Enrichment Activities

I woke up today and for the first time in my life I actually wanted an Enrichment calling. Weird, I know.

I think one of the things that spawned this desire was the comment someone made recently on another blog (sorry, I can’t remember who or where) that they had activities where the pastor/priest/rabbi/whatever of another religion would speak to them about that religion, and then they would go and visit that leader’s church. I think this would be fascinating. I love to learn about other religions, but I’ve struggled to do so (other than from books, etc) because they generally conflict with our church. Not only do I teach primary, but my kiddos need consistency as well, so we won’t be visiting other churches in place of ours any time soon. But I’d love to have a group that went during the week and heard from leaders of other religions and visited their places of worship.

Another thing I’d really like is a playgroup. We had one here during the summer, but as the weather got colder it fizzled and died. I might try to start this up again myself, but I’m not sure if I can quite manage it.

I’d also love to get a group of people together and exchange meals. You know, you make enough casserole or whatever for 8 different families, and 7 other families do the same, and then you exchange them and have 8 different good meals already prepared. I’d especially like this because I feel like I have no ideas of things to cook any more, and I’d love to get some good ideas (besides the good, already prepared food). Of course, this one would be especially hard for me to do, since our younger son is allergic to soy (including soy oil, which is in pretty much everything). But it would still be nice.

Right now I think our ward has one active enrichment group. It’s a lunch bunch that meets once a month. I haven’t been, not only because the older son has a hard time sitting still for meals and the younger one can’t eat anything in restaurants (I might even be willing to tackle these problems just to get out and talk with other adults), but because every time they’ve had it the past few months we’ve had a therapy or evaluation appointment for the older son. But maybe some day I’ll go.

So, for pretty much no reason at all (except maybe I need more adult interaction) I’m thinking about enrichment today. Brainstorm with me. If you could have an enrichment group, what would it be? What enrichment activities have you had that have been really great? And let’s not leave the men and kiddos out of this, either. Guys, if you could do something with a group of other guys, what would it be? And are there any whole family activites anyone would like to see?


  1. I’d like to do an emergency preparedness something…that’s my calling now, so it’s on the brain. Since it’s such a big thing to tackle (I’m using the eating the elephant thing as my theme as we focus on something each month as a ward), I’d love to break it down more than I’m doing and actually talk about each theme and help each other brainstorm.

    I have been thinking of starting a mom’s group, but not just a casual get-together and chat group (although we’d do that). This would be one where we learn from each other. Exchange recipes. Have some older moms share their wisdom (have you ever noticed that often we don’t tap into the wisdom of the older generations?) Have a testimony-building something another week. Share favorite cleaning and discipline ideas, etc.

  2. My wife, when she was in charge of Enrichment, would have loved for someone (anyone) to suggest–and offer to head up–an enrichment group. It was generally left to her, so she led (or conscripted her friends to lead) the four or five that happened.

    The one she really wanted, but didn’t get off the ground, was a Dance Dance Revolution group (but two of the three people in the ward who had the game moved, and she was having trouble getting a place where they could have three TVs and dance–the Church building was always claimed).

    It wasn’t a regular group, but she also put together a three-night (at two-week intervals) financial seminar (focusing on investing, budgeting, and avoiding–or getting out of–unnecessary debt).

    As for me, I want to play in a band, so a rock band men’s enrichment goup would be perfect, in my book.

  3. This year our ward had a monthly group with the theme of “take care of yourself” where they had a speaker come each time to talk about a different issue. It’s kind of fizzled out, but we had a financial planner talk one month, a doctor, a mental-health theme month, tai chi, skin care (from a dermatologist, not just make up-type stuff), a police officer talking about personal safety, and one from a massage therapist who used his wife (with her clothes on) to demonstrate how the draping and stuff works at a massage. That was everyone’s number one concern about massage–I’m going to be naked! Each of these activities was really interesting and useful. They did them at the church, but it was very bare bones–you showed up, listened to the speaker, and that was it. There was a playgroup during the summer that met at a different park each time and that was lots of fun. They haven’t done it since the weather has turned cold.

    I’m on the enrichment committee and I think the hardest thing is trying to find people to be in charge of groups. That’s the way it is supposed to work–people run their own groups. Maybe you could recruit another person from your ward to run playgroup with you? I’ve been wanting to get some kind of cooking group going, but I work two evenings a week and I’m so busy.

  4. I was just released as the couselor in the rs presidency over enrichment and I couldn’t be more relieved. I have been in charge of enrichment either as the counselor over it, the enrichment leader or an assistant enrichment leader almost steadily for the past 7 years! I’m so totally and completely out of ideas!

    However, we did manage to do some fun things while I was in there – too many to list probably. One of my favorites was our book group which has been going strong now for 3 years. We did a birthday brunch quarterly for any of the ladies who had a birthday in the past quarter. We also did a quarterly international dinner club, which most recently featured native american fare. We have done home tours of some of the better decorated homes in the ward. A fun rs birthday celebration in March with all the tables decorated like a big children’s birthday party, party games, and a service auction, which everyone loved. Every valentines day we did a 65 and older saturday brunch where we had the young women come and sing and serve (we always do the brunches at someone’s home) – for this one we usually did chocolate fondue.

    We’ve had some great things and not too many misses. However, I am just dead tired of it. The worst part is I’ve found that 90% of the time the whole event gets pulled off with the counselor and the enrichment leader alone – it’s hard to rely on anyone else to get anything done. So that’s been totally frustrating.

    Often people on the committee will have great ideas but when it comes right down to it, they will give you 10,000 excuses as to why they don’t have time to actually help pull the activity off. I am really weary of 10% of the ward always doing 90% of the work.

    I thankfully look forward to my new calling as a ward missionary.

  5. Good News: you don’t need a calling, just put together a group!

    The playgroup thing need not be hard, just find a venue and a regular day/time and people will show up, I promise!

    Our unit did a Guitar Hero group–it was fun. We also did a movie club and watched movies from all over.

    Plenty of out groups fizzled out, but some were good. Some of the best, though, were one-time things, like a parenting class.

    I would love a book club but it han’t worked in my area (people don’t like the book or dn’t read the book). I have wondered about choosing a short story people can read there for the first 20 minutes and then discussing it.

    Anyway–go forth and enrich and don’t worry about having a calling!

  6. I once again have an enrichment calling – been doing it off an on for the last 4 years in 3 different wards. We have done some great things, but the only groups I have seen succeed are playgroup, book club, a breakfast club, and my personal project – a wardrobe refashion group – I liked to think of it as the Renegade Sewing Club (and not the “craft night” some people called it).

    The only reason any of these survived was because there was one person that was really passionate about the group (and usually that person was not a member of the enrichment committee). That one passionate person just took charge and got others excited about the group (plus did all the organization of the activities). So you should decide what you are really passionate about and start recruiting other women in the ward (and neighbors too). I know the enrichment committee would love that.

  7. I’m an Enrichment counselor, and I would love it if the R.S. women would let me know what they’d like to do. I’d love it even more if they offered to head something up. I’m planning to put together a survey to try to get some feedback. I bet your Enrichment leader/counselor would really appreciate your input.

    Some of the activities we’ve done include: Book Club, playgroup, Spanish class, creative writing class, art group, cooking classes, service projects, gardening club, cookie bake-off, Christmas craft night. I’m eagerly hoping to hear more ideas from other women out there. What has been a hit in your ward?

  8. I’ve had callings in Enrichment for the past 4 years; I’m ready to be done. I’m in charge of the sewing enrichment group in our ward and I am on the Enrichment committee, and in our ward, the committee does a lot of work for these 4 big meetings a year.

    Our RS presidency is kind of micromanaging how the enrichment groups are going to be in our ward for next year, (and it seems weird but I’m trying to be ok with it because I sure don’t wish to have their jobs) but in general in the past, they would have been happy to have people volunteer to head up a new group.

  9. My last ward had a pretty regular knitting group. (Of course, I’m the one who ran it, so I imagine it’s fizzled out in my absence.)

  10. Like many others have suggested, we have done a book club in our ward. The Enrichment leader asked those participating for book selections and we have taken turns leading the discussion. Our bishopric just suggested that we make sure some of the books we read have a spiritual element to them. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be something published by Deseret book. C.S. Lewis is a great choice and last month we read The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo…
    We also have had cooking lessons where a member of the ward can share a few recipes. One sister lived in Mexico for several years, so she cooked some incredible Mexican food. The last one we had, a sister shared pretzel and bagel recipes…I guess it just depends on the backgrounds of the sisters in your ward, but I think it is great how someone else is teaching each time and it isn’t just up to the Enrichment leader to do everything.
    Someone else that commented said something about handing out a survey in RS to get an idea of what the sisters would be interested in learning, which was also done by our Enrichment leader and I think it really helped to get positive results. Good luck!


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