Thursday, June 24, 2010

Conference a Memorable Event for B7 Youth

“Got Courage?” was the theme of this year’s Youth Conference, held June 17-19 and based on Joshua 1:9 and counsel from President Monson: “My earnest prayer is that you will have the courage to refrain from judging others, the courage to be chaste and virtuous, and the courage to stand for truth and righteousness” (Ensign, May 2009). The youth conference brought 16 young men and women from Bloomington 7th Ward and their leaders Trudy Oviatt, Pam Bingham, Bishop John Goldhardt, 1st Counselor Mike Twitty, and 2nd Counselor Ryan Barton to the Logan campus of Utah State University.

After a 6+ hour trip,these tireless teens had enough energy to go roller skating before a campus cookout followed by a workshop entitled Celebrate the Magic of Courage presented by Brad Barton. This former NCAA track and field winner, is also a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, a husband, father, and member of his stake young men’s presidency in Ogden. Using magic to illustrate his points, he demonstrated how magicians fool people into believing what they know is not truth - the same way Satan fools mankind. Barton shared three rules in magic: RULE #1: Slight of Hand which Satan uses to convince his followers to sin and develop bad habits; RULE #2: Magicians (and Satan) use Misdirection to take our eyes off Christ; RULE #3: Magicians Use Mental Conditioning but we ned to have spiritual conditioning and the courage to pull others up to a spiritual level.

On Friday, the young men and young women participated in a ropes course, best described as activities which teach such lessons as “you get better results when you help each other; cheerleading helps; spotters keep us safe and obedience to rules is the best way to reach your goal.”

Bishop Goldhardt facilitated the second workshop of the conference. The Courage to be Chaste and Virtuous used the lessons learned in the ropes course. “We need spiritual ‘spotters’ such as parents, friends, bishops, and the most important ‘spotter’, the Holy Ghost to help and guide us in our efforts to remain chaste and virtuous.” The bishop also facilitated a frank and honest discussion about the perils of pornography and the need to stay on guard at all times and in all places.

Aggie Games, including relays, ultimate Frisbee, water fights, and volleyball, were held with all of the youth conference groups on the Quad with AGGIE ICE CREAM as the prize at the end of the activities.

The evening included a formal banquet complete with fine linens, china and silverware with youth dressed in their “Sunday best.” The keynote speaker was Nyles Saldmon a faculty member and director of the auditioned institute choir at the Logan Institute of Religion. He used his experience from being a football lineman to relate how we need spiritual strength to “push Satan away”. The focus of his dynamic presentation was comparing bad courage and good courage.

A dance with approximately 350 young men and women in attendance was held with Montana Hollowell telling the young men to have courage and ask the young women to dance. (He even demonstrated how it was done using a tree as a partner). The evening ended on the quad with a showing of Up under the stars.

Saturday morning came waaaayyy to early for everyone, but was highlighted with a third workshop entitled Courage and Adversity by Chad Hymas, a quadriplegic who broke his neck in a farming accident in 2001. “We shouldn’t have to be asked to serve others. We should just do it, but it took breaking my neck to learn this lesson,” he said. He testified Christ and our Heavenly Father know us and our needs and that they love us and want us to love and care for one another.

The final activity before heading home to St. George was a testimony meeting which Bishop Goldhardt called, “indeed a highlight for me. The youth of our ward bore powerful, pure, and Christ-centered testimonies which invited the Spirit in great abundance. I was impressed with the depth of their testimonies and the Spirit I felt as they shared their love of the Savior.”

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Scouters Enjoy High Adventure in Moab

Eleven young men from the Bloomington 7th Ward spent the week of June 7 - 12 on the eastern side of the state participating in a High Adventure Camp near Moab. Traveling together with Young Men’s President Roy Stephen, Eric Smith who serves as Varsity Coach and Eric Evans, a parent chaperone, were Jesse Piersall, nephew of Rudy Sevier; Chase Wright, son of David and Gentry Wright; Ian Anderson, son of Gary and Nancy Anderson; Montana Hollowell, son of Carol and Bob Hollowell; Chase and Braden Evans, sons of Eric and Shannon Evans; Wesley Woodland, son of Shauna and Jerry Gardner; Nicholas and Joseph Gierish, son of Brian and Sally Gierish; Cody Forsyth, son of Steve and Tina Forsyth; and Peter Bown, son of Jim and Paula Bown. From Monday, June 7 to Saturday, June 12, the young men and their leaders enjoyed rappeling, rock climbing, biking, shooting, hiking and river rafting in the hot summer sun, hot summer wind and hot summer rain!

High Adventure Camps are the ultimate scouting activity for Varsity Scouts (ages 14-15) and Venture Scouts (ages 16-17). High Adventure Camps include physically challenging “safe danger” activities - practiced numerous times in a controlled environment for up to six months before the actual activity. Varsity and Venture Scouts also have skill building and leadership experiences during their preparations for and participation in High Adventure Camping, most designed to also reinforce gospel principles.

“The preparation, the planning and the week itself are all difficult,” notes Brother Stephen. "This might be one of the first really hard experiences in a scouters life . . . but this kind of activity will also strengthen their preparations to serve a successful and honorable mission.”