By Cecily Markland
In the five years since the first of their annual five-day summer conferences for girls ages 11 to 16 was held in Mesa, Time to Blossom has grown and expanded in amazing ways.
The conference itself offers essentially a “who’s who” of popular speakers for Latter-day Saint youth—with returning favorites like John Bytheway, Hank Smith, Emmy Julie Townsend and Time to Blossom cofounders, Debbie Forrest Dayton and Carla Jorgensen. LDS Blogger, YouTuber and speaker, Al Carraway will join the lineup this year. Sometimes called “The Tattooed Mormon,” her passion it is to tell everyone that the gospel is the greatest thing we could ever be a part of.
The conference also features performances from top entertainers, like pianist Clyde Bawden and comedian Jef Rawls, a service project, comedy show, craft projects, dance party and more.
Sisters Dayton and Jorgensen started Time to Blossom as a way to “help young women and young adults become confident, strong and happy individuals. We do this by educating, motivating and inspiring them to become their best.”
Karie Babbitt, says, “Time to Blossom was truly an answer to my prayers. My daughter is changed because of her experience. Time to Blossom is a wonderfully inspired, amazing program.”
JoAnn Kelm agrees, saying, “Time to Blossom has taught my daughters how to be more positive even when the weight of the world has got them down.”
As Time to Blossom has grown and touched hundreds of girls’ lives, the program has also caught the attention of local and general Church leaders. All six living past General Young Women Presidents—Elaine Dalton, Susan Tanner, Ardeth Kapp, Janette Beckham, Margaret Nadauld and Florence Jacobsen—are now members of the Time to Blossom Advisory Board.
Sister Kapp says, “As an Advisory Board member and speaker, I have experienced this life-changing program first hand. …Young women are taught how to recognize their individual worth and others’ gifts, serve those around them, and stand as a witness of Christ. …They leave better prepared to live the gospel, reach their potential and live their divine mission.”
Recently, Time to Blossom has added a blog and expanded its social media community.
“We felt like it was important to keep uplifting materials and reminders coming to the girls years after the conference ended,” Sister Jorgensen says.
At mytimetoblossom.com, blog posts are written by the 10 Blossom Girls, “who have expertise in different areas,” Sister Jorgensen says.
They cover topics about beauty, fashion, spirituality, health, success, lifestyle and relationships as well as articles about “being your best.” The posts are also shared on Instagram @mytimetoblossom (where they have almost 10,000 followers), on Facebook/mytimetoblossom and Pinterest @mytimetoblossom.
The summer’s Time to Blossom conference, on Monday, June 15, through Friday, June 19, offers two attendance options. For the traditional overnight option, girls stay at the Hyatt Place in Mesa, then are transported to East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) for the conference events. For the day-only option, girls attend the events at EVIT from 9 a.m. to 9 .m. then return to their own homes at night. For details or to register, visit www.timetoblossom.com
To volunteer or to make a donation to help reach even more girls through Time to Blossom (a 501c3 organization), contact firstname.lastname@example.org.