Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I need your help. Oh yes I do.

I was sustained in a new calling on Sunday.

After two years working in the Primary they decided to call me as Activities Committee Chairperson.

A position which excites and terrifies me at the same time.

For non-LDS/mormon readers this means that I will be in charge of organizing activities in my church congregation which is around 500 people I do believe.

What I need from you are your ideas. I want to pick your collective brains.

What are some activities that you have done in your ward or elsewhere that you have really enjoyed? What are ones that you detested? If you have a long list (which I do hope you have) feel free to email me if you don't want to comment. My email is on my profile page.

Right now we have some "traditional" activities like Breakfast with Santa and Trunk or Treat. Last year we had a huge activity that was a ward wide Pioneer trek with kids and everything. We also have a "Dell day" which is a day up the canyon at some property owned by the church.

This year is also the year that our ward will celebrate it's 100th anniversary. Thankfully I've been informed that they don't want anything big to be done. We will celebrate it "quietly" in our ward and maybe put a notification in the paper. Sounds good to me.

Okay. Fire away. Pour out your knowledge of activities into my comment box. Help me be more excited than terrified. Please!!

Thanks! I appreciate ya s'much!


Kristina P. said...

I haven't been in a traditional ward in 4 years, so I got nothin'. I would suggest implementing Snuggies and nudity.

Wendyburd1 said...

I loved Spook Alley which the mutual kids were in charge of with someone like you overseeing them naturally. I love regular potlucks too, even themed ones, we did a Luau one. There was also a chili cook-off/chocolate dessert cookoff once.

SO said...

Oh Kristina! I'm thinking a snuggie fashion show...that would rock! And it's modest too.

The nudity on the other hand? Although very freeing would probably be frowned upon. Plus although there are a select few in my ward that I wouldn't mind seeing nude the rest?? Um, no.

Wendy, I love potlucks too!

Christa said...

Something I hate: board game nights. BOOORING!

Talent shows are always interesting.

We had a game show night once. I believe that they did The Price is Right. Jillene would know better because she was on the committee at the time.

susette said...

I've seen a big cul-de-sac party with pot-luck food and dancing.

Karaoke is a good one too, once people loosen up a little bit.

Congrats and have fun!

Vanessa said...

I would suggest having something other then rubbery ham and funeral potatoes at ward dinners. That's all I got.

Vanessa said...

Oh and nix the jello.

Brooke said...

I loved the activities of your ward, especially the Santa one and Dell day was great too!

Our ward in American Fork had great ice creams socials and talent shows, hilarious talent shows with break dancing and everything!

We've also done dinner groups where 2-4 families get together for dinner and games or whatever and you rotate families about once a quarter, it's a great way to get to know people in the ward.

One thing I've hated...HATED!!! Adult only activities such as a formal dance and dinner, if I'm going to be spending time at a church activity, I'd like to do it with the whole family.

Good luck, you'll be awesome at that calling!

Me said...

My ward always does a summer BBQ. They pull the grills out..set up in the parklot and we go to town. Its a bring your own meat and a potluck dish to share.

Funky Kim said...

I have no ideas for activities. I do, however, recommend you invite via a flyer handed out to the entire neighborhood and not just announced at church. I loved my ward in Bountiful. The ward I live in now, not so much. Of course, we got off to a rocky start due to me not knowing that they did trunk or treat. Neither did 4 of my immediate neighbors who have children. Hurt feelings abounded.

Jillene said...

Game Show night was a BLAST!! We did Family Feud and The Price is Right. It was a hit with everyone. If you want all of the details e-mail me.

Talent Shows are always a fun adventure--especially if Christa's husband is in your ward. (0;

Emmy said...

I was activity chair for a year and a half, and really ended up liking it, besides running around with my head cut off at each activity.
The first key is make sure you delegate, put your committee to work. I tend to want to do it all myself you just can't do it that way.
One of our best activities that everyone LOVED was our "Ward Variety Show". We purposely called it variety, vs talent as we did not want people to think they had to be super talented to participate. It was a icecream social and variety show. We provided the icecream, bowls and spoons and then had every family provide their favorite topping. (in the summer icecream will sometimes go on sale for $1 a carton, so cheap activity!). I then passed around sign ups. I called everyone a week before to see what equipment they would need. We plugged our boom box right into the microphone system in the gym and it worked great. It was a great night and there were tons of visitors.
I will have to look through my book and email you more ideas.
oh and keep a spread sheet where you keep track of your budget yourself, will make your life so much easier.

Erin said...

One of the funnest activities we had was an International Night - we invited members of the ward to make foods from different countries and to bring displays from that country if they wanted (like if they served a mission and had cultural stuff from that country). We had a HUGE turnout. I made crepes and brought French stuff, and there was stuff from Russia, Chile, Mexico, Australia, etc. The people in charge told people to invite everyone, including non-member friends, and at the very beginning of the night they had a five minute clip from some movie talking about how the church is worldwide. Then you could get the ward missionaries involved with the effort too (less work for you!).

Good luck with your calling!

springrose said...

Our ward has the 3 wise men come instead of Santa, we also do talent show, it is so much fun. We also have a guy from Tonga in our ward so instead of having the traditional Christmas dinner we have had a Tongan theme for food. My sister in law lives in Idaho Falls and she had the dancers from BYU Idaho come and perform. She had a Hawiian night, it sounds like it was so much fun!

Anonymous said...

everyone else has already said most of what I was thinking.

Talent Show, Lyp Sync, etc always fun

road shows, skit in a bag is fun

I hate just boring old Potlucks, hate them....

We had an awesome thing last year, for adults only. NICE sit down christmas dinner. each table was assigned seating, set up like a 4star restaurant and each table had a list of questions to get to know each other and then there was a few minutes for each table to highlight what they found out about each other. really fun, email if you wnat more info

Pedaling said...

youre gonna be great at this calling.

i like quarterly dinner groups.
you have people who want to participate sign up and then you group them together in groups of about 6 or 8 probably 8- then mix it up the next time- so you actually get to know different people - it's hosted at one house with everyone contributing to the food---the hostess home plans some sort of activity or game.

also- for christmas something with thee kids like your breakfast with santa and then something seperate for the adults only- a nice dinner and program- i hate the evening family ward christmas party- they are horrible and i never go.

LaurieJ said...

Haha! Oops, did I just laugh? ;-)
I had that calling for a little while and it was tough but rewarding.
My cousin did an adults only Valentines dinner. They did soups and had chocolates dipping fountains. Her ward loved it

Barbaloot said...

Um...I don't have much by way of ideas---but good luck!!

I can tell you in singles' wards you need two of three things to make it successful:
-short in length
-members of the opposite sex.

I'm assuming there's not much difference in that for family wards:)

Martha H. said...

Good luck!

Leslie said...

I had that calling not so long ago for our small ward of about 130 active people and I was stressed then. Can't imagine doing it for a ward your size! I hope you also get a good committee to help you.

We pretty much did the things you've mentioned and a few some of the above people mentioned. If you have a talent show though - maybe put on your sign up sheets encouraging people to do non-Sunday type songs. After hearing hymn after hymn and Primary song at our last talent show, I was so relieved when someone sang a showtune. I love church songs (seriously have nothing against them usually) but at a 2 hour talent show, everyone would rather hear other stuff.

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

I had that calling for a couple years. I survived. We did a game night that was fun. People brought games they wanted to play and there was also a little Wii action going on. Activities don't seem to be a huge hit in our ward. They now have a dutch oven group...but you can only come if you don't have kids or pay a babysitter to watch them cuz they aren't welcome. ;o) I'm with Kristina....snuggies and nudity are great ice breakers.

Melissa said...

First, my condolences. That is a HARD calling. And no matter what you do, someone will be unhappy.... but your tough and can take it!

Our progressive dinner has been a favorite.
The ward campout
Talent show
Sweethearts dance for the adults near Valentine's
Ward Swim party
Father's and Son's campout - the women usually do a "non-official" get together that night.
At Christmas time we do a sing-along over a big fire pit.

Those are a few. One thing that we have done for the past couple of years and I REALLY like it, is we stopped referring to them as "ward" activities and call them neighborhood activities. We get many more non members and less active folks out. It's been great for fellowshipping.

tammy said...

We have a chili cook-off in the fall.

We've also done a drive-in movie night for the adults. We had a giant screen in someone's backyard decorated like a drive-in (but you could also do the church lot), popcorn, snowcones, candy, old fashined soda bottles, all served by the YM/YW. It was loads of fun.

Talent shows can be funny.

I will think and ask my sister what they've done too.

Good luck!!

Becca said...

I don't envy yo--that calling scares me! But I am sure you will be great!

Our ward does a cul-de-sac of fire on the 24th of July and we have pot luck desserts, karaoke, and fireworks. It's so fun and my kids look forward to it every year.

Other than that it's pretty much the same as everyone else's list. I will say however, that the whole point of the activities is to build relationships with ward members (and those few brave non members who attend) so I would wouldn't let the "Activity" part stress you out. As long as you plan something and give people the chance to get together and have fun then you're doing your job!

Good luck!

Brittany Marie said...

Que did a Wii Tournament for his Elder's Quorum which was fun!

Rachel Sue said...

My best to you my friend. I just got RELEASED from this very calling. The best thing my ward has done is combine primary activities with the ward activities so there is something for everyone to do. For example, last summer we had a carnival/BBQ. Activities was in charge of the food and set up and the primary was in charge of all the games and entertainment. It went wonderfully. HOpe that helps. . .

Honey and Hotstuff said...

This is what happens when your brother is your bishop! and whatever happend to Road Shows???

Honey and Hotstuff said...
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Honey and Hotstuff said...
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the fowlers said...

well, sounds like my dad realized everybody in the ward might like to join the nielsen party machine! we're usually hanging out around the church anyway, why not invite everyone else? ;) you're going to be so much fun. karaoke anyone?

i'm really liking the idea about getting the whole neighborhood out, not just the ward.

as a not-so-long-ago teenager, i know that it might be nice to have a little something more for that age group (besides babysitting) at ward activities. if anyone can think of a way to get the teens having a great time with everyone at a ward party, it's you.

also, it doesn't take a special occasion to have a good time! i think more people are available/less stressed if it isn't a holiday. since our wards out here cover towns, not neighborhoods, we do some different things. sometimes everyone stays late on fast sundays and breaks the fast together (monthly potluck!). they also have smaller groups of yoga and playgroups and things like that.

i wish i was around to see what fantastic things you'll be doing!

Jo said...

You need to talk to Amber from Soggy Cheerios. She has the best ideas for ward activities!

Jessica G. said...

DUDE. I just got the same calling! We should totally collaborate. We have a traditional pool party every year but this year, we might have something else going on, like a "biggest splash" contest and things like that. In the fall, the bishop wants a dutch oven "showcase," not a competition. And Christmas, I'm thinking of having a creche display. These are all the rage outside Utah...
Other than that...I don't know. The Sunday I was called, I had two older ladies corner me and demand that I not have Santa come to the Christmas dinner. Not sure about that one.

wendy said...

UM, I think all I can say is --MY DEEPEST SYMPATHIES

Shawn said...

Oh----I been there, done that!

My suggestion---just don't EVER do a board "games" night---ugh---I wouldn't go...

muggins mahooney said...

Our ward did a potato derby. It was so much fun. We just got these huge taters (I'm thinking the Mickelsons could hook you up) and then big carrots. We made "pinewood derby" type cars from the potatoes and the carrot slices were the wheels. The carrots attached on an axle made of a bamboo skewer.
Rules of the game were you had 45 minutes to go from raw potato to potato racer. You could bring anything from home to decorate it with. I made mine into a covered wagon that had my tater car's name on embroidered on it. (Yes I like to win!) People can bring drills, cutting tools, whatever to make holes for the axles, whatever they want to do.
When the 45 minutes were up we had a contest for different categories like most creative etc. Then we raced them down the pinewood derby track. We went on distance instead of time.
The race was so much fun. I took second place to a 3 year old. Our activity people even had trophies made up with a gold potato on top.
It was hilarious watching carrot wheels go flying off and potatoes doing 360's in the middle of the gym.
I've got photogs and video if you want it.

tiburon said...

I was the activities coordinator for YEARS

Some goodies:

Neighborfest - we would have a little carnival in the church parking lot. Stick the bishop in a dunk tank - have the young women do a cake walk - face painting - put the EQ in charge of hot dogs and hamburgers - RS in charge of cotton candy - fishing booth.

Always a BIG HIT!