Resources
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“Resources,” Aaronic Priesthood Quorum Camp Guide (2019)

“Resources,” Aaronic Priesthood Quorum Camp Guide

Young Men and Leaders outside the Accra Ghana Temple

Resources

Roles of Ward and Stake Leaders

Ward Leaders

As the presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood in the ward, the bishop and his counselors oversee the work of the quorums. They watch over and strengthen each young man while working closely with parents and other leaders. (See General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 10.3, ChurchofJesusChrist.org.)

Bishoprics approve all plans for ward camps. Quorum leaders, advisers, and specialists should complete the Event and Activity Plan and counsel with the bishopric regarding the purpose, goals, location, activity details, and schedule of camps.

The bishopric also approves the budget and plans for camp safety and security, which includes selecting appropriate adult leaders and determining camp standards for behavior and dress. The bishopric may also invite men from the ward, including fathers of the young men, to help support Aaronic Priesthood quorum camps.

Stake Leaders

Stake priesthood leaders approve all plans for stake Aaronic Priesthood camps. The stake Aaronic Priesthood committee and the stake Aaronic Priesthood–Young Women committee can assist in planning these activities (see General Handbook, 29.3.9).

Young men from the stake should be included in the planning and leadership of stake camps as much as possible. Stake priesthood leaders may invite men from the stake, including fathers of the young men, to help plan and support stake Aaronic Priesthood camps.

Pohnpei: Young Men Camping

Evaluating Camp

Evaluating the camp is crucial to future success. Quorum leaders and quorum advisers should meet at the conclusion of camp to evaluate camp activities. Focus these evaluations on achieving camp objectives and how to improve the quality of the experience in the future.

Consider these questions during the evaluation:

  • Did the young men feel the Spirit? Where? When?

  • Did our activities go as planned? Why or why not?

  • What could have been better?

  • Are there problems we need to resolve?

  • Did the young men achieve their goals? Why or why not?

  • What has happened in the lives of our young men as a result of the camp?

  • What can we do to continue to build on the positive experiences we had?

Consider inviting quorum members to reflect on their experiences. Encourage them to share what they learned with their family and friends. Through youth activities, you could continue to add to the skills the young men learned at camp. You could also discuss the doctrines taught at camp in Sunday quorum meetings. If your activities were successful, consider sharing them with others.

Use what you learned through your evaluation to improve your next camp.

Japan: Young Men Camping

Stake Priesthood Encampments

Stake Aaronic Priesthood encampments are planned under the direction of the stake presidency and carried out by the stake Young Men presidency or others who are called to assist.

Priesthood encampments could be a day camp, an overnight camp, or a camp that spans several days and may be given a scripture-related name, such as Helaman’s Camp, Zion’s Camp, and so forth.

Make sure that the young men lead, plan, and direct priesthood encampments. After coordinating with their respective Area Seventies, multiple stakes may also combine for an encampment. Include a balance of spiritual, social, physical, intellectual, and service-based activities in these encampments.

For example:

  • Spiritual activities could include scripture study, learning from Preach My Gospel, scripture memorization, small-group discussions, firesides, testimony meetings, or teaching opportunities for the young men.

  • Intellectual activities could include first aid, survival techniques, plant science, knot tying, or other skills.

  • Physical activities could include swimming, sports, climbing, archery, or other events in which the young men may have an interest.

  • Social activities could include learning about internet safety, leadership training, random acts of kindness, or communication skills.

  • Service activities could include beautifying the campsite or facility, assembling humanitarian kits, or learning skills to use in the service of others.

Each ward may be assigned to plan and oversee a certain number of activities. Choose a campsite or facility that can accommodate the types of activities you have planned. Breakout sessions can provide opportunities for bishops to interact with the young men from their own wards.

Determine Goals for Encampments

As you counsel with youth leaders and choose goals for your encampment, prayerfully ask yourself, “What would Heavenly Father want to have happen in the lives of the young men as a result of this encampment?” The answer should become your goal as well as a guide for other decisions.

Priesthood encampments are to help young men build strong testimonies of the Lord Jesus Christ and magnify their priesthood duties. You should provide a balance of opportunities to serve others and to develop spiritually, socially, physically, and intellectually (see Luke 2:52; General Handbook, 10.2.1.3; 20.2.6).

Look for ways to involve all the young men in the responsibilities and assignments of the encampment (see General Handbook, 4.2.6).

Find meaningful opportunities that will build brotherhood and unity. Each young man should feel needed and useful.

The purpose of your encampment may be inspired by:

  • The Aaronic Priesthood quorum theme.

  • Priesthood duties and responsibilities.

  • The annual youth theme.

  • A scripture.

  • A statement from a prophet or apostle.

  • The For the Strength of Youth booklet.

  • The Children and Youth program.

Preparatory Activities

Activities for camp may begin before you depart. Consider planning activities that will enhance preparedness, increase learning, and build anticipation for camp.

You may:

  • Hold a preparatory activity for the young men and their families where quorum leaders share the theme and details of the camp.

  • Have an activity to plan and organize your camp.

  • Create a food menu for the camp that is within your budget and includes nutritious recipes.

  • Learn ways to protect the environment, such as handling waste, protecting water sources, and preserving natural areas. Leave camping areas cleaner than you found them.

  • Practice using camp equipment and cooking outdoors.

  • Learn wilderness survival skills.

  • Make a fitness plan that will help you prepare physically for camp. This may include activities such as hikes, bike rides, or other fitness-related activities.

Young Men Camping

Safety and Emergency Preparedness

One of your most important responsibilities at camp is to keep the young men spiritually, morally, emotionally, and physically safe. All conduct and interactions should comply with Church standards (see For the Strength of Youth and the annual First Presidency safety letter) and exemplify Christlike behavior.

In addition, leaders may set specific standards and guidelines for camp to ensure safety and to create the environment necessary to accomplish the goals of camp. Youth should understand that participation is not a right but a privilege that can be revoked if they behave inappropriately or if they pose a risk to themselves or others. Leaders and advisers should communicate these expectations to parents and participants, and they should counsel together on how to address concerns that may arise.

A sufficient number of adult leaders is required for each camp. At least two adult leaders should be present for each activity. Larger activities may require additional adult leaders. All leaders should avoid one-on-one situations with a youth unless clearly visible to nearby adult leaders.

When planning a camping activity, remember the safety of everyone is greatly improved when at least one adult leader has experience with that specific activity.

Immediately report to priesthood leaders any accident or serious injury requiring more than basic first aid. All who attend camp, especially adult leaders, are encouraged to be alert to any signs of abuse and neglect. Those who become aware of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse should report the matter to appropriate legal authorities and contact the bishop immediately.

Young men and adult leaders should be prepared for the physical demands of the camp. Minimize danger by obeying all the local rules and laws of your area. Make sure that transportation and communication are available at all times. If possible, invite a nurse, doctor, or other individual with significant first aid experience to attend the camp. Bring first aid supplies. Keep a list of addresses and phone numbers on hand for each young man’s parents or guardians, nearby medical facilities, and emergency contacts, such as local law enforcement, fire, and ambulance services.

Before camp, visit with the parents of the young men and learn each young man’s unique needs—including dietary, medical, and emotional needs. Actively monitor youth behavior and intervene when necessary. Hazing, pranks, and other unkind, immoral, or disrespectful conversation and behavior are unacceptable. Understand and accept the responsibility to plan for the safety and well-being of the youth in your care. Identify, talk about, and prepare ways to reduce the risks at camp. Review the General Handbook sections listed below, the annual First Presidency safety letter, youth protection guidelines, and safety.ChurchofJesusChrist.org for more information.

Adult and youth leaders should carefully plan so that all camps comply with Church policies. Study the guidelines at safety.ChurchofJesusChrist.org and the following sections of the General Handbook:

Childhood

Inform and Include Parents

What a young man learns at camp should strengthen him and bless his family. As you prepare for camp, you may invite the parents to share spiritual needs and hopes they have for their sons. Find out their ideas for the activities and skills that would benefit their families. Some parents may have expertise and skills to share. Inform parents of the dates, location, cost, theme, and activities for the camp. Inform the parents and the young men of the standards of dress and behavior that are required (see 1 Timothy 4:12).

Before camp, ask a parent or guardian of each participant to fill out and turn in a Parental or Guardian Permission and Medical Release form for him. The form can be found at safety.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. You should provide detailed information about the camp and the activities so that parents can grant informed permission for their son’s participation. (See General Handbook, 20.6.13.)

Young Men Camping

Ideas for Camp Activities

Possible spiritual, social, physical, and intellectual activities to consider as you plan camp:

Spiritual

  • Using social media as a missionary tool

  • Social media fast

  • Book of Mormon questions

  • Standards games

  • Fireside devotionals

  • Morning devotionals

  • Testimony meetings

  • Mission preparation

  • Daily habits

Social

  • Family relations

  • Communication with others

  • Internet safety

  • Service projects

  • Random acts of kindness and service

  • Leadership training

Physical

  • Kickball

  • Rock climbing and rappelling

  • Mountain biking

  • Triathlon

  • Obstacle course

  • Frisbee challenge

  • Volleyball

  • Soccer

  • Water sports

  • Swimming

  • Canoeing

  • Rowing

  • White-water rafting

  • Small-boat sailing

  • Hiking

  • Backpacking

  • 50-mile (80-km) backpacking

  • Exploration pioneering

  • Bike camping

  • Winter sports

  • Snorkeling

  • Fishing

  • Snowshoeing

  • Winter camping

Intellectual

  • Frontiersman skills

  • Outdoor survival skills

  • Orienteering

  • Wood cutting

  • Dutch oven cooking

  • Fire building

  • Knot tying

  • Fire safety

  • Lifesaving

  • Emergency survival

  • Preserving the outdoors

  • Plant science

  • Geocaching

  • Navigation on water

  • Outdoor photography

  • Leatherwork

  • Wood carving

  • Outdoor cooking

  • Wilderness survival

  • Target shooting

  • First aid

Additional activity ideas can be found at ChurchofJesusChrist.org/youth/activities. The ideas highlighted in this section have activity cards on this Youth Activities site.