I cannot praise the Church enough for getting their youth programs online. The new youth.lds.org is full of great information that the youth and we leaders can download, print and share, based around this year’s theme of Be Strong. If you haven’t seen it, forget my blog and have a look.

If you’re still here, here’s the highlights to look for:

On the homepage is a slideshow of large images. One of them is the Brand New Year section. Go there and find three categories on the right:

  • Download & Listen This has all 23 tracks to this year’s music youth CD. Download them all in a single click and drop it in iTunes. Instead of burning a CD for every girl, try having a music night where the girls bring their mp3 players or a thumb drive and they can download it online together. My favorite song so far is ‘We Seek After These Things”. The other 22 songs are instrumental, which could be a good homework soundtrack for the girls.
  • Spread the Word This has the posters, cards and a logo for you to download and print. You can also broadcast it on twitter or facebook if you are feeling it. Even an iron-on t-shirt design. Ooh.
  • For Parents & Leaders This gives an overview of the DVD and how to use it. And how you should have known about this already and had a plan in place for New Year’s. Does sometime in January count? ;)

I have to admit, I hadn’t heard anything about the Brand New Year 2010 DVD (BNY) until I talked to my mom a few weeks ago. Apparently every ward got it in November. If so, it was a very well kept secret on my side of the pond. But luckily it’s online so I don’t have to wait for the mailman. Here’s the Church’s synopsis:

The content is mostly youth worldwide encouraging one another, testifying, and sharing inspiring experiences with each other. It will also include uplifting original songs, youth interacting with general Church leaders, and a message from a member of the First Presidency or the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

It is important to review the DVD and introduce the downloadable materials to the youth so that they can use them to “be strong and of a good courage”  (Joshua 1:9) in their everyday lives.

They also suggest some ideas of how to get youth involved:

1. Invite youth to make their own video testimony of a standard in For the Strength of Youth.

How easy is it to make a video these days? With a new Nano or Flip it can be done in minutes. Not everyone will be up for making a testimony video (I would find it a bit odd to record that, but that’s just me), or for the more light-hearted a short sketch based on one of the video topics with the BNY song as the soundtrack. Think of how great these little videos about doing good would be on YouTube or Facebook?

2. Teach youth the 2010 theme song.

You can hear it at the very end of video #10. At least I think that’s the theme song! They say sheet music is on its way to being online.

There are some phenomenal youth with music skills in our Stake, I’m going to have to see if they are up for doing the mega trumpet version on the youth CD for song 2 or 3.

3. Invite youth to ponder their personal accomplishments in living the 2009 Mutual theme (1 Timothy 4:12).

4. Celebrate good works accomplished in classes, quorums, and youth activities during 2009—for example, through sharing memories, reading from journals, telling stories, looking at photographs, or watching a slide show or video footage.

Last year for the stake talent show, we did a cool video of the girls each displaying their talents. That’s worthy of a post of it’s own so I’ll link it here when it’s up.

5. Invite youth to make a personal commitment to live the standards in For the Strength of Youth in 2010. If desired, they could write their goal on a commitment card (downloadable from the site under ‘Spread the Word’) associated with A Brand New Year: 2010 Youth Celebration.

6. Invite youth to visit the new youth Web site. http://youth.lds.org

I’ve set up a stake youth group on facebook and have posted the link there, along with dance info and other things. It’s only two days old at this point, but so far there are 6 members. I’m just waiting (hoping) for it to snowball so the youth can get better connected in the stake (some wards are over an hour apart) and be easier to announce activities and get a dialogue going. When it’s all running smoothly I’m going to hand it over to the youth to manage.

ACTIVITY IDEAS WITH THE DVD

It would be fun to gather a few laptops and TV’s from the ward, for say a stake activity or large ward activity, and let each room have it’s own video and theme with the youth coming up with ideas of how they could make it real for them. This might be through a game or other interactive activity. Then end the night on a spiritual note with a fireside. It could also make a good way to organise each month’s youth activities. Here is a little sheet I put together of the 10 video themes for the year. It’s a bit blurry but fits on a sheet of paper:

bny2010themes

 

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