A message to the parents:
In chapter 5 of "A Parent's Guide" published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, parents of adolescences are counseled to instruct their youth in the following areas:
1. Prepare your teenagers for the
changes that will accompany puberty.
2. Teach your teenagers that they can control their desires for physical intimacy.
3. Help your teenagers to have wholesome social experiences.
4. Help your teenagers see adolescence as a time for developing spiritual power.
We will not take these responsibilities away from the parents; we only want to help the parents of LDS-Homeschooled youth to accomplish these goals. In particular we would like to help with item number 3 and provide wholesome social experiences for our youth.
President David O. McKay said, "It is right, indeed essential, to the happiness of our young people that they meet in social parties..." (Conference Report, Oct. 1963, 7-8)
In 1995, the First Presidency came out with "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" where they encouraged families to participate in "wholesome recreational activities". We are not usurping the family's role in providing "wholesome recreational activities" we are only providing another avenue for our youth to participate in a group that supports the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As homeschoolers we do miss out on some of the leadership opportunities that a public school can provide for our children, so this group has been set up to provide those opportunities without stepping into the public school where the environment may not be to our liking as parents.
We have taken this opportunity as our own youth reach those teenage years to form a group to provide opportunities for our children to interact with other youth who have high standards and want to make a difference in the world they live in. The group will be called LYTTS standing for Leading Youth To Tomorrow with Service. It is pronounced "lights" as in the scripture "Let your light so shine..." Matthew 5:16.
As you may have read on the front page, LYTTS mission statement is:
Our mission is to gain knowledge and develop these skills and attributes:
This mission statement is put in a circle giving no particular importance to any one goal over the other. They are all of equal value and importance in the lives of our youth. We want our youth to learn leadership skill, develop healthy relationships, prepare for their future lives while serving those in their family, the community and themselves. All our activities will be geared to accomplishing this mission statement.
The structure for accomplishing this is as follows:
To accomplish our mission statement we will have the following structure:
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We will be youth led and driven while our parent support us. Two youth will be at the head as co-coordinators.
Everything we do and plan will be shaped around our mission statement.
Every other activity will be planned with service in mind.
There will be two family events every year.
Parental involvement is encouraged and needed as the ration of youth to parent will be 6 to 1.
Everything we do will have to pass the 13th Article of Faith test; "...If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
We dearly want this to be youth lead. This isn't a puppet leadership program. We want them to be actively involved in THEIR group. They plan and carry out the projects and activities they want to as long as it leads them to accomplishing the stated mission statement. Of course there will be parents behind the youth to help drive, support, sign papers and do what is necessary to see the youth succeed. For this reason we request that as parents you support your youth in coming to the meetings, participating and even taking a role to help the program run smoothly.
There is a Code of Conduct that all must agree to and you can read them on the rules page. They are there to provide us all with safety.
I take this group very seriously as we have younger children that will come after the one we are doing this for. I personally have at least a 14 year vested interest in making this group a success. For that reason we want you to take this group seriously. This will be an adventure and hope that you will understand as we build upon our successes and learn from our short comings.