Youth Etiquette Dinner
Purpose - To allow YM and YW the opportunity to learn appropriate manners when invited to a dinner party with mixed company while reinforcing the Church’s dating standards.
~ Arrange for 2 separate presenters. One (or one couple) to discuss table manners and dinner party expectations (15-20 min.) and one (or one couple) to give presentation about showing respect to each other generally and the church’s dating standards (10-15 min).
~ Reserve the Building! Make sure you reserve the cultural hall and kitchen so you don’t run into another ward’s dodge ball!
~ 14 days in advance, deliver or mail personally addressed invitations to all YM and YW. Be sure to include an R.S.V.P. date and contact and dress expectations (We asked for Sunday best). Be sure to have the guest list available for the “Hostess” to check off as guests respond. Be sure to also send invitations to your speakers or possibly your Bishopric if they plan to attend the activity.
~ Prepare a menu that will accommodate your budget but will allow the youth the opportunity to use the manners that they will learn- spaghetti is a terrible choice! (See our sample menu at bottom)
~ Spend one activity with your class making centerpieces and learning to set a table properly. Secure your choice of tablecloths, decorations, and tableware. We used the dishes and silverware available in our church building. It matched and we didn’t have to transport anything that could get broken.
~ 1 week in advance, contact your ward bulletin coordinator to have the activity put in the program. Include the dress code.
~ Plan music for background.
~ Make small slips of paper for YW to write their name on and place in small basket for YM to pull out.
~ 2 hrs before, set up tables, decorations and place settings in cultural hall.
~ Have Youth meet in usual designated place in the building (We meet in the YW Room). As YW come in, have them write their names on the slips of paper and place in basket. Don’t tell them what it’s for.
~ Conduct Opening Exercises as usual.
~ Begin activity with brief comments on the youth’s appearance and adhering to the dress code. Comment on the importance of manners and the various places they will use them. Introduce the first speaker(s) and turn the time to them. (Make sure the speaker knows the menu so that he/she can address proper ways to eat those foods).
~ After the speaker, it’s time to eat! Before going to the cultural hall, have YM draw a YW’s name from the basket for the opportunity to be her escort. Before doing this, give a youth a NON EXAMPLE and an EXAMPLE of how to respond to the drawing. If you have youth like ours, you know what I’m talking about. Let the youth know what is expected. The YM then escorts the YW to the cultural hall where the Matre Dee was waiting to seat them. You may need to utilize your YM/YW leaders or bishopric to balance the girls and boys. Boys pull out the chair for the girls.
~ The youth wait for the hostess (Laurel President, in our case) to signal begin eating. The youth should engage in polite small talk and conversation. As the youth finish the first course, leaders remove the plates and replace them with the main course. As dessert is beginning to be served, introduce the 2nd speaker(s).
~ After the speaker, wrap up with a quiz regarding manners they learned and a prize for those youth that actually responded to the R.S.V.P.
We had a terrific night and had a hard time getting the youth to go home!
IMPORTANT NOTE - The pairing of YM and YW is strictly for the purpose of practice. It is not meant to simulate a single date situation. The youth should be practicing good manners, communication skills and showing respect for each other. We don’t always choose our dinner companions and the youth should know to behave graciously and politely!
RESOURCE - For our manners section, we provided information for our first speaker from the following website....click here.
Green salad with dressing (prepared in kitchen and placed at setting)
Sliced Ham (sliced at the Butcher Department and placed in crock pots for 3 hours ahead)
Baked potatoes (baked in the church ovens while decorating the gym)
Mixed vegetables (frozen, steamed at church)
Brownies and ice cream with chocolate syrup