Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So long, farewell...

When a season for serving in Young Women's is over, it's a time of mixed feelings.  All those long months or years of worrying about the girls and attending ALL the meetings and activities come to a close.  It is always nice to have the girls give a little memento of thanks.  As our most recent Young Women's President moved on, I purchased a plain white bag from Jo Ann's but was unsure what to do with it.  I decided to trim it with three rows of ribbon across the top and across the handles and embellished it with a few buttons for a little extra touch.  Each girl was given a fabric marker to add a short message.  Each leader leaves her mark and she will be missed.  We hope our little gift helps her remember how she touched our lives.   

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

College Prep

BYU Bell Tower
Second year Laurels are looking forward to college.  A great class activity is a College Prep night.  We prepared a packet with several lists for survival away from home in an apartment or dorm:  What to have in your medicine chest, pantry, fridge, and cupboards.  Include a list of basic cleansers.  A page can be attached on "Doing Your Laundry," "How to Budget," "Quick and Easy Recipes."  I like to attach some basic safety rules like not admitting strangers, asking for ID, not leaving your house keys at an auto shop, always tell a friend where you will be, etc.  Another helpful item is what to do for sickness - what to take for cold, cough, upset stomach and a list of things you might like to have like a screwdriver, hammer, first aid kit, and flashlight.  There is a lot of room for discussion and fun story sharing.  We occasionally like to throw a "College Shower" for the graduating Laurels in our Young Women's group to help them acquire some of these things.  It can be an exciting and a little unnerving time for them.  It's great to help them become prepared to leave home.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Okay.  I admit it.  I am somewhat compulsive.  I got tired of always trying to figure out some activity to do next week.  After being in the program for a few years, I decided it was time to get my act together and calendar a years' worth of activities.  I takes a little doing but is such a relief in the long run.  Of course, with Young Women, it is highly flexible and nothing is set in stone.  Everything is subject to change. 

My first step is to get all the Young Women together for a brainstorming session.  We use old calendars, idea books, and previous activities as a guide.  It is just a relaxed evening usually held at my home.  Naturally, there is alway something to eat.  I tell the girls and the leaders to write down every activity they can think of that they liked or think they would like to try.   Ideas are put out and discussed and I try to gauge the enthusiasm level.  I collect all the lists and get ready to plan.

I like to do this in August or September when the school calendars come out here.  I had teenagers in the house and had to keep track of a lot of these activities already.  First, I pre-print a calendar with the dates that apply to Young Women activities and armed with those, my Stake Calendar, and a monthly calendar, I begin.  Some things are a given...Bishop's Fireside on the a preset Sunday, Dances, Conferences, Stake Activities, Temple trips, and Camp. Dates for New Beginnings and YW in Excellence are calendared. I add in all dates of finals, proms, school breaks, and holidays.  It is surprising how little there is really left to plan.  One week a month is left for class activities and one week is left for Young Men/Young Women activities.  Then I start plugging in activities from the list--one's wanted by all, one's wanted by a class, and one's we as leaders think are important . Voila!  A year calendar.  I keep a copy, give copies to my leaders, one to the Bishop, and one to the YM President. 

It takes me about an afternoon to do and saves me so much headache and last minute scrambling.  No more searching for something on Sunday to do on Tuesday.  Of course, life happens and things change.   At times a new Stake calendar can throw a wrench in the best laid plans.  Often all that needs to be done is to switch dates.  Like I said, maybe I'm a bit compulsive but this works well for me and is a relief to have it done, ready to go.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Get to Know You Night

We had a lot of fun playing "Inside the YW Studio"(patterned after "Inside the Actors' Studio").  The panel was made up of all Young Women leaders.  Questions were placed on strips of paper in a basket to be drawn by each Young Women in turn.  Questions included such things as:  "Where did you and your husband go on your first date?", "Do you paint your toenails?", "What is your favorite word?", "If you were stranded on a deserted island, what two items would you want to have with you?", etc., and anything else we thought they might want to know about someone.  It was all in fun and one of the most successful activities we have ever had.  We allowed them to embellish some of the questions (What color toenail polish?) and we were as honest as possible.  It was fun to see the difference in personalities of the leaders, especially since there was a range in ages from 60 to 22, and get to know use.  We had great fun!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4

Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima by Joe Rosenthal for the Associated Press
"I reverence the Constitution of the United States as a sacred document. To me its words are akin to the revelations of God, for God has placed His stamp of approval on the Constitution of this land. I testify that the God of heaven sent some of His choicest spirits to lay the foundation of this government, and He has sent other choice spirits—even you who read my words—to preserve it."  Ezra Taft Benson.

My undying gratitude to all who have served.