Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Personal Progress - getting creative!



"Who wants to throw a pie?"

A few days ago, I mentioned to my husband that I was trying to think of ways to encourage the Mia Maids to get involved with Personal Progress. My husband joked that maybe if I said that they could throw pies in my face, that might be incentive enough? (That might seem like a strange idea out of context, but some of the girls had actually been requesting "throwing pies" as a Mutual activity relentlessly for the past several months. I'm pretty strict about sticking to our Value theme for the month, so its been a little difficult to work that into our plans, since throwing pies doesn't exactly match up with any of the YW Values!)

Anyhow, my husband and I laughed at the thought about offering throwing a pie at me as an incentive, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. My husband (a member of the Bishopric) even volunteered himself as a potential pie-victim. I thought he was joking at first, but he said he was serious. "Hey," he said,  if it gets them started on Personal Progress, I will do it" (What a great husband, eh?)

I know, I know- it probably seems a little unorthodox and bizarre, but I've put it out there! I included  a handout (along with my monthly Mia Maid newsletter for the girls in the class and their parents), complete with pictures of people getting hit in the face with pies!

Of course I'm not suggesting that everyone run out and do the same- this might not be the right thing for your situation and your girls. I'm just suggesting that we can think out of the box when it comes to encouraging the young women to work on Personal Progress! I'm willing to look a little foolish if it gets them started.

If you're wondering what I told the girls, please know that I was very careful to be specific about what would be required if they want to participate. Here is my exact wording:


"Brother & Sister Rogers really want to encourage the Mia Maids to get excited about Personal Progress! Since I’ve had many requests to have “throwing pie in peoples faces” as a Mutual activity, we’ve decided to offer a special reward for girls who work on Personal Progress during the rest of 2012.

For every 10-hour VALUE PROJECT that is started, completed, and signed-off (between October 31st and December 5th), the Mia Maid who has done the project can THROW A PIE IN THE FACE OF EITHER SISTER ROGERS OR BROTHER ROGERS at the end of an upcoming Mutual activity. We will supply the pie!

Here are the details:

  • This offer is for official Mia Maids only (girls in our ward, ages 14-15)
  • Projects must be started, completed and signed-off between the dates of October 31st and December 5th. Projects that have already been started before October 31st will not count for this offer. New projects only!
  • Projects must be signed-off and approved by Sister Rogers to qualify
  • You can do any approved 10-hour Value Project for any Value that you have not already completed.  
(On the same page, I included the following list of suggestions for 10-hour Value Projects - see below. I tried to choose simple projects that I thought would be of interest to the girls, hoping that they would see that doing a 10-hour Value Project might not be as big of an ordeal as they imagine)

"Here are some ideas for simple 10-hr Value Projects that you might want to do:

· Babysit for free (10 hours or more) for parents who want to attend ward choir practice or stake choir practice. Practice for Stake Choir is Sunday nights from 630-830pm through November only, and Ward Choir practice is starting soon (time TBA). If you need help determining which parents might need babysitting, see Sister Rogers (possible “Good Works” Value Project)

· Memorize the document “The Family – A Proclamation to the World” (possible “Faith” Value Project)

· Compile a family testimony book. Get each member of your family (including yourself) to write their testimony. Collect them and type them all up and create a book by making a cover and stapling them all together, or put each of the testimonies in sheet-protectors and put all of them in a notebook. Add a recent photo of each person to go along with their testimony. If this takes less than 10 hours, you can add the testimonies of additional family members (grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc) to make a larger book (possible “Individual Worth” Value Project)

· Learn how to cook 2 healthy & complete meals that you’ve never cooked before (using cookbooks, or by having a relative or leader teach you). Read Doctrine & Covenants section 89. Each meal you learn to prepare should follow the guidelines for health that we have from the Word of Wisdom, but also make adaptations for any special dietary restrictions in your family. Practice cooking each of these 2 meals for your family to eat on different days (at least once each)  and clean up any mess you've made afterward (possible “Knowledge” Value Project)"



Even if none of the girls want to take me up on my pie-throwing offer, I will still have accomplished two things: #1, the girls will be thinking about Personal Progress and considering working on it, even if only for a few minutes, and #2- the parents will be reminded of Personal Progress (and hopefully see how important it is to their daughter's leader).


See my original post on "sparking interest in Personal Progress" here (or click on the label "Personal Progress" on the right side of this page).


UPDATE: Our Young Women Secretary(and Personal Progress specialist) also recently offered an incentive to all of the YW in our ward. She is an Esthetician and is offering a FANCY facial and skin care advice to any girl that completes a 10-hour project during a specific 1-month span. She is even allowing girls who already have partially-completed projects to finish them up and earn the incentive. This has been a great incentive for our girls!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Don't be like those girls in horror movies!


"Don't be like those girls in horror movies!"

The name of this activity and some of the scenarios that I will bring up are sort of tongue-in-cheek.  I'm tackling some very serious issues, here, but trying to liven it up a little bit with some comedy. Some of the items we will be discussing (below) are jokes and some are not (I'm sure you can tell which are which!). To build interest in the activity, I will give the girls a handout (the Sunday before this activity) with this photo (above) and the name of the activity: "Don't be like those girls in horror movies!"

The basic idea of this activity is that we don't want to put ourselves in situations were we can become victims of violent crime. Most people know the sterotype of the air-headed, scantily clad babysitter (or co-ed, or camper, etc) that goes into the dark basement/woods alone to investigate a noise, no matter how many times you yell "Don't go in there!" at the screen.

The point is, its easy to anticipate a bad situation in a scary movie, but a lot of girls don't see the 'warning signs' in their own lives. The standards in For the Strength of Youth help us to avoid a lot of potentially bad situations.

I mention some of the possible situations that teen girls might find themselves in. I am the 1st Counselor in our Ward YW Presidency, so I primarily work with the Mia Maids (who are under 16, which is the Church-sanctioned dating age).  However, there are some girls who begin dating before 16 in one way or another anyhow. Even if they do wait until 16 to begin dating, not all physical/sexual assaults are date-related. I feel that the girls should be aware of these issues before that time comes. Since young and naive girls are often victims of date-related violence because they are targeted for their naivity, learning about this issue sooner is better than later. Recent statistics show that 1 in 5 teen girls has been the victim of physical and/or sexual assault from someone they have dated. That is just unacceptable we must take steps to help the girls protect themselves!


AVOID POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SITUATIONS LIKE


  • WALKING HOME AT NIGHT (ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT, THROUGH A CEMETERY WITH SOMEONE WHO MAY BE A WEREWOLF AND/OR ZOMBIE) (ESPECIALLY IF THE SONG "THRILLER" IS PLAYING). If you must walk alone at night, be aware of your surroundings, walk confidently, and run to the nearest house of business if you feel threatened. Yell and scream like crazy for help if necessary. Its better to embarrass yourself than to be attacked.
 
  • TAKING SUBSTANCES (LIKE ALCOHOL OR DRUGS) THAT ALTER YOUR SENSE OF JUDGEMENT AND LESSEN YOUR ABILITY TO CONTROL YOUR SURROUNDINGS. Also be careful what you drink at parties, even drinks that are non-alcoholic. While its unpleasant to think about, drugs can be placed in a drink (without your knowledge) that can alter your judgement, erase your memory, and/or make you unconscious. These are called "roofies" or "date-rape drugs" and are often undetectable to the person drinking them. This trick is common at high school and college parties. Be on the safe side - Get your own soda from an unopened can and don't drink it if its been out of your sight.


  • BEING ALONE IN A PARKED CAR IN THE WOODS WITH A BOY (EVEN WORSE WHEN THERE IS A HOOK-HANDED HOMICIDAL MANIAC ON THE LOOSE!). DISCUSS WHAT POSSIBLE SCENARIOS COULD HAPPEN IF A COUPLE IGNORES THIS RULE? Even if you don't intend to 'cross the line', there are many instances where a girl is forced to do things that she doesn't want to do. This almost always happens in private so that there is no one to hear if the girl calls for help. This is one of the reasons why we are strongly cautioned about single-dating and being alone with our dates in private locations.
    84 % of women who have been sexually attacked knew their attacker and 57 % of the attacks have happened while on dates. This isn't a problem just for college-age girls,
    38% of reported sexual assaults involved girls who were between the ages of 14 and 17.

  • BEING ALONE IN A BEDROOM WITH A BOY (ON A DATE OR EVEN 'JUST HANGING OUT'). ITS EASY TO GET OUT OF CONTROL WHEN THINGS 'JUST HAPPEN'. DISCUSS POSSIBLE SITUATIONS THAT COULD HAPPEN IF A COUPLE IGNORES THIS RULE. SEE FOR THE STRENGTH OF YOUTH FOR DATING GUIDELINES.

  • DATING OR BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH SOMEONE WHO IS POSSESSIVE, JEALOUS, OR CONTROLLING. OFTEN THESE BAD TRAITS DON'T COME OUT IN PUBLIC, THEY MAY ONLY ACT CONTROLLING WHEN YOU ARE ALONE. SOMETIMES BOYS WHO ARE VERY CONTROLLING ARE ABLE TO HIDE THEIR BAD SIDE UNTIL AFTER YOU ARE COMMITTED IN A RELATIONSHIP. THIS IS ONE OF THE MANY REASONS WHY ITS BEST TO KEEP DATING CASUAL IN YOUR TEENS. 

DATING WARNING SIGNS:
HE TRIES TO MAKE YOU FEEL GUILTY
HE PUTS YOU DOWN
HE BLAMES YOU FOR THINGS THAT AREN'T YOUR FAULT
HE TRIES TO KEEP YOU FROM SPENDING TIME WITH FRIENDS OR FAMILY
HE PRESSURES YOU FOR A SERIOUS COMMITMENT
HE PRESSURES YOU TO DO ANYTHING
HE IS SO JEALOUS THAT HE ACCUSES YOU OF FLIRTING WITH EVERYONE
HE NEEDS TO KNOW WHERE YOU ARE AT ALL TIMES, KEEPS TABS ON YOU
HE INTERFERES WITH YOUR PLANS AND DOESN'T CARE
HE NEEDS TO PRE-APPROVE WHAT YOU DO, SAY, AND WEAR
YOU'RE AFRAID TO MAKE HIM UPSET
HE'S BEEN VIOLENT WITH PREVIOUS GIRLFRIENDS/DATES
HE HAS BEEN VIOLENT WITH YOU 
HE THREATENS TO HURT HIMSELF, YOU, OR OTHERS
HE EMBARRASSES YOU IN PUBLIC 
HE GETS REALLY UPSET, BUT ALWAYS APOLOGIZES LATER AND SAYS "IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN"


THE SCARY THING IS, POSSESSIVE/CONTROLLING BEHAVIOR AND VIOLENCE ESCALATES (GETS WORSE) OVER TIME. GET HELP IF YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE BEING CONTROLLED OR THREATENED - IT WILL NOT GET BETTER, IT WILL GET WORSE!

IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF A VIOLENT CRIME IT IS IMPORTANT TO SEEK HELP FROM YOUR PARENTS (AND/OR YOUR CHURCH LEADERS OR ANOTHER TRUSTED ADULT) AND THE POLICE. Most incidents of relationship-abuse and date-related sexual assult go unreported. Why is that? Often because the victims feel that they are somehow to blame for what happened, they feel humiliated, they don't want to be ridiculed, or they fear that there will be retaliation from their attacker if they speak up. No matter what, violent attacks are never your fault and you must speak up and get help for two reasons: #1- to prevent it from happening again to someone else (or yourself) and #2- so that you can get medical and psychological help for yourself.

ISN'T IN BETTER TO JUST TRY TO PUT SOMETHING LIKE THAT BEHIND YOU AND FORGET IT? Victims of assault (especially sexual assault) often experience several problems with sleep (ie, nightmares, insomnia), problems eating normally, mood swings or depression, anger issues, difficulty trusting others, and more. It is better to seek help sooner rather than later because the sooner that you report the incident to the police, the greater the chances that they can gather evidence to bring the attacker to justice. The sooner you receive medical attention, the better for your physical and mental health, as well.


Here are a few horror-movie inspired theme treats that could go along with this message (any time of year!) and will hopefully help to lighten the mood a little bit after this 'heavy' topic....

Click on photo to link to recipe/tutorial
Click on photo to link to recipe/tutorial


crime  statistics sources: http://cctbeverycentcounts.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/date-rape-statistics-that-will-shock-you/

Thursday, October 25, 2012

YOUNG WOMEN IN EXCELLENCE (YWIE) 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.

PROGRAM: 

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:

 VALUE COLORS

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'   


REFRESHMENTS:



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!")


DECORATIONS:

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:




GIRLS DISPLAY TABLES:

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.

WHAT GOES ON YOUR DISPLAY TABLE?

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)




PLEASE CLICK ON THE 'YOUNG WOMEN IN EXCELLENCE' LABEL ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THIS BLOG TO SEE OTHER POSTS WITH IDEAS FROM OTHER YEARS

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

MISSION PREP IS LIFE PREP

Since President Monson announced the updated age requirements for young adults who want to serve missions (October 2012 General Conference, Saturday morning session), there has been a lot of "buzz" about even more young women wanting to serve full-time missions.

Our ward's YW President pointed out at our Presidency meeting that this implies some slight changes for us as youth leaders. Although full-time mission service is not mandatory or even expected for young women,  there are many young women who desire to serve. Since young women will be able to go at a younger age now (19 now instead of the previous required age of 21), this implies a greater responsibility for us as leaders to help prepare the young women spiritually, mentally, and physically so that they can be ready to serve if they wish to.


Since women had been serving missions no sooner than age 21, our specific emphasis used to be preparing the young women for their future responsibilities in the family, preparing for the temple, getting an education, etc. Since it would normally be at least 3 years between when the young women left YW and when they could go on a mission, it didn't seem very 'urgent' to prepare them for possible mission service, especially since it wasn't something that they necessarily 'had' to do.

As our Ward YW President mentioned, it might be something to spend a little more time and effort on now, especially since so many girls are now excited about the possibility of serving.

The Young Men are encouraged to go on full-time missions because it is part of their duty as priesthood holders. They are taught about full-time missions their entire lives. The Young Women may not have as much knowledge about full-time missions as their Young Men counterparts, but it is something that should be taught, now more than ever.

Even thought full-time missions are not something that all of the young women might be interested in, the skills that can be taught as part of mission-preparation really apply to all of their future responsibilities in the church, family, and community...


Here are some of the basic skills/attributes that missionaries need:
  • Public speaking
  • Being tactful/good manners
  • Temple worthiness
  • Laundry/minor sewing & clothing repairs/ironing
  • Basic cooking
  • Gospel Knowledge
  • Budgeting/Grocery shopping
  • Testimony
  • Stress-management/dealing with depression or homesicknesses
  • Personal care and healthy habits (grooming, nutrition, exercise)
  • Dressing modestly/appropriately for situation
And of course all of the these skills I have listed are also useful for our youth as they go to college and/or are moving away from home, or dating, getting married, becoming parents, job-hunting, being in the workforce, being a productive part of the community, serving in the church, etc. So really, you don't even have to say "Today we are going to learn how to sew on button because you need to know this for your mission"... we can just say "Today we are going to learn how to sew on a button because you will need to know this for when you move away from home (like for college or if you go on a mission)"

One excellent way to teach Young Women about mission service is to have a returned (Sister) missionary come and speak to them (for Mutual or maybe a fireside) about what it is like to serve. If they can share photos, souvenirs, etc that is a great addition. If you don't know of any women in your ward who have served full-time missions as a young adult, all you have to do is ask around in your Stake and you're sure to find someone! Preferably someone young! When I speak to youth about serving a mission, I try to emphasis the positive, but also make sure that they know that it is a sacred responsibility and that it can be difficult work...


For more ideas on specific ways to prepare youth (Young Men OR Young Women) for full-time mission service, there is an excellent special mission edition of The New Era available for purchase at www.lds.org (click here)  Its only $1.50 (free shipping) for this issue if you want to purchase it, or you can read & print any (or all) of the articles online for free (click here). This entire magazine talks about ways that youth can prepare (spiritually, mentally, physically, etc) to serve full-time missions and/or be member-missionaries. This special issue was put out in 2007, so the age requirements discussed some of the articles will not be current, but everything else will be relevant.

Please also check the "missionary work" and "preparing for missionary service" categories at the top of this page for more related posts on my blog. For example, we had a sister-missionary night that was a big success! Check out that specific post by clicking on the cake photo below:

 



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

WRITE ON! - MAKE A MORMONAD!


This activity has 3 main objectives: #1-to teach about Church periodicals (magazines, etc) that are available as a resource for the girls, #2- to learn about how to submit your own story, poetry, artwork,  etc to The New Era, and #3- to work on a project together (perhaps come up with an idea for a Mormonad*?) and submit it to the publishers for possible publication.


OBJECTIVE #1- Learn about all the different periodical publications that the Church puts out (The Ensign for adults, The New Era for youth, and The Friend for Primary age...there are also other publications, such as the Liahona magazine and the Church News)

(Please note: Most girls will probably be familiar with The New Era, but some may not get a subscription to it. This activity isn't meant to talk anyone into subscribing, but they may choose to subscribe after learning more about these publications. It would be good to be prepared with information on how to order in case someone is interested. Some Wards have a magazine representative who can help, or you can subscribe online here)

All of the Church magazines are very reasonably priced, but since many people get their information online now, it is helpful to make sure that the girls know that all of the Church magazines (The Ensign, The New Era, The Friend, etc) are available to view and/or download for FREE online.  Here is a link to the current issue of The New Era

OBJECTIVE #2- Most Young Women have probably seen The New Era magazine, but have they ever thought about submitting a story, activity idea, poem Mormonad, or cartoon for publishing? I think it would be so fun to have the girls work on something together (like a Mormonad*) and submit their idea(s) to The New Era!

If you look at The New Era, there is actually a wide variety of types of material used - not just stories - so there should be something that appeals to most everyone. This is a good chance for the girls to practice some of their natural talents. Some girls are very into writing, some are into photography or drawing, others might have a good activity ideas to share, etc. It is very important to know the guidelines of what the publishers will (and will not) accept so that things you submit are more likely to be published (sorry girls, no vampire-werewolf love triangle fiction!). Here are the specifics about what type of things The New Era is looking for:
Personal Experience Stories: We are looking for material that shows the gospel of
Jesus Christ at work in the lives of young Latter-day Saints. We welcome stories about
personal experiences, such as missionary work; conversion; family relationships;
healthy, nurturing friendships; and maintaining standards.

How I Know: A short (200- to 500-word) account of how you gained your testimony
or discovered the benefits of living a gospel principle. What led up to the event? What
was the experience like? How has it affected you?

Scripture Lifeline: A short (200- to 500-word) account of how you faced a trial and
found peace or a resolution by applying a particular scripture.

The Extra Smile: Cartoons and short, humorous anecdotes about Latter-day Saint life.

Instant Messages: Short personal experiences, original thoughts, and brief
explanations of favorite hymns and scriptures.

Mormonads: We accept ideas and suggested text for these parables-on-a-poster and
do the final writing and photography ourselves. Study previously published
Mormonads for examples of what works best.

Idea List: A short (300- to 400-word) list of ideas for youth on a variety of gospel topics with a brief introduction on how they can use the list.


Poetry: We accept most forms of poetry. Short poems under 30 lines are preferred.


Photos: With photo stories, we prefer digital photos, but we can also use prints.
Digital photos must be at least 300 dots per inch or taken on the largest setting of a
five-megapixel camera or bigger. We also accept artistic photos for the “Photo of the
Month” feature on the inside back cover.


Illustration: We use both color and black-and-white illustrations, but assignments are
made exclusively to artists who have shown their portfolio to our designers. You can
send images to or make an appointment with the designers to let them see your work
by using one of the addresses in “How to Prepare Your Manuscript” below.
 

Music: We occasionally publish short songs or hymns. All music entries are reviewed
and recommended for purchase by the Church Music Committee.

Click here for a link to the church website page where it explains the full New Era submission guidelines. Submission information (such as the address to send material to) is included on these pages, as well. You can also submit materials directly online at this page (links to the official church website)

OBJECTIVE #3- As a class (or broken up into teams) you could have the girls work on a project (or several projects) to actually submit to The New Era. At a recent Youth Conference, the youth in our area had a class where they worked on Mormonad ideas related to the theme of the Conference (and my daughter's team "won"!) Sounded like a lot of fun!

  

*What is a Mormonad? Click here to see some examples on the www.lds.org


Materials needed: A few copies of some recent issues of Church magazines, especially The New Era. Possibly paper and pencils, depending on what type of project(s) you want the girls to work on.

Purpose: Teach the girls about some of the publications available to them and how they can use their talents to submit stories or other ideas to The New Era for possible publication.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

COOKING AT CHURCH?


As far as I've known (and have heard for years), cooking at the church is a "no-no". There are even signs posted (in every church kitchen I've been in) stating this. Church kitchens are for warming and serving foods, not for preparing or cooking foods. My understanding of the reason for this is because of potential health code violations (food handlers cards and other requirements are required by law for preparing and serving food out of a church kitchen because it considered a commercial kitchen if it is being used to serve "the public").

This morning I came across a post on a blog called "LDS Young Women" that explains that we can indeed prepare and cook food at the church, IF the food preparation and cooking is part of a lesson or class about cooking. See the post here, which references the church handbook:
http://lds-yw.blogspot.com/2012/09/cook-class-you-can-cook-at-church.html

21.2.11

Serving Areas

The serving area in Church meetinghouses is not intended for food preparation or cooking unless it is part of a lesson, demonstration, or other instruction. When food is to be served in the building or on the grounds, it should be prepared elsewhere and brought to the meetinghouse, where it may be kept warm or cold until it is served.
Here is a link to the page of the Church Handbook of Instructions on lds.org where this information was found: http://www.lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/selected-church-policies/21.2?lang=eng#212

So from what I now understand, we can actually include cooking at the church as part of our Young Womens activities if we are teaching a lesson about food preparation or cooking.

Examples-

Teach the girls how to make bread in the church kitchen - GOOD
Cook 2 roasts and 5 trays of potatoes for a funeral in the church kitchen - NOT GOOD
Have a mutual activity about making homemade spaghetti sauce in the church kitchen - GOOD
Make pancakes and eggs in the church kitchen for a ward breakfast - NOT GOOD

I don't mean to imply that we should start cooking in the kitchen for everything and call it a "lesson" - (ie, we need to make some roasts for a funeral, so lets have some YW come to the church and watch so we can get away with it) that is not what I mean... but what I DO mean is that we can use the kitchen for teaching the girls about cooking, which is something that I have definately avoided in the past because of my misunderstanding about the church kitchen cooking policies.

Thank you "LDS Young Women" blog for clarifying this!!!

Many young women are not comfortable with cooking - and many do not have parents who can teach them to cook (because they are too busy or don't cook themselves). Here are some ideas for easy recipes that would be good for beginning cooks/bakers. When making this list, my criteria was that the recipe should have #1- simple ingredients and be easy to make, and #2- be something that the girls could eat right away when its done. These are not gourmet meals - my intent is just to get the girls excited about things that they can make and to show them that cooking/baking isn't as difficult as they may think (click on photos for recipes):

Two-ingredient pumpkin muffins:

Cinnamon-rolls in waffle-iron (using pre-made rolls:


5-minute bread*:

No-cook pico de gallo salsa:






*This bread would require pre-mixing the dough before the activity because it needs to sit for several hours or more BEFORE it is kneaded, risen, and baked. If you want the girls to get the full process, they can mix a batch of bread, but then instead of waiting for it to sit for hours, use a seperate batch of pre-mixed dough (that you have prepared ahead of time) to do the kneading, rising, and baking part. So they would get the whole process without waiting hours....


Monday, October 1, 2012

Nursery Service Night



This was an individual class activity that our Mia Maid Presidency came up with for one of our "Good Works" activities....

"Nursery Service Night"

The girls wanted to do 2 things to provide a service for the nursery 
shared by our ward (and another ward):

  1. Clean & disinfect all of the toys, chairs, tables, etc
  2. Make cheerful poster collages (using pictures from The Friend) to hang in the room



MATERIALS NEEDED: poster paper, glue, magazines (like The Friend), cleaning supplies

PURPOSE: Teaching the girls to provide service (and as a bonus, how to disinfect!)