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Ideas, Ideas, Ideas...

Youth Activities:

  • Broom hockey -- Our stake has played this both in the cultural hall as well as at an ice-skating rink.
  • Hiking -- Our youth took a hike in the snow in the Appalachian mountains.  At the end of the trail was a ward member's cabin with hot chocolate and sandwiches awaiting us.  It was beautiful, connected us all with nature, and created a great sense of unity with the youth.  The snowball fight at the end was a lot of fun, too.
  • River rafting -- Our stake has a tradition of having the Priests and Laurels of the stake float down a river every May.  We stop half-way down the river for a picnic.  There are a few rapids on the river, but for the most part it's just a leisurely ride filled with water fights and fun.
  • Water balloon night -- We had fun with water balloons one summer night for an activity.  We had balloon tosses.  We also had a balloon catapult competition (using surgical tubing and a baseball mitt as the catapult).  We also had relay races with water balloons and ended the night with ice cream.
  • Life-size Clue -- We mapped out a life-size Clue game in the cultural hall using masking tape.  Classes and quorums became the "players" as we went from room to room looking for clues to guess who committed the crime!
  • Life as a missionary -- This can be done as part of a joint activity or just with individual classes.  You can have different stations set-up showing the life of a missionary.  For example, have an ironing board and iron set-up to give the youth the opportunity to practice (and learn how) to iron a shirt.  Another station can be cooking Top-Raman in the kitchen, etc., etc.  Finish it off by either writing the missionaries (and or including a care-package)  to all missionaries serving from (or in) the ward.
  • Etiquette -- Invite someone known for their social graces to the youth activity night.  Talk about manners, table etiquette, how to greet individuals, etc.
  • Dating panel -- Invite a combination of older youth and youth leaders to participate in a dating panel.  Talk about church standards, ask and answer dating/standards questions from the youth.
  • Sports ideas -- Basketball, 5-k races, steal-the flag, mock track meets, croquet, balloon basketball, ping pong, tennis, etc. all make for lively, team building activities.
  • Lake party -- Have a lake party to kick off a new school year.
  • Caving -- Find a cave (preferrably non-commercial) to go to as a youth group.  Be sure to take proper gear (change of clothes, flash lights, extra set of batteries, helmets, etc.).  This can be a lot of fun and very informative.  There are lots of caves in the southeast (Tennessee, Georgia, etc.).
  • Ice skating/roller skating
  • Modesty/grooming -- Have the bishop or other youth leader talk about modesty and grooming.  Talk about it from a young man's perspective as well as a young woman's perspective.
  • Good music ideas -- Have an activity or Sunday Evening Discussion on  music as it relates to For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet.  Talk about the dangers of bad music and the positive aspects of good music.
  • Make a video -- Have the youth class/quorum decide on a story (keep it simple).  Film them in action.  End the evening watching the finished product and eating popcorn.
  • Make a prayer rock -- Paint a prayer rock and discuss how to make personal prayers more effective.
  • Mission callings -- Have a recently returned (or recently called) missionary discuss their feelings of opening their mission call.  Have mock mission letters prepared for the class/quorum.  Open the letters and discuss the cultures of the various places mentioned in the letters.  (This could be part of a mini-mission weekend for youth.)
  • Take pictures of the quorum/class.  Write personal testimonies.  Put the testimonies and pictures in copies of the Book of Mormon.  Give the copies to the missionaries serving in the ward/branch or send them to missionaries serving from the ward/branch.
  • Create a story -- Have the class/quorum create a scripture story to give to a Primary class.  Use their drawings and text.  Use a color photocopy to make copies for all of the children of a Primary class.
  • Scrapbooking/Book of Remembrance -- Have the class/quorum bring pictures that can be used in their own Book of Remembrances.  Discuss the purpose and importance of these books -- make them together.  (Note: this may take several weeks to do, but can be worth the effort.)
  • Love your ancestors -- Have each class/quorum member learn about one of their ancestors and be prepared to share a brief story from that ancestor's life.
  • Guess that Book of Mormon character -- Have a scavenger hunt in the church parking lot/church grounds.  Hide scripture clues that give hints about a particular Book of Mormon character.  After guessing the person from the Book of Mormon, talk briefly about that person and their life.  Finish the evening off with ice cream!
  • Get to know the bishop -- Talk to the Bishop's wife to get pictures and stories about the bishop.  Invite the bishop to the special youth night.  Make the bishop sit in front of the group while different youth tell the various stories and show pictures of the bishop.
  • Clean the sacrament trays -- This is an important activity for the Teachers Quorum to do periodically.
  • Learn a new hobby/skill -- Whether it's photography or auto repair, there's always something new to learn as a quorum or class.  Invite someone who knows a lot about a particular subject and have them share some of their knowledge.
  • Campfire stories and sing along -- Find a place where the youth can build a fire.  Tell inspirational or funny stories and sing songs.
  • Make instruments -- Make percussion/rhythm instruments using dried gourts, burned-out light bulbs, sandpaper, bells, pieces of wood, beans, home-made drums, etc.  Have a concert.

Young Women Evening in Excellence


Dating Ideas:

Miscellaneous Dates:

  • Amusement park
  • Ball game - Get a group together and go to a professional sports game.
  • Berry picking - In the spring or summer go berry (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, etc.) picking if available in your area. Apple picking in the fall is another option.
  • Boat ride - Lots of lakes have boat rentals for a reasonable price (canoes, paddle boats, etc.). Take a picnic lunch with you.
  • Cheer on a mutual friend - If someone you and your date know is in a game or event (such as a play or marathon), go and cheer your friend on.
  • Concert (many concerts are free)
  • Dance
  • Day trips - Pick a place an hour or two away and make a day of it. (This is best recommended for group dates.) The place might be a city, a historical site, a waterfall hike, etc. Be sure all of the parents know where you’ll be and return on time. Planning the trip can be a lot of fun too.Shop together (or just window shop together)
  • Dessert date (go to Baskin Robins, pastry shop, chocolate shop)
  • Do something neither you or your date have done before but both think would be interesting. Figuring out the new "thing" can be lots of fun.
  • Fast food on fancy china while watching a sunset
  • Flea market - Go explore a local flea market one Saturday.
  • Get a guide book for your city - Visit some of the items listed in the guide book -- most likely you won't have done a fraction of all the things listed in the book.
  • Go to a club event - If one of you is in a club at school, have your 'date' come along to see if they'd like to join as well. It provides an opportunity to pick up a new hobby and make new friends.
  • Go to church together - This can be fun, but can also start the rumor mill running, so proceed with caution on this idea.
  • Have a dance - No need to wait for a church dance to have a dance. Invite several couples over -- select a theme, and have a dance. Choosing the music and decorating for the dance can be half the fun.
  • Look up special events in the paper - Weekend papers usually list special events occurring in your area. Choose something interesting and go have fun.
  • Miniature golf
  • Nintendo tournament (don’t make it too competitive though)Movie
  • Old movie and a night-time picnic
  • Picnic - A picnic during the day or at night can be lots of fun. Be creative about the location.
  • Poetry reading, book reading - lots of time local authors will have poetry or book-reading sessions at local bookstores.
  • Share a hobby (if your date is a good photographer, take cameras and try to learn tips and tricks from your date)
  • Sporting Event
  • Star gazing - With a decent telescope Jupiter and Saturn are seen in pretty good detail. The moon is always a wonder to look at through a telescope or even a pair of binoculars. The first week of August is also great for meteor showers -- and no telescopes are needed.
  • Take photographs together - Buy a couple of disposable cameras, go do goofy things, record the events with the cameras, get the film developed and make a scrapbook.
  • Try something spontaneous - Put names of movies (of only ones that you'd enjoy seeing) or of a restaurant, etc. in a hat and draw a name. For your date, go to place/movie/etc. of whatever name you drew.
  • Visit a park. Acting like a kid again on swings and slides can be good for the soul.
  • Visit a pumpkin farm together and take a hay ride.
  • Walk on the beach - A simple walk on the beach can be fun, romantic, and rejuvenating.

Sports Dates:

  • Bike riding
  • Billiards
  • Bowling
  • Exercise – if your date likes to jog, lift weights, etc. – join in on one of their exercise sessions
  • Hiking (throw in a picnic for extra fun)
  • Horse back riding
  • Ice skating
  • Roller blading
  • Roller skating
  • Skiing
  • Swimming/Diving
  • Tennis
  • Water parks
  • Water skiing

Educational Dates:

  • Factory tour – Take a bottler tour, dairy, or a manufacturing plant tour. It’s always interesting – and the Companies often offer free products at the end of the tour.
  • Public gardens – Temple Square, university affiliated gardens, etc. all make great places to visit.
  • Take a one-day class together – local community colleges/centers often have one-day classes on painting, photography, creative writing, etc.
  • Visit a local historical site
  • Visit a museum and see an IMAX movie
  • Visit a Zoo
  • Walking tours – Cities generally have self-guided walking tours of the historical areas of the city. Just because you’ve lived some place a long time doesn’t mean there’s not a lot more to learn about the city you live in.

Party dates:

These all make great dates for group dating:

  • Cook out - Organize a cookout complete with hamburgers, hotdogs, and homemade ice cream.
  • Fondu party
  • Pizza Party - Buy pre-made pizza crusts and lots of fun ingredients.  Have the group make pizzas.  Award everyone specialized prizes for their pizza.
  • Pot luck dinner - If you're hosting the party, provide the main dish and have everyone else bring something.  Liven it up by assigning an eclectic combination of foods.
  • Progressive dinner - This can be fun to organize and works best when everyone involved lives relatively close by.  The idea is for the group to go from house to house for the different meal courses.
  • Sundae party - Buy several different flavors and toppings to create sundaes.  This can be combined with other ideas on the list.
  • Video party - Pick up a video or two and invite some people over.
  • Video party with a theme – Have a group decide on the movie in advance. Everyone comes dressed as a character from the movie. You can have movie trivia questions, charades (that all relate to the movie), etc. prior to watching the movie.

Service Dates:

  • Habitat for humanity - Work one day building a house with habitat for humanity.
  • Work at the cannery - Working at the cannery can be both rewarding and fun.
  • Charity walks/runs/bike rides - Pick a cause you support and participate in a fund-raising event for them (March of Dimes, etc.).
  • Volunteer activities - Spearhead a blood drive in your ward or stake.

Activating Youth

  • For me what's worked best is to simply love the youth back into activity.  Take them out for pizza, invite them over for Nintendo or a movie, have quorum or class members invite them into their homes.  It's not a difficult concept, it just takes lots of time and compassion. -- from a reader in Atlanta
  • Have the youth in the presidency call less active youths every week to let them know they were missed.
  • Volunteer to pick up less active youths for church activities.
  • Have the youth ask the less active youths for their suggestions for activities.  The more they're involved the more responsive they'll be.
  • In our Young Women's we had our class make a video for a class activity.  We borrowed a video camera and then video taped our activity of making cookies and introducing ourselves. Then we delivered a plate of cookies and the video tape to the young women who is inactive.  She loved it and was able to get to know the girls and their names by watching the video. -- T. Amendola [Expired Scheduled Picture]


Submit Ideas

Have an idea to share with others?  Submit ideas by e-mailing David Winters at the following e-mail address:  david@ldstoday.com

"You are to be the royal daughters of the Lord in the last days. You are 'youth of the noble birthright.'” (Ezra Taft Benson, To the Young Women of the Church)

Other Key Articles:

A Prophet's Counsel and Prayer for Youth

Your Greatest Challenge, Mother

The Message: Daughters of Zion

Youth of the Noble Birthright

Better than Royalty

Helping Youth Choose Sexual Purity

Additional Resources on the web:

Especially for Young Women

The Young Women's Corner

Defenders of Zion

LDS Young Women

Young Women Ideas

Young Women web page

LDS Brainstorm

Young Women web sites throughout the church