Ma and Pa Handbook


You were chosen to serve as a Ma and Pa because of who you are. You were carefully
prayed about, pondered over, and selected by members of the Stake Presidency and stake
leaders responsible for planning and preparing the Trek this year. You were chosen
because of your great love for the Lord and for your deep and abiding testimonies in the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. To accept this assignment you must have a love for your ward youth and our youth in general. You will set the tone for the entire Trek experience for the youth
in your family. Your positive influence will change hearts and lives. For some youth it
will be a unique experience to have a Ma and Pa bound by temple covenants both with a
deep conviction and testimony of the Gospel. Your good examples as you remain
positive even through opposition will build and fortify the youth in your care. We thank
you for accepting this responsibility.


Your Trek Family

You will be assigned 6-8 youth to take in and love and nurture as a Trek family. Your
youth will vary in backgrounds and strengths. Be sensitive to special circumstances your
assigned youth may have. Strive to create at all times an atmosphere were all youth
within your care feel loved and accepted. Find out if there are any special circumstances or needs for each of your youth by talking to parents and teachers. Help them feel the whisperings and promptings
of the Holy Spirit.

Remain Positive

Always remain positive even through opposition. This may be the only experience youth
within your family will have ever had with endowed temple worthy parents that love the
Lord. Help them to recognize the power of these temple bonds and covenants through
your positive example.

Strive to be an Effective Teacher

Be effective at asking and answering questions. Bear testimony prayerfully and spontaneously. Look for opportunities to teach quietly specifically by example. Love all family members and be
careful not to choose favorites. Be prepared to teach as prompted by the Holy Ghost.

Spiritually Prepare

Study and prayerfully seek to understand the Trek theme “More Faith Than Fear”
and look for ways to teach this theme to your family throughout the entire Trek

Spiritually prepare and pray for guidance as you lead your Trek family. Here are
additional ways you can prepare:

1) Personal and family prayer each day
2) Daily scripture study and search for guidance for your Trek family through the
3) Review talks from this past General Conference
4) Attend the temple regularly
5) Learn about the handcart pioneers and prayerfully consider their sacrifice
6) Improve your listening skills

Physically Prepare

Pioneer treks require physical stamina. This can be obtained through obedience to the
Word of Wisdom, eating wholesome foods, not overeating, eating a balanced diet, and
regular exercise. Physical preparation cannot be completed in a short period of time. The
following are some general guidelines that you might consider:

1) Walk 4-5 times per week.
2) For 2-3 times per week, walk 2-3 miles; for 2 times a week walk 4-5 miles.
3) Walk uphill about 4 times, increasing the distance each time, before the trek.

Create a Sense of Uniqueness

Create a sense of uniqueness within your family that will identify all of you and add to
the overall experience. You can do this through fun songs, games, family  handshakes,
chants, unique pioneer “toys,” etc. Be creative and create a fun energy within your


There will be ample time to play games with your Trek family during bathroom breaks
while on the Trek. Prepare your family with fun things that they can do during these
moments of down time.

Assign a “Big Brother” or a “Big Sister”

Assign a YM or YW to be a “big brother” or “big sister” that will serve as a youth leader
during family meetings and on the Trek. Assign someone that will be a good example
and that the other youth will look up to. Encourage this youth leader to be positive and
help motivate and encourage the other family siblings. This youth can help prepare devotionals, conduct family meetings, make phone calls, and lead in games, discussions. etc. Discuss this assignment with all family members.


As a family memorize all the versus of “Come Come Ye Saints” hymn #30, “Faith in every Footstep”, “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go” hymn #270 and “Carry On” hymn #255 which will be sung as a stake group at the Trek. Consider learning other fun songs to sing while on the Trek.

Pioneer Names
Make sure each child has a name they are walking for. Prayerfully study these pioneer names, their relationships to one another, and help each family member gain a deep appreciation of their faith and sacrifice. Encourage the youth to study and pray about their names.

First Aid

Review the medical concerns of each family member and become familiar with their
needs through diet, medication, or otherwise.

Teach family members the signs and symptoms of dehydration and heat stroke. Go over
the importance of staying hydrated while on the Trek.

Each family should work together to create a small basic first aid kit that will be kept on
the handcart and in the family unit during the Trek.


We encourage journal writing during the entire Trek experience and feel that it will be a
huge part of their spiritual experience. The stake will provide a unique journal for each
youth that will be given to them the day we leave. Please encourage your youth to write
in their journals during the Trek.

Equipment Check and List

Provide each family member with an equipment list found in the attached packet.
Conduct an equipment check prior to the Trek making certain that all items fit inside the
youth’s bucket.


Go over the attached Martin Cove rules with all family members before the Trek.

Check the Trek Blog

Get in the habit of frequently checking the stake website at All the latest and most current information will be
provided on this site.

Pioneer Clothing

All youth and Trek participants are requested to dress in pioneer attire. See the attached
clothing and Trek apparel handout. The responsibility to obtain or make this attire lies
solely upon the youth and not the Trek family. Youth should obtain or create their attire
on their own or through the help of their ward.

Family Roster

Provide each family member with a family roster that provides names, ages, wards,
phones, emails, and all helpful contact information.

Sleeping Arrangements

All families are required to bring 3 tents and 3 tarps. All Trek participants will sleep in
their Trek families (a tent for the Ma and Pa, one for the YM, and a separate tent for the
YW in the group). We also request that you bring any additional tarps that you feel you
might need to cover equipment in the case of inclement weather. Please utilize the
resources of the youth to acquire these items for your Trek family.

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