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Especially For Youth (often abbreviated as "EFY") is a week long youth-oriented seminar focused on fellowship and teaching the principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Attendance is open to all youth aged 14 to 18. Sessions, which are primarily held in the United States, follow a common curriculum created by the Church, resulting in a common experience wherever EFY is held. Sessions take place during the summer months in order to coincide with the summer break practiced by many American schools. The program is led by Latter-day Saint young adults who serve as counselors in exchange for a modest stipend. Speakers are selected from the Church's Institute and Seminary programs. All sessions are organized and managed out of the EFY headquarters in Provo, Utah.

EFY's mission is to help participants "come unto Christ" by providing an environment where youth can experience physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual growth.

History of EFY

Created by Ronald C. Hills, EFY began in 1976, when 172 youth and 15 counselors met for the first session of the summer program. Jeffrey R. Holland, now of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was one of the banquet speakers at the founding session. By 1977, only one year later, attendance had risen to 863 youth. Currently, EFY's summer program includes sessions which are held at various locations throughout the United States and Canada. As of 2005, the total number of participants who have attended EFY over the years is 409,484.

In 2006, EFY celebrated its thirtieth anniversary and held its first session outside of North America, with 900 youth attending a session in Manchester, England.

EFY themes

In 1982, EFY introduced its first annual theme. Since then, a theme, scripture, and musical selections have set the tone for each year's curriculum.

An album of the musical selections is released every year, and has been since 1987. Only the last few years' albums are still available at any given time. They have been published by originally Embryo Records, then Excel, and since 1993, some have been published by Deseret Book. All since 2003 have been published by Deseret Book as that is when the two companies merged.

Many years there has been a paperback book containing articles from many of the speakers. Those have been published by Deseret Book as well. Only recent years' books are still available although they are regularly found at used bookstores that sell used LDS books.

The themes since 2006 have now been coordinated with the annual scriptural theme for Mutual that is announced in the fall of the previous year, i. e. the scriptural theme for 'Power in Purity' was announced in August of 2006 as the Mutual theme for 2007.

Year Theme   Year Theme   Year Theme
  1991: Walk With Me 2001: Remember the Promise
1982: The Time Has Come 1992: Of One Heart 2002: We Believe
1983: Ascending Together 1993: Sharing the Light 2003: Look and Live
1984: Discovering New Horizons 1994: Serving With Strength 2004: Stand in the Light
1985: Let Your Light Shine 1995: Return With Honor 2005: A More Excellent Way
1986: Lovin' Life 1996: Living the Legacy 2006: The Greatest Gift
1987: Sailin' Home 1997: Treasure the Truth 2007: Power In Purity
1988: Win the Race 1998: Joy in the Journey 2008: Steady and Sure
1989: Forever, My Friend 1999: A Season for Courage 2009: Be Thou an Example
1990: Learning For Myself 2000: Forward With Faith  

Typical schedule

The following is a typical schedule for a week-long EFY session.

Monday

  • Registration and Check-in
  • Meet and greet other youth in their assigned group and counselors
  • Orientation
  • Family Home Evening

Tuesday

  • "Morningside" devotional
  • Self Improvement/Spiritual Improvement classes
  • Casual dress dance

Wednesday

  • "Morningside" devotional
  • Self Improvement/Spiritual Improvement classes
  • Game Night
  • Pizza party

Thursday - Informally referred to as "Church Day," participants are expected to wear their "best dress" to all activities

  • "Morningside" devotional
  • Gender segregated classes on the duties and responsibilities of Young Men / Young Women
  • Variety Show
  • "Fireside" devotional including a musical program
  • Testimony meeting

Friday

  • "Morningside" devotional
  • Service project
  • Role play activities
  • "Taking it Home" activity
  • Closing banquet
  • Dance

Saturday

  • Check-out

Trivia

  • The first EFY session which was held away from BYU campus in Provo took place in June 1986 at San Diego State University.
  • By the year 2002, nearly 2,000 EFY classes had been taught.
  • Nearly 410,000 participants had attended EFY by the year 2004.
  • The largest EFY session ever was held in June 2006 on the BYU Provo Utah campus, during the first session of the thirtieth anniversary. This session had over 1,600 participants and 200 counselors in attendance, and was directed by Scott Anderson, the only CES instructor to have participated in EFY for all 30 years.
  • The first Spanish speaking EFY session was held in 2004 in Salt Lake City. This session had 60 participants and 6 volunteer counselors.
  • An EFY-like event is held in Australia called Time for Youth, or TFY. This event goes for three days and has been held in Melbourne (3 times), Sydney (Once), Brisbane (Once) and Hobart (Once). The Melbourne TFY started with Forward in Faith (2002), then Hobart and Melbourne with Look and Live (2004) and then Melbourne (Combined with TAS and SA), Sydney and Brisbane with The Greatest Gift (2007).


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