Goldmine Youth Leadership School

spiral-by-hollyhuntingtonWhat is Goldmine?

Goldmine is an intensive seven-day school for youth where students will:

  • Learn to better leaders and communicators
  • Explore paths of worship and practice creating and leading worship services
  • Work together on a service project
  • Develop a personal credo
  • Share and collaborate in small groups
  • Deepen knowledge of Unitarian Universalists’ challenging religious heritage and values
  • Hone leadership skills to better help heal our world

What have others said about Goldmine? Read their testimonials.

Goldmine is a youth leadership development program, that began in 1991 at a summer camp, in the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Pacific North West District (PNWD). The program is usually offered as a six night, seven day, summer leadership school and may be based at a congregation or a camp or retreat centre.

Goldmine has four main learning streams:

  • Leadership Skills Development
  • Worship Arts
  • Religious Values and Heritage
  • Credo
Rev. Jaco B. ten Hove, one of the program’s founders, describes Goldmine as follows:
“This Leadership School is designed to challenge and train self-selected Unitarian Universalist youth (ages 14-20) in three areas: Leadership Skills Development, Worship, and Religious Values & Heritage…This Leadership School is not a camp or conference, but a concentrated series of workshops, reflection and sharing.”

Goldmine’s program is inspired by a “laboratory” learning model and is delivered in an intentional religious and worshiping community that gives all the participants, staff included, the opportunity to practice and reflect upon what is being taught and learned. Students participate in two small groups – one larger group which is activity and planning focused and another smaller one, which primarily provides a space for sharing and reflection. Mid-week, the whole school works together on a service project.

Over the years the program has changed and evolved but it has continued to be wildly successful in the PNWD, and has spread right across Canada and the United states creating a large cohort of youth and young adults who have gained valuable leadership skills, self-confidence and had the chance to deepen their understanding of and commitment to their UU faith.

Goldmine & the CUC

hands spiralIn 2008, the PNWD staff offered a Continental Goldmine Training of Trainers which allowed the program to be shared with youth, youth advisors and other youth allies from all over the United States and Canada.  Because of this training, there are now about a number of Goldmine-inspired programs being run in various locations every summer.

In 2009, the CUC piloted Goldmine at the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga and due to how successful it was there, offered it again in 2011 at Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Toronto.

Unfortunately, after the initial pilot in 2009, securing sufficient numbers of participants to run Goldmine successfully in Canada has proved to be a continuing challenge. Though meaningful and useful to the participants, the 2011 Goldmine was very small and the 2015 Goldmine (which was scheduled to take place at at Unicamp) had such low registration it had to be cancelled.
Committed to offering both high quality and cost effective programming, at this time CUC staff are continuing to partner and collaborate with UUA Districts and Regions so that Canadian youth can still access this great program should schools held in US locations. Information about 2016 dates and locations should be forth coming in winter of 2015.

  • Youth interested in attending Goldmine should contact Ariel Hunt-Brondwin for application details.

Why is Goldmine So Important?

Goldmine is a crucial tool in the Unitarian Youth community, because it prepares youth to be leaders within both their congregations, and the world at large. It provides important skills that ground youth in their faith and allows for growth. Many youth leave our denomination after they bridge to Young Adulthood, Goldmine is a time-tested tool that keeps youth rooted in our faith.

What do I, as a Youth, get out of this?

You get to be at the front wave of an amazing youth leadership school. You get to work with totally energized youth and adult staff who have a passion for empowerment! You get the warmth of knowing that you have worked to inspire a generation into achieving excellence.   You get to participate in a program that is led by youth, for youth where you learn about the vast history of our movement, practical leadership skills, how to lead diverse and engaging worships and create a community that will last a lifetime.

Who should attend?

Youth ages 14 – 20 who want to go deep – into what it means to be a UU leader, into learning how to create and hold sacred space in worship and ritual, and into our tradition’s call to building just, beloved community.

Goldmine is for you, if you’ve ever:

  • Been staff at a Con
  • Felt moved by a justice issue
  • Worked on a committee
  • Taken part in a worship service
  • Organized anything
  • Or wanted to do any of these things

You can expect to gain the confidence and competence to put your faith in action, to take a more meaningful role in the life of your congregation, your region and your wider community.