Last week we held our New Beginnings program with the Young Women.
That's when we introduce the whole program to the new girls coming in that year (the ones who are turning 12) and involve all the girls in a little program for the parents. We talk about Personal Progress and Girls' Camp and all the activities we do on Wednesday nights...all that jazz.
Last year when we had this program I was still trying to get my bearings straight with all these girls. I still didn't know which way was up. Luckily we had a great girl in charge who pulled it all off and it was great.
But this year was so much fun because I know these girls so much better. I know the leaders. I know the program. And I'm learning how to delegate better. I delegated the whole thing to one of my counselors (Ashley) who is incredibly creative and amazing.
This is what she did with the gym:
(with a tiny bit of help from us other leaders :)
Yeah, she had her parents and husband help string those lights up through the whole gym, brought her couch, made a slide show about the new girls, made a sun and clouds out of plywood...the whole shebang.
These two cute girls offered to help and they were fabulous, coming up with a bunch of the ideas themselves and coordinating all the parts, etc. What great leadership skills they are gaining by offering to do things like this.
The "theme" for Young Women in our church all over the whole world this year is "Arise and shine forth that thy light may be a standard for the nations." (Videos about that here and here.)
I love the word "arise." To me it is such an action word. I love the call to action to arise and shine the light that we have in whatever way we may do it. I truly believe we all on this earth have a light inside us from God. It is our choice to hide it and let it flicker or to hold it high and help and serve others with it. Whether it's including someone at school or organizing a service project or even something as little as just smiling at those around us (and trying to "see" them as God does).
Some of the girls took turns telling about each of the Young Women Values. When they finished talking about each one they went over and turned on the "light" that went with that particular value.
(See those lamps with the labels on them over on the right?)
The Laurels (the group of girls ages 14-16) introduced the new girls coming in.
They had them stand on this little step stool and told some cute things about how they "shine."
Then the girls sat on this couch with their cute crowns on:
Luckily none of these girls are too shy so they were ok being in the spotlight :)
Oh they are so darn cute.
My favorite part of the night was this flash-mob dance:
The girls were so excited about it and seriously, Ashley is amazing to make up all those moves. She tried to work her way out of actually doing the dance for the real thing, (she was hoping the girls would do it by themselves) but the rest of us talked her into it which I hope she'll forgive us for. But honestly, isn't that the cutest thing ever? It kinda makes me tear up even with the music mess-up in the middle and my horrible videography skills :).
Some of the other leaders made great refreshments:
Here are some of the great-helper Laurels who I adore:(with the lamps behind them)
And here are all the leaders:
Oh I sure love these ladies.
They each have such strong "lights" and I feel so privileged I get to work with them and bask in their unique, individual "lights" each week.
Each of the girls got to take home one of these:
($1 alarm clocks from IKEA with the theme on the front.)
Hopefully each morning as they "arise" they will remember those little lights they have inside them and that they can make them "shine" through the things they choose to do each day.