Especially for Youth
FrequencyWeekly during summer months
Participants50,000+ yearly
Patron(s)The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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 (LDS Church). It is run by Brigham Young University's (BYU) Continuing Education (CE) and is the largest church-oriented summer camp, attracting over 50,000 attendees every year at locations around the world.[1][2]


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 members of the LDS Church. Sessions take place during the summer months in order to coincide with the summer break practiced by many schools. The program is led by Latter-day Saint young adults who serve as counselors for the youth during the sessions. Many of the speakers are selected from the LDS Church's Seminary and Institute program or from the faculty of BYU and its sister institutions in Idaho and Hawaii. All sessions in the United States and Canada are organized and managed by the EFY office on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah, where it is part of BYU's CE, with sessions elsewhere organized by local organizing committees and area authorities.

EFY states that its mission is to help participants "come unto Christ".[2]

History of EFY[edit]

EFY was created by Ronald C. Hills in 1976 when 172 youth and 15 counselors met for the first session of the summer program. Then-Commissioner of Church Education Jeffrey R. Holland, now of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was one of the banquet speakers at the founding session. The next year, attendance rose to 863 youth. As of 2005, the total number of participants who had attended EFY over the years was 409,484.[3] John Bytheway wrote his Masters Thesis at BYU on the early years of EFY.[4] In 1999, Michael R. Hicks composed The EFY Medley, which up to 2012 became one of the main songs sung at every session of EFY.[5][6] As of August 2012, JD Hucks was the current program director.

Global expansion[edit]

Home Evening Games the first day of EFY México-León 2011

Between 2006 and 2011, the EFY program expanded to more parts of the world. In 2006, EFY expanded outside of the United States and Canada for the first time, with sessions in England, Germany, Mexico and Sweden.[7][8] Further expansion followed in 2009, with EFY sessions held for the first time in Spain, Italy, France and Guatemala. In 2010, the first EFY sessions were held in Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Cape Verde, Norway, Netherlands, Tahiti,[9] El Salvador, and Honduras. Puerto Rico hosted an EFY session in 2011. However, beginning in 2012 most international locations began holding For the Strength of Youth (FSY) conferences, which are organized through local area presidencies, rather than through BYU.[citation needed]

Locations of EFY[edit]

EFY participants gather to listen to speakers on June 2017 on the BYU campus

The traditional overnight-stay EFY programs are normally held on college campuses. BYU is the largest destination, hosting about 13,000 participants each summer.[10] In some limited situations EFY has been held in a hotel rather than on a university campus. The stay-at-home programs which do not involve overnight accommodations are often held at local church stake centers.

Sessions of the Especially for Youth program have been held in the following nations:

There are also a number of nations that haven't hosted an EFY session, but have been invited to participate in sessions in other nations. These nations include:

  •  Ireland: As of 2009, officially participated within sessions held in the United Kingdom.
  •  Austria/  Switzerland: Officially participate within the session held in Germany in 2010.
  •  Iceland/ Denmark/ Sweden: Officially participate within the session held in Norway in 2010.
  •  Belgium: (Dutch speaking) Officially participate with the session held in the Netherlands in 2010 and 2012.

EFY sessions in Latin America began in Guatemala in 2009 and are now running as FSY conferences in the Central America region, Mexico and other South American countries. FSY conferences are officially sanctioned and run by the LDS Church.[citation needed]

EFY yearly themes[edit]

In 1982, EFY introduced its first annual theme. Since then, a theme and a scripture have set the tone for each EFY Session. In 2018 they have done LDS church related talks that also set the tone.

  • 1982: The Time Has Come
  • 1983: Ascending Together
  • 1984: Discovering New Horizons
  • 1985: Let Your Light Shine
  • 1986: Lovin' Life
  • 1987: Sailin' Home
  • 1988: Win the Race
  • 1989: Forever, My Friend
  • 1990: Learning For Myself
  • 1991: Walk With Me
  • 1992: Of One Heart
  • 1993: Sharing the Light
  • 1994: Serving With Strength
  • 1995: Return With Honor
  • 1996: Living the Legacy
  • 1997: Treasure the Truth
  • 1998: Joy in the Journey
  • 1999: A Season for Courage
  • 2000: Forward With Faith
  • 2001: Remember the Promise
  • 2002: We Believe
  • 2003: Look and Live
  • 2004: Stand in the Light
  • 2005: A More Excellent Way
  • 2006: The Greatest Gift
  • 2007: Power In Purity
  • 2008: Steady and Sure
  • 2009: Be Thou An Example
  • 2010: Courage to Stand Strong
  • 2011: Believe. Hope. Endure.
  • 2012: Arise and Shine Forth
  • 2013: Firm in the Faith
  • 2014: Anxiously Engaged
  • 2015: Here Am I
  • 2016: What Matters Most
  • 2017: The Way to Become
  • 2018: Choose Joy
  • 2019: Trust With All Thine Heart
  • 2020: A Witness Of My Own

EFY schedule[edit]

Each day follows a schedule of devotionals, gospel study, session director morningsides, journal time, and personal scripture study. There are little if any changes between each of the nations who hold sessions of EFY, mostly in the schedule of the Overnight and Stay-at-Home program.[21][22]

Schedule changes have been made over the years. In the late 1990s the schedule involved three dances (on Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and it also involved scheduled exercise time each morning. There have also been various shortened versions offered, at times involving a three-day schedule and currently there is the EFY Express which involves a one-day program. Since the EFY Express one-day programs all occur within a day they can be held during the school year.[23]

Overnight Program - Overview of Week
Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Counselor/Coordinators Preparations



Young Men/Young Women Activity

For the Strength of Youth Activity



Meet Your Counselor
Meet Your Company

Variety Show Tryouts/Musical Rehearsal/Free Time

Variety Show Tryouts/Musical Rehearsal/Free Time

Variety Show
Musical Dress Rehearsal/Free Time

Service Activity
Free Time


Session Director Devotional
FHE Games and Goal Setting

Dance Etiquette and Instruction

Banner and Cheer Preparations
Games and Cheer-Off
Pizza Night

Testimony Tips
Fireside/Musical Program
Testimony Meeting

Picture/Address Exchange
Slide Show
"Taking it Home"

Adventure-based sister programs[edit]

BYU–Idaho hosts three EFY-like programs that encompass a significant outdoors component. These programs include Adventure for Youth, Outdoor Youth Adventures, and Youth for Excellence.[24]


  1. ^ Hunsaker, Brent (11 June 2009). "Flu symptoms raise concerns at BYU summer camps". KTVX (ABC 4 News). Retrieved 3 January 2010.[dead link]
  2. ^ a b "What is EFY?". Especially for Youth. Division of Continuing Education, Brigham Young University (BYU). Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  3. ^ 2005 Participant Journal, pp. 72 - 73[clarification needed]
  4. ^ Bytheway, John (2003). A History of "Especially For Youth" — 1976-1986 (Master of Arts thesis). Digital Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  5. ^ Salisbury, Karianne (4 January 2008), "EFY Medley: The man behind its creation", Deseret News, retrieved 2013-01-17
  6. ^ "EFY Medley: As Sisters In Zion & We'll Bring the World His Truth",, Michael R. Hicks, retrieved 2013-01-17
  7. ^ 2006 Participant Journal, pp. iv - v[clarification needed]
  8. ^ "EFY: 30 and Beyond". News and Events (News from the Church), LDS Church. 4 May 2006. Archived from the original on 1 January 2009. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  9. ^ a b EFY Tahiti 2010 Training Notice (French)
  10. ^ Haas, Tessa (5 July 2016). "The facts about EFY on BYU campus". Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h See the Official Websites list
  12. ^ EFY Cape Verde Archived 2010-01-26 at the Wayback Machine (Portuguese) Retrieved on January 29, 2010.
  13. ^ EFY Finland Archived 2012-03-21 at the Wayback Machine (Finnish) Retrieved on December 11, 2009.
  14. ^ EFY France Archived 2009-04-09 at the Wayback Machine (French) Retrieved on December 11, 2009.
  15. ^ EFY Guatemala Archived 2010-03-22 at the Wayback Machine (Spanish) Retrieved on December 11, 2009.
  16. ^ EFY Germany Archived 2009-09-13 at the Wayback Machine (German) Retrieved on December 11, 2009.
  17. ^ EFY Italy Archived 2009-04-19 at the Wayback Machine (Italian) Retrieved on December 11, 2009.
  18. ^ EFY Portugal Archived 2010-04-07 at the Wayback Machine (Portuguese) Retrieved on January 29, 2010.
  19. ^ EFY Spain Archived 2010-01-29 at the Wayback Machine (Spanish) Retrieved on April 20, 2010
  20. ^ EFY Spain 2009 Registration Closing Date Archived October 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Official LDS Spain Website (Spanish) Retrieved on December 11, 2009
  21. ^ Overnight Agenda, Especially for Youth. Retrieved October 16, 2009 Archived June 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Stay-at-Home Agenda, Especially for Youth. Retrieved October 16, 2009 Archived December 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ EFY Express page
  24. ^ "Youth Programs at BYU-Idaho". Brigham Young University–Idaho. Archived from the original on 6 September 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2011.

External links[edit]

Official websites by location. (Many of the following have switched over to the officially sanctioned "FSY" conferences).