Before throwing away my old calendar from my YW binder, I thought I’d jot down a few of the activities we did last year to remember them. Maybe they’ll help someone else get a few ideas, too!
YW activities we did in 2017:
1. Laurels plan new beginnings. It’s their activity from beginning to end. Let them own it (including mistakes or procrastination problems). Last year we had a cruise ship theme where everyone dressed up like tacky tourists and we gave out a prize for the best outfit (One girl even painted the sunburn on her face!)
2. Book of Mormon Cake decorating. This was a joint activity where we divided girls up into teams of about three girls and gave them each a small cake to decorate like a story from the scriptures. There were so may creative cakes!
3. Laurels joined with the priests for a Preach My Gospel activity. We had a young couple in the ward who are both returned missionaries come and answer questions and tell stories. It was really interesting.
4. YM/YW camp fundraiser. For the past few years we’ve done a dinner/service auction/carnival (with preschool-type games—ring toss, musical chairs, etc.). It’s a lot of work, but it’s been very successful.
5. Last year we had Trek, so a few of our combined activities included pioneer dancing. It was amazing how much fun the kids had and how much laughter was going on all over the room. Our dance instructor reminded them “just because you’re dancing or holding hands, doesn’t mean you’re going to marry them.” I wish we did more activities like this. It was social, it was exercise, it was so much fun.
6. Camp prep nights. Our YCLs did a 1st aid prep night to learn how to teach the other girls first aid, and then the next week we broke into small classes and rotated through, then the girls had to put on a skit about something they learned.
7. For Utah locals, We went on a P.Y.G. hike with the YM. We hike the ‘P’ in Payson, the Y at BYU, and the ‘G’ in Pleasant Grove (We actually did it in the order of PGY, but Pig-hike sounds better). They packed their own sack lunch and we ate it at the base of the G before hiking, then had pizza brought in for dinner at another park near the Y, and then had ice cream sandwiches on the back lawn of the Provo temple as the bishop spoke for a minute. One of our scout leaders had created a PYG scout patch he gave to everyone.
8. The laurels hiked the Grotto in Payson. It’s a short, easy hike.
9. We had a camp activity where we had the girls learn to set up tents on the church lawn (mostly to see what shape our tents were looking) and divvied out secret sister names.
10. As a service project, we helped a preschool teacher cut out items for her class before school started. The girls loved chatting and serving and cutting 😊
11. We toured the Provo MTC as a group. The girls loved it.
12. We helped a neighbor paint baseboards.
13. Laurels went to play laser tag. It was great exercise and we laughed a lot.
14. We had a sports night that got rained out, so we played group EFY style games in the gym.
15. The Laurels wanted to feed the missionaries, but they have to eat earlier than our activity could be. So we had the girls bring a pantry meal item and gave it to the elders at the church and then sat and had the Elders talk about preparing for missions. They answered a lot of questions the girls had, and later told me they’d never done an activity like that and really enjoyed it.
16. Our ward does “Service September” each year where we try as a ward to do service all month. One of our activities was to have the YW cut out items to make dolls for hospitals. Another one of our activities was a ward service night where everyone gathered to make various items for the community (emergency buckets for the elementary school, hygiene kits, seat belt pads for cancer patients, and the dolls we’d cut out already).
17. Temple trips
18. Laurels did a corn maze with the priests.
19. Laurels painted pumpkins. We got the smallest cheap pumpkins we could find (which were still pretty big and expensive), and used acrylic craft paint. The girls were so creative painting Jack Skellington’s face, and Captain america’s shield, and Spider Man’s face, etc.
20. Evening in excellence. Last girls’ camp we had Defender’s B.O.O.T camp (building on our testimonies) and wore dog tags and camo. So for Evening in excellence we decided to show the feminine side of being a defender and had the theme “Defenders of Light” We had lights around the room, and the centerpieces of the display tables had some kind of light. We had parents talk about the light in their daughters who had earned their YW medallion during the year. It was a beautiful night.
21. Help decorate for Christmas around an old folks home.
22. Priests and Laurels had a ginger bread house competition. They got extra points for having a scripture theme.
23. For our joint activity we had an ugly sweater contest and a white elephant exchange. There were some ugly sweaters!