A few weeks ago, we had our New Beginnings. We decided to do something a little different than usual. Since New Beginnings is supposed to get everyone excited about the Young Women’s Program, Personal Progress, and the Theme, we thought it would be fun to do a carnival.
When each young woman walked into the gym, they could find a name tag (color-coded) with ten tickets. She could take her tag, put it on, and then we sat down in the gym to open the activity.
We started all together in the gym and sang a song written by one of the young women. After the song, we introduced our newest “carnies” – the new Beehives. We brought up each girl one by one – along with their “carnival job” (eg: tight rope walkers, clown crew, pony guide…). We told a few fun facts about each young women, and also some cute things like what they would have as a superpower if they could have one.
After we introduced the new Beehives, we separated into groups (according to the color on the nametag). We had four stations: Camp and Activities, Personal Progress, Games, and Themes.
Camp and Activities
For this “booth” we showed this video:
(Before this activity, we interviewed our young women, then edited the movies to be watched during the activity).
The young women and their parents also received information like the dates for camp, youth conference, and other “big” activities.
For the Personal Progress “booth” – we separated the parents and the Young Women. In both “booths” we showed this video:
Don’t you love this video? The young women were able to see their peers testify of their experiences with the Personal Progress Program. We also talked about how to overcome the problems the Young Women face when trying to accomplish Personal Progress.
The adults were able to watch this video – and see their own children’s testimonies of the Personal Progress Program. Who wouldn’t want this for their daughters? We encouraged the parents, especially the mothers, to work on Personal Progress and to have personal conversations about Personal Progress – rather than nagging their daughters.
In this booth, we showed the following video:
We talked about themes – the Young Women’s theme, the theme for each class, the theme for the year. We talked about how themes help us have direction in our lives and understand our purposes.
One rotation in the evening was games.
The girls played basketball (using a fisher-price hoop), tossed ping-pong balls into cups, and we also had a photo booth set up:
At the photo booth, we had wigs (including a mullet wig!), hats, and other fun “dress-up” items. The Young Women especially loved the wigs, so if you do the photo booth, don’t forget them! The photo booth was fun. We had a woman in the ward come to the event to take pictures. We are so grateful for her hard work and awesome pictures. 🙂
Prizes and Conclusion
At the end of the evening, we got back together. Remember how each young woman received tickets at the beginning of the activity? Well, every time they went to a booth, they would give the leader a ticket. All of the tickets were collected and we had a raffle! We raffled off four items: a framed picture of the Nauvoo Temple, cute framed word-art (I am – a daughter of God, silly, happy, spiritual, smart, sensitive, cute, etc.), a Young Women Values Pennant Necklace, and a Pioneer Bonnet (we are doing Trek this year).
The young women were so excited for the raffle.
We also had consolation prizes for everyone.
These cute packs included a CD, bookmark, and a set of value-colored beaded bracelets.
Finally, the Bishop spoke, closed the event, we had a prayer, and then – best for last: Refreshments!
New Beginnings is always a special activity, so we tend to get a little bit more detailed for it. This year we went all out, but we did what we felt was best for us. The most important thing to do is follow the Spirit. We had a lot of fun with this carnival. It was great to have a balance of spiritual and fun. The young women loved it. They were excited for it. They were able to play games and be edified by their own testimonies and the testimonies of their peers. And, it never hurts when an activity has amazing food!