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A Return to the Future?


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On another thread, I mentioned the idea that we update the names of the Young Women groups. “MIA Maids” harks back to the youth and young adult programs of yesteryears....when I was a kid, but we are not saying when that was.

The culmination of those programs was the Master M-Men (Master Mutual or Mormon Men, not Master Mahan Men :D) and the Golden Gleaner Awards. I wonder if we might not be revisiting those awards as we look to reform and upgrade our programs for youth, especially the Scouting program.

Lest we scoff at Master M-Men and Golden Gleaners, take a look at what the program involved. There was some serious work required - up to age 30! I had some older friends and relatives who earned the titles, but it was discontinued before I reached the eligible age. 

It would really be worth your while to look at this, especially if you wonder what MIA Maids are. Check out this page for a list of required achievements....it is extensive and very demanding, and involved real-life skills and accomplishments:

http://www.keepapitchinin.org/2009/08/20/master-m-men-and-golden-gleaners/

 Quote

The M Men/Gleaners was more than just a class for young adults who had aged out of the youth program — more than today’s Young Single Adult “amuse ’em till you marry ’em off” program. It was an educational and experiential preparation for lifelong achievement and assuming adult roles in the Church.  One manual says of the M Men:

 

Man does not stand alone. He needs to experience achievements in human relationships, social graces, self-control, propriety, and in the cultural arts; to have wholesome fun; to understand the meaning of true brotherhood and friendship; to love and be loved; to feel his own worth and be creative in his own right; and to know the joy of real service to his fellow men.

The pinnacle of the program was to become a Master M Man/Golden Gleaner, a program which took those goals – which are chiefly focused inward, enhancing an individual’s life – and turned them outward: Those pursuing the voluntary Master M Man and Golden Gleaner recognition were in active training to run the auxiliaries and the wards – to become the future leaders of the church.

The purposes of the program were stated as:

1. To build testimonies
2. To build people through service
3. To develop leadership

The materials stressed that Master M Men and Golden Gleaners were not separate, elite groups. They did not meet together, but were ordinary members of their respective groups, serving as role models and learning to direct ward activities. “The Master M Man-Golden Gleaner program is not intended to create a new organization. M Men and Gleaners who earn these honors are expected to continue as regular members of the M Man-Gleaner class as long as they are within the age limit. It is hoped they will utilize the qualities of leadership that are developed through holding positions in the Church and community.”

Ward and stake leaders – not class leaders – signed off as the requirements were completed. The applicant had to write a detailed letter to the MIA general board explaining what he or she had done to meet each requirement and presenting the certifications of the local leaders. And it all had to be in the office with all t’s crossed by the applicant’s 30th birthday – one day late, and no Master M Man pin for you.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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Something like this, especially with the structure it has, would be a welcome addition. 

In my ward, a lot of the adult leaders are getting burned out on what they refer to as "baby sitting teenagers"  

Moving the older boys out of scouting has only made that worse, as we really haven't replaced that with a program for them.

Attendance is sparse. Lots of just playing Basketball.

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55 minutes ago, Prof said:

Something like this, especially with the structure it has, would be a welcome addition. 

In my ward, a lot of the adult leaders are getting burned out on what they refer to as "baby sitting teenagers"  

Moving the older boys out of scouting has only made that worse, as we really haven't replaced that with a program for them.

Attendance is sparse. Lots of just playing Basketball.

Why do they need a program for the older boys?  We rarely do Personal Progress (the girls' program) on Wednesday nights and we struggle to fit in all the activities that we need/want to do each month.  And besides that, I thought that the older YM still had the Duty to God program they are supposed to be doing?

Edited by bluebell
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20 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Why do they need a program for the older boys?  We rarely do Personal Progress (the girls' program) on Wednesday nights and we struggle to fit in all the activities that we need/want to do each month.  And besides that, I thought that the older YM still had the Duty to God program they are supposed to be doing?

Good point about the Duty to God program. Alas, it has never been implemented properly in my ward. It probably should and would likely remedy many of the problems we are having. Personal progress has been incorporated and I have seen several girls get their awards. 

Losing the scouting program for the older boys left a void. No real structure to keep them busy. The adults spend part of the time chasing down the boys making sure they aren't getting into trouble. Then they play basketball.

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I am over the young men and women as 1st counselor in the bishopric.  There has been a huge void in the older boys Tuesday activities.  If we are going to take up a night when they could be doing all the things that demand their time nowadays, then it ought to have some structure and benefit.  Part of it is that the youth are to plan and take charge more than they did in the past.  That often leaves activities planned the last minute.  The same challenges are also apparent in priesthood and relief society.  The new curriculum is not structured.  That gives us a bunch of opportunity to implement things the way we would like locally, but that isn’t easy.  I am also over the Sunday School.  I sit in every class and listen to the lessons.  The young women`s leader has been resistant to me going in with the girls, but I think that is changing.  I feel like it falls back on me to help all of these people to have purpose and structure to their teaching.  I may be over emphasizing what my role is, but it is how I feel.  

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29 minutes ago, Prof said:

Good point about the Duty to God program. Alas, it has never been implemented properly in my ward. It probably should and would likely remedy many of the problems we are having. Personal progress has been incorporated and I have seen several girls get their awards. 

Losing the scouting program for the older boys left a void. No real structure to keep them busy. The adults spend part of the time chasing down the boys making sure they aren't getting into trouble. Then they play basketball.

Sounds like the leaders need to step up their game and really get into the spirit of their calling (not saying that with any judgement, callings in the Youth program is a lot of time and work) but there doesn't need to be a void without scouts.  Hopefully the leaders will figure things out. :) 

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22 minutes ago, readstoomuch said:

I am over the young men and women as 1st counselor in the bishopric.  There has been a huge void in the older boys Tuesday activities.  If we are going to take up a night when they could be doing all the things that demand their time nowadays, then it ought to have some structure and benefit.  Part of it is that the youth are to plan and take charge more than they did in the past.  That often leaves activities planned the last minute.  The same challenges are also apparent in priesthood and relief society.  The new curriculum is not structured.  That gives us a bunch of opportunity to implement things the way we would like locally, but that isn’t easy.  I am also over the Sunday School.  I sit in every class and listen to the lessons.  The young women`s leader has been resistant to me going in with the girls, but I think that is changing.  I feel like it falls back on me to help all of these people to have purpose and structure to their teaching.  I may be over emphasizing what my role is, but it is how I feel.  

Why do the YW leaders care if you sit in on their classes?  That just seems weird.

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1 hour ago, readstoomuch said:

I am over the young men and women as 1st counselor in the bishopric.  There has been a huge void in the older boys Tuesday activities.  .............................

 

1 hour ago, Prof said:

......................................... 

Losing the scouting program for the older boys left a void. No real structure to keep them busy. The adults spend part of the time chasing down the boys making sure they aren't getting into trouble. Then they play basketball.

 

2 hours ago, Prof said:

..................................... 

Moving the older boys out of scouting has only made that worse, as we really haven't replaced that with a program for them.

Attendance is sparse. Lots of just playing Basketball.

I was part of a regular, non-LDS troop back in the 1950s, and everyone smoothly transitioned form Boy Scout to Explorer Scout as they turned 14 and began High School.  We shifted to new uniforms and were given far more responsibility, often going on overnighters on our own (no adults present), mentoring younger scouts -- we still met with the younger scouts and then went off to our own meetings.  We continued working on our merit badges and on eagle projects.  None of us bothered with basketball, although some guys were lettermen in various sports at school.  Why is that concept so difficult to understand?

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1 hour ago, readstoomuch said:

I am over the young men and women as 1st counselor in the bishopric.  There has been a huge void in the older boys Tuesday activities.  If we are going to take up a night when they could be doing all the things that demand their time nowadays, then it ought to have some structure and benefit.  Part of it is that the youth are to plan and take charge more than they did in the past.  That often leaves activities planned the last minute.  The same challenges are also apparent in priesthood and relief society.  The new curriculum is not structured.  That gives us a bunch of opportunity to implement things the way we would like locally, but that isn’t easy.  I am also over the Sunday School.  I sit in every class and listen to the lessons.  The young women`s leader has been resistant to me going in with the girls, but I think that is changing.  I feel like it falls back on me to help all of these people to have purpose and structure to their teaching.  I may be over emphasizing what my role is, but it is how I feel.  

That is called "magnifying  your calling".  My advice, such as it is, is to go for it!!

Few people realize for example that the Sunday School President, now like the Elder's  quorum president and  the Bishop are the only ones in the ward with a stewardship over every single member in the ward.  And of course you are in that category as well  since  you have the delegated authority of the bishop to lead the Sunday school president.

And what is more important than "teaching"??   Every aspect of the gospel can be classified as "teaching" and we view the savior himself as the greatest "teacher".

But who thinks of Sunday school presidents that way??  Their typical job  is to step in and substitute or find someone else to do so- that is only one tiny aspect of how they could see their callings.  They could visit each member  if they wanted  to, ministering to them and making sure they were "properly taught".  That is within their purview. 

And you are to LEAD the sunday school president??   What does that do to the importance of your calling?  ;)

 

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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

Sounds like the leaders need to step up their game and really get into the spirit of their calling (not saying that with any judgement, callings in the Youth program is a lot of time and work) but there doesn't need to be a void without scouts.  Hopefully the leaders will figure things out. :) 

Agreed!

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12 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

On another thread, I mentioned the idea that we update the names of the Young Women groups. “MIA Maids” harks back to the youth and young adult programs of yesteryears....when I was a kid, but we are not saying when that was.

The culmination of those programs was the Master M-Men (Master Mutual or Mormon Men, not Master Mahan Men :D) and the Golden Gleaner Awards. I wonder if we might not be revisiting those awards as we look to reform and upgrade our programs for youth, especially the Scouting program.

Lest we scoff at Master M-Men and Golden Gleaners, take a look at what the program involved. There was some serious work required - up to age 30! I had some older friends and relatives who earned the titles, but it was discontinued before I reached the eligible age. 

It would really be worth your while to look at this, especially if you wonder what MIA Maids are. Check out this page for a list of required achievements....it is extensive and very demanding, and involved real-life skills and accomplishments:

http://www.keepapitchinin.org/2009/08/20/master-m-men-and-golden-gleaners/

 Quote

The M Men/Gleaners was more than just a class for young adults who had aged out of the youth program — more than today’s Young Single Adult “amuse ’em till you marry ’em off” program. It was an educational and experiential preparation for lifelong achievement and assuming adult roles in the Church.  One manual says of the M Men:

 

Man does not stand alone. He needs to experience achievements in human relationships, social graces, self-control, propriety, and in the cultural arts; to have wholesome fun; to understand the meaning of true brotherhood and friendship; to love and be loved; to feel his own worth and be creative in his own right; and to know the joy of real service to his fellow men.

The pinnacle of the program was to become a Master M Man/Golden Gleaner, a program which took those goals – which are chiefly focused inward, enhancing an individual’s life – and turned them outward: Those pursuing the voluntary Master M Man and Golden Gleaner recognition were in active training to run the auxiliaries and the wards – to become the future leaders of the church.

The purposes of the program were stated as:

1. To build testimonies
2. To build people through service
3. To develop leadership

The materials stressed that Master M Men and Golden Gleaners were not separate, elite groups. They did not meet together, but were ordinary members of their respective groups, serving as role models and learning to direct ward activities. “The Master M Man-Golden Gleaner program is not intended to create a new organization. M Men and Gleaners who earn these honors are expected to continue as regular members of the M Man-Gleaner class as long as they are within the age limit. It is hoped they will utilize the qualities of leadership that are developed through holding positions in the Church and community.”

Ward and stake leaders – not class leaders – signed off as the requirements were completed. The applicant had to write a detailed letter to the MIA general board explaining what he or she had done to meet each requirement and presenting the certifications of the local leaders. And it all had to be in the office with all t’s crossed by the applicant’s 30th birthday – one day late, and no Master M Man pin for you.

As I recall, these awards were replaced by the Pursuit of Excellence program, but that never really got much traction.

 

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18 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

As I recall, these awards were replaced by the Pursuit of Excellence program, but that never really got much traction.

 

I thought the Pursuit of Excellence program was a primary program?

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51 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I thought the Pursuit of Excellence program was a primary program?

Some units may have used it as part of Primary, but it was not designed expressly for it. My recollection is of a thin pamphlet that could be used by most anyone in the Church. It was very flexible, as I recall: One would outline self-defined goals within certain categories and choose someone to be accountable to for reaching the goals. Also, I thought it was mainly for those of YSA age, but I don't think it was limited to them.

Just now, I did a Google search and found that it has never gone away but is featured in Relief Society. See link.

I'll leave it to the sisters on this board to say how frequently it is used in Relief Society.

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There are quite a few people to respond to.  Yes, I think it is weird that the Young Women's President asked for us to talk to her or the advisors before we visit a class.  The Mia Maid advisor says she has no problem with me going into the class.  Yes, I lead the Sunday School president, who unfortunately is not good with follow through.  Especially, if it is complex.  He is a very good person, just not super organized and good at leading himself.  Sort of the same issue with the teachers quorum advisor.  The priest quorum advisor/young mens president is pretty solid that way.  I have talked to all of these people and gave them direction about my insights.  I don't think that I have provided enough structure.  I thought I had, but maybe not.  I didn't quite catch what Robert was saying.  We don't do explorer or varsity scouts any more for the older boys.  Only 14 and younger.  In essence we don't have an activity night program for the older boys.  There is at least a page about possible activities on LDS.org and I shared it with the boys and leaders.  

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58 minutes ago, readstoomuch said:

There are quite a few people to respond to.  Yes, I think it is weird that the Young Women's President asked for us to talk to her or the advisors before we visit a class. 

She may be an introvert or knows others who teach who are introverts who might freeze up if someone unexpected showed up in class, especially to oversee them.

I was always very relaxed with the youth I taught, but it was very difficult if another adult was in the class and I couldn't think clearly unless I had many more notes to depend upon.

Some teachers can handle dropins, others not so much.

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