Sunday, May 10, 2015

#ShareGoodness YW activity

We recently had a very fun mutual night activity that the young women really enjoyed.  They made "Share Goodness" posters for all the young men in our ward, where on each poster was a picture of the young man surrounded by sincere compliments that the young women had written.   They made 27 posters and presented them at the end of church the following Sunday.   

We kept the activity a total secret beforehand, so that the girls had no idea what we were doing and thereby couldn't accidentally ruin the surprise for the boys.    

We completed the following prep work beforehand:
1.  Bought white posterboard, half sheet per boy
2.  got a bunch of colored sharpies
3.  Took and/or collected pictures of all the boys (I took some at mutual, collected some from Facebook, and others from parents)
4.  cut the posterboards in half

 At mutual, we first watched this video:    

Then we introduced the activity by telling them that we were going to "Share Goodness" with the Young Men by making them each a #sharegoodness poster.    We talked about how to think of sincere and specific compliments that would build them up.  We emphasized that they should not focus on physical or frivolous compliments, such as clothing or looks, but on character traits and talents.   Essentially we asked them to think of the kind of compliments they would most like to hear. 

Here is my son's poster:    

We had the Beehives make the Deacons' posters, the Mia Maids made the Teachers', and the Laurels made the Priests'.   On each poster, they hot glued on the picture, wrote the boy's name on top, and then wrote "#sharegoodness" on the bottom.    Then  with different colored sharpies, they went around the room and wrote compliments on each poster.   

To  add variety, we regathered together as a group for the last 15-minutes, so that everyone could write on anyone else's  poster from another age group.    I then took the posters home and, with the help of my daughters and husband, filled in a few compliments on those that needed a little something extra.    For instance, one boy's poster was filled with compliments all about his humor and little else.  I wanted to make sure that he had a few more that would be more meaningful.  Additionally there was one boy that doesn't come often and the girls were less sure what to write on his, so we filled his in with a few more of our own.   

 It was a joy to see the young men's faces when we presented them their posters and I had a couple of young men's parents let me know how meaningful it was to their boys.     

All in all, it was a very rewarding experience for the young women and they definitely felt the joy of sharing goodness and building others up,  and that in and of itself is reward enough.   However, I won't lie.  I think a lot of them are secretly hoping the boys will return the favor someday.   

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Self Defense YW Activity

Recently we arranged for our local police department to come do a self-defense presentation for our Young Women.  They were booked several months out, so we had to plan it pretty far out.   We had about 20 girls show up and it ended up being a HUGE hit.    The instructors gave them lots of instruction on how to stay safe in the first place, then on what to do if anyone ever did try to hurt them.   They were allowed to practice moves and encouraged to be vocal while they practiced.   I learned a lot myself and I think it ended up being a very successful (and helpful) activity.  Below you will find some written notes on basic safety/self-defense.    

       *Don't fall for people saying they need your help.  It's not just a trick to lure kids away; many perpetrators also use this tactic on adults as well.   Always say you're calling 911 for them (and get away).    
       * Most crimes are committed by someone you know, so TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS if something feels off
#2 Be aware of your surroundings 
        *Don't get distracted by texts, phone calls, etc. (especially in parking garages, parking lots, and along trails/sidewalks) 
        *Pay attention to who and what's going on around you, especially when you're outside by yourself (day or night) 
#3  Use your voice
        *If something doesn't seem right, start making noise
        *Don't just scream without purpose, be specific and loud (even if you think no one else is around)
        *Say things like, "Get away from me."  "I don't know you"   "I'm calling 911"   "Stay back."
#4  Stun and run
        *Back up to give yourself space and time
        *First goal is to get away--do whatever it takes (while making as much noise as possible)
#5  Using your tools/vulnerable locations
        *Use elbows, hand, head, knees, feet, finger, teeth...whatever you can to hurt them
        *Aim for their vulnerable parts (nose, eyes, throat, groin, feet, shins, etc)
        *If grabbed by arm, hit them as hard as possible on the arm that's holding yours, twist and pull away at the same time. 
        *If grabbed from behind, use your elbows to throw them off balance
 #6  Tell a trusted person
        *Tell a trusted person ASAP what has happened, whether the perpetrator was a stranger or someone you knew