Let’s talk Choice and Accountability

The older I get, the more I realize how important every choice is. According to Google, we make 35,000 conscious decisions a day, young children make about 3,000. Does that blow your mind? It makes sense but wow, that’s a lot of decisions. Maybe that’s why I struggle figuring out dinner or what to do on date night.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about choices; a lot of that stems from being a 911 dispatcher. When you take call after call listening to the horrible things that have happened to people that day you start to wonder why. Why did she end up in that relationship? Why do people drink until they black out? Why would you take a gun to talk to someone? The best answer, choices! They made a choice, good or bad, that put them in that situation. Now that they have made that choice, they have to live with the consequence. One choice, just ONE can determine the course of the rest of your life. I’ve seen it happen more times than I can count. That one drink before getting behind the wheel caused a man to go to jail for manslaughter, and the other man to lose his family. A man taking a gun to confront another man, resulted in first degree murder, and now two fatherless families. I chose to take a physics class for an elective in college and met my husband (the best choice I’ve ever made). Small sometimes seemingly insignificant choices can lead to the great and wonderful lives or not so great lives.

Ok, I’ll stop with the doom and gloom, and get back to the reason for this post. Do you remember the Choose your Own Adventure books? I remember going through the book several times to see what happened to “me” when I made every choice possible in the book. Well my awesome friend, Shannon T, came up with a cool idea to do this for mutual. Today I present Choose your Own Adventure, mutual style. A lot of planning, love and prayers went into this activity. I’m so excited to share it with you and hope you love it as much as we did. I’m also going to share the book with you.

Choose your Own Adventure

To begin, one leader got up and talked about the importance of choices and how we have been given a lot of different tools; scriptures, For the Strength of Youth, Prophets, good friends, teachers, parents and mentors to help guide us in making good choices. We explained the activity and told them their choices were going to be completely personal. No one would know what they chose at the end of the activity. Each girl was given a book with 8 different scenarios in it and 3-4 different choices they could make for each one, and a brown paper bag to put their choices in. They were told not to look in their books until they were instructed to. Next, we sent the girls to 8 different rooms, they went inside one by one. In each room, they were given a scenario and a table with the colored paper (each scenario had a different color) with a, b, c or d written on them. The girls were instructed to pick their choice and put it in their paper bag then move to the next one. When they were finished, they went back to the room we started in and were given a pen to write their thoughts and feelings about the choices.

When everyone had completed, we talked about consequences, we get to make the choice but we aren’t able to pick the consequence. This was my favorite part. We had an ice cream consequence bar. We divided that into 8 different sections and 3-4 items in each section (depending on the book). Under each item was a paper with the color it corresponded to and the letter a, b, c, or d. The girls took their paper bags and got the topping that matched their choices. For example: 1) A. bowl B. cup C. plate  2) A. spoon B. fork C. nothing 3) A. vanilla ice cream B. chocolate ice cream C. no ice cream 4) A. oreos B. butterfingers C. peanut butter cup D. gold fish 5) A. chocolate syrup B. strawberry syrup C. ketchup 6) A. sprinkles B. coconut C. salt 7)  A. M&Ms B. gummy bears C. bacon bits 8) A. marshmallows B. nuts C. saltine crackers

I might have cheated on this part a little, shhh don’t tell. We wanted them to have gross stuff in their ice cream so if I saw they were only getting the good stuff, I switched the cards around.

When they sat back down we talked about things we are given as members of the Church, like the Word of Wisdom, For Strength of Youth, and different standards that seem like restrictions but are there to help us. We also talked about repentance and let the girls go get the ice cream they wanted. We got great feedback from the girls and they spent at least that hour and a half really thinking about their choices.

Here is a PDF of the book that we came up with the first page is first and last page. Fold that baby in half and you are good to go. I also recommend putting a cute cover on the front if you have time. Enjoy!! Choose your own adventure