The new program is designed to put the family first. Families need opportunities where parents can have meaningful interactions with their children to foster growth in Christ. We have an established Sabbath Day worship which focuses around the Sacrament on Sundays, and extends into many appendages and programs to help in what is a "family-centered church."
The new Children and Youth Program is focused on the four areas of personal development as exemplified by the Savior, namely,
It is in this spirit that the new Children and Youth program has been established, to create opportunities where the whole family can work together to create activities that even other members in the ward can benefit from. A youth takes charge, with the help of family when possible, and assistance from church leaders when appropriate, of a particular activity on a Wednesday night, or a service project on another day, or even leading in quorum and class meetings.
Probably the easiest way to explain is to compare the new program to what we had in the past, the Scouting program. In scouting there were 21 merit badges to earn before qualifying to earn Eagle Scout rank. Each merit badge was a checklist of things that the individual must do, like a homework assignment with proof of personal hands on experience. For example, to earn the "Fishing" merit badge the checklist included the items shown here. But it did not require the young man to organize an activity.
However, in the final Eagle Scout badge there are additional requirements beyond the simpler merit badge process. One must demonstrate some leadership in putting together an Eagle Scout project, involving lots of people, which they create, they plan, they delegate, and they see that it is carried out. They organize, they prepare, they are there every step of the way to ensure that the project or activity is carried out to the satisfaction of an Eagle Scout board of review. A very thorough process.
Welcome to the new Children and Youth Program in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The program is comprehensive. It has portions for PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT where the activities focus more on what the individuals can accomplish in each of the four areas of development. There are booklets for goal setting reality available, and they are online as well.
In the activities part of this program, the YOUTH are to envision, plan, organize, delegate as needed, and carry out the activities and service projects in as much as it is possible for them to do so. When needed, their parents can also assist (to shop for items, drive a car, help them learn, and work together as a family to help their child succeed in being a leader of the activity. Each youth takes turns on different weeks to own the responsibility for the activity. All are edified and helped of all.
Planned Activities and Service Projects
The activities are planned as quorums and classes (quorums for the young men and classes for the young women). A calendar is made and adhered to. Like an eagle project, the youth take seriously their responsibility to carry out and plan the activity, with help from parents and church leaders too, so that on the day of the activity it is successful.
There are numerous resources on the church's website on how these things can be accomplished.
I want to encourage you to visit the church's site and "let every man learn his duty" pertaining to all these things, and not expect them to be taught in their entirety during the very short meeting times we have at church on Sundays or even Wednesday nights. Like in the scouting program, most of the work a young man had to do on merit badges and Eagle Scout projects was not done during a scouting activity or during a church meeting. They were done at home.
Visit this page to get the information, watch the many videos, pick topics of interest to you, and most of all ENJOY exploring this new adventure we all in the church find ourselves in, including our brothers and sisters in Africa, in Asia, in Europe and South America, on the islands of the sea, in every corner of the earth, we are ALL on this same program, it works for any country and any people, because we are being asked by the Savior to be CREATIVE.
Unlike the Scouting program where everything is already figured out for you, the merit badges are not flexible, but a check list of to do items, we are now coming up with our own ideas of fun, service, and testimony focusing on the four areas of personal growth, with an emphasis on SPIRITUAL growth, the first listed. We plan it from the bottom up. Scouting has no such feature or focus. The new Children and Youth Program is BASED on the life of Jesus Christ, our Master. Trying to develop in each of the four areas of growth is following the Savior's foot steps.
Parents, if you can, please help your children in these activities, to have success.
Adults in our ward, please help out the rising generation and help youth whenever opportunity presents itself. They need you and you need them.
Leaders in our ward, please get to know the names and interests of all youth and children, even if that is not your calling. Our rising generation needs to know that the adults love them, and the Savior wants us all to help each other, in love, the pure love of Christ.