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Easing the Transition From Young Women's to Relief Society


"I'm only 18. Do I fit in here?"

Have a Joint Young Women/Relief Society presidency meeting to discuss ideas and implementation. This is not just a Young Women's problem. The Relief Society is also involved in and concerned about this transition.

Have Laurels meet together with Relief Society sisters for a lesson on Sunday. Some of the Laurel lessons are very similar to Relief Society lessons and could be combined without someone missing a lesson.

Discuss with the Laurels the similarities between Young Women's and Relief Society.

Involve the Laurels in a joint Relief Society/Young Women service project.

Invite the older Laurels to go to a Homemaking meeting with you.

Set a good example by attending your homemaking meetings, etc.

Speak kindly and enthusiastically of your Relief Society and your leaders.

Suggest activities to your ward homemaking leader that would appeal to your Laurels.

Work with your Relief Society to get them visiting teachers and a good visiting teaching companion right away.

Have the Laurel class pick a secret sister from the Relief Society to learn about and do surprises for.

Have the Young women plan a joint Homemaking meeting to learn the format, mingle with the Relief Society sisters, and share what they like to do.

Invite Laurels to serve at the cannery, Bishop's storehouse, or welfare farm with the Relief Society sisters.

Before a Laurel graduates from Young Women's, spotlight her in Relief Society so the sisters will know something about her and they can talk to her (or spotlight her on her first week in Relief Society)

Have each Laurel write up a card about herself, her favorite things, her hobbies, and what activities she would enjoy doing in Relief Society. Give these cards to the Relief Society Presidency so they can plan future activities which will meet newly graduated Laurels' needs.

Suggest activities to your ward homemaking leader that would appeal to your Laurels. (we gave a list to our RS Presidency)

Encourage the Relief Society to give them a calling to help them feel needed. Laurels could teach lessons, be a Relief Society board member, play the piano, be a chorister, greet other sisters, make the Relief Society bulletin, organize a service activity, special dinner or musical night, or help with Homemaking (teach a lesson or craft, make refreshments or decorations).

* Try assigning a young single adult sister to be a big sister to a newly graduated Laurel. ~Cindy

* In our stake this is also a concern. We as a Stake YW presidency and as a Stake RS presidency met to discuss the problem and felt it appropriate to have a sister called in each ward's Relief Society as a specialist for the transition of laurels into Relief Society. She "fellowships" her, invites her to Relief Society activities and really gives her individual attention. It has really been working well! ~Charee

* We also let he girls stay in YW until graduation and then even over the summer if THEY want to.  When they go to college or school starts in the fall they move on.  but they have the summer to make that transition.  We have even asked some to help over that summer and the RS has used them to help in RS also.  So they feel they are treated as adults.  We have a student college ward in town and most go there and like the idea of going to meet other college students, but there are some girls who come and stay in our ward and go to the RS here.  ~ Diane

* One thing that we are trying this year is to have a night to honor our graduates.  On that evening, we are going to have the Relief Society President, who happens to be a former YW's President, there to welcome them into Relief Society and to present them with a manual.  In our stake, we also have a Young Adult Branch to which they are encouraged to go to upon graduation.  Many do and this helps. ~ June

* We plan two activities a year when the Laurels are invited to HM. We co-plan with the RS Homemaking Committee. We take the Laurels to RS on Sunday as a group twice a year. Also, we emphasize RS once our YW turn 18 (almost all of them stay in YW beyond that). We make sure they have books and announcements from RS. Also, we have a wonderful RS Pres who does a great job of welcoming the YW. One of the greatest complaints we have heard from our YW is that the lessons always talk about children and how to be better mothers. They feel like they don't fit in. We have asked our RS Pres to ask the teachers not to make their lessons so exclusive when the YW are there. ~Marianne

* Our YW have learned to love the RS sisters in our branch.  We have 4 activities a yr. where the girls are paired up with a Sister.  One of the activities was a picnic in which the girls ea. made a picnic dinner for their Sis.  Than the Sis. brought the blanket and center piece.  One of our Sis. is 75 yrs. old I believe and loved it.  She came and even sat on the ground with her YW.  I know several of the YW and RS sisters share gifts with each other through the year.  I told the girls this year that we would not have time for activities this year with their Sis. because of the theme. We would be doing activities with their families instead.  The girls had a real fit!!!!  So I nuckled under to there protests and have scheduled a few things.  One is an ice cream social.  Can't think off the top of my head what else.  Oh we have a cookie exchange with RS each year for Christmas.  The girls are also invited to the  RS birthday celebration each year as well. ~Jeanie

*Our stake RS pres. does a "bridging" sort of thing.  They invite the girls, their moms and yw pres.   They give a short presentation on RS-very positive and then the girls can ask questions.  I was just thinking it might be good to have the girls submit the questions ahead of time, in case a sudden case
of shyness attacks.  They usually serve brunch and/or lunch.  In the past when I have had older laurels, 17+, I try to go to RS with them once a month for the Sunday lesson and encourage them to attend homemaking-offer rides, make sure they know what the classes are etc.  I know our current RS pres. has been "johnny on the spot" with as soon as they turn 18-calling them to be a visiting teacher, giving them a partner that will be helpful and also assigning a consistent V. teacher to the girls. I try to always be positive when I speak of RS to the girls.   Our stake does have a young singles ward, but the kids are not encouraged to attend it until they are 19.

* We did a welcoming activity for all of the graduating seniors in our stake (well, actually 2 stakes since our ward is the Institute ward for 2 stakes) last May that went so well we're going to do it again.  We invited all the graduating senior girls (active or not) to the Institute I think the third or fourth Saturday of May.  We had a little luncheon and then we told the girls what life was like at the Institute.  We based it on a list that we as a presidency came up with that was something like tope ten reasons there is life after high school.  I can email the list if anyone is interested.  I talked about Homemaking, the VT coordinator talked about VT, we had a rep from the Institute to talk about activities, reps from
sorority and fraternity, even the elders quorum president to talk about what the guys do.   It was a lot of fun.  If you have an Institute or singles ward around you might suggest that as an idea.  Oh we also invited the girls to Relief Society the first week of May and invited them to Institute activities for May (like the closing social)  We got to know the new girls and they got to see that maybe RS isn't as bizarre as they thought.  ~Kelly

* One thing when I was transitioning was the RS Pres gave me my own book, the lesson schedule, and the telephone book for the sisters--names, addresses, birthdays, etc. for my birthday.  I stayed in young women's until high school graduation and then I got called into nursery and made friends with
the other nursery leader, so I didn't get to go to RS.  But I felt welcomed and comfortable in homemaking with my mom and my friend because of the introduction.  I enjoyed classes that suited my needs--budgeting for college-age or newly-wed women, simple money saving tricks--like getting
various substances out of clothes, or best buys for shampoos, etc.  I wanted to be prepared for my independence in college and for my eventual marriage--not as eventual as my mom was hoping it would be.  It is also nicer when several laurels move up together and can befriend each other. ~Jenny

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