I’ve spent the last two days attending the world’s first-ever Feminist Mormon Girls Camp. Held in the Utah mountains, it’s been a gathering not just of teenage girls and their leaders, as is traditional for LDS Girls Camp (now called Young Women Camp), but whole families, including spouses and tiny tots.
It’s been a marvelous experience. I believe the effort first came about because of women’s online conversations about their own experiences at LDS camp as kids, which were generally (but not always) positive, and their concerns about how camp may have changed since then. Today, from the stories I hear, LDS camp is as likely to fixate on the dangers of immodest dress as it is to teach girls that they are strong, beloved, and capable. Some women felt that camp’s focus had moved away from self-reliance toward ornamentation.
These moms wanted more than crafts and modest fashion lessons for their daughters. They dreamed it, and then they created it: Feminist Mormon Girls Camp.
This first year was just a small pilot program; the organizers had to be careful not to get too far ahead of themselves. It is not requisite that a woman should run faster than she hath strength. So they only invited a few charter families, with the possibility of expanding it in future if people are willing to take the lead. There are representatives here from Feminist Mormon Housewives, Sistas in Zion, Ordain Women, Let Women Pray, Young Mormon Feminists, and many others.
So what have we been up to? Plotting civilization’s downfall, of course. Isn’t that what feminists always do? No, actually, we have mostly been having fun, singing songs and hymns (some with Mother-in-Heaven-inclusive lyrics), eating too many S’mores, and talking.
And talking some more.
My absolute favorite part of the event is that I was assigned to be a certification counselor, which basically means that I helped the kids earn badges by talking about world and church issues, and getting them to use their imaginations about how the world might become a different place.
Read Jana's full post here.
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of SpokaneFāVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.