YW Event & Activity Ideas

Planning Events

Coming up with ideas for events is easier than you think. You can start with the  mutual theme for the year to spark some ideas. Then you can  start brainstorming on general theme ideas like sports, medieval, etc. This is how the jungle theme came about for me. Another great idea is to use popular media elements – TV shows, movies, song titles, etc. Just put some gospel twists on it and watch it develop into a fun themed event! I’ve found that the girls really get excited and respond to these types of inclusions in planning things. For example, one year we did a popular movie theme for girl’s camp and everyone was so excited about it. As a leader, we were using the yearly theme of “Arise and Shine Forth” as our guiding post but we let the girls focus on the then popular Avenger movie for brainstorming. With a little guidance, absolutely anything can be taken in a spiritual direction.

New Beginnings, YWIE and Girl’s Camp Ideas

Camp Cruis’n!

It’s A Jungle Out There

This was one of the most extensive and popular New Beginnings themes I’ve ever done. In short, we used the concept of jungle hazards, animals and survival tools to introduce the YW program and values. It was a huge success. We decorated one end of the cultural hall to look like a jungle. Leaders met the girls and their parents in the foyer and directed them to a meeting area for the “jeep ride” to the gym. They all took hold of a long rope and we led them through the hallway to the gym.

JunglePoster JungleRoom_1 JungleRoom_2

Leaders wore white shirts, safari hats and had Jungle Safari Staff Name Tags.

JungleLeaders

Our invitations incorporated animal crackers and the girls got a real kick out them:

Invitations

Guests were given jungle map handouts as a program guide. On the map, we reviewed the JungleHazards. We spent time at each hazard discussing why it was so dangerous. The journey was all done with participants in their seats and me as the jungle guide leading them through a JungleOverview_Outline of jungle sounds and special effects. One hazard was insects and we had a few leaders standing at the back with handfuls of rice which they gently threw up in the air and around the audience when the sound of insects was played. Then we introduced the way we survive this jungle of life using the JungleCards of YW values. We gave the girls little safari bags (simply sewn jungle fabric, drawstring bags) with laminated copies of the hazards and values with accompanying items.

Survivalkit_Bag Survivalkit_Hazards Survivalkit_Tools

Mission Impossible

This was a theme from a popular movie at the time. We turned it into a New Beginnings program (Mission Possible ,Mission Possible Compiled) by making it an evening of gathering mission information (colored file folders and handouts for each value –Value Pages) and learning about new agents (new beehives –Beehive Name Tags).

Personal Progress Luau

In an effort to encourage our girls to work on their Personal Progress, we invited them to a special Luau. The invitation was for any girl who completed one experience or project during the summer. Several Sundays during the summer we gave the themed handouts to remind them.

bubbles

The Luau consisted of a dinner and outdoor games of limbo and swimming volleyball. Each girl also received a bracelet for her completed value. The girls really loved it and worked hard.

Special Programs

One year we had our YWIE program through a Sacrament meeting. We coordinated with our bishop and stake leaders to provide the meeting program of talks and music. The program cover had artwork drawn by one of the girls for one of her projects. The program incorporated  girls sharing their testimonies and experiences working on Personal Progress that year. Each young woman and her family received a special invitation to the program as well.

 YWIE 2003 ProgramsYWIE 2003 Invites

Excellence Buzz

Excellence Buzz Created just for beehives when they are not able to attend a youth conference, this idea is adaptable to any event or activity.

Girls Camp

Latter Day Avengers

Avengers BofMAvengers

This theme was one of the most popular and dearly loved by our girls as it was their idea. The leaders took the concept of the popular movie and put a gospel twist on it. The quote we used as the basis can be found on the T-Shirt IronOn file below. We pushed the positive qualities of the heroes and compared them to spiritual qualities the girls should strive to develop, also the theme of learning to support one another and be unified. The following file link has all the helpful information for planning a ward girl’s camp including schedules, meal preparations, grocery lists, etc. One of the first crafts was to create a duct tape purse – these were then put up on a board and used as secret sister collection boxes. It was a great hit!

AvengerGirlsCamp_Blank

Certificates

TshirtIronOns

These files were used to have the girls and leaders leave little notes on each other’s pillows. The concept was to catch each other doing great things and pointing them out.

Notes

CaughtYou

Sunshine Company

A pioneer theme that had each ward camp take on a company name. One of the most successful things about this year of camp was having each girl give a compliment or positive thought to each other every day at camp. We made a little mail box for each of the girls to deliver their simple messages each day. It was a simple piece of material with levi pockets – one for each girl. We also had the Jr. Leaders work on some journal and scrapbook pages for the girls to fill out.

camp pages

Safe Harbor

This theme was all nautical and the girls really enjoyed it.

StakeInfoKit SafeHarborHandout

We created pocket sized memory books for our girls:

BookandScrapbook

Roadshow Ideas

I’ve been asked to direct two ward roadshows for youth in the past. The first year we were instructed to involve the youth in a production that was to be more like a musical. I ran with the idea of a fairy tale and simple tunes that would be easily recognized with new lyrics:

roadshow poster

18th Ward Roadshow

Roadshow music

The second time we were given complete latitude to come up with a show based on a theme. I did a reader’s theatre style show to the song, “Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?”

2008 Boulder Creek Ward Cultural Arts Presentation

Activity Ideas

Ward Grandparents
This is an excellent way to involve the youth with the seniors of any ward. It also allows for multiple activity ideas each year. The concept is to compile a list of seniors in the ward and coordinate youth as their adopted grandchild. Through the year the youth are encouraged to get to know and do things for their grandparents. At least once a year we had a dinner or program event with our youth and their grandparents. One year it was a dinner, another year it was a circle discussion where questions were asked and answered. The youth loved this one the most as they learned about what cars their grandparents used to drive, what they did for fun and several memories and stories were shared.
Coupon Books
An easy and ever popular idea of generating a coupon book of service.
Etiquette Dinner
This was done as a combined activity with the young men. The first file has details of the planning. I found the key is making the presentation fun and interactive. I really played up the part of presenting the ideas to the youth.
EtiquetteNotes (for the presenter)
SocialKey handouts

 FOUL Ball

This was a game I created for a combined YM/YW activity. It surrounded the theme of language from For the Strength of Youth booklet.

FOUL Ball

I Know

This was a class activity generated to help identify areas the girls already possessed knowledge in. It was also a great sounding board for generating future class activities to help acquire knowledge in other areas. The concept was simple – have each girl identify their comfort level with the skills listed on the checklist. We used the traffic light colors to mark them: green meant super confident, yellow was okay with some help or supervision, red was no idea.

I know

Jeopardy

A game for the youth centered around For the Strength of Youth topics.

jeopardy questions

Journal Jars

A simple activity of putting a years worth of questions to answer into a jar. You pick one out each day to encourage writing in your journal.

JournalJarInserts

Youth Journal Jar Questions

Beauty Night

An ever popular night on taking care of ourselves. The notes should be helpful for anyone who is not a cosmetologist as they were compiled by me and I am one. :)

Manicure Notes

Rule of 14

Water Olympics

Our version of this fun combined activity.

WaterOlympics

Widow Valentines

A special way to remember widows on valentine’s day and a great activity for any group.

Widow Valentines

Easter Egg Decorating

Looking for ideas on a combined youth activity? This was a real hit for us.

YWCombinedEggsActivity

 

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12 comments on “YW Event & Activity Ideas

  1. I am reading in “Bright Ideas for Young Women Leaders” where she references your site (which is awesome!) about a Family Feud about “For the Strength of Youth”. I am unable to locate it on your site. Could you please direct me? Thank you!

    Hi Casandra – that’s fun to know about Bright Ideas! I’ll have to go check that out. I have this link on the old Sharing site for the FTSOY Jeopardy game: http://www.sharingwithyw.com/downloads/FTSOY%20Jeopardy.pdf but I don’t recall one for Family Fued.

  2. Holly,

    We love your “It’s a jungle out there and want to use some of your ideas. I tried to print the tools cards but they are not centered on my page so I will only end up with 2 cuts how did you do yours?

  3. Thanks! I love your ideas especially the ones for New Beginnings. :)

    Thanks Sarah!

  4. Hey Holly….

    Absolutely love your Safari New Beginnings….would like to see how you did it though…just for ideas…did someone video tape your night???…we are a small ward but I would like to implement some really fun stuff that the girls will be talking about and our inactive want to come to see what they’re missing….your an awesome lady….a girl after my own heart…Much Mahalos….Whitney of the Ka’u ward on the Big Island of Hawaii

    Thanks so much! I don’t have a video of the entire program but would be happy to answer any questions! :)

  5. Would love to have script of your evening and your different ideas on hazards in jungle relevent to our lives. If you would, could you please forward me a script of your evening so we may use for our New Beginnings program. Thanks so much!

    Thanks for the comment it’s all in that Jungle link. Just click on it. :)

  6. We are doing your “It’s A Jungle Out There” program for our New Beginnings program next week. During our preparations we discovered that your program was done prior to the new “Virtue” young women value that was added last year. In case others may want to use what we came up with, we decided to use a compass for the symbol. The value for virtue states, “I will prepare to enter the temple and remain pure and worthy. My thoughts and actions will be based on high moral standards.” I found a simple compass graphic to use for the bulletin board posters, and on the survival cards for compass we added – “Compass: Provides direction to help us stay on the right path.” We are looking forward to doing the program next week and hope the added information for the virtue value may be a help to others who may be using the same program in the future.

    What a fantastic add!! Thank you SO much for sharing!!

  7. Loved your “It’s a Jungle Out There” program, but an error occurs(error 404)whenever I tried to print the script, and both sets of cards. It says “Not Found). Could you please email me the instructions. Thanks,
    Gail

  8. Could I please get a script and the pdf for the cards we are doing it’s a jungle out there camp theme and this would be perfect thanks!

  9. Sterling Mortensen (American Fork, Utah)

    May 11, 2014 at 3:12 am Reply

    We are doing a ward “adopted” grandparent night this Tuesday. I’m wondering if you have something from your “discussion night” that gives ideas of what to talk about (cars, etc) I just need a list, if you have one, of what it was that they talked about. We have visited and interviewed each assigned grandparent and are ready to “spotlight” them at the event. But I think we need a “mixer” activity and the idea you have listed here sounds great! Can you help me?

    • I am so sorry! My response time hasn’t fit your need, things have been crazy. I hope it went well!

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