It was so fun going to Youth Conference as a leader instead of a youth. Charles and I teach the 14 and 15 year-olds in Sunday School so they had us help out. It was such a blast. It was a Ward Youth Conference; I guess that is something they do in Utah. And it was only two days. The Bishop felt inspired that the theme should be "Family History". We could tell that the youth weren't particularly thrilled, but it was amazing!
We gathered in the church parking lot and had a little prep talk by the Bishop and ate homemade cinnamon rolls (Yummy!!!). We then headed to Orem to learn about Name Indexing. The youth got a bit bored with the presentation, but once they got on the computers they had a great time. They sure were fast with the program and ate it up.
We headed up to Salt Lake City for the rest of the Youth Conference. They did a hike up to Ensign Peak (I didn't go, I was saving my energy for Saturday) and had a delicious lunch at the park next to it. At the park I was in charge of having the youth put together a time capsule. While I was rounding up one of the youth to come contribute, I got tackled by the ensuing pick-up football game our youth had started. It was a simple slide tackle and the youth broke my fall. I wasn't hurt at all; I was more concerned about the grass stain on my nice white shirt. Everyone was quite concerned, but I bounced up quickly and all was fine.
Around 2 o'clock we were at the "This is the Place" monument area where they have a little pioneer village set up with activities. The youth got to learn about pioneer courtship, etiquette, flirting, games, and dress. They fed us a nice big dinner and then taught the youth pioneer dancing. After the instruction they then had a regular dance with modern music. The dance ended at 8:30 so that we could get to our campsite before dark.
We camped at a KOA (I don't know what that stands for, but I guess it is a type of campsite) campsite in Salt Lake, off of North Temple, just east of Redwood Rd. The youth were kind of sad that we didn't have a bonfire and that they had to be quiet at 10. Charles and I camped out and got a bit of sleep. I slept on a cot which made it quite easy to sleep, just a little noisy when I would move around.
We had a delicious breakfast and made sack lunches, put away tents, and got the kids organized and ready for the day's adventures.
We went to the huge Salt Lake Cemetery where many of the prophets have been buried. We were split up into our "families" (about seven youth with 2-3 adults) to find the graves of certain people. At each person's grave we read a short one page bio about them in first person. It was a very neat experience to see their graves and to learn more about them. The youth seemed to really enjoy it.
We had our sack lunches next to Temple Square and then went and saw the Beehive House and Brigham Young's grave site with a few of his wives. We toured the Conference Center and went through the Church History Museum.
We headed back to our church for a dinner/activity. The youth we put into a dark room in the church, sat on the ground, and had to be quiet. They were told that they were in Spirit Prison and couldn't leave until their temple work was done, or something like that. I wasn't there for the little speech by the Bishop. A few at a time were allowed to leave and join the party in the cultural hall that the Relief Society put together. When they entered we cheered for them and greeted them into "heaven". It was a great visual aid type experience. During the dinner we watched a slide show of Youth Conference that I threw together. After dinner a brother from the Stake talked to us about Indexing and how it can help family history. The Bishop gave a great little short testimony about family history and doing temple work. It was a great ending to a great Youth Conference.
In Sacrament Meeting, Bishop had a few of the youth and leaders talk about their experience with Youth Conference. It was very nice to hear about their feelings and testimonies about the experience.
We had such a great time getting to know the youth in our ward better!