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Laurel Projects

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Plan and carry out New Beginnings. --Heather

When I was a Laurel, I wrote a play (one act about 20-25 minutes) and put it on with another Laurel and a little girl from primary for a fireside one Sunday. For another project, I got a book of cross stitch patterns from the church bookstore (I've even seen the book on the internet for sale) and cross stitched all the values and meanings and the theme and pictures of the torch and each class's picture. Then I made it into a quilt using the young women colors as borders. I still sleep under that quilt! --Heather

Put on a prom for the ward's married couples, complete with pictures. --Sue

One YW did a years worth of family home evenings, with all the flannel board pictures and props....tons of work, but what a wonderful resource for her future family as well as her present one. --Sue

One Laurel is teaching a 9 year old boy to read. --Sue

Give piano lessons. --Sue

Coach or run a tournament for a YW sport. --Jen Blackwell

Do a babysitting service projects--so couples could go to the temple. --Jen Blackwell

Help make awards, binders, bookmarks, or other YW memorabilia for the incoming Beehives or upcoming activities.

Make pretty value-colored posters for the values, value statements, and related scriptures. --Lisa Leavitt

Make tablecloths out of the value colors for the young women's room.--Lisa Leavitt (You may get YW funds for this or donate it)

Make a craft or room decoration which includes all of the young women colors for each young woman in the ward. When a young woman finishes that value, she gets an item of the matching value color. This may encourage the girls to think about what she still must do to complete her year's experiences.

Plan an all-night scripture-a-thon. Plan different characters from the scriptures to visit throughout the night/evening and different discussions to keep everyone awake and focused on the reading. --Diane

Have a clothing drive. Make boxes to place around the building and asked members donate the clothes. Launder, separate, and fold all the donations. Take them to a shelter. (Check first with the shelter first to determine needs, etc.) --Diane

Organize a service project to benefit a home for pregnant girls. Make a quilt for each baby that will be born soon. Provide seasonal decorations to make the home more cozy and throw a seasonal party. If there are also children living there, provide activities or crafts for them at the party. --Diane

I have given my Laurels the choices of putting together the various special activities throughout the year (New Beginnings, YW in Excellence), and one of my Laurels did a Super Saturday activity (our ward was in charge of the activity, and she had a great idea, so we let her do it). They always come up with such creative ideas!!! You could put one in charge of a fireside, a weekday activity--someone said they had about 10 mini-activities to let the girls see some ideas for full-blown activities, and then they took 2 or 3 of those activities a week and let the girls do more involved projects.
Then there's the "make something for someone needy" activities: e.g. making quilts, teddy bears, toiletry kits and getting book donations for the local S.O.S shelter; making quilts for the homeless shelter; work in the local soup kitchen x amount of hours; making quilts and baby clothes for the hospitals to hand out; gathering donations for the thrift shops; etc. There's also doing yardwork for a shut-in; helping people move into or out of the ward (mostly setting up volunteer schedules); visiting a local nursing home (or setting up a ward service project for a local nursing home, doing yardwork, visiting the residents, having the primary make drawings and sing songs, etc.) Someone in our Stake had a Laurel make a plaque (like they have for the Eagle Scouts) for all the girls in their ward who received their YW Medallions. I think that's a great idea myself, and have considered having one of our Laurels do it. --Jessica 0

Plan a youth temple trip (rides, accommodation, lunch, etc., etc.). --Mary

Learn to quilt, knit, crochet, cross stitch, etc. and complete a project. --Mary

One of our girls had lived in Europe and wanted to prepare a scrapbook of her experiences there. --Mary

Write an YW or YW/YM newsletter monthly for a specified length of time. Distribute it to all the youth. --Mary

Do volunteer work at a food bank, shelter, hospital, etc. Make it more than putting in time, but plan some special event or contribution. --Mary

Learn and practice a homemaking skill such as cooking or sewing. (20 hours worth should teach them well)

Plan a YW retreat for the ward. --Mary

Work on genealogy at you local family history center. Computerize your family records on PAF or do research yourself. Prepare names for the temple and do the work. --Mary

Learn a musical instrument and perform at YW in excellence. --Mary

Compile a cookbook or favorite recipes from ward members. --Mary

Learn to paint or wallpaper. --Mary

Maintain a garden for a season. --Mary

Tutor a younger person in a subject you are good at. --Mary

This one is almost completed by one of our girls: transpose favorite YW music into singable keys! We purchased many copies of "I walk by faith" and received permission from the publisher to transpose a pianist copy because we' ve got a room full of altos. This girl comes to my house on Sunday afternoons to use my computer music program. It has been really nice to use some of that music that they would otherwise screech and giggle through. --Mary

Make a year's worth of personal progress reminders and handouts for YW. --Mary

Our Laurel class made arrangements to go to the children's ward of a hospital on a monthly basis and decorate for the different holidays. For one weekday activity we would make the decorations, and then on Sunday we would take them to the hospital to put up on the walls. We did this for about 7 months. We also have had several different service projects where we sewed bibs for a women's shelter and have gone to the local food bank and also the bishop's storehouse. --Dari Davis, Springfield, VA

Spend time at the dog/cat pound doing service there and taking care of animals --Susan Greer

Planning and implementing a large all-day free babysitting activity a few weekends before Christmas so that parents in the ward can go Christmas shopping w/o little ones afoot (includes snack preparation, planning the day's activities, assigning other YW to take part of the assignments, making Christmas presents for the parents, lunch, taking pictures for the parents to see later, etc.) --Susan Greer

Planning and implementing a canned food drive in the community Gathering clothes to be taken to Mexico (pick-up, cleaning clothes, sorting by size, gender, seasons; packing and delivery to appropriate people in the community) --Susan Greer

Providing a large family with the "12 Days of Christmas" anonymously, of course! --Susan Greer

Making baby quilts and presenting these to new mothers in the ward along with "baby baskets" filled with essential baby items ~ we have the mothers come and share their feelings in Opening Exercises when the quilts and baskets are presented. --Susan Greer

Organizing a YW choir Providing a summer's worth of service at a home for young children with physical and mental disabilities. --Susan Greer

Writing a Sacrament Meeting Program to be "performed" (probably not the most reverent word for a Sacrament Meeting) by the youth (a Laurel did the Book of Mormon as her theme) These are just a few of the more successful ones I remember over the last 13 years. Hope there are some new ideas here! :-D (laughing) --Susan Greer

I just moved from UT and found out that the church is now an official organization that gives world aid. If you contact SLC ask them about it. The girls can put together new baby kits, crochet leper bandages, etc. The church can give you all the specifics. --Sue

The address you need is:

Deseret Industries Sort Center
LDS Charities
attn: Humanitarian Service Projects
PO Box 26393-0393
1665 Bennett Rd.
SLC, Utah 84126-0393

Dari Davis,
Springfield, VA

Advice to Leaders About Laurel Projects

Some I have said "no" to: "Can I use camp as a laurel project?" and "I've been cooking a lot lately. Is that a project?" :-) --Mary in Spokane

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