By Joanne Dingus
This year I got to take my love for working with youth to the national level. From June 24th-30th , I participated at General Assembly as a Youth Advisor/Sponsor Coordinator. My job was to support the youth caucus staff and to be of service to all the parents and guardians sponsoring youth. We had 316 youth registered for the youth program. After settling in and meeting with Youth Caucus staff to go over last minute details, my first responsibility was to help present an orientation session for the sponsors. With my co-workers James, Jessica, I spent an hour and a half going over safety information, ways to keep in touch, expectations on participation, emergency procedures and how to bring the experience of GA home. I think the orientation went very well because we had very few issues during the week.
As a Youth Advisor, I spent much of my time going to youth sponsored workshops and events. Some of the youth workshops included: Exploring Spiritual Practices, Your Inner Super Hero, Be The Change (this was from the same program that we are using this summer for the middle and high school group here at UUFP), Creating Connections: Youth, UU Identity and Interfaith Partnership. At this last workshop we had a visit from Ware lecturer Sister Simone Campbell.
During the evenings, I went to the worship services and then to the youth game night, the dance and WaterFire a local festival in Providence.
I especially enjoyed the youth led Synergy Service and The Service of the Living Tradition where I got to watch Rev. Andrew be recognized for receiving Final Fellowship.
Jaimie was an active participant in several programs put on by The Sanctuary Boston. She also got to do a GA talk on her experience at Summer Seminary. It was an added perk to get to watch her sing and speak at GA.
It was a wonderful week for me. I was so proud of the youth on staff. They were so responsible and thoughtful and brought their whole selves to the work of the week. It was also great to re-connect with ministers and DRE’s whom I’ve met over the years. I would definitely do this again if I have the opportunity and would certainly recommend going to GA and getting involved as a volunteer.