Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ahoy Mateys! Thar Be Fun!

My friend Dianna in full Pirate Regalia
and why yes, that is Woodstock from the Peanuts comic strip playing Pirate's Parrot on her shoulder
Last year my friend Dianna got a wild idea for an over 40 Singles' Conference that was unlike anything that usually denotes a Singles Conference in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

She wanted an 'anti-conference' - you know, something full of fun and laughter where you could actually meet other singles.  Historically, LDS Singles conferences have featured boring day-long schedules of classes and lectures about how to meet other people in your same situation, without giving you any real opportunity whatsoever to actually do so.

Dianna's idea had a great deal of appeal, and her Priesthood leaders got on board with it immediately.  It took a lot of work, but the weekend of March 22nd, it all came together.

"Be the Star of your Own Life" was the theme for this unusual conference, which featured NO workshops, NO paid entertainment and NO 'famous' name fireside speaker.  Simply put, what Dianna ended up planning was a fun-filled weekend where single Mormons actually met, talked, worked and played together.

Judging from the costumes and laughter, it was a real success.

The motley crew
Here (above) we see some of the participants dressed for a Pirate-themed activity.  They had some excellent costumes!

All throughout the planning stages, Dianna envisioned this weekend as simply a time to facilitate people having fun together, without any lectures or preconceived (and idiotic) notions of meeting "Mr.or Ms. Right".

Her strategy, extensive planning, and hard work really paid off.

Throughout the weekend, participants were sumptuously fed, well entertained, and also managed to pull off a meaningful service project for the older singles of the Arizona Phoenix East Stake.

Not bad for one weekend.

Friday's event featured a Medieval Feast and Tournament followed by a dance.  Saturday morning, men and women gathered to put together "Goodie Bags" for single shut-ins in the Stake.  This was followed by lunch, and an afternoon film project making "Mormon Messages" to be shown as part of the Sunday evening after-dinner entertainment.

The Pirate dinner that night brought pirates from all over the country out of the woodwork in their colorful costumes and included an inventive treasure hunt. This activity was followed by another dance.  Sunday evening's pot luck featured Saturday's 'Mormon Messages' movies, popcorn and lots of cheerful camaraderie.

Here be treasure!
I truly hope that this lighthearted conference sets an example for other Singles' events in the future.  I think Dianna may have started something good.


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