet as the winner of the Orange County Boy Scout Council’s speech contest. He won a $75 prize and the right to compete in regional competition.
The idea for the speech came from the Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” but Blayden expanded the theme for his talk to include three areas of preparation: “an understanding of history and government, strong spiritual and moral background, and a strong healthy body.”
Blayden is active at Santa Ana High School as a member of the wrestling team and the chamber singers and is also president of his seminary class.
Three LDS youths from Bangor, Maine, recently spent three weeks in Rumania as part of a concert band tour.
Mari Lou Alexa, 16, a French horn player, and trumpeters Randall Dow, 16, and Bart Sloat, 15, all of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, are members of the 100-member Foxcroft Academy Concert Band. The group performed nine scheduled concerts and many informal shows in the streets of Rumania.
The band was selected by a nonprofit organization known as Ambassadors for Friendship, which represents a cross-section of young Americans.
Mari Lou, Randall, and Bart are active in the Dover Ward, Augusta Maine Stake.
The 150 voices of the Boise LDS Institute Choir presented Harmony Through Music at Expo ’74 in Spokane, Washington, on May 21 and 22.
Directed by Dr. Don Castleton, an instructor at the Institute, the choir performed a variety of sacred and popular music, including such LDS songs as “I Am a Child of God” and “Come, Come Ye Saints.”
Also performing with the choir were the LDS Institute Folk Dancers and Ballroom Dancers.
Funds for the trip were raised by the choir’s concerts, and by the sale of their record Harmony Through Music.
Out of more than 1,000 entries in the first annual Scout Photo Scholarship Awards contest, sponsored by the Eastman Kodak Company, photos by four LDS Scouts were named award winners.
Owen DeVere Rogers, an 11-year old Tenderfoot Scout from Troop 208, Phoenix, Arizona, won a $1,000 scholarship with his first place black-and-white photo, featuring his younger brothers in his old scout uniforms against a background of the American flag.
“I think a Scout is loyal to his country, his family, and friends, and this picture shows that.” said Owen.
Three other LDS Scouts placed in the competition and were awarded Certificates of Merit. Clayton Walker, 15, an Eagle Scout from Troop 27, Idaho Falls, Idaho, entered two stop-action pictures of rodeo arena action. Richard Rees, 13, a Second Class Scout from Troop 738, Provo, Utah, won his award for two color photos of sunsets, and First Class Scout David Chavez, 15, of Troop 613, Sandy, Utah, also placed in the color category for his picture of a cat peering from a roof vent.
The nationwide competition is open to all Scouts ages 11 to 15 who have earned their photography merit badges.
There’ll be no “getting-to-know-you blues” when the students of Skyline Seminary (Salt Lake City, Utah) return to class. An unconventional sort of introduction to their faculty and student leaders last spring has already prepared them for the very best this fall.
A 40-minute slide show prepared by students Mark Woffinden and Mike Malan and three seminary instructors served not only to entertain students with ideas for summer fun and profit, but also introduced them to their current seven-member seminary student council and brought the students messages for the summer from the seminary faculty.
The presentation involved nine slide projectors, four 16-mm movie projectors, and a quadrophonic sound system. Three screens totaling a width of 55 feet showed the projected 10-foot-high images.
The production team took some 700 slides for the show and made their own soundtrack using a combination of student commentary and popular music. As a part of the show’s grand finale, four nature and wildlife films were added to the slides to produce a panoramic effect—an effect that drew a total audience of 2,000 during the one-week screening, exactly twice the anticipated crowd.
Skyline students came away from the show feeling better acquainted with their seminary officers and teachers and enthused at the prospects of a fun summer and a pretty great fall, too.