Thursday, January 7, 2010

Young Women in Excellence

In November we held the Annual Young Women in Excellence night. It was a really special night, partly because we knew it would be our last big shebang as a presidency! We were released a few weeks later and I have to say I REALLY miss serving the YW in our ward. I felt so blessed to have the calling as long as I did, and I made some really wonderful friends.

Our theme for the night was "Be your own kind of beautiful", inspired by the Mormonad with the vase full of roses and one white daisy. We felt strongly the girls NEEDED to understand how beautiful and unique they are in the eyes of our Savior and our Father in Heaven. Don't we all??

We started off the night with a get to know you game we called "Getting to know your "buds". I should mention our ward boundaries had JUST been changed a few weeks before so we had several new girls that noone knew too much about. We just did a fun matching game where you had to match the girls name to a little known fact about them. It was very entertaining thanks to our Secretary (you make a great Vanna, Shantel!:) and I learned something new about most of the girls.

Then we did the project presentations. Each girl just came up and spoke about a project she completed. We also had tables set up all around the room to display things they had worked on throughout the year.

After that our amazing YW president spoke. She did a wonderful job talking about Sunflowers and how they always move towards the light. It was a really great talk. Then came the best part of the night. We had previously contacted all the parents and asked them to pick one flower that they felt represented their daughter. We then bought all the flowers and had them sitting in vase. It was so gorgeous, each flower unique and different. Then each parent came up and said why they chose that flower. It was SO beautiful to hear the tender words of love these parents had for their daughters, and a beautiful moment for all!

After that I said a few words, expressed my love for the YW, and gave them a little gift (big wooden flower shaped magnets with a scripture). Then we finished off the night with some fruit flower bouqets, chocolate dipped strawberries, and banana and pumpkin bread. It was a beautiful night, I hope the girls enjoyed it as much as I did :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Babysitting Clinic

Well tonight was a completely last minute thrown together activity that turned out really great! We had planned to go to a local cornmaze, but bad weather made that a no go. Instead of doing something simple and uncomplicated, I decided to go the difficult route and throw together a babysitting clinic. My beehives are right at that age where they are starting to get a lot of babysitting jobs, and I thought they could definitely use some training! :)

The first thing I did was to get one of my favorite people in our ward to come talk to our girls. She is a labor and delivery nurse, and she taught the girls all about infant and toddler CPR and what to do in several different emergency situations. She was so thorough with the information, but really entertaining at the same time.

Then we had the girls put together a babysitting kit they could take along with them when they go on different jobs. My president found some awesome resources on the Red Cross website, they have amazing info for babysitters and parents. We are fortunate to have a brother in our ward that works for the Church and is able to get an amazing deal on printing church-related materials. I was able to email a bunch of different documents to him and he was able to get them printed off and to me today before our activity. We had some binders in our closet so we had the girls fill them with a list of Top Ten Babysitting Tips, Parent Information Sheet (for the parents to fill out) and a 26 page Activity Booklet from the Red Cross. Then they put the binders, crayons, coloring pages (printed for free off the internet), water paints, paint brushes, and stickers in these cute purple plastic totes I found at Hobby Lobby for 1.99.

We closed by encouraging the girls to add to these kits frequently, and really work to make their babysitting experiences great for everyone involved. This activity turned out really well, and if I would have had more time it could have been more fun and creative too. Again, if you have any interest in any kind of babysitting training for your girls, the Red Cross is a fantastic resource!!

Here is the link for all of the documents we used tonight:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Beginnings...It's a Jungle Out There!

I decided to post just a few picture of what we did for our New Beginnings activity a year and a half ago. This one was quite a bit of work beforehand, but the effect when the girls and their parents walked in was totally worth it!

The part of the night the girls performed was a skit called "The Adventures of the Missing Personal Progress Book" I thought it was so clever. We brought in our 2nd Counselors entire bedroom set (she happened to have a jungle theme going on :) and had the girls looking in this messy room for their personal progress books. Because if your YW are like ours, they seem to have a hard time keeping track of that thing :) As they are looking they would find different items, like scriptures, picture of a boy, immodest shirt, etc and talk about how the For the Strength of Youth says you should handle those things. The girls did a great job and learned a lot too!

We also had some speakers and introduced the new Beehives, then ended the night with banana splits and banana chocolate cupcakes. It was a great night, and the girls STILL talk about it! Oh, and these were also the cute invites I made, I attached a baggie filled with animal cookies, fun fun! :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Service Scavenger Hunt (with a twist!)

We did this activity a few months ago and the youth are still talking about it. I have to give props to my uncle Bruce who did something similar when he was in the YM presidency several years ago. It took a lot of planning to get the logistics coordinated, but I think the end result was SO worth it!

As the kids showed up to the church I had them pick out bracelets from a box, the color they got determined which team they were on. They were then grouped in their teams and the leader going with them was given the rules. The rules stated they had to be back by a certain time, they had to go to each location in the order on their list, and they had to take a picture with the entire team at each location. Some examples of things they had to do go as follows: Go to the grocery store and everyone had to return two carts, go to a restaurant and everyone had to hold the door open for someone, etc. We set this up as a race, so the kids were competing to be the first team that went to every location to be back first.

Here is where the twist comes in! :) At every other location the youth went too I planted someone there to have a problem, to see if the youth would stop the race and risk coming in last to help them. At one location someone dropped their groceries, someone locked their keys in the car at another and finally someone lost a contact lens. One important note: Although this was a joint activity, I did not let the other leaders in on the twist. I didn't want them to sway the youth, and I thought it would be a great learning experience for everyone.

By the time the youth went to each location and came back to the church, I had all the "helpers" back at the church waiting. You should have seen the looks on their faces, leaders included! I then spoke quickly about how sometimes life feels like a race, and we are always striving for the ultimate goal. In life that is reaching the celestial kingdom with our families, in this game it was coming in first. However no matter how anxiously we are engaged in this righteous cause, we can never forget about our brothers and sisters that need our help. I think it had a powerful effect on everyone in attendance, and I hope the youth will remember it for years to come.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

Tonight we have a really fun activity planned. We are putting together and taking around Welcome to the Neighborhood packets for new families that have just moved into the ward.
These are just file folders that I am letting the girls decorate. Then we are going to fill them with things like: copy of our city newsletter, library calendar of events, ward directory, ward map, babysitting list, coupons and menus from local businesses, etc.
Of course you can't take a neighbor gift without treats so we will have some cookies too, and before that a little lesson on loving thy neighboor.
I found this idea on Sugardoodle, if you are not aware of that site, you should check it out!! They have some great ideas that help get the creative juices flowing :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Papparazzi Personal Progress!!

My Beehive class president had a fun idea for our activity tonight. Usually the first activity of each month is a personal progress activity, but since we had a Stake Standards night this month we had to move it to this week. My cute little president thought it would be fun to have a "Papparazzi Personal Progress night". I also thought it was a great idea, and I am excited to see how it turns out!

With the theme of paparrazi, I wanted this to be a chance to get to know all the girls, just like the papparazzi know ALL the details about celebraties. So to start off I have a bunch of magazines that the girls will be able to cut up and make a collage of all things that describe them. After that we will go around and each girl will explain her collage and get her picture taken with it :)

After that I want to talk quickly about how the world views celebraties, and how the girls themselves view them. I want to work in Individual Worth, and the knowledge that even if we aren't famous, we are still precious daughters of God. I made up this cute little hand out with a poem:

I am attaching this to a cellophane bag with a star-shaped rice krispie treat inside. We will finish by picking an Individual Worth value experience to get started on.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Good Clean Fun Activity

Tonight we are having an activity titled "Good, clean fun!" For this activity we are going to be going to a local park and playing kickball. However, before we do that we will be having a little lesson on the importance of wholesome recreation. I am using the Proclomation to the Family and the For The Strenght of Youth Pamphlet as the basis for my quick lesson. Since today was also the first day of school for most of our girls I want to focus on the importance of choosing good friends and some fun ways they can come up with to have some good clean fun!

This is going to be one of our more simple activities, but I had to do something a little creative, so here are the cute little guys we are having for refreshments in celebration for the first day of school!