Today was devoted to producing a delightful banquet for the parents. It was so fun seeing what the girls came up with!
First we worked on speeches. Each young lady prepared a speech about one or more of her favorite activities during camp. Mrs. Umstattd excellently coached each young woman in keeping her speech the appropriate length and in communicating interesting points in a clear way. Giving speeches has been a terrifying thing for me, but this is a fantastic aspect of Academy 31 – the opportunity to practice giving a speech, but the speech can be very short and the speech is given in an encouraging environment.
Then it was Mrs. Umstattd’s turn to give a “speech” over lunch – her testimony of God’s goodness. Mrs. Umstattd told about lots of tough things in her life, but the part that made her cry was God’s goodness through it all. She reminded us about God’s still small voice.
For the past couple weeks, each “table team” has been preparing a schedule for today to decorate their table, pack up to leave camp, cook a dish to feed 40, clean the house, and get gussied up for a banquet. After lunch each table team put their plans into action. Things got hectic and hilarious!
We had some June Cleaver action going on in the kitchen as it worked best for one team to get dressed in their formal banquet wear, and then bake their rolls. Another team creatively conquered the dilemma of displacing their recipe by clothes-pinning it to their apron using some adorable mini clothespins from their table decorations. Meanwhile in the banquet room, one team frantically finished sewing napkins while another team did science experiments to create their own helium replacement for their balloons. Another team demonstrated flexibility when they unfortunately had to take down the swarm of butterflies they had attached to the ceiling. For a little bit it seemed as if one team’s table wouldn’t get decorated in time, but it did, and turned out gorgeous.
These rolls turned out mouthwateringly delicious!
Banquet time! First the girls’ parents arrived and admired the display of the many things the girls’ made during camp. Then everyone gathered in the elegant dining hall that the ladies prepared. Each table was so creative and unique, yet each table complimented all the others!
The camp staff then served the girls and their parents a 3 course formal dinner. In years past the A31 staff has cooked the meal, but this year we decided that it is important to practice juggling all the different responsibilities that go into producing a banquet – cooking, having food hot at the right time, getting dressed, setting a beautiful table, cleaning the house, etc. – and this was the perfect time for the girls to practice. After dinner, the girls entertained and uplifted us with their speeches of fun times, changed hearts, and new knowledge.
Great to hear Julia’s testimony of God growing her.
Next was “most likely” awards, which got us all laughing together. As the lovely evening came to a close, we gave tons of hugs, signed each others notebooks, took goofy pictures together in the photo booth, and gave even more hugs.
It was fun to hear people guess the “most likely” awards.
Thank you to each precious young woman and her family for choosing to spend 2 weeks at Academy 31!
And that’s a wrap for Academy 31 2015!