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Sunday, September 9, 2012

What do you get when....

.....You pack twenty 12-18 year old's and 7 adult leaders into 6 vehicles?

Apparently you get a fun and productive weekend.

I started 'pushing' for a planning retreat for the YM and YW in our ward (youth ages 12-18). The planning retreat would let us get away for one night and plan an entire years worth of activities. WOAH. I think some people didn't think it would work, but I guess I'm kind of pushy and bossy so I started planning one. (Note: I'm pretty sure we had finally agreed to do this by the time I started planning but I could be wrong :)).

((I am working on Personal Progress with our YW so I actually used this retreat as one of my projects, double score.))

Anywhooo, I set up a reservation with the camp site that we use for Girls Camp. We almost had to cancel because another group had reserved the cabins and the tents were all taken down, but at the last minute, I got a call that it was all ours!! Awesome. We had 4 cabins and a huge covered pavilion and bathrooms/showers at our fingertips and we were the only group up in that field. It was great.

After planning for a month or two, and sending about 86 emails :), we were ready. I made up an itinerary that I just shook my head at, there would be NO way all that stuff would happen in the time frame I set up for us. Not with 20 teenagers. It just wasn't gonna happen and I prepared myself for that. I knew that I would get frustrated and anxious about not sticking to our schedule and everyone getting distracted, but I was pleasantly surprised with myself. The last day we were there it was really hot and I was VERY dehydrated I realized so I felt sick/overheated/annoyed. I ended up bringing a blanket into the shade to take a nap while everyone else was slip n' sliding (my favorite), my 'nap' lasted 4 minutes then I decided to just start packing up camp while everyone else played.

Man I'm getting so sidetracked.

We got there Friday evening, set up, ate dinner, played a get to know you game, and hung out while we waited for the later group to arrive. This set us off schedule a bit, but we worked with it and it wasn't a big deal at all which was very good. We had a little 'lesson' from our YW President and EVERYONE participated, I was shocked. It helped that we threw candy to everyone who answered the questions. Then our Bishop held a 'mock council' where the youth learned some leadership skills and problem solved. Then we broke out the smores/starburst, started our fire, sat around, star gazed, etc....Then we had everyone get ready for bed and the leaders went in the separate YM/YW cabins to have 'family' scripture study & prayer. That part was nice and a great way to calm everyone down before bed.

The next morning I SOOOO did not want to get up. After flailing around trying to sleep for 6 hours I got to sleep only to be woken up by my lovely alarm 1.5 hrs later. Awesome. oh wellll it was just one night.

Saturday we got down to business and stayed on task and were even ahead of schedule most of the day by 30 minutes. We ended up getting planning done earlier than expected and had a whole extra hour and 15 minutes for archery or the slip n' slide.

We planned an ENTIRE years worth of activities, had fun, made new friends (several non-members/inactive girls attended!!), learned skills, and ate lots of food.

Our YM president signed up to be in charge of leadership games. There were two going, one for YM, one for YW then they swapped. The first was a blind folded maze thing where one person was blind folded and the others had to direct her through this maze without touching the tape that was on top of cones. This was harder than it looked. The other was a puzzle type game. Everybody in that group had to stand on a small rectangle tarp. Without anybody touching the grass, the group had to completely turn the tarp over while maneuvering the tarp. Imagine 9 boys ages 12-18 five of these boys are older and pretty large guys, the rest are average size, standing on this small tarp trying to flip this thing over. I thought there is NO way this is happening, it's physically possible. Well after having to restart 2 times for touching the grass, they finally figured out a way. Much to my surprise I looked over at one point and the four big guys each had one of the smaller guys on their backs while one other guy was directing/holding them up and moving the tarp. It took awhile and there was lots of laughing/nervous yelling as they worked, but they did it!! Crazy. They were so good.

Well this is long. I didn't take much/any pics so I'll have to see if I can get some. Overall it was very successful. An entire years worth of planning what the YOUTH wanted to do, and delegating tasks to the youth to each pick an activity or two to be completely in charge of. It was great.


Andrea said...

What an awesome idea!! Love it!


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