Wednesday, May 5, 2010

H.O.G.S. Night: Honoring Our Graduating Seniors

Last night was the yearly Honoring our Graduating Seniors (H.O.G.S. ) activity night for the youth. This used to be a Young Women's activity, but this year we only had 2 graduating Young Women and one graduating Young Man, so we combined and spread the love. In years past the activity has centered around talking about the Seniors or doing games revolving around them. But with our low numbers of Seniors, I was stumped and couldn't think of an activity to fill the whole night around them.

After pondering the theme of graduation, and the diverse personalities of our Seniors, I came up with a School days theme. I'll be honest, I was thinking of Billy Madison and the kids passing through all the grades to graduate. Not exactly a good start for a gospel related activity, but it morphed into the theme of H.O.G.S. Academy.

The youth and leaders came out from opening exercises and were given name tags and a report card to fill out.

(I used Learning Curve and Penmanship Print fonts from to make the handouts, printed 4 report cards to a page and 3 sets of nametages to a page).

The youth were given instructions to go around to each subject station, do the assignment, and then they'd recieve a sticker or grade for the corresponding reward. No assingment done, no reward. This was the Mia Maids' suggestion during a planning meeting, and it forced the kids to go around to all the stations.

The subject stations were each a table with a huge butcher paper sign and an activity.

Preschool: Bubbles and Sidewalk chalk. Other variations include: fingerpainting, block or lego towers to build or a cut and glue activity.

Art: Playdough and crayons and paper for self portraits, and the souveneir HOGS t-shirts for the youth to write messages to the graduating seniors. You could also do some kind of art history activity, make the youth draw pictures of each other, or a cartoon, or do some kind of ceramics or jewelry to take home.

Social Studies: A youth leader brought in "Scrambled States of America Game" to play. We also considered a U.S. map puzzle, or geography quiz questions, or presidents or history trivia.

Physical Education: The kids played "Over under" with soccer balls. We also discussed classic relay races like three legged races or sack races, or kickball.

Recess: Double Dutch. This was technically part of P.E., but it seems to fit into the Recess category better. This was a huge hit with our youth, as they competed to do it for a long time. As you can see from the bottom photo, at one point 10 youth and a bishopric member were trying to do it at the same time.

Science: Paper Airplane races. I got a book out from the library about paper airplanes and the kids competed with a chalk line runway. One kid said- "how is this science?" Guess it wasn't as obvious as I thought it was. Other ideas include- making gak or doing some kind of simple science experiment, or identifying leaves/trees.

Social Skills: When I made this category, I was thinking of the phrase "Plays well with others." My first thought was having the kids write down pick up lines/date ideas on a paper and compete to see who can do the most. Sarah took on the task of running the station, and had them role play date asking and pick up lines, and then gave them a huge list of date ideas. It was perfect- it's like the youth want to look into each other's eyes and profess they want to take them out, but it's not like they just can in a normal circumstance. So we gave them a way.

Sorry for the bad angle of the pictures, if I took pics where I could see their faces, they would just be silhouettes with the sun behind them.
Religion (no picture): Leslie made up scripture mastery matching cards. One set with the theme or memorable phrase of the scripture, one set with the reference. The youth had to find 5 matches. So they basically looked up 5 scriptures. Other ideas include general conference jeapordy, trivia about the prophets and apostles or questions from seminary book. Or make them recite articles of Faith.
We have a few youth attend that are not members, so this activity was good because it was acessible to them.
Last but not least, the kids got to enter the Cafeteria and get their ice cream sundaes. The Seniors got to go first- of course- they rule the school, right? If you wanted to go totally healthy or do more of a meal, there's all kinds of cafeteria themed things you could serve- apples and milk, mashed potatoes and chicken patties, all on styrofoam trays. Or you could have cookies/goldfish in little paper bags.

They also received this diploma at the end of the line (a mini one, 1/4 page) :

It was a great activity, we got a heartfelt thanks from one of the Seniors, which was reward enough in my book. The young men and young women all participated and interacted with each other, one one of the major goals for me for combined activities. There wasn't much standing around on the sidelines, there were so many things to do, if one thing was boring there were other stations or activities to attend.


Sharlyn said...

Oh my gosh! You have got to be the best YW leader ever. I bet the kids LOVED this activity. And the shirts you made for all the youth to sign was such a cute idea! You are so creative.

Carrie said...

this was so cute. great idea.

lindygirl said...

You are so awesome. Yep that's all.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...