Sunday, March 30, 2014

Primary Activity - Missionary Training Center - Overview

 (The adorable missionary boy and girl are from Melonheadz LDS Illustrations)

Last month we had our first activity of the year and it was such a huge success, I had to share it with you.

I started to type up everything we did for our activity and decided it was crazily too long.  It was kinda ridiculous actually.

So, I thought I'd go with a basic overview for this first post.  Just a quick description of what we did.  Then, I'll type up the specifics for all the different parts and link it here.  That way, you can read through this post, decide if you like it and, only then, commit to the anti-brevity.  You know, the super long and probably too detailed (but I'm so excited about it I can't stop myself) posts.

Before you go any further, I want you to know it was a simple activity to put on.  It's going to sound complicated, but it's not.  The reason why is also very simple.  We had MANY members of our ward help us put it together.  As a presidency, we were really just facilitators.  I think that's part of the reason it turned out so darn great.  Here's a post about what we did to get ready and how we kept things stress free.

In the weeks leading up to the activity, we issued the children mission calls which, in addition to their call letter, included a My Gospel Standards card and short missionary themed family home evening.

As they arrived to the activity, we handed out their missionary badges and had tables set up for them to write letters to the missionaries from our ward.  This was our gathering activity to allow everyone who was running late (you know, most of the children who were coming) to get there.  We got into the main part of the activity about 15 minutes after the "official" start time.

For the main activity, we separated the kids into four "missions" based off what language they were speaking and had them work their way through different types of training.

In one station they learned some home skills: how to fold clothes and pack a bag, iron a shirt, tie a tie and sew a button.

The next station was led by the full time missionaries assigned to our stake.  They taught the kids about what a full time missionary does everyday.  I've had them help us out a few different times, so you'd think I'd stop being surprised, but they do an AMAZING job every single time. 

Then they moved to their specific mission training.  We asked members of the ward to act as their "zone leader," leading them to and through each station.  This member was in charge of this station and used it to teach the kids a little about the culture they would encounter on their "mission."  They also had a food item from the region that the kids could try and taught the them to say "I am a child of God" in the language of their "mission."

Last, we had our Missionaries in Action station.  This was set up in the gym and divided into two separate activities.  On one side we had set up some play houses (the plastic playschool type) and on the other side was a simple bike track laid out with cones.  The kids took turns riding bikes around the track, being stopped by "random strangers" who would ask who they were and knocking on doors, again having to answer questions someone they meet on their mission might ask.

Each station took about 20 minutes (we used the bell to signal when it was time to switch) and then once every group had made their way through each station, we came together for a short mission conference.

We asked our ward mission leader to come in and relate all the different skills they'd learned during the activity to what they can do today, right now, in our ward to be a missionary.  He only took five to ten minutes, but did a great job wrapping up and tying everything together.

After our mission conference, we had some cookies in the gym while we waited for the kids to be picked up.

We had amazing attendance (more than double any previous activity) and everyone loved it!  The kids are already asking if we can do it again next year. 

Over the next few weeks I'll be adding additional posts detailing exactly how we put everything together, our preparations, what worked best and LOTS of free printables in case you'd like to do a similar activity yourself!

I would love to hear about your favorite activities, we're always looking for simple, fun, and spiritual ideas.

Leah

Here are all the other, more in depth, posts about our activity:

2 comments:

  1. How many orange cones did you end up using and where did you get them?

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    Replies
    1. I can't remember how many cones we used, maybe 15 ish. I already had cones that my kids use for soccer, I got them at WalMart. I'm sure any store that has a sporting goods area would carry some sort of cones. Or you could use painters tape (the kind that is meant to come off easily) and tape out a route on the floor, it will even work on carpet.

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