Nurturing the rising generation
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Each month, the Church News publishes a message to complement the Relief Society visiting teaching message found in the Ensign magazine. The article on this page is based on the Sept. 2010 theme, "Our Responsibility to Nurture the Rising Generation."
When leaders of the Springville Utah Hobble Creek West Stake Young Women presidency began to make preparations for girls camp this past summer, one of their main concerns was what to do for a service project. The leaders felt that they wanted to do something that would not only give service but would give the participants an opportunity to learn as they gave of themselves.
In their search, they came across an organization that collects crocheted hats for victims of the earthquake that occurred in Haiti last January. Although the leaders felt great about the project, they realized they needed help.
"How do you teach 200 young women how to crochet?" said Teresa Walker, first counselor in the stake Young Women presidency. "Most of the girls had never had any experience; they had no idea how to even hold the yarn or the needle. The leaders had to learn, too."
As they started to research how to make the hats, Sister Walker remembered a woman in the stake who had offered to help with camp by making bookmarks for all of the young women. Remembering the great resource, Sister Walker called Sister Carrie Cherrington and asked for her help.
"This service project had multi-levels for our stake," Sister Walker said. "We went to her and she taught us how to make the hats. She made us a pattern to use and then we went to the different wards to teach others how to do it."
In addition to her instruction prior to camp, Sister Cherrington, who because of health concerns uses a wheelchair, went to camp to help the day of the service project.
"It was really helpful to the girls to see Carrie serving," Sister Walker said. "They thanked her for being so patient with them and for helping them. The girls learned something that was hard, that was frustrating at times, but that if they kept at it they could create something. More importantly, they learned that it doesn't take much to provide a little hope."
Although it initially started as a service project to help the physical needs of the people in Haiti, the hours working at camp ended up being an opportunity to make friends and strengthen each other. For many of the youth, it was an opportunity to learn a skill and build friendships with their leaders. For the leaders, it was a great opportunity to spend time talking with, teaching and learning from the young women in their stake. It ended up being more than just a service project; it was a life-changing experience for many involved, Sister Walker said.
"It was more than just girls crocheting hats," Sister Walker said. "It was a great opportunity to spend time together learning the skill as they built friendships with sisters in the Relief Society."