Friday, August 15, 2014

PIE-THROWING FOR CAMP CERTIFICATION!


After learning that a number of the girls from our ward did not complete their certification at Girls Camp last year (in some cases because they didn't do the scripture-study portion), I really wanted to encourage all of the girls in our ward to certify for the year at Girls Camp this summer.

Throwing pies at my face is always favorite activity, and its been a while since we've done it, so I offered this challenge as an added incentive: any girl from our ward who goes to Girls Camp and completes their certification for the year gets to throw a pie in my face. We planned to do this at the end of an activity (the Mutual activity following the Stake fireside when the certification awards were presented). This was a couple of weeks after Camp, but gave the girls a chance to get any loose ends tied up.

I also provided an alternative for those girls who didn't go to Girls Camp (for whatever reason) - if they completed ONE new Personal Progress Value Experience before the Stakewide post- Girls Camp fireside (and I personally signed it off for them) they could also qualify to throw a pie at my face.

This was how I advertised (using photo from a previous pie-throwing event):



We had 14 girls go to Girls Camp this year and 13 of them certified. At least 2 of the girls who certified for this year had not certified when they went to Camp last year. BIG SUCCESS!


As usual, there was less "throwing" and more "smashing"....My daughter was first in line to smash a pie in my face! 










Thursday, July 31, 2014

WATER BALLOON VOLLEYBALL

I WOULD DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS FOR AN OUTSIDE ACTIVITY ON A WARM/HOT DAY! (THE KIDS DIDN'T GET TOTALLY SOAKED, BUT EVERYBODY GOT SPRINKLED A BIT WHEN BALLOONS HIT THE GROUND - OR A TREE BRANCH!)


YOU WILL NEED:
A VOLLEYBALL NET (OUR CHURCH BUILDING HAS ONE)
 20 (OR MORE) SMALL WATER BALLOONS (FILLED) -
I PUT THEM IN A PLASTIC BIN TO KEEP THEM OFF THE GROUND
6 TOWELS (BEACH TOWEL OR BATH TOWEL SIZE) -3 FOR EACH TEAM

FORTUNATELY, IN OUR CHURCH PARKING LOT, THERE ARE 2 TREES THAT ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TOGETHER THAT WE COULD PUT THE NET UP BETWEEN THEM (TYING THE ENDS AROUND THE TREES - SEE PHOTO BELOW)...


 IF YOU HAVE FREE-STANDING VOLLEYBALL POSTS AT YOUR BUILDING, YOU COULD PROBABLY TAKE THEM OUTSIDE. 
IF YOU DON'T HAVE A NET, YOU COULD STRING A ROPE BETWEEN TWO STRINGS (THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO GET THE BALLOONS OVER) AND TIE THEM BETWEEN TREES OR POSTS. YOU COULD EVEN HAVE YOUTH TAKE TURNS HOLDING A NET (OR ROPE).

I WOULD NOT DO THIS ACTIVITY INSIDE A GYM/CULTURAL HALL - THE WATER SPRAYS EVERYWHERE AND IT WOULD BE SLIPPERY!

IT TOOK A COUPLE OF TURNS FOR THE YOUTH TO GET THE HANG OF IT - IT IS NOT AS EASY AS IT LOOKS!



WE DIDN'T HAVE STRICT RULES, ONE GROUP WOULD GET A BALLOON AND ONE TEAM WOULD TRY TO LAUNCH IT TO THE OTHER SIDE. THEN THE OTHER GROUP WOULD GET A TURN. WE DIDN'T REALLY KEEP SCORE OR TRY TO PASS - IT WAS VERY CASUAL! WE ROTATED KIDS IN AND OUT AND CHANGED TEAMS EVERY SO OFTEN.





MOST OF THE BALLOONS DIDN'T MAKE IT OVER, BUT THEY SEEMED TO HAVE A LOT OF FUN TRYING!









A BIG BAG OF WATER BALLOONS COST ABOUT $3, SO IT WAS A FUN AND LOW-COST SUMMER ACTIVITY!

I FILLED ABOUT 20 BALLOONS AND THEY WERE ABLE TO PLAY FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES (THIS WAS THE FIRST 1/2 OF OUR ACTIVITY). THEY SAID THAT NEXT TIME, WE SHOULD HAVE MORE BALLOONS SO THEY CAN PLAY LONGER! I WOULD RECOMMEND 50 FILLED BALLOONS FOR AN HOUR WORTH OF PLAY WITH ONE NET.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Girls Camp Treats 2014



We usually send treats up with the Bishopric to Girls Camp on their Bishopric Night. The Bishopric also bring their own treats (usually ice cream sundaes) but I like to send along reinforcements from the YW Presidency as well. Most of us in the Presidency haven't been able to go along because of work, health, or other obligations, so we like the girls to know that we're thinking of them. I also make one for each YW Leader who is there from our ward (whether they are there in a Ward or Stake capacity)


We have one girl and one leader with Celiac disease (very serious gluten allergy), so I have to be careful about what I send. I don't want anyone to feel left out. 

I've seen on Pinterest that Starburst candies are delicious when roasted over a campfire (like you would roast a marshmallow). I haven't tried it myself, but it seemed like something the girls would like (and Starbursts are gluten-free).

I bought a couple of big bags of Starbursts and put several in some small jewelry-sized bags (I already had these, you can buy them at Walmart in the jewelry section).  For the bag sizes I had, 3 Starbursts fit inside perfectly.





I made instruction labels (I put them inside the bags) and name labels, then stapled them to the bags of candy with ribbon.















Easy and inexpensive!




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Personal Progress Board UPDATE

Our Personal Progress Board was starting to look a little rough over the past few months. Some of the chipboard letter stickers kept falling off, and a few of them were lost somewhere between the YW room and the closet. For the past few weeks we've had a "Personal _rogress" board that I was too embarrassed to bring out of the closet. We had also had a bunch of new girls come into YW, so we were needing to update the charts as well.

So I brought it home this last weekend after church and gave it a makeover. I added new letters and printed new charts. This time I also made a separate section for the Honor Bee charts.

To make the charts, I simply made a Numbers spreadsheet (I have a Mac, you could use Excel) with the number of rows/columns I wanted, then added color to each row to correspond with the value color. Each chart has its own name at the top. For the Honor Bee charts, I also used a Numbers spreadsheet and then included a spot to mark completion of the Book of Mormon and mentoring.

See my photos of the new and improved board!








You can find the post about the original board and its predecessors on my blog HERE

Thursday, June 19, 2014

2ND ANNUAL FHE MUTUAL & PIE-EATING CONTEST




Last night we had our 2nd Annual Family Home Evening Mutual Combined YM/YW Activity! 

Unlike our other Mutual activities, the leaders plan & carry out this whole activity so the kids can just enjoy (and see how its supposed to go). 

We started this activity last year after some of the YW in our ward commented that "nobody does Family Home Evening anymore Sister Rogers- thats old-fashioned" and I began to worry that they were right. How many of the kids were having FHE (or even knew what FHE was)? We have a number of less-active and non-member kids that attend Mutual but don't attend Church. This is a great way to get kids excited about FHE and maybe encourage it in their own homes. We try to emphasize that FHE should be fun and that the most important thing is that you spend time together.

We had this handy board (that I made from a poster-board and word-strips that I printed on scrapbook paper at home) so the kids could see what was coming up next....


We asked youth to do the prayers, the leaders did everything else.

One of the YW leaders taught some Primary songs (with actions) like Popcorn Popping, Once There Was a Snowman, and Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.

I did the lesson, which was a short explanation of what FHE is and why its great (helps families get along better, good opportunity to spend time together, a chance for everyone to be heard, etc). 
Then I gave them an example of what a FHE lesson could be:

Then I demonstrated an object lesson on media standards by offering the youth some s'mores candy* that I had made earlier that day, but had "accidentally dropped" in the grass on the way to the car, right after my husband had mowed the lawn. (Really, I had purposefully sprinkled some dry dill -sort of looks like grass clippings- on top of the candy and roughed them up a bit to make them look like I had actually dropped them). 


When I offered the candy to the youth, they were hesitant. I told them that they were still mostly good, and they could probably just pick the grass out and they would be okay. A few kids were about attempt it when I mentioned that there MIGHT have been some dog poop on the lawn, but that I thought I'd wiped most of it off. Suddenly, nobody wanted the candy anymore! I said that they could probably just eat around any part that might look like it had touched dog poop, or maybe try to rinse them off or something, but that the candies were still mostly good. You should have seen the looks on some of these kids faces - they were totally grossed out! Some of them thought I was nuts! "Sister Rogers - are you trying to kill us?" I made my way around the room, offering each person a candy, and nobody took one!

Finally, I admitted that I hadn't dropped the candies at all - it was an "object lesson" meant to teach a principle. Many times we justify watching a movie or listening to a song because there is just "one bad part" or "just 5 or 6 bad words". If "just one part" isn't good, is watching or listening to or reading it really that great of an idea?

*you could use any kind of candy, cookie, brownie, etc. You don't really have to use the fake grass, but I think the "grass" really convinced them that the candy had been dropped. This idea has been around for a while - I was sort of surprised that the youth didn't catch on right away!

To wrap up, I showed them this classic Mormonad:



and we discussed how it related to my "tainted" candy. You can find all of the Mormonads (printable) on the church website by clicking on the photo above.

The crowning event of our annual FHE activity is our pie-eating contest, which is always tons of fun! We've found it easiest to use whipped-cream-only pies (no crust) in mini pie tins.

Here are a few photos from this year (this was a combined ym/yw activity and we had a pretty big turn-out, but strangely the only photos that turned out were mostly of the girls!)



For more specifics on how we run our annual FHE activity, see the original post about how to do a FHE Mutual Activity here 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

NO-BAKE COOKIE COOK-OFF

"No-Bake Cookie Cook-off" - try saying THAT fast 5 times!


For a recent Beehive Class Activity, we learned to make no-bake cookies.

Ever competitive, the Beehive Class Presidency thought it would be fun to make it a competition. We selected 3 different types of no-bake cookie recipes and purchased the ingredients ahead of time. We also printed the recipes so that each team would have a copy of the recipe they were working on.

We did 3 teams (2 girls on a team), but if you have a larger class you could either have more teams or more girls per team.




We made Peanut-Butter No-Bake Cookies (recipe HERE), Nutella No-Bake Cookies (recipe HERE), and traditional No-Bake Cookies (recipe HERE)

I thought for sure that the Nutella cookies (a big favorite among some of our YW) would be the winner, but everyone liked the Peanut-Butter and traditional versions of the cookies best.

I would recommend making the cookies at the beginning of your activity and refrigerating them so that they "set" - then you can play a game or something and eat/judge the cookies at the end!

This was a relatively low-cost activity, since rolled oats, sugar, etc are fairly low in price and you don't use much of the more expensive ingredients (peanut butter, nutella, etc).  A bonus is that the refreshments are part of the activity! And if you are careful with the ingredients, these cookies can be gluten-free, if that is a concern for any of your girls (there is no flour in these recipes, but check the label


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Adapting the Virtue Value Project (Personal Progress) for Special Needs





After reviewing (adapted) Personal Progress Value Experience with a young woman in our ward, she asked me how many more projects she needs to do to complete the program. I explained that there are ___ experiences left, and also eight 10-hour projects. 

I told her that one of the projects she can start right now is reading the Book of Mormon. I suggested that she start with that now, since it may take quite a while. She seemed excited about that, but wondered how she could keep track of what she's read, especially since she reads scriptures on her father's Kindle. She asked if there was some sort of chart that she could get to help her remember.

I have seen many charts that help you track scripture reading, so I set out to find one for her today. Most of them available online show the entire Book of Mormon on one chart, but I thought that might be confusing or overwhelming for her.

Then I came across these charts that track scripture reading one book at a time (and it looks like some of the longer books of the Book of Mormon are broken up into several different pages).  I've included some examples below- Click on one of the pictures to go to the source site. They are free to use.

I plan to include one of these at a time in her Personal Progress notebook (as explained in my post "Adapting Personal Progress for Special Needs") and replace with the next new chart as needed