A 15-year-old young woman screamed in excitement , others smiling, as she held up her target shredded with holes in the bull’s eye.
“I’ve never shot before!” she proudly admitted. “All I did was ask for help and they showed me how.”
During the next round of shooting, hands shot skyward while trained youth sat by the side of those shooting and guided them to the center of the target. Soon after, there were more shouts and high fives as more and more of them started shooting the bulls eye. What a privilege it was to witness the thrilled looks on the youths’ faces.
However, the elation did not stop at the range. Soon after, we gathered under a shady canopy in a quiet grove of trees where a young sister began the discussion with a prayer asking to, “Please help us have more spiritual experiences to help us overcome our trials.”
Within moments, God answered that prayer. Scriptures opened, and a 17-year-old Priest in the ward lead a discussion. Youth shared thoughts about Proverbs 3:5 and other scriptures. Simple testimonies along with quirky experiences were shared by each of the youth.
The 17-year-old priest leading the discussion shared a thought. He said, “When I was rifle shooting just a moment ago I didn’t know what I was doing, so I raised my hand and told the man next to me, ‘I don’t know what I am doing, can you help me?’ Now compare this to our own lives. When you face problems, or don’t know what to do, kneel and pray and say, ‘I don’t know what I am doing, can you help me?’” As I listened to this sweet discussion, I felt as if we were in our own Sacred Grove. Comments like these kept a wonderful discussion flowing.
As my wife and I left Tifie Scout Camp, I had a million thoughts and questions. These questions included:
- Why are Gospel truths so easily shared in the outdoors?
- Why can these simple truths be so easily intertwined with rock climbing, repelling, hiking, shooting, swimming and more?
- How can these young youth have the power to lead and carry out stirring thoughts about heavenly topics?
Gone are the days where strong, powerful young men and young women leaders lead activities and gospel discussions. These are the days where strong, powerful young men and young women lead and carry out outdoor activities and Gospel discussions.
The time for youth to step up, speak out, and lead in powerful ways is now. My time at Camp Tifie was an incredible experience which changed my perspective about our youth today.
Author: Brad Scherck | District Associate, Provo Peaks District, Utah National Parks Council