It was another week of girls camp at Camp Maple Dell. Over the years, many girls camps have been held at Maple Dell, providing adventures and team-building activities for the hundreds of young women and leaders attending. It was just a normal week at camp, until the cry from the church leaders came. Night time had fallen and a girl was missing.
During the evening, a young woman had received some disappointing news from home. She was very upset and wanted to be alone. The leaders gave her space and let her have time to calm down.
However, when the ward leaders went to fetch her, she was nowhere in sight. They alerted the stake leaders and the search began. For over an hour, they scoured the camp looking for her. It was almost midnight by the time camp management received the news of the missing girl.
Immediately, camp management sounded the alarm to assemble camp. All attendees were gathered together for a head count, under the direction of camp staff and management. She wasn’t there.
The staff knew exactly what to do next. Half went to search every corner of the camp, including the 42 campsites and even the lake. The other half helped comfort the amphitheater full of distraught girls, all concerned about the young woman lost somewhere in the dark woods. Soothing songs were sung to bring peace to the worried hearts.
After only fifteen minutes of searching in the pale light of the moon, though it seemed like hours, the girl was found. Scared, she had hid from leaders and staff and moved about the camp to avoid being found. Glee filled the camp upon her return. The girl was found and she was safe. She was released back to her ward with hugs and tears.
After all the commotion and the girls had settled down, the stake leaders admitted to camp management, “We don’t know what we would have done if we had been holding camp on our own. Your staff was well-trained and knew exactly what to do.“
We’ll never know what could have happened to the poor girl if the camp was held somewhere else. But we do know, that under the supervision and protection of qualified staff, the girl was located and returned to her peers unharmed in a timely manner.
Planning a girls camp at one of the Council’s certified and dependable camps will ensure not only genuine adventure but security for all those attending. Camp staff participate in continuous education, including First Aid and Search and Rescue, establishing in-depth knowledge of safety. Because of trained camp management and staff, the girl returned home.