Thursday, November 13, 2014

YW In Excellence (Take 1)

I've been a part of the Young Women's program in our church for only two months now. For those of you who don't exactly know what I'm talking about or what that means, allow me to explain:
Our church leadership is run solely on a volunteer basis. Although our bishop and bishopric members extend specific "callings" (responsibilities) to individual members, the acceptance of these callings is not required and all callings are fulfilled without pay. These callings could be anything from leading the music in a sacrament meeting, to teaching Sunday School, to in my case, working with the youth, specifically the teenage girls ages 12-18.

One of the main purposes of the Young Women's program in our church is something called Personal Progress. Throughout their time in Young Women's, the girls work through projects and experiences dealing with 8 different life values: faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, integrity and virtue. The projects and experiences could be anything from reading certain scriptures and writing down your thoughts on them... to doing 10hrs of service in the community... With 8 values, each requiring you to complete a number of experiences and a final "value project", it took me a few years to complete my Personal Progress when I was in Young Women's as a girl.

Each year, the Young Women's program puts on a YW In Excellence night, where the girls come (with their parents) and showcase an experience or project that they worked on that year. Some girls learned how to cook with their mother's, so they brought her favorite snack samples for everyone to try; some learned the intricacies of family history work and were able to showcase all the names they were able to find and index; others shared journal excerpts or artwork...

Just as boy scouts are rewarded with merit badges for archery or swimming, Young Women are honored for their knowledge and testimonies gained in all the important life values needed to live a successful, fulfilling life as a daughter of God.

As part of the YW presidency, I offered to spearhead the YW In Excellence night. I had the girls pick out a theme for the event - they chose the Dr. Seuss book "Oh the Places You'll Go!" and I ran with it. Pinterest was my crutch through the whole thing, but I am living proof that some Pinterest projects WILL succeed! I probably took on way too much, because I'm horrible when it comes to delegating, but I don't regret a thing because it turned out perfectly and all the girls loved it :)

Straws from Target for the BOMB punch: recipe here

I had the girls make the tissue paper pom poms for our YW activity last Wednesday. We put them on wooden dowels and poured sand around them to get them to stay in the little metal pails - the perfect Truffala tree!

I found these 'sprinkle' balloons here - they were perfect for the theme. We cut out tons of tissue paper confetti and stuffed it into the balloons before blowing them up. Extra confetti was sprinkled on the was too cute to waste :)

The best snickerdoodles in all the land: recipe here

One of my most favorite snacks is popcorn. And some of the most delicious popcorn is found at Garrett's in Chicago. They're known for their caramel-cheddar I tried to mock it. It turned out a lot better than expected, so I was pleased. 

Yurtle Turtles: recipe here

& rainbow Jello cubes: recipe here

& obviously rainbow candy galore!

They had their choice of paper bag or little plastic bowl to dish their snacks into

The invite - I made this in Adobe Illustrator using free Dr. Seuss fonts found here

One of my favorite decorations of the night were these Dr. Seuss 'value quotes' that I made in Illustrator and had printed for the value tables the girls set their projects up on. Each color indicates the specific value the quote is associated with. White (gray): Faith / Red: Individual Worth / Green: Knowledge / Gold: Virtue

Orange: Choice and Accountability / Blue: Divine Nature / Purple: Integrity / Yellow: Good Works

The program - made in Adobe Illustrator

Invites, program, and all value quote prints are available in my Etsy shop! Made-to-order for you and your ward! Willing to negotiate based on need (ie. for Girls Camp rather than YW in Excellence or New Beginnings).


  1. This is amazing! Nice work. Your blog is excellent, by the way. :)

  2. Great job, Zoe!! I love all the details.

  3. Oh how I love this! Presenting this to my Laural class, on Sunday! Love thats this is different! Do you have the talk that was shared? Would love to read what she spoke on! Hopefully the girls will choose this and I will be contacting you about printing these for us! Thank you for sharing!