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Finding unity in a diverse group of young women, especially larger wards, can be difficult. This activity idea is meant to help the girls start to see each other’s divine qualities and talents.
Finding unity in Young Womens is not always easy. And it doesn’t seem to matter how large or small your ward is-there are struggles wherever you go. In our ward, we have always had a pretty small group. I believe we may have topped out at around 24 girls total when I was just starting. Since then it has dwindled down. Now I think it’s around 12. But the struggle to have the girls get along has been real from the beginning. We have 4 schools represented in our small group, and that’s just for high school. There are about 3 junior high schools represented too.
So no matter where you’re group of girls is at, one of the biggest challenges as a leader is to have them at least try to get along, right? Sometimes it was so frustrating! Why couldn’t they just be nice, even just for an hour? Why is one girl always excluded? Why do they make fun of each other?
So many questions and problems. Another one was that the girls who were nice to everyone were always the ones called upon to create some peace and unity. While it’s great to give them a way to serve and be an example, it shouldn’t always fall on their shoulders.
And so I had an idea that was based off of an activity that I did when I was a Young Woman. It’s hard to say if it will work for everyone but it worked for our group. At least things seemed better and the girls were kinder to one another.
For an activity, I printed off this sign personalized with each one of the girls names on them. Each girl will be given another girls page and we’ve asked them to write a little message to that girl, focusing on the virtuous aspects of that girl rather than the outward appearances. This could include talents, personality traits, accomplishments, etc. They will pass them around and write for every single Young Woman in attendance and who may not be there. If you have a larger ward, you could break this up into classes. They can leave their comments anonymous or leave their name. By the end of the activity, each girl should have their paper filled with things that others admire about them. It was an activity that impacted me as I kept that paper and still have it to this day!
Following their signing of the papers, each of the leaders talked a little bit about Divine Nature and shared personal experiences of learning to get along with others, learning to see other as Daughters of God, etc. We all had something we could share and we wanted to keep it personal and show the girls that we know how hard it is but that it’s not only possible, but worth it. For example, I shared about an experience I had with a girl who was never very kind to me so I never liked her. But she happened to be my best friends other best friend and it was hard to avoid her. At a sleepover, I determined to do my best to get along with her for my bff’s sake and we ended up hitting it off and became buddies for years after that.
As a bonus and follow-up, I brought in a mail box that I made and we had the girls draw names each week. They were asked to watch the girl whose name they drew that week and write either one note or multiple notes about their observations. They could make it anonymous. On Sunday, they were to put their notes in the mailbox for them to be delivered. At the end of the month, they would have watched four of the girls and hopefully gotten to know them and understand them better. Maybe even become friends or mentors! You can easily find notecards and pens to have with the mailbox for the girls to use too.
Our hope was to foster some love and sisterhood among the young women and help them see each other as a daughter of God. While we’re focusing on Virtue and Divine Nature, this project also counts as a write-in experience for Individual Worth or Divine Nature. Here’s a blank version if you’d like to use it. We may get frames for the girls at the end so they can have this framed and remind themselves of the qualities that others see in them. The quote at the bottom is from one I heard from my Young Women days (I don’t know who said it): “The greatest gift I could give you is for you to see yourself the way I see you.”