Category Archives: Scouts

Rollout of Church’s new Youth Program – save the dates!

News from the First Presidency about the new youth program. Save the dates!
SEPT 29, 2019: Fifth-Sunday Presentation
Wards should reserve class time on this Sunday for prerecorded presentations featuring
President M. Russell Ballard. Two separate meetings should be held. The bishop will conduct a
meeting for adults, and a counselor in the bishopric will conduct a meeting for children and youth,
ages 8–18.

NOV 17, 2019: Face to Face Event for Children and Youth
Children and youth, ages 8–18, and their parents and leaders are invited to a broadcast event
with Elder Gerrit W. Gong and the Young Women, Young Men, and Primary General
Presidencies. Time TBA.


We’re excited to see what the Lord has in mind for these choice youth going forward!  Details about the global initiative for children and youth will be shared at as the implementation date approaches.


Leave a comment

Filed under Activity, Scouts

Scouting – don’t plateau!

photo by Pierette, cake to the left by Seville, Pinewood Derby racecar Twinkies by Ted

Yes, it is true that the Church is discontinuing the relationship with the Boy Scouts of America as of January 2020. But a lot can happen before then!

This article from the Church News reminds us that “History has proven much can happen in 19 months (about the time between the announcement and implementation) —and Church leaders hope the time leading up to the historic youth initiative will be, well, time well spent.

  • “Nineteen months is about eight times as long as Columbus’s voyage to America and nine times as long as the Mayflower’s journey.
  • Nineteen months is five-and-a-half times as long as the Spanish-American War.
  • And 19 months is about 30 days longer than a sister missionary’s typical length of service.

“How to keep up momentum and keep kids excited? Remind leaders, parents and boys that we have a golden opportunity to make the most of this time, and to boldly achieve to each boy’s fullest potential.”

I offer my personal opinion that the Church program rolled out in January 2020 won’t look that different from today’s Cub Scouting. I predict that boys will still be setting goals in areas of character development and achieving those goals. So remaining fully engaged in Cub Scouts will keep them in that good habit. Carry on, “youth of the noble birthright!”

For a related post, see Scouting – Primary’s Final Frontier


1 Comment

Filed under Scouts

Primary in Zion becomes a book! “Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids”

SundayLessons_Front_RGBIt started with you, our readers. We began this blog and watched in astonishment as it spread all over the world. We dreamed of turning the best posts and other ideas into a book you can take with you to read on the beach or on your couch, to savor the stories and refer to the ideas and helps again and again. We took your favorite Primary in Zion blog posts, invited new voices from other authors, and put them together in a volume called “Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids”.  It is now available on,, or wherever LDS books are sold.

Here’s what it’s about: Children. If you’ve ever wished you could send the entire church class into timeout, then basked in the radiance of a child’s face when the Spirit speaks to her spirit, this book is for you. In these pages are memorable stories of the exuberant joy as well as the real-world challenges of working with children. You’ll also find ready-to-use ideas for channeling boundless energy, teaching about ideal families to children who live in other-than-ideal families, staffing challenges, bullying, children’s music for a lifetime, kids with special needs, building a celestial nursery, pint-sized service projects, and behavior management. And you’ll find some of the best children’s lesson enhancements and activities of all time.

Click here for downloadable files of the figures and handouts in the book.

Here’s what they’re saying about this new book:

“Why didn’t I think of that?!” you ask yourself, then gratefully acknowledge: “Thank goodness Marci McPhee did!” With sensitivity to the needs of all children, and love beyond measure for these precious little ones, McPhee lights the way to joyfully leading our children “home.” —Lori Henderson, co-creator of 


Learning of my son’s disability and being called to teach Primary were both scary events in their own right. I wasn’t sure how to react to either situation. I wish I had found Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids sooner! This book speaks to both men and women about how to fulfill this special calling. —Marc Buchanan, father and Primary worker 


Drawing first-hand examples from thoughtful Latter-day Saints, Marci McPhee has put together a guide that is an engaging, provocative, reassuring, and, importantly, faithful resource for teachers and parents. —Ron Scott, journalist, novelist, and author of “Mitt Romney: An Inside Look at the Man and His Politics” 


This is the most honest, heart-warming collection I have read about teaching children. The tips are practical, real-life, and easily adaptable. This book reminds us of the transforming power of viewing children as the Savior did. It will give new vision to leaders, teachers, and parents. —Gladys Farmer, author, mother, and grandmother with many years of Primary experience

Contributing authors:

Julia B. Blake

Jon Forsyth

Lori Forsyth

Char Lyn Grujoski

Kristine Haglund

Danielle Harrell

Roz Hawk

Michelle Henderson

Jackie Herrera

Tina Huntsman

Jenn Iverson

Whitney Johnson

Caroline Jones

Linda Hoffman Kimball

Rebecca Lewis

Brigitte Madrian

David Madrian

Emily Mangum

Marci McPhee

James McQuivey

Megan McQuivey

Michelle Purrington

Helen Claire Sievers

Laura Stowell

Martha Wingate

With special thanks to anonymous contributors.


A portion of the proceeds support immigrant mothers and their children at Waltham Family School in Massachusetts.


Filed under Activity, Bullying, Discipline, Lesson, Life Lessons, Music, Nursery, Opening Exercises, Overheard in Primary, Parent Involvement, Reaching the One, Sacrament Meeting Presentation, Scouts, Scriptures, Sharing Time, Special Needs, Teacher Support, Transitions

Lone Cub Scouts: “Activity Days” for Boys

photo 1Guest author Jen returns to write with love and concern in her heart for some of the older Primary boys who needed something more. Inspired by the Spirit, she sought to meet each child’s needs. See Jen’s other posts here , here and here.

Jen writes:

Several months ago I expressed concern about the boys in our Senior Primary.  For many reasons they aren’t able to attend Cub Scouts, but I felt that they could benefit from something like Activity Days for Boys.

I asked for advice from the bishopric and Stake Primary President. With their support, I felt inspired to ask a father of one of the boys for help. He meets with three boys every other Sunday for about twenty minutes after church to talk about what they’ve been working on in their Faith in God booklets, set goals, etc.  It has been really wonderful.

The Activity Day boys & girls went on a combined end-of-the-year hiking activity. The pictures from the hike fill me with such joy and happiness.  Listening to the Spirit tell me that the boys in our ward needed something a little different has changed part of our Primary for the better. It has also reminded me of the great love our Father has for each of His children.


photo 2

photo 3

Leave a comment

Filed under Activity, Scouts

“Faith In God” 101

Faith in God for girls coverWhen I was called to be Primary President a few years ago, I knew instantly that there was a lot of learning that needed to take place if I wanted to fulfill my calling. Therefore, I immediately started to research everything and anything that had to do with Primary. One of those areas of research was the Faith in God Program. I was somewhat familiar with the program since my daughter had just become old enough to participate. Between my daughter and my own research, I learned a lot about this wonderful program. So, if you are not very familiar with the Faith in God Program, here is a quick summary that may be helpful as you serve in your calling or as you help your child complete their goals.

  1. Faith in God is a program for both boys and girls.
  2. The purpose of the program is to “encourage children to learn and live the gospel, serve others, and use the talents that Heavenly Father has given them. Earning the Faith in God award will help them become the kind of person He knows they can become.”
  3. Please refer to page 17 of the Faith in God booklet for a complete description of program. I strongly recommend reading the section titled “Information for parents and leaders.” All the information that you need is clearly outlined and explained. I am just highlighting the main ideas of the program.
  4. Every child can begin working on their goals beginning at age 8 and finish by the time they turn 12 and move on to Young Men or Young Women. Every child should complete two achievements every year  in each of the following four areas (a total of 8 achievements per year):
    • learning and living the gospel
    • serving others
    • developing talents
    • preparing for the Young Men/Young Women program
  5. An Activity Day leader should be called in every ward to meet twice a month with the Activity Days girls in order to plan activities that will help the girls complete their achievements. The boys do not attend Activity Day meeting; instead they work on their goals at home and with their Cub Scout den or Boy Scout troop.
  6. Both boys and girls will need help from parents at home to help them complete their achievements. The Activity Day leader and Scout troop are there to support and help, but parents should be in charge of helping their children complete their goals and achievements.
  7. At least twice a year, a Primary Activity Day should include opportunities for the children to share what they have learned and accomplished.
  8. When all required activities are completed, the Primary president and bishop sign the award in the booklet and recognize the child’s accomplishments in Primary.

This is a very quick introduction to the program and is not intended to replace reading the Faith in God booklet, but it is a quick introduction to help those leaders who have not ever been involved or introduced to the program. See also info for parents” in the Faith in God booklet itself,


Comments Off on “Faith In God” 101

Filed under Faith in God program, Parent Involvement, Scouts

Scouting – Primary’s Final Frontier

Click to read the Church’s announcement about the relationship with Boy Scouts of America after December 2019 – but KEEP MOVING FORWARD, say the YM/YW/PR general presidents!


Click to download the Scout Parent Letter. Then just fill in the blanks!

cub scouts

Perhaps you too feel mystified by Cub Scouting and the 11-year-old-Scout program. Perhaps you feel like you’ve got the rest of Primary figured out – always with room for repentance and growth, but at least you have a purchase point on Sharing Time, nursery, activity days, and the Children’s Songbook. But Scouting? Primary leaders and parents alike may feel like they’re in uncharted territory.

Pat to the rescue! This intrepid lady Scouter has many years of experience in the church and in Scouting, and is ready to be your guide. Pat shares the attached “Scout Letter” (see above to download), written in collaboration with many others. This letter is an orientation letter given to parents as soon as their son approaches Scouting years. In it you’ll find all kinds of answers to questions, from where to get the uniform to why the church has adopted the Scouting program.

Raising my own four sons, I know how much the Scouting program gave them confidence and practice in setting goals, meeting a challenge, and making it all fun. I know that the Lord cares about children’s spirits, bodies and minds – and has structured His church to support children with character-building activities as well as religious growth opportunities.

Has Scouting influenced your boys’ lives?

~Marci, with guest contributor Pat

For a related post, see Scouting – don’t plateau!


Filed under Scouts