Simulations Week West

What is Simulations Week?

Each year, youth ages 12-18 gather from around the nation to engage in realistic, hypothetical high-stakes scenarios designed to bring out their ability to respond to crisis, while practicing the art of persuasion. A team of youth mentors (called the “Sim Team”) and adult mentors create a new scenario each year, for the attendees to play out. It is beyond fantasy role playing and does not follow a script, but is a problem that requires the youth attendees to negotiate, compromise, persuade, debate, strategize, challenge each other, and use their wits and their knowledge to create and engage ideas to solve the problem together. Conflicting motivations within sub-groups form significant challenges. Forks in the road appear throughout the simulation, inviting participants to navigate the unexpected and resist ethical lapses.
With 17 years of Simulations Week experience, and a typical attendance of 150 youth, over a thousand terrific young people have loved attending, and tell us that they have grown and changed for the better in many ways, as they come face to face with themselves, in this challenging and FUN simulation environment!
Evening activities provide exciting and interesting opportunities for youth to associate together for friendship and for strengthening meaningful relationships. These activities include a family BBQ, a game night, performance night, a formal youth banquet and a family ball.
The spirit of the event has been maintained through the years by the incredible youth who choose to attend, and the dedicated influence of our incredible adult mentors and youth Sim Team. They are energetic, purpose-driven, virtuous youth with a strong desire for person growth, for creating meaningful connections with other youth and to prepare for a life of meaningful impact.
Note that youth attendees and their families often refer to this event as “Sim Week.”

2017 Simulations Week West will be held June 13-16, 2017 in Lehi, UT. 

Simulations Week West is owned and produced by Family Forum LLC

2017 Simulations Week East will be held June 6-9, 2017 in Roanoke, VA

Simulations Week East is independently owned and produced by Triangle Leadership Commonwealth

A new four-day simulation scenario is written each year, with complex challenges for all participants to work on together. 

For all youth, ages 12-18

Simulations are awesome!!!  Simulations invite participants to engage in a realistic, hypothetical high-stakes scenario designed to bring out their ability to respond to crisis, while practicing the art of persuasion.

Participants take on fictitious roles and work in teams to identify and solve problems. Forks in the road appear throughout the simulation, inviting participants to navigate the unexpected and resist ethical lapses.

  • Explore courageous solutions to futuristic scenarios
  • Practice communication, persuasion and leadership
  • Apply your knowledge and test your wisdom
  • Discover human nature
  • Experience teamwork and group deliberation

As used by top colleges and industries throughout the world, simulations are a proven way to prepare for real action, influence and critical decision making.

2017 Simulations Week West and East Scenario:

The election of 2016 will go down as one of the most contentious in American history. At best, the country is deeply divided, and across the divide the insults and condemnations are vicious. You step into this breach. Although campaigns are often about making the other side look as evil as possible, governing and legislating are about finding ways to work together. This is your task. As a member of the 115th US Congress, you must find a way to bridge the ever-widening gap between the political factions in the country, and get sensible, productive legislation passed.

The country’s peril is far more dangerous than simple squabbling. While the government dithers, harsh economic realities are beginning to be felt here and around the globe. Conflict between corporations spills over into international relations, creating hostility and outright enmity, fought as much in boardrooms as on the battlefield. Regulators and judges, turned loose by an inactive legislature, increasingly interpret the law in ways that threaten economic prosperity. If the Congress is unable to act, and soon, what is now an electoral conflict might easily become something far, far more.

Simulations Week West Schedule:

Tuesday – Friday Simulation 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Tuesday – Family BBQ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Wednesday – Dinner and Youth Games 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Thursday – Dinner and Improv Night 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Friday Youth Banquet 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Friday Family Ball 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Location: 121 E State St. Lehi, Utah

Early Registration Discount: $169 per person if purchased by midnight, April 29, 2017

Regular Price: $199 per person if purchased after April 29, 2017

Admission includes simulation experience, t-shirt, all lunches, all dinners and Friday banquet, improv night, game night, and family ball for participants and their immediate family members.

Additional registration discounts available for parent volunteers.

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Set of diverse college or university students isolated on white background. Different nationalities and dress styles. Cute and simple flat cartoon style.

The Sim Team for 2017 Simulations Week West is comprised of five young women and five young men, ages 16-18, who have simulation experience and who have demonstrated excellent leadership skills and abilities. The Sim Team serves as the youth leaders for Simulations Week. They assist with preparing the scenario and may take on fictitious roles in the simulation. They also provide other services as needed, such as graphic design, costume design, marketing and simulation group leadership.

lili-deforest-webMeet Lili DeForest

I love to read. I’ve read well over a thousand books in my life, and I enjoy everything from classics like Les Miserables to fantasy like The Stormlight Archive. One of my favorite quotes is by Groucho Marx- “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” I also love speech and debate. It is very important to me to be able to speak intelligently and persuasively about the things I care about, and I love putting my thoughts into words. Plus I find it incredibly fun to debate ideas that are relevant to life with my very smart friends. One of my biggest passions is music. I play violin and piano, I sing, and I love to compose music. Music in general just makes me happy! 🙂 I’ve been to Sim Week two times before, and I am SO excited to attend again as a member of the Sim Team! I hope to see you there!



hannah-cookMeet Hannah Cook

I love to play music.  Right now I mainly play the guitar, piano, ukulele, and I sing.  I also have a long list of instruments that I either used to play, or only play a little, including cello and mandolin.  I also love to dance, and I recently started taking ballroom.  Apparently I’m about as cliche as you can get, because after music, the next thing I enjoy most is sports.  I especially love basketball, softball, volleyball, and tennis.  And I played high school softball my freshman year.  Currently I do karate, and I even tried parkour….. once.  Lately I have gotten into photography, and I love that as well.  This will be my fourth Sim Week, and I’m super excited.  I have loved every simulation.  And each time I have gotten more involved and learned more about myself and my strengths.  I’m really excited for this year’s simulation.  It’s going to be a blast.


Rachelle PetersonMeet Rachelle Peterson

Hey there! I’m Rachelle! I am passionate about writing and photography
and I also dabble in movie editing, Origami, and being friends with
everyone! I have been writing since 5 years old, and I absolutely love
it. I love words, conversations, people, and emotions, and I can weave
all of those together by writing. I have been to three Sim Weeks, and
I am thrilled to be spending my fourth on the Sim Team!! I am a
princess at heart and I dream of owning a dragon. My goal in life is
to make sure that every person feels like they belong and understand
their gifts and abilities and have the confidence to use them. I am
talented at fake sneezing and singing in pig Latin, and I love duct
tape and the color pink. <3


Gabi Cooper croppedMeet Gabi Cooper

Hello my darlings! For those of you who don’t know me from the last Simulations Week, I was (for a few short hours) Prime Minister of my little, nonexistent country Karmesia. As you can tell, it didn’t last long under my reign, but I promise I am much better at leading a country now than I was then. I love to read books, my absolute favorite ones are Lonesome Gods by Louis L’Amour, and Ella Enchanted (of course the book was better than the movie). I love Disney as well, my favorite movie has to be The Lion King. I enjoy music, but not practicing so I’m not that good. Yet. I’m getting better, and once I get better I suspect I will know the guitar and the piano. I love singing, and hopefully will be on broadway soon! 😉 I also have a profound fascination with William Wilberforce and Brother Joseph. Wilberforce was the man who abolished slavery in the British colonies in 1807. Brother Joseph, or Joseph Smith, was the valiant prophet who sacrificed so much to bring the gospel into this dispensation. I’m looking forward to Simulations Week this year, and I can’t wait to meet new people this year!

Julianne OrtonMeet Julianne Orton

Julianne is an incredibly happy and enthusiastic person who is very excited to be working with you in this simulations week. Simulations week was a growing experience for her and she hopes to help you grow and have fun in the same way she did. Julianne loves the color purple, cheesecake, and Harry Potter. She just graduated from Snow College with her Associate’s degree and will be serving an LDS mission at the end of the summer. Her piece of advice for Simulations Week is to not hold yourself back. You can do anything you dream in these scenarios so use creativity to let yourself be free and interact with your peers.




James HaroldsenMeet James Haroldsen








alex-merchantMeet Alex Merchant

Be well pleased to acquaint yourself with none other than the Incredible Sir, Alex Merchant! He who’s name is heralded by kings and lords alike, is a long time Sim week participant,  he hails from the days of Paradigm and makes his triumphant return one last time to grace Sim week as a Sim team member. He enjoys many honorable causes and pass times, such as debate, reading,learning, blacksmithing and working with his hands, and the noblest of causes, leading and teaching.






johathan-neelMeet Jonathan Neel

Like you, I am a unique and interesting youth. I am a Batman fanatic and a huge gamer. I also enjoy reading, speech and debate, and gaining any knowledge I can get my hands on. I have attended 2 Simulation Weeks thus far.  Each has helped me build confidence, make friends, and gain knowledge. Based on my experience, if I could recommend any event for you to participate in this summer, it would be Simulations Week without a doubt.



Ryan JohnsonMeet Ryan Johnson

You may remember me either as the Time Lord who showed up at the last minute and saved your hides from implosion or as the the guy who headed a revolution against a communist government and, unfortunately, lost by the roll of a dice. I greatly enjoy reading most every kind book from fantasy and sci-fi, to self-improvement and philosophy. My favorite modern author is Brandon Sanderson and I will gladly nerd-out with anyone about his books. I also really enjoy playing the piano and I love listening to classical music. My favorite classical composer is Sergei Rachmaninoff. I enjoy history, politics and government and I want to become a part of state and national politics. Right now I am deeply interested in financial education. I want to become an entrepreneur and professional investor as well as retire before the age of thirty. (-just watch me do it)  This will be my fourth year participating in Simulations Week, and I am super excited to be participating this year as a member of the Sim Team!




Are you interested in being a member of the 2018 Sim Team? Candidates are considered and reviewed each year prior to invitation to join the team. All youth are welcome to submit a request to join the Sim Team. Include in your submission why you you make a good Sim Team member, and your birth date. Youth must be age 16 by the date of the simulation, and may remain on the team until their 19th birthday. Submit request to diann@familyeducationcoach.com

Spring Mentors_WEB

These incredible men and women  are prepared to work closely all week, with the youth attendees, to help them have a powerful and deeply meaningful experience at Simulations Week. They are also a lot of FUN to be with! Bios and Photos will be posted by December, 2016 for Mentors serving the 2017 Simulations Week event.










Kursten Mason


Kursten Mason is a joyful wife and mother of three wonderful children. She enjoys working with the Sim Team writers on developing new and exciting scenarios. This is her 6th year as a mentor for Simulations Week and it gets better every year. She’s been involved in and helped found two Commonwealth schools, worked as an online-school advisor, and is currently a part-time mentor of history, English, and French at Paradigm Charter School along with homeschooling her youngest. Years ago, she attended the University of Utah, served a mission in Paris France, and graduated with a BA in French education from BYU with a double minor in Psychology and Special Education. She enjoys walking, reading, writing, great discussions, and spending time with inspiring youth.






Christopher Jones (alias Mr. C) has for several years taught classes on history, civics, and Defense Against the Dark Arts both on- and off-line as part of the growing private/homeschool movement. This will be his third sim week. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in Classics (Roman History) and minors in English and History, and has a lifetime in politics to go with acting, singing, and writing. A sought-after speaker on education and history, he has published four books, dozens of articles and essays, and a long-running popular blog. Mr. C resides in Lehi, UT with his wife Mrs. C, their eight children, two cats, and a stray hummingbird.





Beverli Haroldsen

Beverli Haroldsen has been a Sim Week mentor for seven years. Working with and learning from the amazing youth who attend is one of the highlights of her year.  She is the mother of two children and has enjoyed a variety of occupations and hobbies, including homeschooling,  piano teaching, songwriting, gardening, taekwondo, hiking, substitute teaching, and volunteering in the community.  Beverli is currently on the school board for Paradigm Charter School.  She graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Linguistics and a Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language.






Assistant Mentor: Ethan Fausett

Ethan Fausett is a three year Sim Week attendee and is so excited to have the opportunity to assist this year.  Ethan’s education consisted mostly of homeschooling, but graduated from Connections Academy at the age of 16.  He also attended George Wythe University for 2 years.  Ethan interned for the Utah Eagle forum for three legislative sessions.  He was a member of the planning committee for the World Congress of Families.  Last year Ethan was elected as a state delegate for the Utah Republican Party and worked for Americans for Prosperity from the beginning of the summer through the election.





Are you interested in producing a Simulations Week event in your community? Check out the Simulations Week Mentoring Service.

Take an inside peek at Simulations Week! Here, for your enjoyment, are slide shows from the 2014 and 2015 Spring Simulations Week events:




Set of diverse college or university students isolated on white background. Different nationalities and dress styles. Cute and simple flat cartoon style.