Once upon a time, this was my blog for Ward Activity Ideas. Since then, I have served in YW, and Mid-singles. Currently, I am leading the Primary Children's singing time. Thus, I have expanded this site to include anything LDS activity related.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ward Campout

Who: All Ages
Objective: Enjoy Nature, friendshipping, fellowshipping, fun!
Budget: $200

Set-Up: Because of the increase in cost of food, we ended up going to a much cheaper campground this year. The bishop & his wife made his famous "Mountain Man Breakfast", which is basically a skillet type breakfast made in a dutch oven. We also arranged for someone to bring firewood, as we had some members with a tree they cut down in their back yard. Free fire wood is always a plus. Basically, the activity committee members got up there before everyone else so they could put up directional signs, etc.

Special Instructions: In years past we had organized games for the kids, etc. But this year, since it was a new campground for us, we weren't sure what to expect. I found a few tubes of glow sticks so I got those for really cheap. and of course, we had s'mores. Many chose to go on a "hike" (nature walk) on a nearby small trail. When they got back we gave the kids their glow stick and made s'mores. The glow sticks were probably the best investment, as it provided hours of entertainment for them. we found a tube of glow sticks 100 for $8.

Turn-Out: we had about 50 people come, which about typical for our ward. We usually have between 50 and 75.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pool Party

Who: All Ages! Bring Your Friends!
Objective: Missionary, fellowshipping, friendshipping, fun!
Budget: $260 (the cost fot the Layton Surf & Swim is $500, which we split by inviting another ward to join us...(we've been doing this now for about 5 years). Each ward also provides about $10 worth of freezer pops.

Set-Up: EASY!!! Call the surf & swim like in January for your summer party. They will hold the reservation for 24 hours. Bring deposit check to them for $100. The rest is paid on the night of.

Special Instructions: Get plenty of flyers with the directions printed and handed out in time.

Turn-Out: We always fill the place full... Probably about 500 people...cuz it is free to them, which is why it is perfect to invite our friends to as well.

Progressive Picnic Potluck

Who: All Adults 18+
Objective: Mingle, Fellowship, Missionary efforts, Fun! etc.
Budget: $40 for paper products
Set-Up: I had arranged for a few houses to host a dinner course in their backyard. "Appetizers/Salads", "Casseroles/Main Dish/Rolls" and "Dessert". (If you don't have enough homes with a big backyard, you can always meet back at the church for dessert.) I had sign up sheets for potluck items circulating 2-3 weeks ahead of time.

Special Instructions:The plan was to meet at the church and then to go together to the various homes for each meal course. However....

Turn-Out:...It ended up raining. So, we had everyone bring their dishes to the church, and we had an indoor picnic. We did not set up tables. We set up chairs for those that did not bring blankets or camp chairs. The rain kept people away, as there was some confusion as to whether or not we were still going to have it. But it was fun to have a small group. It felt like a dinner group and we were able to have some great conversation.

Hawaiian Dinner Cruise (Or Not)?

Who: Adults, 18+
Objective: FriendSHIPping, fellowSHIPping, missionary efforts, unity, etc.
Budget: $125
Flyer: (I don't have the original flyer, but here is what it said)

Ahoy all adults!
Come aboard the S.S. Fellow-Ship and join us for a
Hawaiian Dinner Cruise.
May 9th,
Board at 6:30pm, from the East Dock
Feel free to wear your Aloha! attire
It'd be a shame to miss this one on "porpoise"!
*brought to you by Save Our Souls (S.O.S.) Cruiselines

Set-Up: The cultural hall was set up and decorated for a Mexican Fiesta. Doors were kept closed. The chapel overflow area was set up to resemble the inside of a river boat. I had arranged ahead of time for a few of the YW to dress in Hawaiian wear to welcome each guest with a lei. I had arranged for one man with a nice "radio voice" to be our "captain" and had given him a script ahead of time, and I also had some Hawaiian music on CD to play on the overhead speakers.

Special Instructions: Prior to and during the welcome of the "passengers", no one that is in on the secret is to let on that this is anything but a "Hawaiian Dinner Cruise". Have the Hawaiian music playing on the speakers until you have enough "passengers" arrive to get started. After the opening prayer, Our “captain” gives his on-board announcements, welcoming them aboard the SS Fellowship, and tells them to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride, and that soon we will be docking for a wonderful Hawaiian Dinner. The “stewardesses” (YW) brought a cart through with Tahitian Treat drinks (aka Ginger ale & Fruit Punch). After the drinks were passed out, the captain then made the announcement that due to a tropical storm, we'd have to reroute and he advised them that we'd be docking on the Mexican Riviera. But not to fear, he had radioed ahead and our Mexican Fiesta will be ready! Then we had everyone exit through the “emergency exit” – which was the curtain/partition. We had a taco bar set up along with fruit salad. We already had Hawaiian and Mexican decorations from previous activities, so we just used those to decorate the various areas accordingly.

Turn-Out:We had about 65 people sign up, so I planned for 100 tacos, cuz I figured some would eat two. We still had foil and foil pans left over from Christmas, so I didn’t have to buy any of those. We used them to heat up the tortilla shells and pulled them from the oven as needed.

We bought 10 pkgs small flour tortilla shells (“taco” size, not “burrito” size), 12 lbs ground beef, 12 packets dry “taco seasoning” mix, 6 small cans refried beans, 3 heads lettuce – shredded, 3 medium/large onions, 4 cans dice tomatoes drained, 5 cans sliced black olives, 1 lg tub of sour cream, 7 bags (14 C) shredded cheese, 1 bottle of red hot chili pepper sauce, 1 large thing of salsa, 2 bags tortilla chips. For the fruit salad I bought 7 big cans of fruit cocktail, 3 boxes instant vanilla pudding. I just emptied all of the fruit juice into a big salad bowl and then added the instant pudding mix in with a wire whisk. I let the pudding sit in the fridge about 10 minutes, the folded the fruit in, covered it tightly with plastic wrap and let chill until dinner.

Total in attendance: about 55

Because of Cinco De Mayo being so close I got all of the food on sale, and ended up spending $112. We already had plenty of paper products in our storage closet, so I did not have to get any of that stuff.

Oh - and you can get all sorts of "scene setter" like the one here.  Just google "Cruise Ship Scene Setters".

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Country 5-H Fair

Who: Everyone, all ages!
Objective: Mingle, Display Talents, Learn about Preparedness and Home Storage
Budget: $125


Set-Up: We had sign up sheets on the bulletin board for about 3 weeks and had all sorts of categories. In the gym we set up tables with signs for each category. We had a ticket booth when they entered. The “food tent” was set up in the YW room and the bishopric and their wives were assigned the task of grilling the hot dogs and manning the food booth. Each ticket was redeemed for one hot dog. This was purely to help people only take one hot dog until we knew everyone had been served. The tickets also added to the ambiance of the fair. The food tickets were actually from a roll of over 1000 tickets I bought over a year ago at the D.I. (thrift store) for 25 cents.

Categories: Butter-Scuplting (they brought their finished product, and 1 person even did the Bountiful Temple), Cake decorating, Artwork, Handi-crafts (sewing, crocheting, needlework, etc), canned goods, baked goods, and anything else you could think of. Kids could sign up for leap frog contests and ice cream eating contests. We also had a "booth" for our emergency preparedness person and our RS Food Storage specialist.

Turn-Out:The entries were not compared against each other, but rather scored based on skills, talents and creativity. We printed off blue ribbons and red ribbons for Excellent Work and Good Work. Everyone who entered received a ribbon. The judges also nominated a “Best in Show” for each category and awarded that with a purple ribbon. The kids loved the Ice Cream Eating Contests and the Leap Frog Competition. In the food tent we had a bins filled with plain potato chips and another filled with cookies. We also served 10 gallons of homemade rootbeer, and included water pitchers on the tables. The chips, cookies and rootbeer were a “serve-yourself” style. It was nice to have the “food tent” as people could eat when they were ready and it kept the food away from the art entries. Everyone who came said they absolutely loved it. Some of the most creative entries came out the butter sculpting and cake decorating competitions. We also had our Emergency Preparedness Specialists set up a booth with a sample 72 hr kit and handouts on food storage and natural disasters.

We ended up buying 13 pkgs of hot dogs (104), 13 pkgs of buns (104), 5 lg bags of plain potato chips, 6 pkgs cookies, 10 lbs sugar, 10 lbs dry ice, 2 bottles root beer extract, 1.5 gal ice cream (should have doubled it), 1 Hershey syrup. Because I found the hot dogs and buns on sale, I was able to also buy 2 cans whipped topping and 2 large bags of buttered popped corn, which we served in paper sacks. The kids loved having their own popcorn bags.

We had about 90 people show up.

Sock Hockey

Who: Adults
Objective: Sportsmanship, mingle,
Budget: $20 for chips, salsa and nacho cheese.

Set-Up: Outlined goals with duct tape on the floors and walls of opposite ends of gym.

Special Instructions: Split up into teams, and using a balled up pair of white socks, played Hockey. We used very simple rules. Try to get the sock into your team's goal. We played until everyone was tired. We had a non-player keep score, while another was "referee" (basically, dropped the "puck" and then told us if it went out of bounds, etc.)

Turn-Out: The weather wasn't so great, and there ended up being a big community event that night in which we had to compete, so there was only a handful of people (15 or so) that came. Nonetheless, it was still fun.

King of Hearts UN-Pageant

Who: Everyone, All Ages
Objective: Promote camaraderie & family fun.
Budget: $100 (for dipping chocolate)

Set-Up: Starting 2-3 weeks ahead of time, we put nomination boxes in the foyer. We told everyone to nominate their favorite "King" ages 16+. We had a good number of nominations. I also sent around a sign-up sheet in RS for the chocolate dipping bar. We had people sign up to bring: cake bits, pretzels, marshmallows, orange slices, strawberries, pineapple chunks, apples slices, bananas, graham crackers, gummi bears, wafers, shortbread cookies, macaroons, and anything else you could think of to dip in chocolate.

Activity: On the night of the activity, we drew names from the nomination box and called up 6 contestants. The contestants competed in various (see below), and in between segments we had “messages from our sponsors”. These were little 30 second “commercials” put on by some of the youth. They were hilarious. Following the competitions we allowed voting. There were paper sacks which were numbered 1-6 that corresponded with the numbers we had pinned to the contestants. As each person came to the activity, they were given a small tab of paper. These were their voting tabs. So, they simply put their tab into the bag of the person they voted for. But we told them instead of voting for the BEST king, they were to vote for the WORST king, since it was an UN-Pageant. This made it even more fun. We had 2 members of the committee tally the votes.

The winner was “crowned” with a crown, which was made and donated by a committee member. They were also given a trophy that was found at a thrift store for about 50 cents. The little kids enjoyed the coloring table (set up in the back with photocopied "Valentine Coloring Pages") which kept them busy. Everyone loved the chocolate fountain. We had left over chocolate which we will use as chocolate sauce for next months activity.

Events/Competition: I was the "pageant host" and asked another member of the ward to provide the "pageant music". He played some on the piano and some on CD, and made it apropos to the competition event. Ahead of time I wrote out a script of what I would be saying and gave the music person a copy so he could coordinate. I also recruited 3-4 YW who came dressed in formal gowns to be the "Vanna Whites" and assist on stage.

Areas of competition were:

  • Sportsmanship - Jousting (skateboards & pool noodles)
  • Physical Fitness - Hymnbook Weights Challenge
  • Coordination - Dance Competition (30 second moves)
  • Intellect & Quick-Thinking - Interview Question

Turn-Out: We had about 100 people come and everyone said it was a lot of fun.

Here are the contestants right after being called up on stage.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jigsaw Jamboree

Who: All adults, 18+
Objective: To mingle and get to know one another
Budget: $0 (used plates and napkins we already had on hand)
Set-Up: There were 5 round tables set up, each containing 1-500 piece puzzle.

How-To-Play: Players are invited to sit at a table, and told not to begin their puzzle until the sound of the bell (which I held in my hand). Players are also instructed that it is a competition and the first table to complete their puzzle wins. However, there is a catch. Anytime the bell is sounded, players must get up from the table and switch to a new table. It does not matter which table they move to, as long as they move. The bell is sounded at random intervals.

We did this in January as our kick-off activity. Everyone loved it and it was fun because you never knew when you would have to get up. I was worried that 500 pieces would be too overwhelming. Surprisingly enough, it was not. Once the first table finished, the other tables did not want to quit. They wanted to continue until all of the puzzles were finished. We have a good mix of young couples and elderly, so this was something that all were able to enjoy without trying to explain too many rules (like if we would have played Scattergories or something).

Turn-Out: We had about 25 people come, which was actually perfect. It would have probably gotten a little too crowded with more than 5 or 6 bustling around each puzzle.