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STONE SOUP ACTIVITY

This idea is motivational and designed to be used on a Sunday.
Stone Soup.
Stone Soup is an old French tale about how people working together can achieve good things. To relate this to "activation" we can say: with everyone working together, to use individual talents/"ingredients" we can come up with great ideas to help activate our less involved friends. The process of making the soup symbolizes the process of everyone pitching in and helping. The end result of a delicious soup symbolizes the end result of having successful ideas for reaching out to our less active friends.You will need to think of your own individual ways of setting up the activity. The way we chose to complete the activity was to have a leader/young woman in the kitchen supervising the preparation of the soup. In a nearby classroom a Y.W.leader would conduct a brainstorming session on relevant ways to reach out to the less actives in the ward. A plan would then be chosen and detailed for implementation.While this planning takes place, every 5 minutes a pair of young women would leave the brainstorming session and go to the kitchen and assist the leaders/young woman in charge, make the soup.  Hopefully, everyone gets to be involved. Running these two parallel activities lends stimulus and variety to the discussion in the brainstorming. If all the senses are alert it can encourage the youth and leaders to take activation more seriously This story is also a delightful activity when it is paired with the cooking of "Stone Soup". You can usually find a version of the tale/complete with pictures at your local library or you can access the tale by searching google for  Stone Soup   (Go to google and search out "Stone Soup" and 
"Marcia Brown").  The recipe below can be modified to suit your needs and the ingredients don't have to be "fixed in stone"! If there is something that you think would be extra tasty included in the soup, then add it to your hearts content [some people love to add cooked meat/beef/chicken or even fish if your adventurous!]

"Stone Soup" can be prepared in two ways. First: you can provide all the ingredients yourself.  Second: you can send a letter home with your young women asking that they bring a specific item for the recipe. [It is usually best if the adult leaders supply the stone themselves.] This is most often the best way, because it captures everyones imagination immediately!

Stone Soup
Ingredients:
I largish stone [exceptionally clean,obviously...]
4 cups of water.
3 large carrots.
3 potatoes.
2 onions.
1and 1/2 cups chopped celery.
1 can tomatoes/undrained.
1 can corn/drained.
1can peas/drained.
2 beef bouillon cubes or more to taste.
salt and pepper to taste.

To Make:
Place stone into large pot, add water and bring to boil. Add chopped carrots, potatoes, onions and celery. Bring to boil again, if required reduce heat, cover and continue to boil until vegetables are soft [approx.20 minutes ]. Add tomatoes, corn, peas, bouillon and salt/pepper. Continue to cook for 10 minutes. Serve in a pleasantly thought of way (e.g. good soup bowls/set at a decorated table in a large soup tureen with serviettes etc.).  Other ingredients that could be added: cooked beef, sliced delicatessen meats, cooked barley, pasta [add with the canned ingredients ], green beans, parsnips, chopped cabbage, sweet potatoes. Use your imagination!

If you feel really adventurous you could present this entire activity as a play/skit for the other auxiliaries to help motivate everyone in the ward! It goes without saying, in some ways, that if we are endeavoring to activate others we need to ensure that the activities that we plan need to be well organized, related to the mission of the church/gospel, and full of variety.



More info on this:
It was necessary to have a non-food activation presentation for Fast Sundays!
Leaders/youth are asked to think of how using sorbelene/face and hand cream is like activation! Any responses are acceptable, as long as the class participants show that there is thought and effort in their responses. The concluding thoughts that the leader provides, after everyone has brainstormed are:  Just as our hands/face are dry and lifeless without moisture, the lives of our less active friends are "dry and lifeless" or "incomplete" without the wonderful influence of the gospel in their lives.  It is important to indicate that many/some of the less active youth may have a lot of joy in their lives, our responsibility is to add more joy and extra garnishing influences to that joy. Obviously, some youth may have little happiness in their lives and it is necessary to be even more sensitive to the needs of these youth.  It is important to remember that all the previous responses are acceptable. The concluding suggestion is to ensure that the focus of the discussion is summarized effectively.

Once the youth have reflected, the brainstorm session on how to activate youth in your ward takes place. Practical solutions must be generated. An action plan can be written up and assignments given etc. This should be done in the presentation.

Now, here is the buzz!  While the brainstorm session is underway, a talented young woman or other adult from the ward can add color/food coloring to the sorbelene cream and then use it for face painting! Again, in similar fashion to the "Stone Soup" activity youth are withdrawn from the formal discussion and can have their face decorated with interesting patterns etc. With this activity, the face painting can take place in the same room as the brainstorming presentation. The advantage of this is, that while the young woman is being face painted, she can still contribute to the discussion! The symbolism here is that just as the face painting brightens/decorates a person's face, when we help to activate a fellow young woman it brings brightness/decoration to their lives. The joy of having the influence of Jesus in our daily living is incomparable to any other thing...
If face painting is not your style, then it would be quite feasible to use make-up... You can adapt the idea to suit your needs.
As mentioned before, when invitations are made to others to return to fold, we need to make sure that our lessons and activities are well organized, focused on a balanced youth program and varied. I hope that this can be of some use to others.