An open letter to LYTTS youth leaders
Guidelines for them to use and follow

Dear friends,

Welcome new LYTTS leaders!  We're glad to have you on board. We can not express fully how wonderful you already are in just agreeing to be on the LYTTS leadership board.  This will be an exciting and growing time for you.  Yes, you will learn a lot, and we hope you do. You will also have a fun time doing it!


Here are a few notes that may help you in your new position:

LYTTS is more than a fun time for LDS homeschooled teens.  It's a forum for improving your people skills, for strengthening your leadership skills, and for service.  Be sure and record what you've accomplished during your term as it looks great on a college or job application!

Be familiar with our goals and code of conduct when preparing your activities. 

A LYTTS leader's duties are as follows:

  •  Communication:

    We use email to communicate with each other. Please remember to keep it on subject and be very clear in your communications. Please make sure Doreen Blanding is cc'd on all communications. This allows the leadership committee to communicate efficiently with each other.  We talk freely and opening about the group and how it is working.  We plan our meetings, service projects and activities through email.  We try to have  6-8 months of activities planned out in advance. 

  • We always include our parents in the emails since their support is paramount to your success. The to line should have your address (great for checking easily), your parent's address, your co-leaders address, their parent's address and Doreen Blanding's address. 

    Here is how it will work:

     a) If you are in leadership for 10 months (September through June) that means you'll plan meetings for 5 months (every other month), for a total of 10 meetings.
     b) You will post through email the potential name for each activity with a corresponding date. For example:  "Friday, June 6th  at 10 am we will be piper-boarding at Dash Pt. State Park and will enjoy a picnic lunch; for service we will be picking up trash on an assigned trail for 30 minutes.  On Friday June 20th we will meet at Blandings' home  at 7pm to have a Veggie Fest where we'll watch Veggie Tales movies for 2 hours and snack on vegetable trays! For service at that meeting we'll be weeding the Blandings' flowerbeds, be sure and bring a pair of gardening gloves!"     In the example offered above you would be sure to make mention of any contact you have had or will have with the park rangers at Dash Pt. State Park and get your trail cleanup assignment details etc.  You will also answer any questions asked of you about your proposed activities.  Please note that there may be discussion about how everything will work out and that is proper and good.  Sometimes others see something we don't in our planning. 
    Also, it isn't necessary to have every last detail planned out until we get closer to the activity.  I guess what we are saying is, don't panic if you don't have the January's activities planned out in September, but do post your thoughts and ideas. 
    As the day gets closer you will have to fill in all the details and always report back via email on further developments. 
     c) Ideally, at least every other meeting will have some element of service in it. If you need service ideas you can ask any of the supporting adults or mentors for suggestions. This directive comes from our mission statement and the goals we have adopted.


  •  Leadership & Planning

    Each LYTTS leader is assigned a month to lead.  During this month you will:

     a) Post the invitation and details for each meeting to the LYTTS e-group  Be cheerful!  This is like a party invitation. (Please see below for details on the invitation)
     b) Be sure to make all members feel welcome and included, introduce and fellowship any new member. This is very important for the new (and old) members.
     c) Accept responsibility for directing the agenda for the meeting during the month you lead as well as when called upon.
     d) Be prepared to assign or give a spiritual thought at any meetings we hold (that would be difficult to do when meeting at a theater for a movie and would be skipped). (Please see note at the bottom for a example of this assignment.)
    *Each meeting announcement post to LYTTS egroup should include the following format:

     a) what we're doing
     b) date of the meeting
     c) time of the meeting
     d) place of the meeting, include address and directions if it's not at the Blanding home
     e) be sure to include anything else important to participants for example:  money for a movie, meeting place for rides, bring towel and lunch to beach etc.  Whatever they'll need to participate in the great event you've planned for them.
     f) Your post to the LYTTS members on the LYTTS egroup should be made by the Saturday prior to the LYTTS meeting. If it is not, there is a slight possibility the adults that sponsor the group may cancel the meeting due to insufficient time to prepare. This would be done in a tactful manner without drawing attention to the schedule clash late planning details can cause for them.  Your mentors are always available to help you with planning, if you need.  Feel free to open a dialog with them via email. 


  • Meetings:

    ALL meetings will begin with prayer and a blessing on the food.  The LYTTS leader will ask for volunteers for this at the beginning of each meeting.  After this there should be a short spiritual thought.

    We will have available, a book of spiritual thoughts, happy thoughts, and scriptures for the assigned person to choose from.  Of course, you may always draw from The Church magazines and or the scriptures in your search for a small thought or quote.

    Hints and Helps:
    ~Remember your job is to conduct much like a sacrament meeting is conducted: announcing the next step on the program.  It is a position that affords you an opportunity to serve. 

    ~Remember, you don't have to create ornate things to do and it's fun to repeat certain meetings.  Teens have a way of enjoying themselves on any activity you plan.  You can also repeat fun activities that we have done in the past. Your twist on the activity will be just perfect for the group!


  • Youth Conference

    You will be on the Youth Conference committee planning group.  You will be helping in planning the whole day from the speakers to the family dance and all that happens in between. 

    Please keep in mind our goals and mission statement when planning the conference and that you are in charge of  putting together a successful youth conference for the LDS homeschooled teens in Washington State.

Again, it is stressed that this leadership responsibility isn't something to take lightly, but it is also not to interfere with other good things you have going on in your life.  Having a happy attitude and an honest heart will let you go far in your service to the LYTTS  group during your tenure and will also set a pattern for great things as you move on into adulthood.

We are so happy you have agreed to join us on the LYTTS leadership board.  We know that this will be a chance for you to grow, shine and find out that being a leader is very rewarding.  This is just a stepping stone in preparing you for better and bigger things.

Doreen Blanding
Foundes and Leader of LYTTS