Relief Society Activities

August 8th, 2011 in About Me, Parties

UPDATE: I get a lot of emails about this post. I haven’t been able to respond to them which then results in surprisingly some nasty emails (be nice everyone!!). We moved to Costa Rica, I had my fourth baby girl, and started homeschooling all within 6 weeks of each other. I am not finally able to breathe a little bit and can answer some questions….

#1 No I did not save the “speed friendshipping” questions. All I did was google some speed dating questions and include appropriate ones. I also just made up others on my own. So sorry no I can’t pass those along.

#2 Also for the “speed friendshipping” questions I gave them 2 1/2 to 3 minutes because of how large our group was. I only had a question on *ONE* side of each pair.

#3 Like I said I recommend doing the “speed friendshipping” on it’s own. Maybe with a short thought and socializing/treat time. Because it was a lot of fun and could have taken up the whole time.

Thanks for all the emails, glad to know this post is helping people. And remember, BE NICE ON THE INTERNET!

Relief Society Activities

Am I the only one who can’t stop calling it Enrichment? So I have to be honest. This is the first calling I have had that has given me a ‘run for my money,’ as they say. Although, I do have fun with it *ahem* most of the time. Hee hee, no really. I do, I do. I am in the midst of planning another Super Saturday so right now is not a good time to ask me if I like my calling. Ask me in a couple of months and I’ll be back to saying I adore doing it.

So I get lots of emails and Facebook messages asking me for my ideas for Relief Society Activities. Hopefully this helps you find something that would work for your ward. Here we go…

I started off the calling with a presidency that wanted “groups” during the week. Some wards still do it this way but I think most of them have stopped. Some of the groups we did were: Biking, Weekly Park Play Dates, Canning, Lunch Dates, Exercise Groups, Cooking Groups (we did Breads and Salads and both were huge hits), Girls Nights Out (movies or late dinners at restaurants) and that is all I can remember at the moment.

Then a couple of months later, when a new Relief Society presidency was called they wanted to go back to doing one large main activity on the same day every month. They had the idea of an “Early Bird Special” to entice the sisters to come on time. If they show up at 6:55 they get some sort of treat, tip or coupon or anything under the sun. It has really helped and the sisters seem to enjoy it.

Here are the main monthly activities I have done since April of 2010 up until the present:

  • Relief Society Birthday: Getting to Know You Night. I had name tags for everyone when they walked in. They already had a letter written in the top corner in a certain color and a number next to the letter. We had circle tables set up that had a color, number and letter in the center of each table. In the first round of “getting to know you” games, we had each person introduce herself and find a word that described her that started with the first letter of her name. Also, we had everyone answer 3 “getting to know you” questions that were placed on the table. In the second round, we had them move to a table that matched the color on their name tag and had each color answer a specific question. Red – share an embarrassing moment, Green – a few favorite things, Blue – dream or goal, Purple – bizarre or silly fact or habit, Orange – wild card. Then in the third round we had them move to the table that matched the number on their name tag and played the “two lies, one truth” game. Lastly, we had each sister bring a “gift” that showed off things they loved that they could exchange with another sister. We stood in a big circle and went around and explained what our gift was (anything from popcorn because we love to relax and watch movies to a loaf of bread from our favorite bakery to really just ANYTHING). For the game to switch bags I would say things like, “If you have ever caught a firefly….or if you are a grandmother….or if your favorite color is blue” and have them come to the middle of the circle and those sisters that answered yes to the questions would hurry and switch bags.
  • Celebrating Spring!: 3 mini classes on Gardening, Eating Healthy and Cooking (specifically, cooking with fresh produce from your garden).
  • BBQ Social: We asked 4-5 sisters ahead of time if we could use their backyards for this social. Everyone met at one of the sister’s homes.  Once there, everyone received a card with a certain color on it and that split everyone up to have dinner at the other houses. Then we all met back together at the end to have dessert at the original house. This was another good way to make the sisters break out of their cliques and meet new people.
  • Food Storage: We had the ladies from foodstoragemadeeasy.net come and give their presentation. For refreshments we had sisters come with something they make from food storage, along with copies of the recipes to share.
  • Holiday Cookie Swap: We had all the sisters bring 2-3 dozen of their favorite holiday cookie. Then we went through the line with a big plate and each sister took one.  We all went home with a large plate of different cookies. We also had everyone bring their recipes to share.
  • Making Family Home Evening Work: We did mini classes on Family Home Evening with two women “team teaching” each one. We had a class on: FHE for families with small children, FHE for families with mixed (all ages) or teen children and then FHE for just adults. For refreshments, we asked all the sisters to bring their family’s favorite FHE treat.
  • Field Trip to the Family History Library: We wanted the sisters to learn how to do their genealogy/family history work so we took a field trip to a place nearby that did just that. This tied into the Heritage Night activity (below) that we did a couple of months later.
  • Relief Society Birthday Party: Cafe Rio STYLE dinner. We re-created the restaurant’s famous salad that all the ladies love and served that. I asked 6 sisters ahead of time to read up on a specific Relief Society sister or leader from the PAST and give a mini presentation on them while we ate. Some of the sisters dressed as their lady and some just read about them. I had pictures of these past Relief Society presidents/leaders/members sitting on each table so the sisters could see a picture of who we were talking about. Then we did some “getting to know you” games. We did “Friendship Dating” where I set up long, long tables and did “Speed Dating.” This was a HIT and I wish we could have done an activity of JUST this because it could have taken up that much time. For the “dating” I had a piece of paper with a question in the middle of the sisters on either side of the table that they could answer. Then when I sounded the buzzer…they had to move on to the next chair to meet the next lady. We also asked all the sisters to bring a brown paper bag with 3-4 items inside and with a picture of them as a teen on the outside. While they were listening to announcements and a spiritual message, I placed the bags on the different tables. Then I told the ladies to try and sneakily sit at the table where their bag was. We mixed up the bags at the table and had the sisters look at the stuff on the inside and look at the picture and figure out who it was!
  • Visit-Teaching Workshop: They did this the month I had Shae but I heard that the committee had the sisters meet ahead of time so they could quickly record them sharing a good experience they have had with visiting teaching. Then they made those interviews into a video to view that night.
  • Heritage Night: This it the activity that followed our trip to the family history center. We had all the sisters bring something from their “Heritage.” They brought something either from the country they are from or from where their ancestors originate, and shared it with everyone else. We told them they could bring it in food form or something to present and put on a table. I also asked 3 sisters ahead of time to share a story from their heritage which turned out to be a very spiritual moment. It helped us to get to know each other in a really different and deeper way.
  • Simplifying Night: We had three of the sisters teach mini classes on couponing, house cleaning and menu planning. The goal was to help simplify our lives, do things better and more efficiently and to save some mula!
  • Salad Social & Flea Market: For July, we had a really simple activity. We invited the sisters to the park and asked them to bring a salad along with the recipe to share. Then I asked all the ladies (if they wanted to participate) to bring no more than 5 items that they were no longer in need of but that were in VERY GOOD CONDITION. I had 6 clothespins for each sister to write her name on. Then they went around and pinned their name on the things they wanted. If one item had a lot of pins we put all the pins in a cup and picked one out.
  • Care of Being Cruise: This is a good one to do when you want the Young Women to be invited. We did a little relaxation yoga class, had a lady teach us how to do pedicures, heard beauty tips from a hair stylist in our ward, drank from an Italian soda bar (you could also do a smoothie bar) and asked people to bring appetizer sandwiches for a “spa feel.”
  • Survivor Night: This idea is all over the Internet. You set up some chairs and rolling chalkboards to make a part of the cultural hall feel like sitting on the airplane. You have flight attendants walk up and down the aisles giving everyone a water bottle and trail mix (the snack for the night) and even give them a “ticket” to get on the plane. Then the plane crashes! And you have to go through “survivor” stations to learn things. In our ward we did 72 hour kits, first aide and school/family/home evacuation plans. Then we wrapped it up with a spiritual message at the end. You could do all kinds of stations, from being financially prepared to spiritually prepared. There are lots of different things you could do.
  • Handmade with Love/Service Auction Night: We haven’t done this one yet. It’s on the list for this year but I think each sister brings something they personally love to do and are great at to “auction” off. Anything from a free session of teaching you how to take great pictures to a loaf of their delicious bread.

Here are some other tips I have for you Enrichment Leaders when deciding what Relief Society Activities to do:

*Know the needs AND wants of your sisters by getting to know them, talking with the presidency and through prayer. In my ward, we focus on helping the sisters get to know each other and become friends. Also, I have had strong feelings to make sure a lot of the activities revolve around self-reliance and family.

* Read your calling description and what it entails every month to make sure you are keeping on track. You can find that here: http://lds.org/pa/rs/HFPE_Guidelines.pdf

* Part of Relief Society is learning from EACH OTHER so get those sisters in your ward to teach during the activities! And don’t pick the same ones. Ask around and pick sisters that don’t get asked all the time.

*Your activity isn’t a failure if only a handful of women come. Some activities pulled lower numbers for me but I really believe the sisters that did attend needed to learn the things we were teaching. And so those activities really were worth it.  They were just as important as the ones that brought in 50 of the ladies.

*Another tip I can give you when you are trying to figure out the needs and wants of the sisters is to send out a poll to them! And let them mark off what subjects they would be interested in learning more about. My poll included: Card Making, Beauty (makeup, skin care, etc.), Cooking, Birthday Lunch Group, Running a Home of Order (organizing, deep cleaning, etc.), Exercise, Temple Group, Crafts, Park Playdate, New Member Get to Know You Night, Marriage,  Dinner Club (meet with other couples in the ward for dinner), Films, Photography Walk, Jewelry Making,  Sewing/Knitting, Quilting,  Genealogy, Baking/Decorating Cakes, Nutrition & Healthy Living , Raising a Family in the Gospel (parenting tips, FHE, scripture reading tips) and Self Reliance Topics (canning, finance, gardening, food storage).

Hopefully this list of Relief Society Activities and tips helps you have some fun with your calling. It is a very important one that helps bond the sisters in your ward!

P.S. Are you wondering what in the world Relief Society is? Great explanation here. My “job” at my church is to plan monthly activities for all the women to attend.

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