You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go."
--Oh, the Places You'll Go!, By Dr. Seuss
Every year in our LDS youth group for girls ages 12-17, Young Women, we put together an evening we call New Beginnings. This is a chance for the 12 year old girls (and their parents) who will be joining us to see what we are all about. It's a celebration and an evening of fun. This year, the Church-wide theme for all youth is
Stand Ye in Holy Places and Be Not Moved.
We like to take the theme and work it into the New Beginnings. Our secretary was doing some online research, trying to find some ideas for our night. She happened to stumble upon a website (hatchpatch.com) that detailed one woman's ideas for New Beginnings in her ward. She was doing a Dr. Seuss theme, which she called "Oh, the Places You'll Stand!" With only a month to plan, create, and execute our New Beginnings, we discussed the idea and decided that we would love to take this idea and make it work for us, too. We selected guest speakers, located the books, put out invitations, and rounded up the girls to help us create some awesome decorations.
In the Young Women program, there are 8 Values that the girls learn about and apply in their own lives. For New Beginnings, a book written by Dr. Seuss was selected for each Value, and a specific quote that related to that Value was pulled from each book. Our Presidency and a few invited guests dressed in Seuss-inspired attire and presented the Values.
Faith Horton Hears a Who
"Don't give up. I believe in you all.
A person's a person, no matter how small."
Divine Nature The Sneetches
"That day, they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches.
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.
That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether
They had one, or not, upon thars."
I Wish that I had Duck Feet
"AND SO...I think there are some things I do not wish to be.
And that is why I think that I just wish to be like ME."
Knowledge I can Read with My Eyes Shut
"The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
Choice and Accountability Yertle the Turtle
"That plain little turtle below in the stack,
That plain little turtle whose name was just Mack,
Decided he'd taken enough. And he had.
And that plain little lad got a little bit mad
And that plain little Mack did a plain little thing.
And his burp shook the throne of the king!"
Good Works The Lorax
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not."
Integrity Horton Hatches the Egg
"I meant what I said and I said what I meant.
An elephant's faithful - one hundred percent."
"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready, you see.
Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me!"
Our President finished up the night by presenting this poem. (written by another Jill, not me)
We gave the girls a copy of the poem with a magnet on the back so they can hang it in their lockers. At the conclusion of our evening, everyone was delighted to eat Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes (they took me all day to make!) and Beezlenut Splash to drink (two flavors of cubed jell-o in 7-Up). Everyone had a great evening, and it was a neat way to start off another year. It was a fun idea, and we were thrilled to find it.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! And thank you for the lessons you left behind.