Tag Archives: girls camp

young women bracelet

A New Gig

Just about the time I thought that leading the music during sacrament meeting would kill me off with boredom, I was called to be the Young Women president in our ward. Bored no more.

Apparently the stake and the ward got in a turf war over me, and I am thrilled that the ward won, tbh. I’d have been Stake PR secretary.

At any rate, we’ve done a few things now that I think are worth mentioning

Extreme Calendaring

Though we were called in mid September, our YW presidency was able to pull off an amazing planning meeting on General Conference Sunday. We invited all the class presidencies, advisors, and our presidency together along with our Bishopric rep to have a brief leadership training session. Then we planned and calendared 6 months – YES SIX MONTHS – worth of activities.

We couldn’t have done it without two things: a printout of the ward calendar for each person, and the activities page at http://lds.org/youth/activities. The calendar was very helpful for planning since not everyone had a smart device that could see the calendar at LDS.org. And the new activities planning section at LDS.org is simply amazing. You can choose from a list of activity ideas, or use the form to make your own. Then you put the activity into your “planner” where you can move around activities or check to see if there’s a conflict with another class. From the planner, you can paste all the important activity information right into the ward or young women calendar, including assignments, primary contact, and purposes. It is amazing. Our ward has gone nuts over it. The bishopric knows where we are at all times in the building if they need to track us down. The bishopric can look over activities to ensure they are meeting their requirements and expectations. The mommas love to know what’s going on at mutual, and they can see if their kid has an assignment. You can sync the calendar to any calendar program – I use Google Calendar – which means changes are automatically pushed to your device. Anyone with access to the calendar can see the upcoming activities.

Having the activities calendared well in advance means that we can catch conflicts easily as they arrrive. No one is asking “what are we doing?” at young women or during class presidency meetings. Our class presidency meetings are streamlined so that we spend less time planning activities (all we have to do is verify assignments) and more time ministering.

So, now you want to know how long it took us to accomplish this Herculean feat of awesomeness, right? Two hours. Yep. It took us two hours to eat breakfast, hold leadership training, and plan 6 months worth of activities. Since general conference doesn’t start until noon here, we started our meeting at 9 am and went until 11am. Now, because of the food, this time I’m recommending that we go 2.5 hours to be sure we have plenty of time since things got sort of rushed at the end of our meeting. But our extreme calendaring has been a huge success. You have got to try it.

YW work on New Beginnings and YWIE for 10 hour projects

We used the YW who needed help with their ten hour projects for personal progress as helpers for planning these major activities. This was a really great idea that came from one of my counselors.

Girls camp in Palmyra

We have planned our girls camp this year to be in Palmyra in keeping with the mutual theme of James 1:5–6.  Our girls will be tent camping at the church’s Seneca Falls camp, which is blocked out for booking by everyone but girls camp groups through February of each year.  We didn’t get any cabins sadly (stakes get first dibs) but we were able to secure tent sites.  We are so, so, so excited about this campout.  Even the mommas and ward members are excited and have been begging for ways to go with us.  Our girls camp director is fantastic, and she has planned three days of awesome.

So far the breakout looks like this:

  • Day 1: Drive to Palmyra (8-9 hours), Set up camp
  • Day 2: Church history sites, Sacred Grove, Palmyra pageant in evening
  • Day 3: Camp certification
  • Day 4: Hike at Watkins glen, pool, cooking outdoors
  • Day 5: Return home with rest stop at Priesthood Restoration Site

We have reserved 15pax vans to transport the girls and will bring up a third vehicle for gear and men.  The plan is to get camp started in the vans on the way up, watching movies and making plans, doing training, etc.  I am ridiculously excited.  In fact, I’m so excited I may have oversold camp a slight bit, and we expect to have an amazing turnout this year.  Good thing I booked that extra tent site. Our ward has had a series of terrible camps — floods, mini tornadoes, etc — that have demoralized the girls.  I’m really hopeful this can be a good experience for everyone.

Video: DIY marshmallow shooter

By Cathy Woodward
Cathy Woodward:
#Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot. Here is a link to DIY marshmallow shooters using a plastic cup and a balloon: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ3AB_ytQC0 Super easy to make! I ask questions based on the lesson or SMs and the students receive one mini marshmallow for each correct answer. They can then shoot at paper or pompom turkeys. They love this and don’t even mind picking up the marshmallows afterward.
I am thankful for the great ideas all of you so generously share.
13(5 hours ago)

Youtube video:

Kathy Rinehart Arnold: Great idea. Think I’ll do this tomorrow. (4 hours ago)

Julia Winters Geissinger: This is perfect for Wednesday! (3 hours ago)

Elsie Velasco Davis: Thank you! This is a perfect and inexpensive way to keep them awake and alert if they want to earn a marshmallow! (3 hours ago)

Kelly Davider: What a fun idea! Thanks for sharing! We usually do the SM activity first,I think I’ll so this one LAST! ;) How fun! (2 hours ago)

Nicole Gardner Grover: Thanks for sharing!! (1 hour ago)

Linette Teerlink: Totally going to use this for a December SM game! Thanks! (59 minutes ago)

Read More

Read more here:: Video: diy marshmallow shooter

Serve Him – Heart Might Mind Strength

This logo can be used on Youth Conference T shirts or whatever else for the 2015 mutual theme.  You have my permission to use it on any item you will not sell for profit.  It shows the #serveHim with a heart, lightning (might), head (mind), and buff arm (strength).

Please don’t remove my URL, and please don’t edit this file and pretend it’s yours.

Embark in the Service of God

Embark – Heart, Might, Mind, Strength

These images were created to go with the 2015 mutual theme: Embark in the service of God.  The images are from the verse D&C 4:2, which mentions serving God with your heart, might, might, and strength.

You can use these images on stuff you won’t sell for profit.

Please don’t alter them and put them on your website and pretend that they are yours.  We hates that. 


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!

Source:: LDS Young Women Activity Ideas and More!

From the Bloggernacle

Pie-Throwing For Camp Certification!

Downloaded from: http://ldsywideasandactivities.blogspot.com/2014/08/pie-throwing-for-camp-certification.html

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! 

From the Bloggernacle

Girls Camp Treats 2014

Downloaded from: http://ldsywideasandactivities.blogspot.com/2014/07/girls-camp-treats-2014.html

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)

(Here is a post on what I did for camp treats last year)
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!

From the Bloggernacle

{Personal Progress} Yw Value Hair Ties With Free Printable!

Downloaded from: http://littleldsideas.blogspot.com/2014/06/personal-progress-yw-value-hair-ties.html

Today I wanted to share a great Personal Progress gift that I recently gave to the YW in my ward.
I first saw these adorable Value Hair ties on Pinterest, but when I clicked on the link it only had a picture. I searched and searched, but couldn’t find the source of the picture. So I decided to create my own. :)
For the elastics, I found a great little Etsy shop that had all the colors I needed at a great price. After looking at a few places I found WW Supplies and was able to buy 5 yards of each value color…I wanted each one different, so it took a little time looking through all of the great elastics, but I finally settled on 8 different kinds. What do you think? I am loving the yellow with the little ruffle down the middle!
Creating My Hair TiesI looked at several different tutorials for creating your own hair ties and tested a few out. I finally decided on a good length to cut the elastics and got to work.
I cut the elastics about 8 inches in length. Then, using a match, burnt the ends to prevent fraying. After I cut several pieces I tied a knot at the end of each piece. I decided to leave a shorter ‘tail’ at the end of my elastics. If you want a longer piece at the end then you may want to make yours a little longer. I also found that the glitter elastic needs to be a little longer due to its thickness. 
Elastic HeadbandsIf you happen to have a YW with short hair that wouldn’t use hair ties…no worries…make her some headbands using the elastics!I created a few for my daughters and they were great. Just measure your head and decide on a comfortable length for the elastics then cut and knot. :) Easy Peasy.
After I had them cut and tied I made a card to place the elastics on.I created one card without a border and rounded the corners.
The other one I added a border to give it a little something. I also added ‘XOXO, your YW Leaders’ which I ended putting on both cards in the end.
These would make great birthday presents for the girls, prizes for Personal Progress, gift for the girls coming in to YW, craft for Girls Camp…Whatever the reason….these are cute and the girls will love them.
Today I am sharing my cards that I created for my hair ties! YAY!Just click on the link below and print them out. Just print them on cardstock and then add your adorable little hair ties.
Click HERE to print out my YW Hair Ties Card w/ Border.
Click HERE to print out my YW Hair Ties Card w/ no Border.
If you have any questions feel free to ask…and hopefully I’ll have an answer for you. :)
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful day.

From the Bloggernacle

Annual Youth Fundraiser – Chili Dinner & Auction

Downloaded from: http://ldsywideasandactivities.blogspot.com/2014/01/annual-youth-fundraiser.html

Every year we have a fundraiser to help send our youth to camp (Scout Camp, Cub Scout Day Camp, and Girls Camp).

Please note that each ward handles their camp fundraising as directed by their local leaders (Bishop or Stake President), so this activity might not be appropriate for everyone. Here is the official policy from the current handbook of instructions. 

13.6.8 Fund-Raising Activities
Fund-raising activities are not usually approved because expenses for stake and ward activities are paid with budget funds. As an exception, a stake president or bishop may authorize one group fund-raising activity each year. Such an activity may be held to raise funds for the following purposes only:

  1. To help pay the cost of one annual camp or similar activity as outlined in 13.2.8.
  2. To help purchase equipment that the unit needs for annual camps as outlined in 13.2.9.

If a fund-raising activity is held, it should provide a meaningful value or service. It should be a positive experience that builds unity. Contributions to fund-raising activities are voluntary. Priesthood leaders should take special care to ensure that members do not feel obligated to contribute. Stakes and wards that sponsor fund-raising activities should not advertise or solicit beyond their boundaries. Nor should they sell products or services door to door.

This is the first year I’ve been involved in the planning committee for this activity/fundraiser, so I thought I’d share what we do. This is a somewhat complicated activity, but once everything is worked out, it is easier to replicate as an annual thing and it is always very successful.
I should also add that our Bishopric has assigned each auxiliary/group (or several auxiliaries combined) to provide a ward activity each quarter (ie, the Relief Society & High Priests are in charge of the Christmas party, the Ward Mission and the Elders Quorum are in charge of our annual talent show). The Young Men and the Young Women organizations are responsible for the 1st quarter activity, which coincides with the annual youth fundraiser (which has been going on for a number of years). So for the past few years, the fundraiser (which originally started as only a Scout Camp fundraiser) has developed into a ward chili-cook-off dinner, followed by a youth fundraiser auction (which benefits all of the youth – ym & yw – going to camp, and also the Cub Scout day camp). There is no charge for the dinner, just like a regular ward dinner would be. After the dinner, everyone is welcome to stay in the cultural hall for the live auction (proceeds from the auction are the ‘fundraiser’ part of this). Participation in the auction is optional, but everyone is encouraged to stay and watch the fun. We don’t want anyone to feel like they shouldn’t come or that they are pressured to purchase anything. This is a ward activity FIRST and a fundraiser SECOND.

ADVERTISING: We start passing sign-up sheets on a clipboard (3rd hour of church) about 1 1/2 months before the activity. We also put a little blurb in the bulletin about it and start talking about it on facebook to get the word out (I created an ‘facebook event’ so people could ‘join’, ask questions, get updates, etc). We announce the activity to the youth for months ahead at every class and activity so that the youth are well-aware of it ahead of time. We have a poster that we put up about a month before the activity and have committee members announce the activity in priesthood, relief society, etc. 1 or 2 Sundays before the activity, we give out handouts and really ramp up the advertising.
Here (in purple) is the text from the handout for this year (the text formatting & artwork did not copy over to this blog,  it looks much better in person- you’ll have to use your imagination!). It is a full-page handout  because there is a lot of info to explain, but this will give you a good overview of what this activity is all about. Again, this activity/fundraiser is not for the faint-of-heart – it is very complicated and takes a lot of planning, but it works very well.



DINNER: Delicious chili, taco soup, and baked potatoes will be served. Dinner is provided for all – there is no charge for dinner. That’s right- its FREE! Bring the whole family! This is a activity for all ages, everyone is welcome. You don’t have to bring anything unless you’ve signed up to help*!

AUCTION: Immediately after dinner, the youth will provide FREE childcare for all kids (10 and under), so the adults can focus on the live fundraiser auction! FANCY CAKES, CUSTOM ITEMS, AND MORE will be auctioned off to anyone who would like to bid (bidding is very welcome, but OPTIONAL!).

THE REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF: All proceeds from the auction sales will benefit our ward’s youth (funds will cover costs for Scout Camp, Girls Camp, Cub Scout Day Camp, etc). This is the only fundraiser we do. Please stay for the auction fun, even if you choose not to bid. This is a ward activity first and a fundraiser auction second. It is really fun just to watch the bidding wars!


  • -Highly-coveted certificates will be awarded for the chili cook-off (best overall, spiciest, best meatless, most unique)
  • -Highly-coveted certificates will be awarded for cakes to be auctioned (best overall, most inventive/unique, most delicious looking)
  • -Italian Sodas will be for sale during the auction
  • -Kids Silent Auction Room (in RS Room) for kids 11 and under
  • -Did we mention FREE childcare during the auction?
  • -Our ward’s youth will be working before, during, and after this activity to help earn their way to camp!

* This activity is being hosted by the ______________ Ward Young Men and Young Women organizations. If you’d like to help with the dinner or donate a cake but haven’t seen the sign-up sheets, contact ____________ or ______________. Auction items are limited this year to keep things simple- all auction items must be pre-approved, please see __________________ if you have something to donate

We also made these trophies for the chili cook-off and the cakes (to be auctioned) and I posted these photos on facebook to help build interest:

I bought some small metal buckets and filled them with platic bags. Then I covered the top with crinkled foil and hot-glued dried beans to the top. Then I took the foil/beans outside and spray-painted them gold. When dry, I hot-glued the foil/beans on top of the plastic bag filler.

I bought some used trophies from a thrift store ($1 each). I chose trophies that had a large ball on them (basketball, soccer ball, etc) and then made gold paper cakes which I glued onto the balls. So it looks like the man is shooting a basket with a cake, kicking a cake, etc. I then covered the original engravings with “Best Overall Cake”, etc on gold-ish scrapbook paper.


YOUTH PARTICIPATION: Youth should work at the set-up, during the entire activity, and until the clean-up is complete. Youth leaders, parents of youth, and other ward members can help as well, and should be doing most of the planning and supervising, but the fundraiser is to benefit the youth, so I try to make that clear to them and give the expectation that they are expected to pull their weight, so to speak. In the past we’ve had loosely-planned assignments and there were some problems with youth not following through (ie, goofing around). This year, we plan to do pre-assigned 1/2 hour shifts for each assignment during the activity to (hopefully) give all youth a chance to do a variety of things (ie, yw may be able to help with auction or italian sodas for one shift instead of doing childcare the whole time). We will have a clipboard to keep track of the assignments and youth leaders will supervise to make sure they are where they are supposed to be.

  • HELPING WITH FOOD PREP IN KITCHEN (putting condiments in cups, learning to make italian sodas, etc)



This is the minimum we need for each assignment, but if we have more youth show up to help, the more the better! We were instructed by the Bishopric to only have young women doing the childcare (no young men/young women mixes for childcare, either), so we try to make this as fair as possible so that some girls aren’t “stuck” doing childcare the whole time (most of them prefer helping with the auction or doing Italian sodas). We passed a sign-up (for the ym & yw) to indicate which assignments they prefer and we will try our best to make sure they get to do some of the assignments they want to. With rotations every 1/2 hour, at least everyone will get a variety.DINNER:The dinner is a chili and taco soup dinner with baked potatoes. We have ward members volunteer to provide chili or taco soup in crockpots and other ward volunteers bake the potatoes at home and bring them the night of the dinner (we purchase all of the potatoes for them, they just bake & deliver them). We also purchase toppings for the chili and/or baked potatoes (sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, chives, etc), which are pre-portioned out into little paper cups. Some people have chili on their baked potatoes, some just have baked potatoes, or just taco soup, etc. We divided the crockpots, potatoes, and condiments up between 3 different stations in the cultural hall – this works great to prevent long lines. Since the chili & taco soup are donated, we only need to purchase the condiments, baked potatoes, italian soda supplies, award certificates, and paper goods. 
We have judging (usually by the full-time missionaries) for the chili cook-off (best overall, most spicy, best vegetarian, etc) and also “best taco soup”. We give out certificates or little trophies. This helps to draw out the competitive types (ie, everyone in my family). We usually have no problem getting people to donate chili/soup and always have  more than enough. More info on amounts in the sign-up section below.

THE AUCTION: Our main auction attraction are the desserts. We don’t serve a dessert at the dinner, so the idea is that people will see all of the fabulous desserts on display and really want them! :) We have had a problem with too many desserts in the past (I know, this is normally not what I would consider a ‘problem’!). Since people were so willing to donate desserts, there was one year when we had an especially over-saturated “market”. Basically, we had WAY more desserts than we had people. Ward members really went all out and that was meant well, but it was too much. I personally ended up buying 3 full family-size desserts (like many people did) because it was just awkward to have no one bidding on desserts that had been donated. You would think the more desserts the better, but it actually drove the prices down. There was way more supply than demand! Its hard to sell 60 desserts to 20 families. And even though everything was eventually purchased, they were practically giving things away at the end. So you can have too much of a good thing. We didn’t want to discourage people’s kind-heartedness, but we decided to specify that we are only accepting cakes now (no cookies, pies, cupcakes, etc) and we highly encourage large cakes that can be shared with an entire table. Two or three families can even go in together to purchase a large cake if they want. Our top sellers (between $100-$300) for the past 3 years have been large elaborate cakes (like this beauty that I made 2 years ago!) that a family (or two families) have purchased and shared with others.

Even if you limit it to just cakes, there is so much extra to go around that even those who don’t purchase get to try 2 or 3 different desserts! There is a good atmosphere of fun and sharing. We don’t want pressure to bid or to have anyone feel uncomfortable.

  1. CHILDCARE -We have a lot of children attend and we have had MUCH more successful auction experiences when we provide free childcare during the auction. So families eat together, and then the children go to an activity (several age-appropriate rooms are set up with youth babysitters) while the parents are free to give their full attention to the auction. There was a HUGE spike in bids the first year we started providing childcare and we’ve never looked back.
  2. ITALIAN SODAS- We have the youth make and sell Italian Sodas during the auction and that was a big hit the first time we did it, last year.
  3. KIDS SILENT AUCTION- The other thing we do is have a ‘silent auction’ room (just for kids under 11 to bid) and people sign up to donate items (unwanted toys, etc) for that. The silent auction for kids goes on just until the main (live) auction starts because the kids go to childcare after that. The kids silent auction usually brings in about $100 by itself – which was a big shock!

I made sign-up sheets for the adults that included all of the information for the activity (date, etc) and a list of how ward members can help. This was followed by categories of ‘help’ and places to sign up. We have a smallish ward with average Sacrament attendance of 100-150 and this is a well-established tradition, so these are the numbers we were shooting for. You may want to adjust for your size/circumstances.
The categories were:

  • DONATE CHILI FOR THE CHILI-COOK-OFF (BRING IN A CROCK POT) – 7-8 people needed for this
  • DONATE TACO SOUP (BRING IN A CROCK POT) – asking for 4-5 people for this
  • DONATE A CAKE FOR AUCTION – asking for 10-12 people to donate cakes (preferably large cakes)
  • DONATE ITEMS FOR LIVE AUCTION – (unlimited, but want to keep it to quality items that we will not be responsible for disposing of if not sold. We used to take a lot of things (appliances, movies, treadmills, etc) but we’ve cut back because there was a lot of work involved in pick-up and disposal and besides- desserts are actually bigger money makers anyhow! We get donations of things like custom-made knives, smoked salmon, etc, but that is a smaller part of the night because this activity can run really long if you have a lot of unwanted things you’re trying to get rid of!

I will try to post photos from this year soon and include anything I may have overlooked. PLEASE let me know if you have any questions!

From the Bloggernacle

Girls Camp Treats

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Our yw have girls camp this week and I wasn’t able to go :( , but I wanted to let the girls know I was thinking about them.

My husband is going up for Bishopric night tonight, so I made some treats for the young women. Last year I made cookies, but this year we have one girl with a serious gluten allergy. So, while I could have made two separate kinds of cookies, I thought I’d keep it simple this year. I bought a variety of Skittles (which are gluten-free) -one for each girl…

 – and put their name and a message on each one…

If you don’t want to (or can’t) send candy to camp, here is another idea that goes along with this year’s theme that I saw on the She’s crafty blog – its socks!:

Click on this photo to go to the She’s Crafty blog

From the Bloggernacle

Getting To Know You Printable

Downloaded from: http://inkablinka.com/2013/06/getting-to-know-you-printable.html

Our young women loved filling out these getting-to-know-you pages for their secret sisters last week. The illustration was created by the talented AmberLee Fawson of giverslog.com, and is being shared here with her permission. You can download this version of her printable here.

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