In back-to-school essays about "what did I do this summer," members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have had a few things to write about, including remembering the pioneers on treks and a variety of service activities.

In Georgia, the Atlanta Journal Constitution featured photos of some of the 250 youths and leaders who re-enacted a handcart trek in Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area.

"I couldn't imagine doing what the pioneers did because it was so strenuous even with all the help we had," Kelsey Johnson, 14, told writer Bo Emerson. "My feet were slipping in the mud and just when we thought we were at the top, there would be another steep hill. I was really glad when it was over because it was exhausting."

The Gettysburg Times in Pennsylvania shared an article about 120 youths who had a three-day trek, including an evening of square dancing.

Others remembered the Mormon pioneers with festivities.

The Walton, Fla., Sun featured the Sandestin Branch's celebration of breakfast and history sharing.

In Ohio, Roger Miller recounts a recent trip to Salt Lake City and the history of a nearby LDS congregation in the Middletown Journal.

In Sparta, N.J., Mormon Helping Hands volunteers from the local Sparta Ward helped spread 80 yards of mulch at the Whitelake Road Sports Fields in about three hours on July 21, the Sparta Independent reported.

In Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., more than 200 women helped out July 24 at a Humanitarian Night of Service, the Orange Country Register reported. The projects included collecting food for South County Outreach, collecting professional clothing for Working Wardrobes, sewing diaper-changing pads for Casa Theresa and creating quilts for the teens at Orangewood Children's Home.

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In Tennessee, a new LDS chapel was approved on Sunset Road in Nolensville, the Tennessean reported.

Currently, the ward members drive 30 to 40 minutes to the nearest building in Nashville.

In Connecticut, the Mormons in Trumbull celebrated 50 years of years of having a local chapel, the Trumbull Patch reported. It was in 1962 when their building was dedicated and it was back when local members raised money for their chapels.

The article also highlights the ways local LDS Church members have pitched in and served.