Youth leaders hope for positive relationships between the young men and young women within wards and stakes. Mesa Central Stake youth did their part with an inspired video featuring their young men thanking the young women for their efforts at leading virtuous lives.
The video was requested by the Stake Camp Director via Brother Joe Free, their high councilor. He met with a select committee to discuss what they might to, and what their intention was.
“Our objective,” he says, “was to give the young women a big thank you and do it in such a way that it would be able to bless more than just our stake.”
Many other stakes have made videos, often lighthearted and goofy, in keeping with the fun of camp. Brother Free and his creative team were instead drawn to the idea of the young men reciting the young women theme. “We all looked at each other and knew this was what we needed to do,” he recalls.
Once the vision was sketched out, the team had a deadline to meet. School was almost out for the summer and camp would soon follow. Leaders set a time early in the morning on a Saturday, invited all the young men of the stake, and were amazed to have over 100 young men turn out.
“This video was essentially shot in one hour,” Brother Free says. “We started at 7am and let them go at 7:30. Others could optionally stay if they wanted to speak for the video.” The boys not only participated, they arrived in their Sunday best, clean and well-groomed, to do their part.
Under the direction of Brother Free and Stake Young Men’s President Shaun Henderson, the creative team behind the popular video enlisted top tier talent. Keaton Allen, creative director and videographer, was in the lead with ideas. Ted Sowards, noted event organizer and showman behind the annual Voices of Christmas community concert in Mesa, wore many hats as assistant creative director, editor, and videographer. James Adams lent his considerable videographic talent for the shoot, supported by Greg Porter, a skilled and well supplied drone flier who has done work for the Easter Pageant and the Mesa Temple.
To support their objective in blessing more lives than just those youth within their stake, the professionally finished video was posted to the stake’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. The link has since been shared widely and Brother Free has been closely following the spread of its message.
“As of August,” he says, “87% of the views have come from the US. Only 28% of the US views were from within Arizona.” It’s done well in Utah, California, Texas, and other states, as well as earning respectable viewership in New Zealand and the UK. “Our hopes that it would be useful to all seem to be coming true,” says Brother Free.
You can find the video by visiting the Mesa Central Stake Youth’s YouTube channel, or their Facebook page (@mesacentralstakeyouth) in their video collection. The video is a little over two minutes long and ideal for sharing with ward members, friends, and all young women.