Monthly Mutual: Girls Camp Secret Sister Gifts

GIRLS CAMP IS COMING!


For a mutual activity (longer ago than I would like to admit) we all made four Secret Sister gifts -- one for each night at camp. Here's how to do it yourself.

MAJOR SUPER IMPORTANT UPDATE:
Okay, so these gifts have been tested, given, and well, they didn't go the best at camp. So what did I do? Create a whole post of how-tos on even better ones! See this transformation?


Check out the UPDATED secret sister gifts with much cuter ideas and tags --  that everyone is loving-- right now!!

And if you want some cheap ideas, well, here you go. Like I said, I felt terrible giving them out and camp, but you could certainly adapt the ideas to make them better. For now, if you're looking for better gifts, go head over to the update post!

The first Secret Sister gift that we made were some cute little bookmarks. Most importantly, they were cheap. I found the idea from The 36th Avenue blog on Pinterest and tried to recreate it the best I could.

I made this printable to go with them:
You can't really tell, but there is negative (blank) space to the right and that is where you attach the paperclip bookmarks.

You can print some of your own copies for free right here.

I decided that we probably shouldn't use the church oven to melt the beads - our bishop is crazy about keeping the kitchen spotless.

So I decided to use the home oven. The beads I had weren't the best colors so please forgive the weird color combos. I did the best I could! The two especially weird ones (purple + orange, and green + blue) my sibs designed. I popped them in the oven at 415 degrees for about 20 minutes (I had to check on them a bunch) and they turned out like what you see below. I know that the blog post said to do 425 degrees but I had to use parchment paper and didn't want to risk anything.

Before.
After.

The final result.
Oh my goodness. I let them cool for 10 minutes and they turned out AMAZING!!! They came off quite nicely and were so cute and tiny. They feel like hard plastic, kind of. I am so in love with these and proud of not having another Pinterest fail!

They were a breeze to make and super easy. All you had to do was hot-glue them to paperclips.

This is the final result, attached to the printout I made:




Love it!!

Next up we made some bug rocks. It's kind of hard to explain how to use them, but just thought that they were a) cute and b) you can't have girls camp without bugs!

We used plastic gems, scrapbooking paper, tiny googly eyes, and  small resealable plastic bags to hold them in. I think the brand of the bags was Fab Lab Craft, they were bought from JoAnn.

I made a printout which you can staple to the top of the mini bags; it is about 2 x 4 in. (The bags were 5 x 4 in)




You can get some of your own copies here.


My other fellow class member taught how to make those, and it is very simple. You just take the gems, and attach scrapbooking paper to the bottom. Then you add on googly eyes and place them into the small bags.

Here is the final product, with the printable attached. I ended up rolling it up, tying it, and placing it into the cute little bag.



Next up were washer necklaces. 

There are tons of tutorials on these on Pinterest, so I'm just going to link to this one by Thrifty and Thriving. It basically says everything that you need to do, I will just reiterate that you will need washers, twine or string, craft paper, diamond glaze, scissors, brushes, and Mod Podge. They say you need clasps, which is fine, unless you are on a tight YW Ward budget. So we just tied ours -- you can do a simple slip know and you're good to go.

I made a cute printable go with them that you can print out right here. The reason that it is partly upside down is that you can print it out and then fold it over, and kind of string the necklace through it. 


I just cropped off the upside-down part for visual purposes but it is still there.

This is the final product, with the printable attached. Lol, the necklace is peeking out behind the printout!



Finally, we made some button bracelets.

The knot tying wasn't so bad. The tutorial for this can be found at All Things Target, right  here.

I made a little printout to attach to a tiny gift bag/pouch. It is the same size as the bug tags, approximately. 



I think it turned out cute!! For the button bracelet craft, you will want to read that tutorial which I linked, but basically, you'll need cute wooden buttons and string to go with them. You can print out these printables, which you will need as well, here.

The final product... I don't know why this text is so small...


I folded over the printable and placed it in the bag.

And there you have it! Four Secret Sister gifts! Here's a cute little photo of them all laid out, ready to be brought to camp and gifted. Boom! That feels good. One thing checked off the to-do list.



Decorated shoebox + shredded paper cushioning = the perfect container!

Feel free to share this post, please link to this post and not any of the Docs. Thx! 

Enlist In The Youth Battalion

We want you(th.)


Are you ready to take the five challenges, while doing Personal Progress?

I've made PDFs for each, packed with information, Personal Progress, self-assessments, and ways for you to achieve each goal. Let's do this.

1. Take a seven-day social media fast.

2. For three weeks, make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord.

3. Keep on the covenant path.

4. Pray daily for all of God's children to receive the gospel.

5. Stand out and be a light.

I would suggest, if all five experiences are completed, it being counted as a Faith, Choice and Accountability or Integrity project. I think those values really correlate with this whole set of challenges -- having faith that President Nelson is a prophet of God and you will be blessed as you listen to his counsel, choosing to do what he says, and having integrity by actually doing all of these challenges.

Next I've made some handouts. First you can get the printout for the five challenges:
Then see how they relate to Personal Progress:

Good luck in your enlistment!

Yours Truly,
Molly Mormon

Road Trip Personal Progress


Are you -- or a Young Woman you know -- going on a road trip anytime soon? Why not kill some of the time doing Personal Progress?

I'm so excited to share this fun packet, so let's begin!



On the top of each page is a little PP experience you can do. And yes, you can access Gospel Library offline. No excuses! On the bottom is always a fun little puzzle, activity, or game to do with your family. There's coloring, games, puzzles, prompts, all sorts of fun stuff. There are ten pages of Road Trip fun.

Sold? Get the Road Trip Personal Progress packet for free here.

Yours Truly,
Molly Mormon 

Girls Camp Activity: Ten-Rule Charades


This post was also featured on the Girls Camp Night post, where you can find other ideas for a fun mutual activity.

Activity: Pass out some of my Girls Camp printouts -- the packing list, get-to-know-you sheet, and journal. Next, play Girls Camp charades.

Choose a group of girls, maybe Laurels/leaders/YCLs, to draw the free Girls Camp charade cards and act out the rule. The girls will have to guess what the rule is. Then you can hand them a cute little overview sheet, which you can get here. The printable has two sides. If you have extra time to kill, practice singing camp songs.

Treat: You can make Broiled S'more Bars for the refreshments. Below is how I did it, but if you scroll past the pictures, I've said how I would recommend doing it. First, prepare brownies. Use the box mix and you can have them ready in no time!

Next, line the tray with graham crackers. As you can see it didn't fit perfectly, but I cut some in half to make things work.

Next, toss with marshmallows.

Broil in the oven (place the pan vertically in the middle so it is done evenly, cough, cough, me) until the marshmallows are golden brown.

Now, while I am not really an idiot, I can be one, so although my method worked, I would line the pan with graham crackers, then pour the batter in, then coat with marshmallows and put on a final graham cracker layer. I would also make them in a bigger pan so the brownies would be less thick, like the chocolate in s'mores.  The marshmallows would turn to marshmallow fluff in the oven (yum!) and things would be delish.

Yay! I hope you have fun at all of these fun Girls Camp Nights!
Yours Truly,
Molly Mormon

Flip Flops For Girls Camp


This post was also featured on the Girls Camp Night post, but I think it deserves its own post.

 Flip Flops For Girls Camp 

Activity: This is a nice cheap and easy activity. You'll want to purchase dollar store flip flops for each girl, and then they can decorate them with fabric. There's not much else to say, but that should take up the whole activity.

First, take fabric and cut into three inch strips. I've chosen teal and pink fabric to line my dollar store flip flops. Next, (I know, I need more pics for this) lift up the strip of fabric and tie it in a knot around the strap thingy of the flip flop. I was totally able to do this in the one-hour time period, so your YW should be able to too as long as things go smoothly. Below is how they turned out. I ended up trimming off some excess, and voila! I like these because they didn't cost much, so I can just wear them to Girls Camp without worrying that they will get dirty. My nice flip flops can stay home, and these thrifty and cute ones will go in my bag.


Treat: I found this recipe for adorable flip flop cookies on Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons. (Hehe, that rhymes!) There's no actual baking, you just decorate Nutter Butter cookies to look like flip flops. They're adorable, and you can make them here.

Yours Truly,
Molly Mormon

Girls Camp Night!


Yes, yes, I know. It has been a long time since I did a Monthly Mutual activity. And a Girls Camp Post. But the good news is that this one matches both of the categories.
As I wrote a post about our activity, I realized what we did was kind of random, and you could take a lot of different things out of it. So I organized three different activities you can do, based on the one activity we did. I am also going to make separate posts for the last two activities, but this is the overview Girls Camp Night page. It is less of a post and more of a compilation, but I hope you enjoy!

1. Girls Camp Movie Night

Activity: Watch the movie Once I Was A Beehive. The trailer is below, and basically it is a really cute movie about Girls Camp. It is very inaccurate, at least, for stake camp, but great nonetheless. Here is the trailer:


When I was trying to find the trailer on YouTube, I saw that someone has actually uploaded the whole movie for free onto YouTube. But you didn't hear it from me! ;)

Treat: There is nothing better suited for Girls Camp than delicious s'mores. If someone has a firepit, you can go into the church parking lot and make s'mores. If you don't have access to a portable firepit, then try the treat in the third activity.

2. Flip Flops For Girls Camp 

Activity: This is a nice cheap and easy activity. You'll want to purchase dollar store flip flops for each girl, and then they can decorate them with fabric. There's not much else to say, but that should take up the whole activity.


First, take fabric and cut into three inch strips. I've chosen teal and pink fabric to line my dollar store flip flops. Next, (I know, I need more pics for this) lift up the strip of fabric and tie it in a knot around the strap thingy of the flip flop. I was totally able to do this in the one-hour time period, so your YW should be able to too as long as things go smoothly. Below is how they turned out. I ended up trimming off some excess, and voila! I like these because they didn't cost much, so I can just wear them to Girls Camp without worrying that they will get dirty. My nice flip flops can stay home, and these thrifty and cute ones will go in my bag.


Treat: I found this recipe for adorable flip flop cookies on Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons. (Hehe, that rhymes!) There's no actual baking, you just decorate Nutter Butter cookies to look like flip flops. They're adorable, and you can make them here.

3. Ready For Girls Camp

Activity: Pass out some of my Girls Camp printouts -- the packing list, get-to-know-you sheet, and journal. Next, play Girls Camp charades. I love this idea so much I am going to make a separate post just for it!


Choose a group of girls, maybe Laurels/leaders/YCLs, to draw the free Girls Camp charade cards and act out the rule. The girls will have to guess what the rule is. Then you can hand them a cute little overview sheet, which you can get here. The printable has two sides. If you have extra time to kill, practice singing camp songs.

Treat: You can make Broiled S'more Bars for the refreshments. Below is how I did it, but if you scroll past the pictures, I've said how I would recommend doing it. First, prepare brownies. Use the box mix and you can have them ready in no time!


Next, line the tray with graham crackers. As you can see it didn't fit perfectly, but I cut some in half to make things work.


Next, toss with marshmallows.


Broil in the oven (place the pan vertically in the middle so it is done evenly, cough, cough, me) until the marshmallows are golden brown.


Now, while I am not really an idiot, I can be one, so although my method worked, I would line the pan with graham crackers, then pour the batter in, then coat with marshmallows and put on a final graham cracker layer. I would also make them in a bigger pan so the brownies would be less thick, like the chocolate in s'mores.  The marshmallows would turn to marshmallow fluff in the oven (yum!) and things would be delish.

Yay! I hope you have fun at all of these fun Girls Camp Nights!
Yours Truly,
Molly Mormon

5 Ways To Spice Up Your Scripture Study

"Hey, Molly, where are you in the Book of Mormon?" 
I thought rapidly. Where did I leave off? When did I even read last?  Ashamed, I mumbled a random chapter, and resolved to start reading again.
Has anything similar happened to you? A Personal Progress experience, parent, leader, teacher, bishop inquires about your scripture study and you're like, "Uh oh... I was supposed to do that?"
There's nothing wrong with drifting from the path -- as long as you realize it, and get back on it. If you want to make your scripture study a little less boring, try these 5 creative methods of study.

1. Comic and Create

This is my favorite method of study. It may be just me, but I find it very fun to sketch what's going on in the Book of Mormon. I just make little stick figures, and have fun illustrating the Nephite world. If you're a real artist, you can try making a professional comic book, sort of like the Book of Mormon children's readers. But if you're just an average Mormon citizen, it can be fun to draw cute little stick figures. You can use my free scripture comic template here. I would upload a picture of some of my own comics, but will abstain for fear of getting judged on my stick-people abilities (and disagreed on with the fact that the Nephites were at least just a little bit tan. Cough, certain brother out there.) The other method that falls under this category is stop-motion movies. If you're going to judge, move on to #2. But let me tell you, movie-making for Book of Mormon stories is fun and rewarding. Any of the creative methods above has helped me see the Nephite world come alive, and see them as the images I've drawn, not just boring old names.

2. Red-Headed Hostess Products

The Red-Headed Hostess has a plethora of products you can use in your scripture study. I love to doodle, and her journals are made exactly for that. The products can get pricey, but I have learned that this summer, 2018, you can get 15% off purchases of $10 or more with the code SUMMERSTUDY2018. I think they do those sales every summer, but anyways... Here are some of her study products I recommend.


3. Free Seminary Study Guide

While the Red-Headed Hostess products are cool, they can be super pricey. So if you want a free, digital version, try the LDS At-Home Seminary Study Guide. It goes with the Book of Mormon, and you can find it on the Gospel Library app. It has open ended questions, reading, talks, pictures, and lots of things for you to do. I like that this is a)free and b)digital!

4. Reading Goals and Challenges

I love the site LDS Scripture tools. It has Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, New, and Old Testament reading calculators to help you achieve certain goals, such as doing your Virtue project before PP ends, reading all of the standard works before your mission, etc. You put in the start date and finish date of reading these and it does everything else for you. Other challenges you can do while reading the Book of Mormon are looking for references of women in it, or references to Christ, kind of like what President Nelson did when he read all of the verses about Christ in the standard works. Challenges can be good, but make sure that your intent is right. As I was typing this I was totally reminded of the talk "Living With Purpose." I encourage you to watch it, but basically, the class is challenged to read the Book of Mormon. One of the students read the Book of Mormon very fast just so he could "win the contest." So be careful that you're not just trying to speed read with this! ;)

5. Utilizing Gospel Library

The Gospel Library app is very cool. While some of you may just go online on your phones whenever you need to access the scriptures, I encourage you to use the app as you study. You can read a chapter, then highlight your favorite verse, or write a summary of the chapter and what you learned. You can save bookmarks, create links, tags, and all sorts of cool stuff within the app.

Scripture Reading Trackers

I've created some trackers you can use to read the Book of Mormon. They're mostly just to let you know where you are, rather than try to fly through the book. You can hang them up wherever you want as a nice reminder. Enjoy!

Book of Mormon Reading Tracker 
One is the Virtue Value Project version and the other version is a generic one.
New Testament Reading Tracker
I found that most Bibles are black and gold, so that's our color palette for this one!
Old Testament Reading Tracker
I am so sorry about this one. It's a long story, but basically I was forced to copy and paste the books from the Primary Old Testament song! Whoops... maybe I can try to redesign later when my design software is actually working.

Plus...

I love the Comic and Create method I've made a comic template you can use! Get it here. Enjoy!

Happy reading!
Molly Mormon

Those Two-Week Long Experiences


Is it just me? I feel like it's especially difficult to accomplish the two week experiences. I'll forget -- "Oh, yes, of course I'll be a peacemaker." "ANNALIESE, SHUT UP!" -- feel bad, and say that I'll redo it starting today... repeat this cycle, and you have the reason all of my one-day experiences are completed and a bunch of two-week ones still loom over me. 
But these two-week ones are important. They put your Personal Progress into action, into your everyday life. And you -- and I -- can complete them. With help. Here are five tips to completing those really long two week experiences.

1. Use these two-week trackers.
I've also made some two-week trackers, which you can get here. I like them because they get you into the practice of, at night, reflecting on your day and crossing off what you've been able to do.

2. Use these two-week journals.
While you're reflecting on your day, why not journal about it? This is what you see at the top of the post, and I like how it will make you think about specific choices you made to better yourself in your Personal Progress. Here are the ones to use below. If you'd like a black and white one, that goes along with Faith.

Standard Two-Week Journal
Faith Two-Week Journal
Divine Nature Two-Week Journal
Individual Worth Two-Week Journal
Knowledge Two-Week Journal
Choice and Accountability Two-Week Journal
Good Works Two-Week Journal
Integrity Two-Week Journal

and... Virtue doesn't have any two week experiences! Yessss, Virtue! Ilysm.

3. Utilize reminders.
Using reminders is just a life skill. I use them for lots of other things, but one is Personal Progress. I will sit down every six months or so and set a Personal Progress goal. Then I will plan when to do each experience to reach my goal, and turn on reminders so that I actually do them. They'll pop up on my phone, and problem solved! Unless, of course, like with Insta notifications, you just slide to the right and dismiss them. Do not, under any circumstances, say that you have done what you need to do unless you have actually done it. That sounded a lot less cooler than it did in my head... If you say you're going to do Knowledge 5, sit down, do it, and then mark it off. Just saying, it feels good.

4. Utilize your wall.
Maybe it’s a door, mirror, or bulletin board. While digital reminders help, it’s great to have visual
reminders. Find a space you will look at everyday. For me, it’s the wall across from my bed. When I have a two week PP experience I'm doing, I will print the worksheet and trackers out and hang them up with washi tape. While I’m working on them, it’s a great reminder!

5. Team up!
The more the merrier, right? Team up with some of your YW friends, or even your mom or leaders, and do those two week experiences together. Text each other and ask about how their experience working on _______ is going! You can do it -- together -- and celebrate your success -- together.

Hope that helps.
Yours Truly,
Molly Mormon

Summer Personal Progress Goal Setting


Some of the other Summer Personal Progress experiences are a little pushy. They're all like: "Do this many experiences by this date! Now! Or else!" Or even worse, "Do Faith 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 this week." How, just how...?

The reason I like this program is it is personal, just like personal progress.


(+ I just redesigned it! Check out the new Summer Personal Progress goal-setting post here.)

Here's how to do this program in your ward:

1. Tell the Young Women about your Summer Personal Progress program. Give them the handout with calendars, and ask them to fill these out with travel dates and other events at home. I say this because if you ask them on the spot, they'll be like "meh." (Not that I would be any different, but...)


(Page two of the packet.)

2. Plan a fun activity where you'll be kicking off the program. It can be a mutual activity, replace a Sunday lesson, or be outside of church, at a leader's home, or even a YW sleepover. The possibilities are endless. Be sure to publicize this, and hand out the invitations below.


Get the PDF for them here. There are a bunch of PDF-editing programs out there for free, so you can either use one of those or handwrite and copy your specific info. If you're editing the PDF, you can whiteout the blank line and replace it with your ward name. The font I used was Quicksand.

3. Plan some fun stuff at this kickoff activity, like maybe a water balloon fight if it is nice outside, refreshments, group games, etc. But also make sure that in the activity there is time to meet with each Young Woman and review her packet with her. First, make sure you're on the same page with Personal Progress. Update your online record to match her PP book, and then look at what PP she's done and help her set that goal. She should have the ultimate say in what it is, though.
(Page one of the packet.) Some ideas of goals they can set are (as listed in the packet) doing x experiences, doing some specific projects, or even finishing the program, which is my goal this summer. 

4. Have them plan when to do the things they want to do. They can say that they'll do that Knowledge project, but if you plan together to work on it the week of July 4th, she'll be a little more likely to do it.

5. Plan a reward for if each person completes their goal. I feel like making them all do the same goal isn't a good idea, because they are all at different points in the PP program.

6. This step is optional. If you don't want to do it, scroll to the bottom of the page where the PDF of the packet is. But if you want, you can purchase a trifold. If you want, give me your ward name in the comments and your email and I'll make a custom sign for the bulletin board and send it to you. If you have a flower punch, punch out flowers with different colors for each of the different values. Each Sunday, ask if anyone's done anything. If someone did Knowledge 6, they can put up a green flower. This does not have to be with flowers. Maybe beach balls? Something more summer-y? It's all up to you!


I'm going to be doing this program this summer. I'm almost done with the PP program, and I think this one will meet my personal needs the most. 

Hope this helps!! 

Yours Truly,
Molly Mormon

PS. Find the % of PP a girl is done with at your leader page at personalprogress.lds.org.

PPS. BTW, PP means Personal Progress. I just got really tired of writing out the whole thing as I typed.

Free Young Womens Conducting Outlines


Coming from a young woman herself, opening exercises can be pretty stressful.When you ask someone to say a prayer, and they're just like, "no," like it's a huge thing you're asking of them and that doing so would cost them their lives, it kind of ticks me off a bit. But as everyone learns, grows, and matures, things can go more smoothly. Here are five tips for making your opening exercises go better.

1. Use this conducting outline. Make sure there are always plenty of copies in the Young Womens room, and printing them out on colored paper might spice them up a little bit. 

2. Be a good example. Whenever you maybe asked do to something, respond with an enthusiastic 'yes.'

3. Make sure everyone has a chance to conduct. Say one day Mary is conducting. She asks EVERY ONE (of the young women, the leaders are lovely, of course) and they (including Sally) all respond with a clipped 'no.' (And yes, the tone in which they say it makes it way more annoying.) Next week, Sally has to conduct and has the same dilemma. She'll be more likely to accept next time, now that she knows how it feels to be conducting.

4. Tell the young women about this problem! Here are some tips to explain to them during a mini lesson about the topic, taken from lds.org:
  • Arrive early and make sure everything is ready for the meeting.
  • When possible, make assignments ahead of time, including opening and closing prayers.
  • Conduct with reverence as guided by the Spirit. Leaders always teach by example.
  • Use a written agenda that outlines events to take place in the meeting.
  • The person conducting announces who will pray, speak, lead the music, and do other things.
  • Choose music that invites the Spirit. See that the music director and accompanist are prepared. Where appropriate, arrange for prelude music to be played before the meeting starts.
  • Be efficient and aware of time limits.
And if ALL else fails...

5. Make a prayer wheel for Young Womens. (Make a circle with all of the young womens' names. Make an identical circle with a cutout the same size as each name. Secure with a pushpin and spin. If you're feeling extra, you could make an extra cool spinner like in carnivals.)

Bonus: Please, don't do the "pray so you get a hot husband" thing (especially when the bishop is visiting.)

Good luck! 
Molly Mormon