Young Women Camp brings Wards together to ‘press forward’


Young women from the Natchitoches attended a Young Women Camp through the Alexandria Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints June 6–10 at North Toledo Bend State Park.

The theme this year was “Press Forward” which comes from the scripture: “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men….”

Girls from Natchitoches participating were: Jessica Clark, Genevene DeFord, Leah DeFord, Bess DeFord, Lexi DeLoach, Kate Methvin, Catherine Picht, Ruby Mobley, Tia Sykes, Myshia Walker, Lilly Zachary and Emma Zachary.  Leaders from Natchitoches included Julie DeFord, Marilyn Wood, Andrea Zachary, Raven Slay, Angela Methvin, Mona Bamburg, James Donaho, David Wood, Danny Brockner and Matt DeFord.

Leader Marilyn Wood said, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has encouraged its Young Women to participate in an outdoor experience for over 100 years.  It is felt that being in the outdoors helps Young Women to be more aware of God’s creations.”

The goals of the Young Women camp are to help the girls draw closer to God, appreciate and feel reverence for nature, become more self-reliant, develop leadership skills, respect and protect the environment, serve others, build friendships, enjoy camping and have fun.

The girls accomplish these goals by working on certain achievements in their camp manuals.  Among other things, they learn about clouds, weather, stars, plants, orienteering, how to build a fire, and how to tie knots. Their service project this year included cleaning camp trails and laying mulch in the flower beds at the entrance of the park.  The girls also enjoyed canoeing and hiking.

Fifty-six girls from the Alexandria Stake participated.  The Alexandria Stake (a church unit similar to a diocese) includes church units (called wards or branches) from Alexandria, Pineville, Leesville, Rosepine, Opelousas, Marksville, Oakdale, Natchitoches, Many and Natchez, Miss.