This page provides information for advisors who are considering attending a youth conference. If you’ve already decided to attend a youth event as an advisor and want more information about best practices for adults in this role, check out this document: FAQs About Being an Advisor at a CUC Youth Con.
What is an adult advisor/sponsor?
An adult advisor (also known simply as an advisor, a youth advisor, or a sponsor), is an adult who is at least 25 years old and is approved by their congregation to accompany youth to a youth event.
What’s involved in being an advisor at CanUUdle?
Adults are an important part of CanUUdle. Not only is adult presence required for safety reasons (all CUC youth events with an overnight component maintain a youth:adult ratio of 8:1), but adult advisors are also considered full members of the CanUUdle community. Youth highly value having adults in their lives (other than parents and teachers) who they trust and can share experiences with. For these reasons, we encourage adult advisors to participate in the conference as fully as they are able. This includes sleeping over all nights of the con, and participating in activities.
Being an adult advisor at a con is an opportunity to deepen relationships with youth in your group, witness and support youth leadership in action, and build friendships and support networks with other advisors. Many adults find it to be an incredibly fun and rewarding role.
Adult advisor duties
- Each adult advisor may sponsor up to eight youth. Most often these are youth from your own congregation whom you already know. Sometimes youth who do not have a sponsor attending with them may be paired with an adult from another congregation.
- Before the event:
- Get to know the youth you are sponsoring: be in touch with them and their parents/guardians before the con. Learn how they are feeling about participating and if ask they need any special support to be able to participate fully.
- Make sure the youth and their parents/guardians know how to contact you during the event.
- During the event:
- You are the go-to adult for the youth you are sponsoring.
- Check-in with your youth each day of the con.
- Meal times and breaks are a natural time to do this.
- In the case of a covenant or rule breach involving one of your youth, you will be their advocate and will provide support throughout the resolution process.
Special events for adult advisors
Before the event:
- Advisor orientation: There will be at least one Zoom session in the weeks leading up to CanUUdle for registered advisors to meet each other, the Advisors’ Advisor (a position on the CanUUdle staff team dedicated to supporting advisors), and CUC staff. We will go over how to be an advisor at a con and answer any questions you have. Once you register, you will be contacted with the details.
During the event:
- Advisor check-ins: There is generally one scheduled check-in each day. It gives advisors an opportunity to connect with each other about how things are going for the advisors and for the youth in their groups.
- Bridging events: Young adult advisors (25-35 year olds) are welcome to attend the bridging social events with the young adult community of Chorus.
What about breaks? Do I have to stay the whole time?
We strive for a balance of participating in the community as fully as possible while also taking care of ourselves. While the CanUUdle schedule does include downtime, it is important to know that it is a very full four days. We expect that everyone will need to take breaks/naps, so please do. We just ask that you are in touch with the Advisors’ Advisor about when you will be “off duty” so that they can make sure that youth:adult ratios are maintained. Please also let the youth you are sponsoring know when you will be taking a break/nap, and where they can find you during this time if something comes up.
If you will need to leave the site during the event, please coordinate this with the Advisors’ Advisor before the conference.
I can’t commit to the whole weekend. Can I switch off with another adult?
We prefer to have all participants around from start to finish; this helps the community to build trust and deepen. However, sometimes it’s just not possible. If you need to make alternate arrangements, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I need to register and pay? What forms do I need to submit?
Yes, adult advisors need to register and pay for CanUUdle using the same registration form and sliding scale fee as the youth. Many congregations will cover or supplement the cost for advisors to attend youth cons; we encourage you to talk to your congregation about how they might support you in this important work.
In addition to the registration form, adult advisors need a Congregational Involvement Form to be signed and submitted on their behalf by a church staff or board member.
What if there are no adults from our congregation who are available to attend the event with our youth?
It is almost always possible to match youth who do not have an advisor with an adult from another congregation. The youth simply needs to indicate this on their registration form. (There is a question specifically about this). The conference coordinator will be in touch with the youth and their parent/guardian a few weeks before the event to confirm the match and put them in touch with their advisor so that they can get to know each other before the con.
Did we miss something? If you still have questions about being an adult advisor at CanUUdle, please contact CanUUdle Coordinator at email@example.com. For questions about other youth events, contact Casey Stainsby at firstname.lastname@example.org.