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New Beehives

* When we welcome new Beehives, we give each girl a YW torch medallion with chain (then when she receives her future Personal Progress awards she already has a chain), a Beehive poster, and the big poster of the YW theme. We have a Laurel spotlight the girl by calling her parent and getting information to share about her in YW opening exercises, and we give her a little bouquet of flowers. The Personal Progress book is given by the either the advisor or the counselor at the orientation of the YW program given usually in the girl's home with a parent present. Also, usually the Beehive class presidency or the whole class, comes down to Primary to get her for her first day in YW. ~Cindy

*In our ward we try really hard to make new beehives welcome. We give them a personal progress book and the poster of the beehive symbol. When they come for their first day, we put a sign on their chair "reserved for so and so." Before they come we try to instruct the other girls to make her feel as welcome as possible. In spite of this effort, it is still a challenge to meld the group and make a newcomer feel welcome. Oh, we give them a poster of the Young Woman theme. None of the extras is required but just an attempt to make her feel at home. ~Ann

* Give the new Beehive a YW notebook, that includes the YW roster (including leaders and their positions, addresses, phone #, birthdates, etc.) the Bishopric #s, Activity Night Schedules, and who to call for a ride to those activities and her Personal Progress Packet that she will keep track of her values achieved. Really emphasize the Personal Progress Program (PPP) with the parents, and open the book to the Beehive section and demonstrate how the book is used. We find that if the YW are excited about the PPP early-on, as they become Laurels they will not "drop out" of the program. We also ask (at the home visit) to show us something she may have to share with the rest of the group ~ the spotlight is good, but "things" are enjoyed by all the YW. Instead of having a Laurel spotlight the Beehive, we have the Beehive Presidency rotate turns doing that. It gives them more leadership responsibility and stewardship over their class. It also gives the new Beehive some "connection" to her group. I feel it is very important that the Beehive Presidency (or at least the Beehive President) make the visit to the home with the YW President, 2nd Counselor and Beehive Advisor and 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric. I know this sounds like a lot of people, and if you have a lot of Beehives coming in you may not be able to do it, but first impressions are very important, and the worth of souls is great, and a united and welcoming "front" certainly tells the new Beehive, that she is very important to the group, and lends itself to a missionary and fellowshipping tool for less active families. As the YW President, I would always follow up with a letter letting her know that I was excited about her coming to YW and all the fun we would have and all the opportunities for building her testimony we would experience. I also sent a letter to the parents expressing my appreciation for letting us come into their home and what a wonderful daughter they had and how thrilled we were to have her join the YW program. I also let them know that if they ever had any questions or concerns to feel free to give me a call. The connection to the parents is so important. If parents aren't behind you (or next to you!) you will have an uphill struggle in encouraging your YW to set goals, attend activities and Sunday instruction and working on PPP. I made magnets with the telephone numbers of the President, Counselor, Beehive President and Bishop to put on her refrigerator as a reminder of those she could call. I think it is important to follow-up this initial contact with regular calls to the parents to make sure everything is going OK. I always continued to send notes to the new YW and also encouraged the Beehive President to follow-up with notes, too. It takes a few months for the new Beehive to settle-in, so continued fellowshipping is important. Hope this gives you some ideas for contact with the New Beehives. One more thing ~ I'm not sure that there is a lesson in the Primary manual anymore providing the opportunity for the Beehive class to come to the upcoming Beehives (like there use to be with the Merry Miss classes), but I would highly recommend that you continue that experience if possible. If you have any questions, just send them along. ~Susan

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