Leprechaun Hunt

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The Mia Maid class had a brain storming session and came up with this activity for all the Young Women to enjoy!  They planned a scavenger hunt to take place around the church building.  Scriptures were printed on four-leaf clovers...  leading them from one clue to the next.  Eventually leading them to the pot-of-gold at the end of the value rainbow.
They were designed and created by two of our Young Women.  I loved the gold sparkle trim!
"We seek after these things:  the Young Women Values."
And of course a bit o'fun!
A rainbow was created from butcher paper. These were the colors of our value rainbow: white/faith, blue/divine nature, red/individual worth, green/knowledge, orange/choice and accountability, yellow/good works, and purple/integrity. At the end of the rainbow was a cauldron filled with gold/virtue nuggets. There was also a friendly leprechaun guarding the pot of gold.
The hunt:
  • The young women were divided into 3 groups.
  • Each group was given a Clover Clue with a their first value and scripture (location) clue.
  • Each group started with a different clue.  But all groups ended up with their last clue leading them back into the Young Women room.
  • Each group had one set of scriptures and something to write with.
  • They looked up the scripture written on the clover.
  • Used the scripture to lead them to the location of the next clue.
  • They were asked to write down what the location had to do with the value printed on the clover.
  • And so on...  until they were all led back into the Young Women's room.
These are the clues our young women decided on for the activity.  I thought they were fairly clever myself.  :)  The scripture holding within it a clue to the next location.
Value:  Faith
Scripture:  Matthew 17:20
This clover will lead them to:  a Tree
Value:  Divine Nature
Scripture:  3 Nephi 22:13
This clover will lead them to: the Nursery Room
Value:  Individual Worth
Scripture:  Titus 2:4
This clover will lead them to: the Young Women's Room
Value:  Knowledge
Scripture:  Job 19:23
This clover will lead them to: the Library
Value:  Choice and Accountability
Scripture:  Malachi 3:8
This clover will lead them to:  tithing slips/Bishop's office
Value:  Good Works
Scripture:  2 Corinthians 8:14
This clover will lead them to: the Supply Closet
Value:  Integrity
Scripture:  Isaiah 54:73
This clover will lead them to: the Primary Room
Value:  Virtue
Scripture:  Doctrine and Covenants 38:24
This clover will lead them to: the Chapel

To help keep each team on their own path, we printed a separate set of shamrock clues for each team - using a different colored paper for each set. (you could even have each team's set of clues printed on different shades of green to keep with St Patrick's Day) :) It took a bit for the girls to figure out how it was all going to work out, but after trial and error - they did it.
  • St Patrick's day was created to celebrate Christianity being brought to Ireland by Saint Patrick.
  • The shamrock, which is the symbol of Ireland, stands for the Trinity (Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost).
Each Young Woman had to recite the 13th Article of Faith before receiving her pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. A bag filled with rainbow colored licorice along with a Hershey's Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate Bar with Toffee and Almond.  Yummy!  (the truffle looking things in the back are our St Patrick's Day favorites...  Irish Potato Candy - a hit with our neighbors!)

A couple of the girls brought cookies to share with the group.  One brought homemade sugar cookies with green frosting and sprinkles, the other brought blarney stone cookies.
BLARNEY STONE COOKIES (pistachio cookies)
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package pistachio pudding mix (4-serving)
2 eggs
6 drops green food coloring
2 1/2 cups flour (high altitudes: add ½ cup more flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups butterscotch chips
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla, and pudding mix. Add eggs and food coloring, mix. Next, add in flour and baking soda. Stir in butterscotch chips and chopped pecans. For best results chill for several hours. This will help prevent cookie from spreading out to much during baking. Roll into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes.
After the activity, I found these adorable Rainbow Cupcakes.  So cute!

MTC Experience

A few of the youth and leaders met together to discuss a MTC activity for all the youth.  The following is what developed.  (Thank you Brother Garcia for being so organized!)
PURPOSE:  To help the youth feel the spirit, arm themselves with tools necessary to share the gospel, and prepare to serve full-time missions.
Oh the memories! 
Each of the youth received a mission call prior to the activity, in the form of a written letter.
ARRIVAL (10 minutes)
Upon arrival each youth received their personalized missionary badge, orange dot (optional), their companionship assignment, and of course... pictures with the world map (map created by the youth).
Originally, I wanted to purchase these Missionary Badges.  But at $1.99 a piece - for approximately 50 youth, I could not justify the expense at this time.
I decided to create my own.  I cut the badges out of black card stock (which I already had).  I used gold and silver Sharpie brand paint markers for the text.  Each missionary badge has been personalized with the names of each youth.  The only thing I chose to purchase was Pin Style Name Badge Sleeves (24 for $6.00).  I showed them to the girls and they didn't seem to mind my handwriting.  :)
Conducting:  ____________________
Opening Hymn:  #270 "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go"
Opening Prayer:  ____________________
Devotional:  This was presented by our chosen "MTC Mission President" for the night.  Thinking about it now, it could have been the Ward Mission Leader.
Note:  Companionships were switched during each transfer.
WORKSHOPS  (each 15 minutes, including 3 minute transfer time)
The youth were divided into 3 groups for the workshop rotations.  When they received their mission calls they were called to specific missions within these three areas:  European, Asian, or Spanish.  Those were our 3 groups.  Each group had 2 adult leaders, who happened to serve full-time missions in the respective areas.  They were the "Mission Presidents" for the night and rotated along with their groups.  They were also the ones to run the "Language and Culture" workshops.
1.  Door Approaches:
The youth were given a brief (3 minute) instruction on effective door approches.  They then had 8 different doors, designated throughout the building, to knock on.  Little did they know, each door provided them with a unique experience.  Golden Contact, Slammed Door, In a Hurry, Courteous But Not Interested...  just to name a few.
- 3 minutes to change companionships and transfer to next station -
2.  Language and Culture:
Each group learned about their own specific mission area:  European, Asian, or Spanish (depending on which missions their adult leaders served in).
Things discussed and shared included:
  • Language
  • Culture
  • Food (samples)
  • Items from areas served - money, pictures etc.
  • "Why did I go on a mission?"
  • "How did you knew the church was true?"
  • One story from mission experience
  • Testimony
- 3 minutes to change companionships and transfer to next station -
3.  Companionship Study/Preach My GospelWe invited the Full-Time Missionaries to discuss how to use Preach My Gospel.
- 3 minutes to change companionships and ALL groups met together in the gym
4.  P-Day/Service  (15 minutes)
  • service activity (letters to missionaries currently serving from our ward)
  • letters from home  (requested and collected from parents prior to activity)
  • care packages (small package of candy for each youth)
I actually thought it would be fun to have someone, dressed as a Mail Carrier, come into the gym and deliver the care packages and letters during the service activity. The excitement, the anticipation.
Closing Comments:  Bishop
Closing Hymn:  #249 "Called to Serve"   (standing of course)
Closing Prayer:  ____________________

  • These were placed on the restroom doors.  (for fun)
  • Video/Slideshow of leaders, parents, and siblings serving missions.
  • This music video would also be a great way to end the evening:

Map It

I am loving this world map for children (of all ages), by Julie Mercier.  Hoping to order, frame, and hang it soon.  Just thought I'd share.

Purchase print here.

Where's Waldo?

The youth were sent on a search for "Waldo(s)" in a local mall. - Clues were given to the "Waldo" locations through scripture references, word scrambles, etc. - The first 3 teams to find 14 "Waldo(s)" won a prize.
1. Choose a location: local mall, or shopping plaza.
2. Choose 14 specific "Waldo" hidding places within the mall: for example - retail stores, restaurants, movie theater, hair salons, candy store, children's play area. * It is a good idea to get the okay from management/security before the night of activity. Our leaders got permission - and had it in writing, just in case of any concerns from employees and patrons.
3. Create a list of clues that will lead youth to each of the 14 locations. Use scripture references, word scrambles, riddles, etc.  CLUE IDEAS FOUND HERE
4. Recruit adult members of the Ward to serve as "Waldo's" and have them position themselves in the mall trying their best to "blend in" with other shoppers. Some of them may choose to simply play the part of window shopper, client waiting for a haircut, employee stocking the shelves, mother looking at books with her children or... they may choose to really get into character. Have you ever seen the movie Master of Disguise? This is where imagination and fun come into play! Here are some of the ideas I've heard of so far: Rocker dude. Homeless man with 'will work for food' sign. Grandma in a wheelchair. Hippie couple. Restaurant Mascot. Blind man with seeing eye dog.
5. Print out tickets to give to each "Waldo". They will give each team a ticket, but only when approached and asked, "ARE YOU WALDO?"
6. Invite members of the ward to bring their families to the mall on the night of your activity, just to throw the youth of "Waldo's" trail. They'll be asking all the people they recognize, "ARE YOU WALDO?" When they are told "no" it may lead to a little frustration and confusion - but there's nothing wrong with a bit of a challange, is there? :)
7. Put together a small packet for each team. Include the following: list of 14 clues, cell number of leader in charge, letter from mall management giving permission to hold activity on premises.
8. Make sure you have enough scarfs for the leaders of each team. We had tan bandanas with a "Waldo" iron-on placed in one corner of the scarf. I think it would be fun to have a red and white striped scarf, t-shirt, or bag (possibly holding the scriptures) - just to go along with the "Where's Waldo?" theme.
9. ON THE NIGHT OF ACTIVITY - make sure all your "Waldo(s)" are in place and have been given instructions and tickets to hand out.
6:30 pm We met up at the church where instructions were given. The youth were reminded that they are to be on their best behavior and be examples of good LDS youth. The YM and YW were divided into teams. 1 leader to every 4 youth. Make sure each team has a cell phone. *Each team was given a set of scriptures, list of clues, pen, and to each leader a "Waldo Scarf". 7:00 - 8:00 pm We arrived at River Park and the "Search for the Waldo(s)" was on! As soon as each team found 14 tickets they were to call the leader in charge of activity (her number was included in the team packet). The first 3 teams to call in and make it back to the church with all their tickets won. 8:15 pm Prizes were given to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams. Everybody received ice cream!
The youth love this activity, so we've done it a few times since we've lived in the area.  We have since changed wards, but our last Bishop went all out in disguising himself.  Fake goatee, fake tattoos, he even bought new jeans, tee, and shoes.  He not only fooled the youth, he had all of the leaders questioning if he was one of our Waldos or not. 


I'm a little excited about tonight's activity.  In planning class activities, the girls decided they wanted to have a storybook night.  A night when each young women would bring their favorite children's book to read.  How are we turning this into an "opportunity for learning and growth"?  A night geared to learning the art of storytelling.
The night could also prepare the girls for a future service activity.  Set aside a time for the Young Women to host a storytelling night for the primary children.
The night will began with a couple games.  I found some wonderful instructions for storytelling here.  The following games came from Session 4.
“Counting from One to Ten" Game:   learning to speak with expression
1. Read a paragraph from a book in a monotone, and then read with expression.
2. Discuss their reactions.
3. What is the difference between the two?  Clearly, monotone is the way we speak when we don't want people to be interested in what we are saying, so we need to put expression into our storytelling.
4. Now call on different young women, asking them to count from one to ten:

  • As if you were an angry parent who said, "I am going to count to ten and if you're not in the bedroom by the time I get to ten you're in big trouble."
  • As a toddler just learning to count
  • As if you were very sad because you thought everyone had forgotten your birthday, but then you walked into your living room and saw ten birthday presents sitting on the floor. How would you count them?
  • As if you were a referee for a boxing match and you were counting someone out
  • As if you were telling someone a telephone number over a bad connection
  • As if you were counting pennies as you dropped them into a piggy bank
"Pass the Face" Game:   learning facial expressions
1. Sit in a circle.
2. Start by making a face and showing it to everyone in the circle.
3. Then, turn to the person beside you.
4. That person copies your expression and shows it to everyone then makes a different face and passes it on to the next person.
5. Round and round we go!
Next the girls will take turns reading their books to the group.  It should provide a great opportunity for the young women to practice public speaking in a small group, not to mention using fun material.
This is the book I am going to share:  Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?

To go along with the "youthful" theme, we will snack on Jell-O jigglers, popcorn, plus all the goodies the Young Women bring to share.
ACTIVITY (time permitting)
Time permitting, we will make Yarn and Cereal Necklaces, blow bubbles, and maybe even play with play dough.  Who knows?