The house felt a bit empty as we said farewell to two-thirds of our girls over the holiday break. We hope everyone had a great time on their homepasses! Here’s an update on what the rest of us were doing at LEA:
Many of the girls were still around on Friday, the 21st. We took advantage of a traveling exhibit at The Leonardo, a contemporary museum in downtown, SLC. The exhibit, titled Da Vinci The Genius is touted as “the most comprehensive exhibition on Leonardo to tour the world. With the assistance of Il Genio di Leonardo da Vinci Museo (Italy) and Pascal Cotte of Lumiere Technology (France) this exhibition brings to life the genius of Leonardo as an inventor, artist, scientist, anatomist, engineer, architect, sculptor and philosopher”. (-More on the website.) The girls were able to tour the exhibit and watch a short film on Da Vinci’s inventions and masterpieces. They spent the afternoon in community groups and open studio, and enjoyed a Positive Leader/Craft night that evening.
On Monday, December 24th, we spent the morning having a “Game-a-palooza”. The girls received a new board game for the house, which we played together. We also played Mafia, Clue Charades, and some other bonding games that had us laughing. It snowed quite heavily, so the girls were able to go sledding at a nearby park and have a hot chocolate bar to warm up when they got back. They spent the evening relaxing and watching holiday movies together.
On Christmas morning, December 25th, the girls had a special breakfast, enjoyed opening presents and talked with their families. They had simple lunches and then went downtown to volunteer at a soup kitchen where they served food to many homeless people. They returned to the house to prepare and eat Christmas dinner together, relax, and watch more holiday movies.
The next morning, the girls were once again involved in service. We spent time together baking the Sweet Tooth Fairy’s Black and White Cupcakes (which are positively sinful), and delivering them to the residents at The House of Hope. They met with therapists and had group and music therapy, and were able to participate in study hall. That evening, staff took them ice skating at a local ice rink and they returned to warm up with more hot chocolate.
Thursday was a kid’s day at LEA. The girls stayed in their PJs and watched some of Where the Wild Things Are. They had finger paints, coloring books, and crayons to channel their inner child. After group therapy, our cook fed them food reminiscent of childhood and many girls went to the animal shelter to play with the cats, guinea pigs, and other animals there. That evening they got to help our cook with making pizzas and went to see Hotel Translyvania in 3D at the theater.
The next morning, we went to the incredible Natural History Museum of Utah. The girls were able to see dinosaur skeletons, view real-time footage of the sun, see artifacts from ancient civilizations, and much more in the five stories of exhibits and interactive activities. They returned to LEA for community groups, open studio, dinner, and Positive leader/Craft Night.
On Monday, December 31st, the girls headed out for a game of Walmart Bingo. They split into communities and attempted to find things like crying children, items that were out of stock, and lines with five or more people in them. The community that had the highest number of “Bingo” arrangements received a prize. After group and lunch, the girls started their preparations for our Iron Chef competition that evening. They found out the secret ingredient (Apple), and were given budgets and access to computers to find recipes. Their task was to come up with an appetizer, main course, and dessert that incorporated the secret ingredient and stayed within budget restrictions. They went shopping and prepared the food themselves. Each of the groups performed amazingly and fed their communities and the staff judges with their creations. That night, they set up the projector and watched YouTube favorites and the celebration in Times Square with treats.
New Years Day started with a waffle party and a photo scavenger hunt. Each community took off in a van and had a time limit to find as many items and places as they could, capturing them in photographs. Items were weighted by points according to difficulty and accessibility. The girls demonstrated amazing amounts of creativity in meeting some of the requirements and the winning team received a prize. After study hall, the girls received their invitations to the murder mystery dinner that evening. They also received their character descriptions and were able to gather costumes and decorate areas of the house for the setting. Dinner was served by staff in courses and girls found out they were under house arrest until the murderer could be caught. They played their parts magnificently and were very good at figuring out the clues and plot twists as they progressed through each round of the mystery.
Our final day of break started with the opportunity to choose between study hall and watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie. After lunch and group, the girls went to the Hale Center Theater where they received a backstage tour and participated in an auditions workshop. They had dinner off campus, then returned to the Hale to see a very enjoyable production of Alfred Hitchcock’s comedic mystery, The 39 Steps.
We had a great time together, and are happy to have everyone back on campus once again. We’re looking forward to many other fun activities in the coming year!