10.8 Activities and Events
Young Women leaders, including class presidencies, plan activities based on the needs and interests of the young women. They make a special effort to reach out to all the young women, including those who have recently joined the Church and those who are less active. Activities may help young women accomplish their goals in the Personal Progress program. Class presidencies should participate as much as possible in planning and carrying out activities.
Plans for Young Women activities should be approved by a member of the bishopric and should follow the guidelines in chapter 13.
Most Young Women activities occur during a time called Mutual. The term Mutual suggests shared experiences in which there is mutual respect and support for one another and opportunities to learn together. Mutual activities should provide youth with a variety of opportunities to serve others and to develop spiritually, socially, physically, and intellectually.
Mutual is generally held weekly. If travel or other restrictions make this impractical, Mutual may be held less frequently, but it should be held at least monthly. Mutual should be 1 to 1½ hours long and should take place on a day or evening other than Sunday or Monday.
The Young Women presidency, under the direction of the bishopric, oversees Mutual for young women.
Young Men and Young Women presidencies may occasionally use Mutual activities to prepare for stake or multistake activities (see 13.3).
Annual Theme for Mutual
Each year, the First Presidency announces a theme for Mutual. Leaders emphasize this theme in Mutual opening exercises and in other youth activities.
Mutual usually begins with brief opening exercises presided over by a member of the bishopric. The bishop’s priests quorum assistants and members of the Laurel class presidency take turns conducting. Adult leaders prepare youth leaders for this responsibility.
Opening exercises include a hymn and prayer and may also include musical selections and opportunities for the youth to share their talents and testimonies.
Quorum and Class Activities or Combined Activities
Following opening exercises, Aaronic Priesthood quorums and Young Women classes generally hold separate activities. In a ward or branch with few young women, all the young women may meet together for activities. Activities may also be planned for any combination of quorums and classes.
Combined activities for all young men and young women are normally held once a month. Members of the bishopric youth committee schedule, plan, and review these activities in their meetings. The activities are carried out under the direction of the bishopric.
Some examples of appropriate activities are service projects, music, dance, drama, cultural events, sports or athletic events, career exploration, and outdoor activities.
Bishopric Youth Discussions
Bishopric youth discussions are planned and carried out by the bishopric. These discussions, which are held occasionally, give the bishopric opportunities to address subjects that are interesting to the youth and that strengthen the youth spiritually. Topics in For the Strength of Youth and True to the Faith are especially appropriate. Occasionally the bishopric may invite guests to participate. Guests are usually members of the ward or stake.
Bishopric youth discussions may be held with all of the youth together or with the youth of a certain age-group. They may be held during Mutual, on Sunday during the time for quorum meetings and Young Women classes, or at another time that does not put undue burden on families. The bishopric determines their frequency. They are scheduled in bishopric youth committee meetings.
New Beginnings is an annual event for young women and their parents, priesthood leaders, and Young Women leaders. Young women who will reach age 12 in the coming year are also invited to attend with their parents. It may be held at the beginning of the school year or the calendar year. It may be held during Mutual.
This event helps young women and their parents learn about the Young Women program. It includes an explanation of Personal Progress and a presentation of the Young Women theme, logo, motto, and age-group purpose statements and symbols (see 10.1). It should help young women and their parents plan for events in the coming year.
New Beginnings provides opportunities for leaders to express love for the young women, encourage parents to help their daughters in Personal Progress experiences, introduce young women who will reach age 12 in the coming year, and welcome young women who have joined the Church or moved into the ward. It is a time to recognize young women and their accomplishments in Personal Progress. The Young Women presidency invites a member of the bishopric to give concluding remarks.
Class presidencies plan the program under the direction of the Young Women presidency. The Young Women presidency may ask specialists to help (for example, to direct a choir or instrumental group, rehearse speakers, or direct a skit). A member of the Laurel class presidency may conduct.
Young Women in Excellence
Young Women in Excellence is an event in which young women are recognized for the good things they are doing. It is a celebration of Personal Progress. Each young woman shares a value experience or value project she has completed during the year that exhibits excellence. Her presentation may include talents and skills she has developed through her Personal Progress goals. Young Women leaders invite parents to attend.
At the beginning of the year, leaders encourage each young woman to give serious thought to the values she might focus on for this event. She may work with a family member, another young woman, or others on the projects, which may take several months to complete.
This event is usually held during Mutual at the ward level, but it may be held at the stake level. Adult leaders include the young women in planning it. The date and plans for the event should be announced early in the year.
Standards events are special programs that emphasize moral values and eternal goals. They encourage young women to live the standards in For the Strength of Youth, which will bring them closer to the Savior.
These events are held annually, or more often as needed, usually during Mutual. They may be held on a class, ward, multiward, or stake level. Depending on how a subject is presented, these events may include any combination of Young Women age-groups. They may also include mothers, fathers, mothers and fathers together, and young men.
Young Women Camp
The Church encourages one annual camp or similar activity for young women. In planning this activity, Young Women leaders use the Young Women Camp Manual and Young Women Camp: A Guide for Priesthood and Young Women Leaders.
Camp may be held on a ward or stake level. Under the direction of priesthood leaders, stake and ward Young Women presidencies determine the extent of the camp program for young women.
Priesthood leaders may call stake and ward Young Women specialists to be camp leaders. Camp leaders organize and conduct the camp program under the direction of the Young Women presidency. They may work with ward leaders and the stake activities committee to arrange for equipment, transportation, and other assistance.
Stake and Multistake Activities
Funding for Activities and Events
Funding for Young Women activities and events should come from the ward budget (see 13.2.8).
Funding for an Annual Camp or Similar Activity
If the ward budget does not have sufficient funds to pay for an annual Young Women camp or similar activity, leaders may ask participants to pay for part or all of it. If funds from participants are not sufficient, the bishop may authorize one group fund-raising activity each year that complies with the guidelines in 13.6.8.
In no case should the expenses or travel for an annual camp or similar activity be excessive. Nor should the lack of personal funds prohibit a member from participating.
Funding for Equipment and Supplies
If possible, equipment and supplies that the ward needs for annual youth camps are purchased with ward budget funds. If these funds are not sufficient, the bishop may authorize one group fund-raising activity annually that complies with the guidelines in 13.6.8.
Equipment and supplies purchased with Church funds, whether from the ward budget or a fund-raising activity, are for Church use only. They are not for the personal use of individuals or families.