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Youth Conference

 

This isn't a theme, but it's something we do in our stake.  We actually have the youth of the wards submit one theme name per ward, then we provide an ice cream party for the ward with the winning theme.  They have come up with some great ones! ~Charee

Service Projects

"Sprucing Up Our Town"

It was suggested that we contact the mayor of the town - and ask him "If you had 250 youth for 3 hours to do service in your town, what would you like them to do?"  Check with the city - they usually have lots of projects that a big group could do.   One year during a YW conference we painted the fences and benches at the ballpark and then washed fire engines - it was a blast. We plan to contact the media and have them visit a few of these areas where various groups of youth will be working and spread our story.  The youth are really excited, and I think it will be very successful.  We did this in our Stake when we had a family service day (different town from our YC) and it was very successful. ~

Another place to check is with United Way - they will have plenty for you to do also.~Joyce

Habitat for Humanity

This year is a Stake youth conference also (we alternate every year). The kids are also staying "home". Unless the plans have changed, the kids will be building homes with Habitat for Humanity. That was my plan B last year, but the ropes course worked out... so I thought it was interesting they had the same idea!  The stake is planning a boat dance (maybe dinner too?). I assume they are planning a testimony meeting & I wouldn't be surprised if they kicked it off with a fireside the night before or maybe the Sunday before. ~Stacey

Write or call the Humanitiarian Sort Center and ask for a copy of 'Humanitarian Service Project Guidelines'

Sort Center - Humanitarian Service Projects
1665 Bennett Rd.
Salt Lake City, UT 84104
(801) 240-6060  M-F 8-4

MASH (Modern Armies Serving Heaven)

We did this youth conference quite a few years ago. It was a lot of fun. We focused on service. We got the kids an army green t-shirt that said MASH on it. We also found a place to order dogtags for each of them. Everyone wore their fatigues (it's surprising how many people have them or have access to them, if not the fatigues, than khaki's or whatever... wasn't mandatory, everyone just came dressed for the part!) & if you could find a place that would be like army barracks that would be fun. We did service for each other throughout the youth conference & a huge service project all together... you could find something for the kids could do in the community or close to where ever you are going. We "drafted" everyone & told them where & when they needed to "report to duty". The leaders were the officers & there was morning roll call & whatever the bugle thing is in the
morning & evening, I think we did calisthenics each morning!  It was memorable & I still have my dog tags!! Good luck!
Oh wait... I do remember one other thing. Can't believe I almost forgot this. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! We got EACH kid & adult leader a "super-soaker" water gun. You know those big machine gun looking things that hold a lot of water???? Well, on the day that we had worked hard in the hot sun doing the big service project we handed those out when we got back to camp & had the biggest, hugest, most fun water fight imaginable...kids, leaders, bishopric, EVERYONE... no one was spared. I think it went on for HOURS! We were without mercy & the kids LOVED those water guns. They got to keep them & take them home. Those along with the shirts & dog tags were their "souvenirs". Way fun. ~Stacey

"S.A.L.T."

Last year our youth conference theme was "S.A.L.T." (Share A Little Testimony). It was service oriented with the youth splitting into 7 groups and taking on several community service projects. i.e., laying a new trail at a park near Mt. Hood, planting 200 trees at a city park, etc.  The  youth met back at church and each group had to put on a five minute impromptu skit to show everyone what they had done (What a scream!).  We supplied many costumes and props for them to use.  We had a great dinner, guest speakers and testimony meeting.  The night before we had a dance.  Very successful. ~Dorinda

"AAA"

This year we have scheduled "AAA"(Awake And Arise), like the road assistance company.  We scheduled a pajama dance (certain dress standards have to be enforced) for Friday night.  Saturday was scheduled for a service project on the temple grounds.  Followed by a dinner (breakfast foods; eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc.) a guest speaker and testimony meeting.  Then the laurels and priests went back to the temple to do baptisms that evening.  (We had to furnish our own names)   It was a great time. Have fun! ~Dorinda (note: there's no reason why all worthy youth conference participants could not do baptisms for the dead if your group is small enough--not just priests and laurels)

Other Ideas

Mountain of the Lord

Do something temple related--preparing, family history, eternal marriage, appropriate dating, etc.  Plus, you could do lots of other things, such as go hiking or mountain biking, learn about wildlife in your area, compare life to a hike and make a game about it, learn how to survive in the wilderness, watch the video "The Mountain of the Lord" about building the Salt Lake temple, collect a mountain of food, clothing, and other supplies for the needy, clean up a neighborhood nature area or park (respect God's creation), learn about astronomy and go up to an area without many city lights to look at the stars and talk about the Book of Abraham (August has a meteor shower in the first week or so), learn about different mountains in the scriptures, talk about faith and how to develop the kind of faith that moves mountains, learn to paint mountains or other nature scenes, write poetry or songs about mountains, write and perform a play or read fables or stories that have to do with mountains, learn to overcome the obstacles that get in the way of sharing the gospel with others. ~Jenny

"Catch a Wave"

Last year, we met at Bear Lake, had rotating classes (4 I think) of gospel topic ideas that different people in the stake taught.  I think one of the classes taught different types of dancing.  Then we had lunch.  Then for a few hours the kids were allowed to swim and play on the beach. One of the wards had some games going on for people to play - volleyball etc.  Then a fun dinner followed by a speaker and dance.  The kids loved it.  Everyone
got a T shirt with the theme "Catch a Wave".  I was in on helping plan it, but my son broke his leg the night before, so I didn't get to go. Good Luck ~ Mitzi

Hold To The Rod ....  or as it turned out Hold To The Rope!

Last year we stayed at home and had a fireside Friday night to introduce the theme (Hold To The Rod ....  or as it turned out Hold To The Rope!) Then Saturday morning we met at the church took the kids to a ropes course where we spent the day. The ropes course was awesome! Then we went from there to a nearby beach for a barbecue dinner & then back home. Sunday morning we had Testimony meeting. Some of the kids were bummed at first about staying home & not staying overnight anywhere, (& a few girls were apprehensive about what it would be like) but in the end they were really "psyched" about what they had been through & some of the older kids said during testimony meeting that it was the best youth conference they had ever been to. ~Stacey

"Faith in Every Footstep"

The year before was a Stake youth conference. That was the year with the theme "Faith in Every Footstep" and the kids went on a pioneer trek with wagons & dressing like pioneers. In the end the kids said it was OK. Hard, but OK. They weren't really jumping up & down about it, but then again, I was having a baby & didn't go & since I wasn't at testimony meeting I just may not know. They just never really said a whole lot when I asked them about it. I think it was a lot harder than they imagined or that the stake said it was going to be. The trail was a lot harder than the stake knew. ~Stacey

"Chart A Course"

Our stake president is concerned that some of our youth have no direction - they (thankfully not all of them) are not committed to missions, temple marriage, even school or steady employment! He suggested something on the line of "Chart A Course", something to inspire them to set goals, THINK about where they want to go, what they want to do with their lives, and inspire them to set firm goals of mission, temple marriage, etc. To me, the exciting thing is WHERE we live, I think it opens up many possibilities. The stake center is only about 8-10 miles from the ocean, beaches, islands, parks, etc. I am not aware of a CLOSE lighthouse, but I know of one a short way up the coast. We have a naval shipyard, a coast guard station, a submarine museum, etc. My counselor suggested "Celestial Navigation" and that led me to think "Follow the Son". Someone suggested a night activity with star gazing. We always include a service activity, and want to have FUN as well. I would dearly love to get them all on a boat and head out to an island 4-5 miles off shore, but think that might be too expensive. We have access to ship navigators, and lots of nautical stuff, so I think that might be a great start to a theme. We have had activities at the beach before, but have never built an entire activity around that resource.(She wants to include poems, stories, thoughts, scriptures and songs also with this theme) ~Sue

Y2K Seminar--"Youth 2 Kool!"

We are doing the following for Youth Conf.  The mini-classes could be anything of interest for the youth.  Just think of something and adapt it to something connected with Y2K.  We have the Church cabin for one Wednesday in August.   We sum everything up at a Sunday Fireside. Toni

Seminar Packet: Folder with name tag
(Laurels) "Safe" money to purchase seminar mini-classes on Y2K compatibility.
Food vouchers to purchase essential sustanance.
Brochure explaining the mini classes.
Seminar Graduation Certificate – to be stamped and approved at each class. You will Y2K compatible when you finish the seminar!
One Kazoo and one pair of sunglasses – for the "Kool" part.

Seminar Objective: To make each participant Y2K compatible for the next century.

Seminar Outline: Opening song - something goofy with kazoos

(Laurels) Opening Prayer

Introduction: Because of the mass hysteria connected with the Y2K phenomenon, you will need to be prepared to live a life free of today’s’ social pressures. When the lights go out, do you know where to find the light switch? When the winter winds blow, will you know where to warm your – heart? Most people will not be prepared for such inconveniences, thus disorder and corruption will prevail. Will you survive?

You have been given "Safe" money – good anywhere at the seminar - in order to purchase seminar mini classes essential to your survival. Food vouchers are also provided to maintain order in the case of shortages.

Mini – Classes: Classes will last 35 min with a 5 min change over. You may report to the kitchen during the mini class time period for one snack break. Vouchers must be used to maintain critical food levels for a group this
large.

You will have time to attend 3 classes and one break. (Laurels)

The Y2K Secret: Survival techniques will be essential – Service Projects a must! (Teachers)

Lunch Break: Don’t forget your voucher. (Mia Maids – all food assignments)

The Y2K Fun:

The Test: Team building activity (Priests & Teachers)

Conclusion of the day:

Sunday Fireside: Have adult leaders bring "Celestial Certificates" to display. Blessing, (Teachers) Baptism, Temple Marriage, Faith in God, Gospel in Action, YW Awards, and Eagle Scout Awards.

The speaker of the evening would point out:

Fun: You can still have fun and survive with peer pressure and all that the youth have to deal with.

The Secret is to serve

The Test is to work as a team

The Best certificates are Celestial Certificates.

Misc. Themes and Ideas

Our stake youth committee finally decided on our theme for this year.   E.R.  (Eternal Rewards)  They will decorate like an operating room and dress like Dr.'s the 1st night to introduce the theme. Just an idea.... ~Shaila

Other years we have gone away to a camp site type places (with cabins) and had various themes & speakers & games & ended with testimony meeting. Usually those were Friday to Sunday, I believe. But I know the handbook is being pretty clear about being home before Sunday...Hope that helps. ~Stacey

<< The theme is 'Roadmap to Eternity'. >>

We did the game "Which way to the Temple" one time.  You get several car loads of kids (with leaders, of course) and at every intersection they roll a dice (that you made) that say to either turn left, turn right, go straight, u-turn, roll again, etc.   Then... they had a certain amount of time to meet at the temple.  They used the dice to get there.  IF they couldn't get there using the dice, then they were to get there anyway by the designated time.  We were SO close a couple of times and then the dice would throw us off. It was a very affective activity because the kids saw that we must PLAN our road to the temple and not just "let it happen". If you don't live near a temple you could use your church house or something like that to get to.  Just as long as they see that they can't let life just take them where they want to go, they have to PLAN. Hugs ~Starlyn

M & M's  (Missions and Missionaries)

The theme is A Royal Army

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