“Methods—How,” Aaronic Priesthood Quorum Camp Guide (2019)
“Methods—How,” Aaronic Priesthood Quorum Camp Guide
Quorum leaders and advisers counseling together will invite inspiration from the Holy Ghost to discern how camping can meet the needs of the young men and their families. When quorum leaders and quorum advisers counsel together, they learn to create an environment that invites inspiration.
Effective counseling is best accomplished when:
Priesthood keys are respected. Quorum advisers should let quorum presidencies lead. They should teach them that the keys of presidency they hold as quorum presidents authorize them to receive inspiration for the benefit of their quorum.
Inclusion is prioritized. Inspiration flows best when everyone seeks it and when all feel their insights are valued. The adult adviser promotes discussion by listening carefully to and encouraging comments and ideas from others. When others’ ideas are respected, they will come to take ownership of the results. (See Doctrine and Covenants 88:122; General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4.2.5, ChurchofJesusChrist.org.)
As you counsel together, identify specific goals for the camp and how the camp will help individual young men. Counsel about the types of activities that will help accomplish these goals and how you will create settings that will invite the Spirit.
Quorum unity increases when quorum leaders and advisers are sensitive to the needs and interests of each young man and to his family circumstances. Needs, interests, and resources can be identified by the Talent and Interest Survey found on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
The ward and ward youth councils can help identify the needs and interests of the young men and their families. Pay special attention to the sisters in the ward council, especially those who may be mothers of young men. (See General Handbook, 7.5.2.)
An inventory of possible resources will help quorum leaders plan camp activities. You might compile a list of:
Adults in the area who have special skills, talents, professional experience, or specific insights into challenges a young man may be facing.
Equipment that the Church owns or that members or others in the community are willing to let the youth use, such as camping equipment, fishing equipment, sports equipment, canoes, and boats.
Nearby physical facilities, such as national and state parks, water sports venues, and campgrounds.
Where possible, individuals with medical training who can assist in case of an emergency.
Stake leaders may consider developing these lists at a stake level in order to provide greater resources for all the youth of the stake.
Where you hold Aaronic Priesthood quorum camps will depend on your location and needs. Camps are typically held outdoors at a safe place away from home. The camp should be held in a peaceful place where the young men can feel the Spirit, share testimonies, learn skills, and have fun. In areas where overnight camping is difficult or prohibited, planning an outdoor day camp can be a good alternative. Day camps can be held at a site near the young men’s homes.
Camps can be planned for any time of the year. Be sure to consider the climate, the season, and the type of camping the young men would like to experience. Where circumstances allow, young men should hold one multiday camp per year (see General Handbook, 10.2.1.3). Typically, camps last no longer than five days, should not be held on the Sabbath, and are generally not held on a Monday.
In addition, three to six other overnight activities are encouraged, if circumstances permit (see General Handbook, 20.6.12). Follow all local regulations for overnight camps.
Sufficient time is needed to plan experiences that meet meaningful objectives and purposes. Planning camps on an annual basis increases the quality of the camps by allowing leaders time to support the young men and to inform and involve families. Advanced planning allows time to prepare physically, learn skills for the camp, and raise any necessary funds according to Church policy.
Pray and counsel together.
Set specific goals for the camp.
Plan settings to create spiritual connections.
Plan for building quorum unity.
Create a list of available resources.
Mentor youth to fulfill assignments.
Train on leadership skills.
Accommodate those with disabilities.