Every year there is a new theme that the youth in our church try and model their lives after, for the current year and hopefully throughout their lives. I love working with the youth. I'm sure they teach me far more than I could ever teach them. And it's so much fun!
This year's theme is:
Stand ye in Holy Places
At the beginning of the year we try to prepare an evening focused on the new theme. One of the purposes of New Beginnings is to teach young women and their parents the purposes of the YW organization and to review plans for the upcoming year.
The young women planned an awesome evening.
We started off by issuing a formal challenge to all the dads of the young women. They were to memorize the entire Young Women Theme and be prepared to recite it at the upcoming New Beginnings. Our dads worked hard and to our surprise every dad took on the challenge!
Other preparations included an outline of each young woman on butcher paper. After they were traced and cut out the young women were asked to create YOU on the body form.
During the evening each dad would again be challenged. They were to search for their daughter's shoes, found on the shoe table and then place it by the body form they thought was their daughter.
Ballet shoes, track shoes, fancy shoes, high tops, sandals, flip flops...we had them all. The shoes were to represent the many areas and places in their lives that young women can Stand in Holy Places.
"It is the time to seek places where the Spirit can be present..."
(Elaine S. Dalton, YW General President)
The dads came through in a big way! All shoes matched up with the right girl. And I don't think they even needed help!
The tables were decorated in Value Colors with light refreshments on each. We thought it would be less disruptive if all the goodies were on each of the tables instead of having one refreshment table that might be visited often during the program.
Each young woman there received several reminders of the year's theme and a few take home treats.
This little reminder was fun and simple to create. Just cut out the pocket, fold and glue, then slide a Hersey Bar inside.
Once the pocket was complete with candy bar we also included this message from Jan Pinborough's Five Reasons to Love Personal Progress found on the LDS website here.
Whooo do you want to be?
What kind of person do you wish to become? Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Fulfilling your dreams can start with one Personal Progress goal. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. As you set and accomplish the small goals of your Personal Progress experiences...great changes will take place in your personal life and in who you are. You will notice those changes as you become more like our Savior.
If you are like many young women, your life is packed with a lot of good things. You have school, homework, music lessons, sports, hanging out with friends, family time, church meetings and activities, an after school job,..etc. How could you possibly fit in Personal Progress?
Sunday is a great day to pull out your Personal Progress book and work on some goals, read some scriptures, read a conference talk, etc.
Personal Progress helps you make time for things that will be important to you long after a test score or sports event have passed.
Personal Progress allows you to "get credit" for all the good things in your life you are already doing. Take time and make time for Personal Progress.
We introduced the new Beehives for the year and each girl received this fun gift. The young girls coming into the program were also challenged to memorize the YW theme before New Beginnings. All four girls recited it beautifully.
One of our young women received her YW medallion, the culminating award for years of accomplishing all the goals and projects required.
Claire was asked to write a few of her thoughts about Personal Progress on the blackboard sign. She didn't know at the time that it would be anything other than for display, but at the end of the evening she was asked to take it home and put it in a place where she could see it often to remind her of this special day.
At Claire's special request she asked all of the young women leaders in her life to pose for a picture with her. Many were not there...but to those who were, Claire expressed her love and made the statement that she was grateful for the many women in her life that were willing to spend hours and hours being an example, a friend and leader and helping her to shape her life for good. Claire is an exceptional young lady and will no doubt be an excellent young women leader in the future.
The beautiful pennants were created by Emmie Cakes. Found the wooden flowers at Rod Works.
At the end of the evening the leaders had prepared a DVD that spotlighted each young women in a place where she felt good, and felt the Spirit. One of the places that was mentioned was in the Temple Square's Tabernacle during Youth Conference.
It's fun to be a part of an inspired program for amazing young women. We look forward to seeing and hearing about the great things they accomplish this year.