liberty girls

Oct 3, 2015

liberty girls

I love mentoring Scholars. LOVE it. Youth that have their heads screwed on straight, have the tenacity and courage to do hard things, the desire to learn, and the ability to digest and discuss big ideas are my favorite students. So for the past five years I have spent my time (hundreds of hours!) teaching those youth. Reading stuff like The Communist Manifesto, Unbroken, Mere Christianity, The Hiding Place, Animal Farm, To Destroy You Is No Loss, Flag of Our Fathers, and Hiroshima and then discussing them with my students has brought me so much joy. It lights a fire in my soul to be part of a young person’s education, to help them understand the world in new ways and to see themselves with new eyes.

This spring, I knew I needed a break. After the car accident in January, I was barely making it through each day. Unable to use my mouth much, eating liquids nearly exclusively, and being in constant pain wore me out and not knowing how I would be doing this fall, I decided I needed to take a complete break from mentoring. But sometime in April, the quiet whisperings of the Spirit started entering my heart and prompted me to start a Liberty Girls group for Annesley. I don’t particularly enjoy teaching other people’s young children. Loving and teaching my own is one thing, but children who are not mine is a whole ‘nother story. So I kind of rejected the idea. But the promptings kept coming and I kept pondering. Finally in June I decided I really needed AND wanted to go on this adventure with my Annesley.

After lots more thinking and planning, we invited nine girls between the ages of seven and nine to join us, chose our theme for the semester, and selected the books we would read and discuss. Our theme is Finding Courage and we are reading books about girls who found their courage and learning about our ancestors who acted with courage in their lives. We are reading The Courage of Sarah Noble and Understood Betsy…such gems! We meet every other week and have a book discussion, Courage Presentation by one of the girls about one of her ancestors who showed courage, snack & outside play time, and an activity related to the book that is both prepared and taught by the Meeting Mother for that week (because being in charge of an activity is not my forte AT ALL!).

We are having so much fun! We have met together four times and I have fallen in love with my Liberty Girls. They are full of courage, kindness, faith, eagerness, and so much ZEST. They make me laugh and I have been amazed at the thoughts they share during our book discussions.

At our Kick-Off Party, the Meeting Mother taught the girls how to make their very own bags using tea towels, staples, and duck tape. The girls needed guidance, but they were totally able to do it on their own and now they have their very own super cute bags to carry their Liberty Girls books and snacks to each of our meetings. Then we went to a nearby Splash Park to have some wet summer fun and develop strong friendships within our group as they ran around and played games in the water.




At our first official meeting, we had our first Courage Presentation, discussed the first half of The Courage of Sarah Noble, and then went on a hike just like Sarah did in our book. I wasn’t quite up to walking that day, so the girls pushed me in my wheelchair. I was amazed at the insights they shared on the book. The concept of “Keep up your courage” sunk deep into their souls and they shared lots of experiences where they needed to find courage and then keep it up. Sarah’s courage in leaving her mother and siblings to help her father by cooking for him while he built their new home inspired these girls to do hard things as well.





At one point on our hike, one of the girls lost a flip-flop (not even her own flip-flop, another girl had let her borrow them) in a swampy, murky spot of water. It was disgusting! The girls searched and searched for about 15 minutes and could not find the sandal in the water. Then they prayed and asked for help and with courage plunged their sticks and hands in to the sludge one more time. And they found it! They came running back to me sitting in my wheelchair out on the trail shrieking, Miss Tracy, we kept up our courage, we kept up our courage! The water was so gross and we kept searching and didn’t give up! And then we prayed and then God helped us find it!” Oh my goodness, my heart filled up with JOY!

Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the sandal swamp incident since I couldn’t get down there.

The girls found some turtles swimming in the water. You probably can’t see them, but there are about 5 turtles down there in front of them.


Then we found ducks and geese and some kind college kids gave the girls some bird food. They had a blast feeding them and holding the little ones.




As they were pushing me back to the car, we were walking on a road (a hardly ever traveled road!) and the girls were worried a car would hit me in my wheelchair, so they formed a barrier wall and marched in front of me protecting me. Cracked me up! And trust me, if I was actually concerned that a car would be traveling down that road, I wouldn’t have let them walk down the middle of it.



Mentoring these young girls is so much fun. They are alive with curiosity, willingness to learn new things, and so much silliness. They love to play with our kittens, run around our yard in all sorts of imaginary worlds, and share all the excitements of their lives. It is a sacred honor to be part of their character development and to be gifted this opportunity to learn and grow with them.

I will try to get photos from our next two meetings posted soon!

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  1. Tasha L.

    Oh what a fun group of girls! You are braver than me – this last summer I really wanted to do a Liberty Girls group, but summer was so busy. I wish we were in Rigby and could join you, it looks like so much fun!

    I read the sentence you wrote about not enjoying teaching other people’s young children, and Courtney said: “I think Tracy has taught me something good every time I’ve been around her!”

    We think you are so amazing for doing all the things you do to create neat experiences for your children!

    • tracy

      I LOVE teaching children’s hearts and mind and being a force of inspiration in their lives. I love helping them see themselves with new eyes and find courage to do hard things. But some kids drive me crazy. Truly crazy. Children that are not well-behaved or are annoying can be a challenge for me. I admit it. It may be another one of my flaws.

      I’m so glad I have been able to teach so many of your children so many different things…and that you have taught mine. Your gentle goodness shines through everything you do and blesses my children greatly.

      We wish you were in Rigby! Annesley so wanted Abby to join us!

      I am not amazing. Not at all. But I am passionate and full of lofty ideals and that makes up for a lot. !

  2. Thank you for posting. I look everyday! Very heartwarming!

  3. Valena

    Miss Tracy,

    You ARE amazing! Truly! And I’m inspired by your book choices… I feel impressed to have my beautiful Emma read them with me and discuss courage. I’d love to hear your thoughts on other books that could fit in this category… because we could use tons of courage these days!!

    • tracy

      Ooooh, I would love to come up with a list of courage stories. Let me add that to my to-do list! Miss Emma may find these stories too young for her, if so, just have her wait till I send you my list for girls her age.

  4. Vanessa

    It looks like so much fun! I wish I had been part of a group like this as a young girl. I’m glad Ava can participate and that the Spirit prompted you! :)