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.

Similar Posts


  1. We just did ours. I wish I would have seen this, the lamp thing is such an amazing idea! I wonder if we can work it in somehow this year still, it fits the theme so well.

  2. Looks like fun! We used battery operated candles in the same way you guys used the lamps. Question – your ward and yw group must be much bigger than ours. What do all 9 of the leaders do?? How are the responsibilities divided? We have a presidency and recently had a camp director called for our group of 18 – 20 girls.

  3. Love love this new beginnings! I used the lamp idea in my intro to the theme lesson in our yw room, so I am for sure going to use it again for new beginnings! Could you comment pm the food that was used for each value? Also, besides the girls talking bout each value, what else was spoken about?
    Andrea Fackrell

  4. Sincere question. How do your kids manage time? How do you get them everywhere? With 3 hours of church, another hour or so of activity at church on different day, morning scripture, seminary for the high school before school, special events like this, plus piano, volleyball, tennis, school, homework and so on? I'm tired just reading the schedule.

  5. Love this! I was just recently called as YW president in my ward, and I feel like you said you did a year ago. And I put on New Beginnings this past Sunday the help of amazing counselors who have never served in YW. It seemed to turn out great (at least that are the compliments we have received), but I am definitely saving this idea for something throughout the year!

  6. Wow that was awesome we did our Young womens New Beginnings two weeks ago and its interesting to see how people interprit different things. I LOVE serving in young womens and its great to be able to 'steal' 😉 some of your ideas for next year.

  7. I've blog stalked you for a while now and LOVE LOVE LOVE it! This is such a cute New Beginnings! Ashley is my sister in law and is so amazing at EVERYTHING she does. I'm Young Women's President in my ward and when Chad came over the other day and told me about your guys' New Beginnings I had to step it up a bit. Ours will never be as cute as yours but I will try:) You're so lucky to have Ashley and it looks like you have a great bunch of leaders there to support you. That's awesome!

  8. I just want to clarify that NONE of these ideas were from me. We just happen to have had one heck of an amazing leader in charge of this thing and her name is Ashley (and her two Mia Maid side-kicks). I'm just here to share the ideas 🙂

    As far as the leader responsibilities go (asked by Stephanie), we have two advisers in each group. One helps more with activities and the other is the Personal Progress point person and everyone rotates in teaching on Sundays. Each one of those personal progress leaders emails the girls and their parents each week to let them know what part of PP was covered in the lesson on Sunday and what part of PP will be involved in the mutual activity that week. That way the parents can be involved more with their girls as they strengthen their testimonies. I'll have to go into more detail on this in a Q & A some time.

    As far as the food went, they just picked some kind of food to go with each value "color." Sugar cookies for yellow, almond sheet cake for white, strawberries for red, grapes for purple, etc.

    The girls took turns talking about and explaining each value, how we do mutual, how we do camp, etc. I talked about the new theme "Arise and Shine," our secretary gave out Personal Progress ribbons and told about the Personal Progress stuff we do in our ward, and the Bishop gave closing remarks. It was really almost all just the girls talking and in charge. (except for with a lot of "Ashley" in the background 🙂

  9. wow shawni i love your work! could you share more ideas for the young women activities you see… I am new in young women and I like to do what you do to help girls .. here in my country; please!!! if you do not mind could you help me?

  10. LOVE the clock. I'm actually trying to do something similar. Can I asked how you got the saying on the clock? I thought it was maybe just print on vellum attached with some modge podge but I tried that and mine is a mess!

  11. To the Lee Family, one of our advisers just printed that out on clear labels and then cut them in circles. Creative way to do it huh? I'm telling you, these ladies are amazing 🙂

  12. Shawni this is insanely fantastic! looking for YWIE ideas. may have to borrow some of the details from here. Thanks for sharing! ::hugs::

  13. Allie, Do you by chance have the template and sticker size for the clock? I am needing to order the stickers online because I live in Guam where there isn't a office store that has these and I want to make sure that they fit the clock from ikea. Thanks for you help!

  14. lindas!!!! soy de Chile, y buscando ideas para éste año encontré éste blog — ¡cómo me he emocionado con su baile niñas! pensar que en todo el mundo hay chicas esforzándose por levantarse y brillar, por permanecer en lugares santos, por ser valientes y fuertes!!! un afectuoso abraso lds para ustedes con amor!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *