“The happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others”
Gordon B. Hinckley.
Gabe went off to a young men’s service corps camp. I can’t say he hopped and skipped off to the camp, but we did leave it up to him to make the decision to go (although we strongly encouraged him to do it).
It is 5 days long, run entirely by boys between the ages of 14-18 (the older ones have the main leadership responsibility), with minimal involvement from the adult leaders. Zach wasn’t able to go this year, as he is just shy of 14 (although they would have made a concession), but his grandparents on his dad’s side were visiting and spending time with the boys.
They are working about 5-6 hours a day on different tasks up at the camp: making an archery range, building a trail around a beaver pond (yes – beavers! Canada!), and pouring some concrete for the base of a basketball court (I think – that one was foggy to me). Every year they keep adding more to this camp (making trails, building bunkies, docks etc). The camp is where many of our youth camps are hosted (Zandra will go use the grounds in August when she goes to YW camp – and get to reap the rewards of her brother’s efforts when she uses the archery range and walks on the trail around the dam. Pretty cool, I think.)
This is Gabe’s first year doing it even though he is almost 17. The previous years’ dates never really worked out. However, at the last minute, we saw that this year’s camp was a possibility and felt that Gabe would really benefit from this kind of camp. So, he decided to go.
As I do every time they go to camp, I send them daily letters to open every day. I used this week’s quote on one of my letters. I hope that Gabe feels the joy in serving others. I hope that he recognizes that to be contributing to something greater than himself will make him a better person. We hope that he bonds even more with some of the other amazing boys he is attending with, and has many funny moments and adventures with them (and doesn’t get into too much trouble – and if he does, I won’t have to hear about it:). We hope the rain doesn’t get them too badly, and hope that even if it does, it is simply welcome relief to the blood, sweat and tears he puts into his daily work.
So proud of him for doing this, and love him tons.