Monday, September 15, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness Competition

  The Beehive class presidency decided they wanted to do a Random Acts of Kindness activity in the form of a competition for this month's joint young women activity.  I knew there were many R.A.K blog posts out there, and figured I could easily use someone else's fabulous ideas, and turn them into a meaningful, memorable activity.  What I needed was a list of Random Acts of Kindness that could be done in a short amount of time, in a small geographical area, and also cost very little.

  I ended up searching numerous blog posts I found through Pinterest, and compiling a list of options.  Then I looked at the overall list and narrowed them down mostly by cost.     You can find my kindness Pinterest board here to see where I got most of my ideas.

These are the Random Acts that made the cut:

Church building
--Write a letter/card to a missionary.  Must include a favorite scripture or quote, and encouraging words.  Needs to be a thoughtful message that they will appreciate receiving.  3 points each, up to one per missionary in our ward per team.

--Share an inspirational LDS quote or message on your social media account.  2 points per post, one post per team member.

--Write a Thank-you letter to someone, include specific things you are thankful for that they have done for you.  3 points per letter, one letter per team member.

--Send a text to someone telling them something specific you appreciate about them.  1 point per text, one text per team member.

Shopping Center
--Put the number of quarters required in the coin return of a payphone/soda machine/or kid prize machine.  1 point per quarter, up to 4.  (4 quarters included)

--Put Away a Shopping cart from the parking lot to the cart corral by the building.  BE SAFE!  1 point per cart, no limit.

--Hold a door open for someone!  1 Point each time, no limit.

--Pick up a sandwich size bag of trash.  points per bag, up to nine points.  Three bags included.

--Leave an uplifting note on a windshield.  Use Sticky notes provided.  1 point per note, one note per car. 

--Leave a coupon next to the item in the grocery store.  1 point per coupon, three coupons included.

--Tape up or post a “free compliments, take one” poster in a public space.  FIVE Points.

--Hand out a pre-stamped blank thank you note, ask the person to send it to someone they appreciate.  3 points each note, two included.

--Sing a song as a group to someone.  points per song.

--Give a helium balloon to a child.  1 point per balloon, up to four balloons

Ward Member’s house
--Write an inspiring message with sidewalk chalk on someone’s driveway.  3 points, no limit.

--Sweep a Porch.  Ask to use their broom.  3 points, no limit.

--Give a helium balloon to a child.  1 point per balloon, up to four balloons

--Deliver cookies to a household.  Plates will be distributed evenly between groups.  points each plate.

--Sing a song as a group to someone.  2 points per song.  No limit.

--Leave an uplifting note on a windshield.  Use sticky notes provided.  1 point per note, one note per car. 

--Pick up a sandwich size bag of trash.  points per bag, up to nine points.  Three bags included.

--Made one dozen cookies for this activity.  5 Points for each dozen brought by a team member.

--Obey all Traffic Laws.  TWENTY FIVE POINTS

--Work Together KINDLY as a Team.  TWENTY FIVE POINTS

--Get back to the church by 8:20.  TWENTY FIVE POINTS.

--Return all unused items in your kit to a leader. Ten Points 

Here is what the score sheet ended up looking like.  I emailed it out to all of the leaders ahead of time so they could develop a little strategy and have an overall understanding of the activity.

Each Team gets a kit with identical items to complete the tasks on the challenge list.  Below is the pile I started accumulating the day before the activity to make sure I didn't forget anything.  I ended up finding almost all of the items at the dollar store or printing them off on my computer.  The helium tank obviously took up the bulk of the expense, but I think the fun factor was worth it.

The list of items you will need for this activity include:

-Helium, balloons, ribbon: four for each group (we decided to blow the balloons up ahead of time to save the teams time)
-Cards/paper/pens: to write thank you notes and missionary letters
-Two cards in stamped envelopes for each group
-Four quarters for each group
-Cookies on plates (provided by young women)
-Three sandwich size bags per group (gloves?) to collect garbage in
-50 post it notes per group
-Sidewalk Chalk (I found this cheap at the dollar store)
-Three random coupons per team kit
-"Take a compliment" poster and tape (we wrapped some masking tape around a pen in each kit)
-Award for the winning team if you choose

For the Take A Compliment poster, you can find them on pinterest already made.  I ended up combining an image from here, but added some of my own compliments, see list below.

The next morning... people had been enjoying our compliments poster already!

You’re a great friend
You look really good today
You’re unique
You inspire me
You’re brave
You’re confident
I like your laugh
You’re smart
You’re thoughtful
You’re inspirational
You amaze me
You’re a good listener
You’re helpful
You’re awesome
You’re beautiful
Your smile is nice
You’re wonderful
Have you been working out?
You are gorgeous
I like your hair today

The teams all had unique experiences and everyone had a great time spreading happiness and being kind.  Some of the favorite activities were: giving a balloon to a child, singing to random strangers, and decorating driveways with uplifting messages.

With all the cookies the girls brought, we had enough for two plates per team, and kept the extras for our refreshments at the end of the night.  I also brought a gallon of chocolate milk, and a gallon of regular milk.

For the team with the most points, I spray painted some little plastic trophies I found at the dollar store and attached some Starburst.  A little cheesy, but inexpensive and easy.

Spray painted each side, allowed to dry in between sprays.

Used sand paper to take off a little pink.  I thought gold would show up, but black did instead.

Wrote the word Kindness on each one with a sharpie, and then added a couple coats of clear finish spray because the words were smearing.

Printed 8 quick labels off and attached to baggies of Starbursts.

Finished award.  Tiny.  Cheesy.  but a little bit fun and happy, with a dash of kindness.

Other ideas that would have been fun, but didn't make the list because of either cost or overall time:

-Present a ward member with a Certificate (pre printed certificate would be included in kit)
-Heart Attack someone (supplies would need to be included in kits)
-Deliver cookies and thank you note to a fire station
-Read a picture book to a child
-Place pre-printed uplifting quotes around for people to find
-Paint hearts (or other) on small rocks and leave in sidewalk cracks or other places to be found
-"Ding Dong" ditch someone (leave a box of Ding Dongs and a nice note)
-Hide dollar bills at the dollar store or the dollar section in Target

Have fun with this activity and make it your own!  I can't wait to do something like this for Family Home Evening soon!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fit For the Race New Beginnings

For New Beginnings this year, we saw the theme Fit For the Race here… and RAN with it!  We all worked together and were able to pull everything together in just a few weeks after getting called as a new presidency!  THANK YOU to Sarah, Jenny, Alena, Natalie, Rhonda, Heather, and Erin for your amazing talents and time spent to organize and carry out this event.

Our Amazing Bishop created a logo for us, which we used for the invitations, decorations, programs, race packets, and even water bottle labels. 
You have permission to use the logo above, and i even have it in a few other colors as well.  The designs below are just for examples, I purchased the digital papers and embellishments from etsy at ThisToo Designs/ThisToo Designsdigiscrap delights, and DewDrop Digitals if you want to duplicate them.

The Beehive girls spent a class activity helping us by decorating race packets, designing and painting a big sign for the entry area, and attaching our water bottle labels with packing tape.

As the Young Women arrived, they each stopped by the Packet Pick-Up table to “register” and pick up their race folder.  Check out that awesome sign the girls made!  Each folder was labeled with a girl’s name.  The contents of each folder were:

2013 “team” roster
“All About Me” form (to use for spotlights throughout the year)
2013 yw calendar at a glance
Mini Strength of Youth pamphlet
Bookmark with overview of value items from skit
Stride gum with “Lengthen your Stride” quote
Jenny Phillips CD
Race Bib (got them donated, extras from a race)

Just inside the doors to the cultural hall we repurposed some balloon topiary poles into a starting line using fabric bunting banners and balloons of course.  We taped the word START onto the ground beneath.  

Then we used blue painters tape to mark off a course with arrows to the finish line on the stage which was decorated in white with pictures of the Savior.

The refreshment table was decorated with the cute bunting and some bright orange cones with balloons on dowels.  I wish I had taken more pictures of the completed look!

We had a combination of an ice cream bar and a trail mix bar and it really turned out delicious.  There was something for everyone, from super healthy to sweet sugar rush!  And of course the cute water bottles for thirst quenching.

For the program, we started off singing “I Love to See the Temple” and then our YW President kicked off the evening with a great talk based on our Fit For the Race theme.

Each age level of girl participated in the program; Our 4 Beehives stood up together and gave a few training tips on how they stay on the right path with things like good music and service.

Next our Mia Maids did a fabulous job performing a skit we wrote… they added a bit of their own flare and really made it great!  The skit compared different items you need in a physical running race to a value you need to compete in the race of life in order to return to our Father in Heaven.  You can find the skit here.

The Laurels came prepared with spotlights for each of the girls who will be turning 12 this year and entering Beehives, it was so fun to see the personalities shining through for each of them.  After their spotlight each upcoming Beehive received a draw-string bag (found at the dollar store) that contained items from the skit representing the values.  

We also had a Mother/Daughter duo talk about “teamwork” and working on their personal progress together.

Our Bishop gave some closing remarks which were truly inspiring and told the story about Derek Redmond, the Olympian who tore his hamstring 150 meters into the 400 meter race.  Watch the amazing video on youtube... makes me cry everytime.

For the closing song we had a musical number sung by the young women and leaders called In That Holy Place by Sally DeFord.  You can find it here on her website.

We hope this helps someone else!  We had a great time putting it together.  There are lots of great talks to use for inspiration, including The Race of Life by Thomas S Monson.

Also, I framed a few inspirational running quotes and placed them around the room and on the race folders, there are so many to choose from!  Here are a few we used:

"The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare" -NYC Marathon winner Juma Ikangaa

"life is a marathon, not a sprint"

"Find Joy in the journey" - Thomas S Monson

"The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness the less likely we will be on a path to regrets." - Dieter F Uchtdorf

And I love this one found here (see photo below) ... goes perfectly with personal progress!

Race Themed Values Skit for New Beginnings

This skit goes with this post (Fit 4 the Race New Beginnings).  Feel free to adapt as necessary for your ward's needs.

Fit 4 The Race Values Skit
By Vanessa Bickmore and Jenny Crandell

Here in the ________________ Ward Young Women Program, we are training and preparing to enter the temple to make sacred covenants, and remain pure and worthy throughout our lives.  Our leaders have given us 8 VALUEable tools which help us to be Fit 4 the Race.  We have been taught that these Values can help us overcome any difficulties, hurdles or temptations we may face on the course… and in fact even help us stay on the right path!  Even with pit stops and temptations along the way, we know we can finish the race which leads back to our Father in Heaven.

Faith- map/strength of youth
Because we have not run this course before, we will need a map and directions to complete the race.  Our Faith and understanding of the gospel standards will put us on the right path… The Strength of Youth Pamphlet provides us with excellent directions to follow through the course.

Divine Nature- running bib
This running bib represents Divine Nature.  Our Divine Nature is what qualifies each of us as a participant in this race.  We have inherited divine qualities from our Father in Heaven who loves us and sent us to earth as participants.

Individual Worth- friend
Competing and training with a friend will help the experience be more enjoyable and more successful.  This is because each of us brings important skills and abilities to the race, our Individual Worth is what makes us unique and important in the sight of God.  Running the race with loved ones helps us remember that all of Heavenly Father’s children are of infinite worth.

Knowledge- water
Water represents a continual thirst for Knowledge, opportunities and growth.  Staying well hydrated on the race is vitally important to our mission.   Hydrating our spirits here on earth is an essential part of strengthening our testimonies and abilities through scripture study, prayer, and developing our talents and interests.

Choice and Accountability- music
Just like we have a choice in the music we listen to, we also make many other choices along the path… those choices lead to consequences which either slow us down or lengthen our stride.  Choice and Accountability is all about learning to make good choices and accepting responsibility for our decisions. This will greatly affect which paths we take on the race of life. 

Good Works- energy bar
Sometimes we may be slowed down by either feelings of pride or self doubt… this loss of energy may be contributed to the need for some fuel.  The energy bar we crave in the race of life is Good Works.  Helping others and building the kingdom can give us the boost we need consisting of Christ like Love and Gratitude.

Integrity- sunscreen
Applying sunscreen is something we do because we know it is right, and not because anyone else knows whether we have applied it or not.  When we have Integrity, we base our decisions on our beliefs and knowledge of right and wrong… not on what others will think of our actions.

Virtue- tennis shoes
Making covenants in the temple and remaining pure and worthy will require Standing in Holy Places… on our own two feet.  By choosing to let Virtue garnish our thoughts, we can ensure that we have a holy place to stand at all times and in all things and in all places.

With these 8 VALUES we can be Fit 4 the Race, and return to our Heavenly Father again.  Along the way we will be cheered on by our family and friends… and we can pray for additional guidance anytime and anywhere.  The finish line is Eternal Life… but the goals and progress we make along the way will be what keeps us Standing in Holy Places and on the right course.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Teen Elect- Even a Caveman Can Do It

I wanted to write a post about our Stake Teen Elect Activity, because when I was searching the Internet in preparation for this event, I couldn't find much information. According to my understanding, the main purpose of Teen Elect is to provide information to the youth about etiquette and manners, and give them a social setting in which to practice what they've learned.

Set up for formal dinner (the youth helped put away table and chairs for the dance)
Centerpieces for the formal dinner included rocks, twigs, pine cones and leaves... fancy stuff!

We did a three part activity, two Wednesday nights, and one Saturday night.  In our stake, this activity is held every-other year for youth ages 12 and 13.  This year our theme, as mentioned in an earlier post, was "Even a Caveman Can Do It."

The first two evenings consisted of class rotations, and instructional dance... and the third evening was a formal dinner and dance.  As the youth arrived, we had them sign in (So we could get an accurate count) and gave them name tags.  The name tags served a double purpose by separating the youth into three groups for rotations.  Each name tag was printed with either Barney, Fred or Dino.  The group names were Flinstones, Rubbles and Dinomites.

I can give you the basic outline for each night, but the individual classes were put together by husband and wife teams.  We told them the basic concepts to cover, and told them to make it interesting and fun by involving the youth with games/questions/object lessons/treats/etc.

First Night:

7:00   Greet and Gather in Cultural Hall; Opening Prayer
          Caveman and Cavewoman Skit (a couple in caveman costumes show very bad manners)
          Divide into groups

7:15 - 8:00 Classes

7:15    Flinstones- Modesty
           Rubbles- Manners
           Dinomites-Table Etiquette

7:30    Flinstones- Manners
           Rubbles- Table Etiquette
           Dinomites- Modesty

7:45    Flinstones- Table Etiquette
           Rubbles- Modesty

8:05-8:30 All groups Line Dancing

Second Night

7:00 Greet and Gather in Cultural Hall; Opening Prayer
         Caveman and Cavewoman Skit (a couple in caveman costumes show slightly better manners)
         Divide into groups

7:15 - 8:00 Classes

7:15 Flinstones- Hygiene
        Rubbles- Manners
        Dinomites-Table Etiquette

7:30 Flinstones- Manners
        Rubbles- Table Etiquette
        Dinomites- Hygiene

7:45 Flinstones- Table Etiquette
        Rubbles- Hygiene

8:05-8:30 All groups Ballroom Dance Instruction

Third Night

Caveman and Cavewoman attend in nice clothes (animal print tie/bone jewelry and bow, etc) and display good manners

Menu: Lasagna, Parisian Salad, Rolls, Green Beans (all from Costco) Dessert: Jello Poke Cake topped with whipped cream and Fruity Pebble sprinkles

6:30   Arrive
6:40   Opening Prayer
           Boys serve girls at their table first, then themselves
7:15    Serve Dessert
7:30-8:00 Dance, line dancing and instructional dance with rotating partners

Here are a few pictures of the classes:

Hygiene class included a goofy song sung, cleaning and organizational tips, and a scavenger hunt through the "messy room"

Table Etiquette class included a race to set their own tables correctly after learning the proper way.

The overall theme for the Modesty class was "Dress to Reflect Respect."  The teacher asked who would like a piece of cake, and chose someone to come forward.  Next, the teacher grabbed a messy handful of cake and slopped it down onto a plate.  Then the question was something like "Does presentation matter?"

These are just a few examples of the excellent classes.  I heard lots of good feedback about these activities from parents, leaders and the youth.

Additional Pictures can be seen in the previous post "Cardboard Cave"

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cardboard Cave

For our Stake Teen Elect activity, I volunteered to come up with a cardboard decoration of some kind.   The theme was "Even A Caveman Can Do It."  As I have previously mentioned, I love to make stuff out of cardboard!  I found the perfect large flat pieces of cardboard at Costco, that were used to separate levels of items stacked on pallets.  I asked an employee if they were free for the taking.

Yep, free.  My favorite word.  I brought home two and cut a cave opening section out.  Then, I took the cut out cardboard pieces and placed them on the top for a rounded boulder effect, see the 4 cut-out sections below.  The puzzle pieces worked together almost perfectly, with just a little rounding on the edges. Next I taped the pieces together really well with packing tape.

The fourth piece at top left not yet in place
All the pieces together and ready to tape

Next, I wadded up newspapers and taped it on to make a jagged rock effect.  Not a pretty sight, but ultimately it is just to create volume and lumpy rock shapes.

Now it gets sloppy.  I made a big bowl of paper mache goop.  I don't have a recipe for this, I just add the ingredients until it is the right consistency.  I bet you could find oodles of recipes through google.  I used water, Elmer's glue, and flour to make a liquidy paste.  Next, I ripped strips of newspapers and dipped them one at a time into the goop.  I needed it to dry fast, so I squeezed off most of the liquid before placing the strips as flat as possible over the wadded newspaper...

fancy stuff, right?  I let it dry for about 3 hours, then enlisted Berkley's help.  Armed with 4 almost-empty cans of spray paint, and one brand new can of textured stone spray paint... we attacked the cardboard and completed the transformation.

Berkley doing a final inspection before we painted

The painting is finished... next I taped some boards up the back on each side for some extra support, and we duct taped it to two stacks of chairs  to hold it up.  A couple strands of vines were stapled on, and the ring of rocks in front of it finished off the look.

The only item I purchased was the textured stone spray paint from Walmart for $7.97... someone else bought the vines so I don't know the price on those.

We still have two more evenings of Teen Elect, I will post more about the activity when it is finished.