Thursday, October 25, 2012


Last night was our Young Women in Excellence event! It went great! This post will explain the program, refreshments, and decorations we used. To see my original post on YWIE ideas that we had brainstormed (some we used, some we didn't), click here

Our theme was "Arise & Shine" and we tried to use mostly yellow/gold and light elements in our decorations and refreshments to support the theme.


Our program went as follows (I've removed the specific names for this post, of course):

  Young Women in Excellence

Welcome - (Laurel Class Presidency member)
Opening Song- There is Sunshine in My Soul Today, Hymn 227
Opening Prayer- (member of the Mia Maid Class Presidency) 
Introduction to the Young Women Program & Presentation of Classes - (Young Women President)*
The Young Women Value Colors - (the Young Women)
Young Women Motto & Logo - (1st Counselor in Young Women Presidency)
Young Women Theme - (2nd Counselor in the Young Women Presidency)
Overview of Personal Progress - (Young Women Secretary)
Musical number - Teach me to Walk in the Light 
Speaker- (One of the younger girls who has been doing Personal Progress talked about her experiences)
Speaker- (One of the older girls who has been doing Personal Progress talked about her experiences)
Bishopric Remarks- (Bishop)
Closing Prayer - (member of the Beehive Class Presidency)

*this is where we had each class presidency come up and explain the class symbol, etc 
found on page 4 of the Personal Progress book

     For the Value Colors portion of the program, we selected 8 girls to each read the symbolic meaning   behind each of the value colors and then place a coordinating colored flower into a vase at the front of the room. At the end of this presentation, the vase was filled with a bouquet of all of the value colors.

      Here is the information about the value colors that we used:


Ardeth Kapp, a former general Young Women president, says that the colors used to represent the values have no significant religious meaning by themselves, but they can be helpful as symbolic reminders of the principles behind the values:

·     White is symbolic of purity and Faith

·     Divine Nature reminds us of God’s creations, the blue sky, and
      all that is divine

·     Individual Worth is red because it is bold and confident

·     Knowledge is green because it is symbolic of growth

·     Choice and Accountability, two values together, is represented       
      by putting two colors together (red and yellow make orange)

·     Good Works brings sunshine, happiness, and light, so it is
      represented by yellow

·     Integrity is purple: the color of royalty and righteousness

·     The color of Virtue is gold. Gold is precious, but must be refined.
      As you live a virtuous life, you will be refined by your life's
      experiences, and as you 'trust in the Lord' and draw closer to
      Him, He will 'make your heart as gold'   


We served a variety of yellow, orange, and gold colored refreshments, shown above: cupcakes, lemon bars, petit fours (instructions found here), and jars of assorted types of yellow candy (lemon heads, jelly beans, etc). We also had "sunshine punch" (not pictured above, but the recipe can be found here). 

I used an eclectic arrangement of cake plates, jars, and cupcake holders (mainly in white, gold, and crystal) which were accented with white doilies and yellow ribbon. To make fancy candy jars, I did something like this (gluing dollar store glass jars to dollar store candle holders). It was easy & cheap! I used "crystal" candle sticks, so I didn't need to paint them.

We made little cards for each type of food (not that it wasn't obvious what they were, it was just cute!) Even though most foods and the punch were yellow, we tried to avoid having lemon-overload (since I imagine that some people don't like lemon). Instead of using lemon cupcakes, I made yellow cupcakes (from a mix) and when I made the frosting (Wilton's standard buttercream recipe found here) I dyed it yellow/orange but flavored it with mango extract. 

Since we have several people who need gluten-free refreshments, we had gluten-free cupcakes (which were marked with a toothpick sign that said, "This cupcake is gluten-free!")


The Beehive class worked very hard on the decorations, but sadly not all of the photos turned out, so I will show you what I can.... First off, they made these mason jar candle holders with twine and used battery-operated tealight candles to light them (see photos of refreshments, above). These jars were placed all around the cultural hall - on the refreshment table, on each of the girls' display tables, etc. We had the lights dimmed to enhance the effect (which explains the mood-lighted photos!)

They also made paper medallions (using yellow & gold scrapbook paper) and pre-cut glittery cardboard letter stickers to spell out "Arise & Shine" on the wall. They also had more of these medallions on another wall, white christmas lights with white tulle lining the stage, and tissue-paper pom-poms hanging over the door. I'm very sorry that I don't have photos of these other decorations, but trust me, they were cute! Here are the links to instructions for some of these decorations that will hopefully give you an idea of what I'm describing:

Photos & tutorial links for tissue pom-poms and paper medallions here

And they also had a display table with t-shirts from the various conferences, camps, etc that girls had gone to this year:


In my opinion, the best part of the night was after the program when we got to walk around and look the display tables that the girls had set up. They were asked to bring items that represent their talents, interests, and accomplishments (especially those that are related to Personal Progress, if possible). In the weeks before YWIE, we had been reminding the girls to start preparing for their display and I gave out this handout to help them:

"Each girl will have her own “display table” on display that night that will feature items that represent her personal interests, talents, and accomplishments. Please come a little early to set up your display table so that we can start the program on time.


Choose items that represent your talents, especially those things that you have been doing in 2012. Here are some suggestions of things you might consider including in your display:

· Something you’ve made (art, etc)
· Sports-related items (shoes, trophies, uniform, etc)
· Things you collect
· Items that represent other accomplishments (like girls camp certification, school honor roll,
    music lessons, awards from clubs you are involved in, etc)
· Items or photos that represent your work in Personal Progress (for example, photos of a project
    you did, or items you made as part of a Personal Progress Project)

You can also add as much “flair” to your table as you want – bring photos of yourself, tablecloths, flowers, etc – whatever you want to make your table your own. Your table should represent you, your talents, and your accomplishments"

All of the girls did a great job! We provided name signs (printed on paper and mounted on yellow cardstock) for each of the girls, so it would be easy to identify whose table was whose. Here are just a few of the tables that they did:
(My daughter, Kendall)



  1. trying to plan this year's YW in excellence and this post was very helpful! Cute ideas! Thank you!!

  2. This was so helpful to me! I'm a new YW president in a new ward and we didn't know where to start. Thank you so much!

  3. Wonderfull. I am a Stake Young Women Leader in France, Nice Stake. Thank you for your great ideas !
    Gigi Dussère

  4. Perfect for new YW Presidents! My aunt will love this