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
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.