RETREAT FOR GIRLS
Julianne spent the 2nd week of July at Utah State University attending Retreat for Girls. Similar to the EFY program that is run by BYU, Retreat for Girls is sponsored by Deseret Book (the same program that puts on those Time Out for Women events.) Retreat for Girls is obviously an all girls week. And also unlike EFY, you only have to be 12 years old to go rather than 14 which is why my 13 year old Julianne was able to attend. She headed off on her trip with 3 other friends, Taylor, Lizzie, and Jessica...and the 4 of them had a fabulous week filled with classes, lectures, concerts, games and crafts. Julianne claims it was the most spiritual of highs she has ever experienced.Lizzie, Taylor, Julianne and Jessie all checked in and anxious to settle into their dorms.
Julianne and her counselor, Sandy aka: Sydney. The counselors all had nicknames like Bubbles or Miss Piggy, etc. Part of the week's fun was to try and guess the counselor's real names by the last day.
Clockwise from top left: Julianne, Lizzie, Taylor and Jessica
The very next week (after unpacking Julianne, doing all her laundry and then packing Rebekah with many of the same things...clothing sharing, a nice perk to having a sister very close to you in age and therefore size) Rebekah left for a week of AFY. Yes, I typed it correctly....it was not a typo. I did mean AFY, not EFY. AFY stands for Adventures for Youth and is part of the EFY program. It's held at BYU Idaho and along with the classes, lectures and devotionals that are part of the normal EFY program, the kids also go white water river rafting and do a ropes course. Seeing as the AFY group is on the smaller side of your normal EFY group, they also get the opportunity to do Baptisms for the Dead in the Rexburg Temple.
Brianna, Casey, Bryant, Rebekah and Jenny all bright eyed and bushy tailed (where DOES that phrase come from anyway??) before their long drive up to Rexburg.
Rebekah and her counselor, Jamie.
The same week Rebekah was at BYU Idaho attending AFY, Brandon was doing his own summer camp at the University of Utah at the G.R.E.A.T. (Graphics and Robotic Exploration with Amazing Technology) summer camp. Brandon heard about the camp at school. A scholarship opportunity to lessen the cost of the camp was offered and Brandon decided to jump on it. An essay was required detailing the reasons why he wanted to attend this science/engineering camp. Brandon wrote about being interested in science and picking his dad's brain each day with dozens of questions. He wrote that his great-grandfather, who is named after, was an engineer building roads. He wrote that his own grandfather is also an engineer designing and building automated storage and retrieval systems. His essay won him a scholarship and a spot at the camp. And although the camp wasn't anywhere near as expensive as the girls' Retreat for Girls and AFY were, I think the fact that he had worked for the spot, worked for the tuition...made it that much sweeter. Just a day camp, Brandon spent a few hours each morning learning a design program and then writing his own computer games. The camp wasn't exactly what he was expecting but he had an awesome time all the same. Despite the fact that he practically lives and breathes gymnastics this summer, Brandon's other passion is science. Right now he is especially interested in molecular formulas and spends hours discussing chemistry and physics with his dad. But computer programming just gave Brandon one more thing to discuss, one more way to be "just like Dad" seeing as Bryan is a computer guy.
He's already planning on attending again next year....
ARETE SUMMER CAMP
I've already briefly mentioned Brandon's other summer camp....the men's state summer gymnastics camp. Six hours a day for four days of non-stop, intensive but "wicked fun" gymnastics. This camp in addition to his normal five days a week workouts all summer long....wow! But he loves it. And I love watching his passion, his excitement, his drive when it comes to gymnastics. (I wish he had that much drive when it comes to cleaning his room....)