Why I’m Camping to Celebrate Ordain Women’s Six Discussions
By Kristy Money
Kristy is a clinical psychologist specializing in women’s mental health. She lives with her husband and 2 daughters in Los Angeles.
Today, Ordain Women’s newest initiative–the 6 Discussions–launched on a historic date for our Church. May 15th was the 185th anniversary of the Restoration of the Aaronic priesthood. The Melchizedek priesthood was restored on an unknown day between May 15 – May 29. Ordain Women (OW) chose this date to celebrate the restoration of God’s power here on earth. The Getting Started and Discussion 1 packets have been released. So anyone can start their own bookclub-like discussion group locally or watch OW leaders discuss the material on ordainwomen.org. After having one week to read the packets, the live session of our Discussion 1 Hangout on Air will occur Thursday, May 22nd at 7pm MST, and the remaining 5 Discussion Hangouts will occur every Thursday at 7pm after that. You don’t have to be an OW supporter be a part of the discussions: all views are equally welcome and contribute to vibrant conversations. Personally, I am ecstatic these discussions are taking place and I want to celebrate in a particular way I find meaningful and empowering.
When I was a young girl, the wards and stakes I grew up in celebrated the restoration of the priesthood with annual Fathers & Sons camp-outs, occurring weekends in the second half of May. Ironically, sometimes these camp-outs fell Mother’s Day weekend too, and I remember piles of dirty, smoky laundry and camping gear piled up by the garage when my dad and three brothers returned from their trip late Saturday night. From what I hear, stakes around the U.S. have this camping tradition for the priesthood restoration–I’ve witnessed them myself in wards I’ve lived in recently from New Mexico to NYC.
I remember feeling left out when my dad and brothers left and it didn’t seem fair to me I couldn’t go too. I was a Girl Scout when I was very little, but then we moved and so I felt like I was missing out. I loved LDS Girls Camp to pieces, but it was only once a year and I was quite jealous of all the camp-outs my brothers went on. I tried to go once to the Fathers & Sons camp-out when I was 12–on principle. My dad was not amused by my stubbornness, but tried his best to make it up to me with daddy-daughter dates from then on.
Now I’m a parent, and my two girls love the outdoors just like I did. My Evie, though only a toddler, loves to play pretend, asking me to make tents to put her sister Rosie in as they giggle together under the blankets. I took the leap of faith to be a part of Ordain Women after my experience trying to hold her for her baby blessing, and I am so thrilled about the OW discussions because I yearn for a more equitable future for my daughters. This new initiative will give my sisters and brothers in the Church a chance to talk together about their thoughts and feelings, on very interesting subjects near and dear to my heart.
To celebrate the OW discussions release, I am going to camp with my daughters and husband. We’re going to have our own priesthood camp-out, just like I ached for when I was little. The timing is perfect: the Melchizedek priesthood was restored sometime between May 15 and May 29 in the Susquehanna woods. Discussion 1’s packet is available now, Discussion 1’s live hangout is happening on May 22nd (the day of Discussion 2’s packet release), and Discussion 2 will occur May 29th (the same day as Discussion 3’s packet release). I haven’t decided exactly what kind of camp-out we’ll do. We could do it out by the creek under the big Texas sky, or maybe I’ll go simpler and do a backyard campout and roast marshmallows over the firepit table. Heck, if it looks like rain I might just do an indoor camping party.
I invite everyone to join me in a celebratory priesthood restoration and OW discussions camp-out. You don’t have to be on board with ordination at all–just on board with getting your Mormon party hat on. If it’s camping inspiration you desire, please have a look on OW’s pinterest board. I’m quite smitten with s’mores bars and campburritos. And call me a delusional idealist, but it warms my heart to imagine folks from all walks of life camping over the next two weeks, as a family or for a discussion group camp-out party: sitting around a campfire discussing women’s church history with the stars above, or covered in blankets in the living room eating s’mores and huddled together by the light of their smartphones watching the google hangouts. No pressure, of course. But if you want to join in, you can find me on facebook and Instagram and let me know how much fun you’re having. Feel free to follow me if you have a soft spot for adorable babies tearing down tents, covered in marshmallow and chocolate.
Six Discussions Intro Video: http://youtu.be/_vTNzR50-jQ