Friday, November 16, 2012

A Youthful Etiquette Night


I’ve had a new job at church for the past few months now. I help with the Young Women, ages twelve to eighteen. I really enjoy it, though I was initially worried about missing Relief Society. I do miss those ladies, but it’s like a switch kicked over. Now I know that I am needed in Young Womens, and I am really digging it.

Every month, we have a combined activity with the Young Men in our ward. Tonight, we hosted an Etiquette Evening followed by a dinner to practice everything that they learned in the classes.


We went simple and rustic with the table decorations. Butcher paper with leaves and pumpkins as the centerpieces.

Please don’t assume anything here with the presence of frat beer Dixie cups. I promise… we only had water to drink tonight!


In the background, you can see chairs set up for one of the mini classes before dinner. We had three classes total on Introductions and First Impressions, Telephone and Dating, and Dining. Guess which one I taught? (Put your napkin on your lap, please).

As part of their recent loss in our name indexing competition, the boys cooked and served us dinner. Which meant that they also got to set the tables.


It was fun to listen to the boys talk each other through such a monumental task.

“No, the salad fork goes here.”

We’ve got a pretty good group of kids, even if there aren’t nearly as many as we would like. The turnout tonight was incredible!


Some even patrolled after the fact to ensure that proper setting was taking place. This really was fun to watch them in action.


After three successful classes, it was time to practice what they learned! The boys helped the girls with their chairs. Conversation was rampant, with helpful “starter” questions in the green bowl in case they got stumped.

Lots of these kids are approaching their awkward dating age, and we want to send them out into that cruel, cold world with lots of good information to make dating a fun experience for them.


Luckily, the kids all really enjoyed themselves. We, as leaders, patted ourselves on the back afterwards because it seemed like everyone had such a nice time. And I think that they learned some valuable lessons, too. And not just the youth…I got to correct some of the adults in their 15% tipping habits.

20% is the new 15%, people. Never leave less than 20%. Servers only make $2.13 an hour. And if you can afford to eat out, then you can afford to properly tip!


We even made the kids sit boy-girl-boy-girl to make sure that they had to have conversations with the opposite sex. It’s amazing the lack of social skills these days because of all the technology! Tonight, the kids were forced out of their comfort zones in order to initiate conversation. It worked like a charm!


This was one of the tables full of leaders. Guess which hottie I sat by?


I get to work with lots of amazing people in these organizations. I really love my church “calling,” as they are known. We all have different unpaid responsibilities in our church organization to make it work properly. Before this, I was teaching all of the grown-up ladies for an hour on Sundays.

This calling with the Young Women is great because I can do it even with my crazy work schedule! If I miss an event because I’m out of town, there are several other rock-star leaders to help carry the load! It really has been a blessing these past two months to have this new, wonderful, perfect-for-me calling.


I have to put it in writing, but the dinner was absolutely incredible. They intentionally made spaghetti so that we could teach the kids how to properly eat long pasta. It was fun to teach some of the adults, too! Just for the record, it is much easier with a wide, metal pasta spoon and not some tiny plastic thing like we used tonight!

A salad course was first, and some of the kids corrected the others with proper manners when they tried to take the spaghetti too early. Hey, they listened! It’s salad time now, then we will eat the main course!


I hope that in addition to learning something, they also had a great time. According to these two gals, fun was had by all!

It was incredible to see so many kids at the event tonight, and I really think that they learned some valuable tools to be successful. Manners go a long way in life. I am reminded of that each day!


  1. Does that blond boy in the blue t shirt really have his plate up to his mouth shoveling food in? I hope he's just being a smart alec for the camera because if he's not then you are going to have to do this all again because he evidently didn't get it! lol. Looks like fun, sis. I'll bet the kids love you!

  2. What a fun activity! Spaghetti would be VERY hard to eat on plastic dinnerware! Way to up the difficulty quotient!

  3. I didn't know about "frat beer Dixie cups". I have only ever seen them with water. Where have you been??!!!


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