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Youth Conference
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Youth Conference

Part II: Youth Conference


Thursday evening

The very first thing I heard upon arriving at Youth Conference was a dirty joke.

Somewhere behind me in the long line of kids walking from the buses to the registration tables a boy's voice said "Why did the condom fly across the room? -- because it was pissed-off!" Not very funny, really, but it made me smile to myself. It seemed like a good omen for how the conference would go -- hopefully not one hundred percent goodie-goodie. Not that I objected to religious education in principle -- heaven knows I had a lot of work ahead of me if I wanted to make it to the Celestial Kingdom one day. It was just that for this event the prospect of spiritual growth was hardly my real reason for attending.

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I was sure most of the other kids felt the same way. We came for the fun of spending the weekend in a college dormitory with five stakes worth of Mormon kids -- practically all of the Mormon teenagers in all of Minnesota.

After registering, Amy and I grabbed our dorm keys and rushed to check out our room. It was nothing to look at -- two beds, two desks, two dressers, and an ugly vinyl curtain covering the one window -- but it was fabulous! This was the life!

"In another few years we'll be living in a room like this at BYU," Amy said, "you and me."

"Yeah, that should make a nice change over sharing a room with Annette," I replied. "Which side do you want?"

"Whichever, they're the same," she said and threw her stuff on one of the beds. "C'mon, let's see where the other girls are staying."

It wasn't hard to find our sisters and other friends. All the girls from our ward were grouped on the same stretch of hallway so that our chaperones could easily keep an eye on us. The rooms were all the same, but we had fun comparing them anyway.

We started with Annette and Jenny's room, then checked in on Amy's older sister Alexandra who was sharing a room with her best friend Cookie. Cookie's real name was Caroline, but everyone always called her Cookie, even her family. Then we went to see my older sister April. April was seventeen and good friends with Alexandra and Cookie, but since there wasn't a fourth girl among our friends in that age group, she was sharing a room with a fourteen-year-old named Tammy. Tammy was okay, but she was maybe even a bit more of a geek than the rest of us.

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