The CanUUdle Staff is a group of 10 youth and 2 adults who work together to plan the annual, national youth con. Check out the staff positions below.
What does CanUUdle Staff do?
CanUUdle is a youth con by and for youth. The staff team plans the con schedule, workshops, activities, worships and runs the show during the weekend. From January to May, the staff team gathers in monthly online meetings and works in small teams to plan the schedule and program. During CanUUdle, the staff collectively function as important community stewards, organizers and, most importantly, role models and leaders of the youth community.
Planning is supported by the CanUUdle Coordinator, a part-time contract staff who works with the staff team and organizes logistics. Heather MacLean-Smith is the CanUUdle Coordinator for 2018-19; contact her by emailing email@example.com.
Why would you want to be on CanUUdle staff?
- To give back to our wonderful youth community by planning a con where everyone can enjoy themselves, make great friends, and explore their UU identity.
- To develop your leadership skills, learn how to organize a big event, plan a schedule, facilitate meetings and much more!
- To meet amazing youth and adults from across Canada and the U.S. and make long lasting friendships through the planning process.
Regardless of the size and scope of your role, everyone on staff commits to working together to collectively create and lead each year’s CanUUdle program. Plan on spending an average of 5-7 hours per month on CanUUdle planning between January and May, with a heavier commitment right before the con.
All staff commit to:
- Participating in online planning meetings (5 meetings between January and May)
- Maintaining regular communication with each other via the CanUUdle email group and the staff Facebook group
- Generating ideas and a vision for the whole con
- Following through on tasks for their staff role, and for general con planning
- Asking for help when needed (and before deadlines are past)
CanUUdle Planning Timeline:
- Staff application deadline: November 12
- Co-deans chosen: November 23
- Other staff positions chosen: December 5
- The first All Staff meeting will be a must-attend meeting the week of December 17-21.
- All CanUUdle staff are required to arrive at the CanUUdle site by 5:00 pm on Thursday
(one day before the Con begins) and should stay until after 3:00 pm on Monday following the clean-up and full staff debrief.
- All CanUUdle staff must agree to follow the CUC Code of Ethics and all CUC Youth policies.
- Partial funding is available to subsidize the staff’s travel and/or registration costs. The staff will distribute available funds among themselves based on individual needs and travel costs. We will not turn anyone away due to financial constraints! Additional funding is available through the CUC Youth and Young Adult Subsidy Fund.
The staff team works collaboratively to plan the con program, but individual staff have main responsibility for their area. Click on each role to see what’s involved.
Co-Deans (2 youth, preferably from the local congregation/area)
These fine people lead the planning and operation of the entire conference and are responsible for helping select the rest of the staff. The main role of the Co-Deans is to delegate, empower and help others to get their tasks done. If you prefer to have concrete jobs and really get into detailed planning this is probably not the best role for you. They work closely with the CanUUdle Coordinator and the CUC Staff to oversee the whole program of CanUUdle and create the con schedule.
During CanUUdle, the Co-Deans are the head and hands of the conference – they hold it all together and are the public voice of the Con staff – making announcements, running orientation and keeping the community updated on everything that’s going on.
Main Responsibilities of the Co-Deans:
- being the leaders of the Con staff team, including facilitating all planning meetings and keeping track of assigned tasks
- proposing the theme of the Con (this is a perk for taking on the bulk of the responsibility of the Con planning)
- holding the vision for the con and helping staff members plan programming that fits the vision and theme
- checking in with all the Con staff regularly and ensuring that planning is rolling along adequately
- being visible and engaged during the Con, checking in frequently with the Con staff and advisors to keep the Con running smoothly for the whole weekend
Qualities that make great Co-Deans include:
- big picture thinking and a sense of ‘vision’ for how they want the Con to turn out
- being strong delegators who are able to help others work through problems and tasks without doing their work for them
- organized and self-motivated, good at communicating regularly with the team
- good at working collaboratively with youth and adults
- being able to discern when to step in and help with more hands-on tasks when their staff need support
- strong public speaking skills (the Co-Deans are expected to make most announcements and run the Opening Orientation at the beginning of the Con)
- eagerness to ask for clarifications and help (instead of being a lone ranger or getting paralyzed if they don’t understand something)
- willingness to check in frequently on how the rest of the Con staff is doing and no fear of providing frequent reminders about getting things done
- enthusiasm and passion for Cons, UUism and for leading other youth
Interested, but not sure whether being co-dean would be right for you? You can contact Asha Philar to talk it over at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at Asha Philar CUC.
Activity Coordinators (2 youth)
The Activities Coordinators are responsible for organizing all the workshops and major program activities that happen throughout the conference. They do not have to lead every activity, but should make sure that there are leaders for each part. They work with the co-deans and staff team to make sure that the CanUUdle program is engaging, spiritual, fun, safe and related to the con theme. This is a great position for someone who has lots of ideas and a strong understanding of how to build con community.
Main Responsibilities of the Activities Coordinators:
- planning and organizing all the workshops and major program activities that happen throughout the conference, including:
- creating and planning the workshops and activities that will happen over the course of the Con weekend, ensuring most have a meaningful connection to the Con’s theme
- recruiting workshop and activity leaders, and offering support and guidance to them during the weekend
- planning any bigger, large-group activities (ie – an all Con game or craft project, a trip to a park, a field trip, a coffee house, dance, scavenger hunt, etc)
- working with the Co-Deans to plan when all of the activities will happen so that they fit into the master schedule smoothly
- corresponding with any youth who have volunteered to lead a workshop, to help them fit their idea with the Con’s theme and to find out what supplies or other supports they’ll need
- providing a list of supplies needed for activities, while staying within the Con’s budget
Qualities that make a great Activities Coordinator:
- being energetic, creative and comfortable working with groups of all sizes
- having a strong vision of what kinds of activities you want to plan
- able to recruit other leaders, delegate work, and support other staff
- having lots of ideas for fun, interesting, and engaging activities
- experience organizing events and working with groups
Advisor’s Advisor (1 adult)
The Advisors’ Advisor’s (aka the Adult Coordinator) main work comes during the Con, by providing support to CanUUdle advisors and helping to ensure they are well integrated into the community. This person acts as a liaison between CanUUdle staff and the advisors before and during the Con.
Pre-Con responsibilities include:
- checking in frequently with and supporting the Co-Deans and other staff especially around program related planning (workshops, worship & special events etc.)
- representing advisor/adult concerns in CanUUdle staff meetings
- updating the “Advisor FAQ” as needed, and sending out a pre-con email to advisors
Con responsibilities include:
- planning and facilitating the advisor orientation and daily advisor meetings
- planning an advisor check in workshop during the con
- mentoring new advisors about how to participate in the con community
- presenting advisors’ appreciation and concerns at CanUUdle staff meetings
Good attributes for this position include: a nuanced understanding of youth empowerment; previous experience attending Cons as an adult; good listening skills; experience as a youth advisor; comfort facilitating meetings; and strong knowledge of the appropriate role and boundaries of adult advisors.
Chaplains (1 youth and 1 adult)
Chaplains are the spiritual resources for the conference community and their main duties come during the Con. They work with other staff members and youth at the conference to help ensure a healthy conference community, and are available to individuals who seek support (including the staff).
Before the Con, the Chaplains work with the Community Captain in planning how best to do outreach and include all the CanUUdle first-timers both before and during the Con. The chaplains also recruit 2-3 “chaplain helpers” ahead of time to help them support the community. If a youth needs to leave the site for a trip to the hospital at any point during CanUUdle, a chaplain may be asked to go along.
A great con chaplain should have: superb listening skills; strong empathy; strong personal boundaries and ability to deal with individuals in distress.
Training and Experience:
It is helpful to have UU youth chaplaincy training, but not required for this position. Youth may have gained skills and experience through peer mentor/support programs at school, peer listening workshops, lay pastoral care in a congregation, or through other learning opportunities. Chaplains will be given training before the con about safety guidelines, healthy boundaries, and crisis management procedure.
Adult Chaplains do not need to be ordained UU ministers (although Ministers and seminarians are welcome!) but they do need a good understanding of the spiritual and emotional needs of youth, as well as some pastoral care experience.
Community Captain (1 youth)
The Community Captain helps to create an awesome and inclusive con community where everyone feels as comfortable and safe as possible. They work closely with the Activities Coordinators, Chaplains, and the CanUUdle Coordinator to ensure that first-time CanUUdle participants are particularly welcomed and integrated into community.
Main Responsibilities of the Community Captain:
- ensuring that everyone, but in particular first time Con participants, are actively welcomed and integrated into the Con community
- planning and running icebreakers and games on the first night of the con that will start to build community
- this could include getting name tags & mail bags decorated but should also include icebreaker and ‘get to know you’ type activities
- planning and leading a “nUUbie” orientation with support from the Co-Deans and/or one of the Chaplains (or another staff)
- working closely with the Co-Deans to plan the Con’s Opening Orientation
- Coordinating Spirit Corps: recruiting this team of volunteers as well as orienting, leading and coordinating that team’s work during the Con weekend
Qualities that make a great Community Captain:
- being passionate about creating inclusive community, fostering friendships and discouraging cliques
- a good understanding of how to go about building a welcoming and inclusive conference community
- a sensitive ‘radar’ for gauging the energy and mood of the Con community over all and sensing ‘where people are at’
- knowledge of various games and activities they can draw on easily if community building is needed at any point, or if there’s extra unforeseen waiting time
- being comfortable leading groups of all sizes
- strong listening and problem-solving skills in case problems in the community arise that need addressing (ie – cliques, bullying, inappropriate behaviour, etc)
Memory Keeper/Publicity Coordinator (1 youth)
*This used to be two separate positions, but is now rolled into one because registration is the responsibility of CUC staff.
The Memory Keeper / Publicity Coordinator, is responsible for helping to publicize and promote CanUUdle and for documenting and sharing con memories.
Memory Keeper responsibilities:
- During the con: document the experience and participants with photo and/or video
- (optional): can run a workshop for other CanUUdlers to contribute to this online “mugbook” or keepsake
- After the con: share photos from the con in some electronic format, which could include photos of participants and activities, illustrations, quotations, short interviews, graphics, poetry, music, videos and anything else that will capture the spirit and flavor of CanUUdle.
- Determine the platform or format to use, such as Facebook albums, Flicker, blogs, google docs, tumblr, etc.
- Ensure that photos are stored securely so participants have access to all these mementos and pictures.
- The format of this treasure trove of memories should be largely prepared before the conference. (see an example of the memory site that was created by the 2013 memory keeper)
- working with the CanUUdle Coordinator to promote CanUUdle to Canadian Youth
- publicizing the con and registration deadlines through the CanUUdle Facebook Event, Facebook groups and Instagram
- managing the CanUUdle Instagram feed before the con to drum up excitement and remind youth about registration dates
- posting to the CanUUdle Instagram during the con, as appropriate, to connect with youth and adults who are not attending
- posting highlights to Instagram and Facebook after the con, as necessary
Qualities needed for this role:
- strong knowledge and familiarity with available technologies
- comfort using social media, especially Facebook and Instagram
- great communication skills and ability to write posts and captions
- interest in photography
- dedication to seeing a project through to its end, as well as being able to work well in a largely self directed manner and dedication
- creativity and organizational skills
- access to a digital camera is ideal but not required – we can make arrangements to borrow one
Touch Group Coordinator (1 youth)
The Touch Group Coordinator helps con goers get to know each other better in small groups by coordinating Touch Group sessions. They are responsible for planning activities for touch group, and recruiting, training and supporting touch group leaders.
Main Responsibilities of the Touch Group Coordinator:
- planning all of the Touch Group (TG) sessions for the conference, including putting together a fairly detailed outline/script of each TG session that provides suggested activities and resources for TG Leaders to use with their group
- recruiting all the TG Leaders ahead of time – from people who volunteer on their registration form, and by finding others who would be a good fit
- diving con participants into Touch Groups ahead of time, using registration information
- working with the Workshop & Activities Coordinator to determine when the TG sessions will happen in the Con’s schedule
Qualities that make a great Touch Group Coordinator:
- having a strong understanding of how to create safe space
- having lots of ideas about how to create meaningful and deep Touch Groups that include both silly and spiritual activities that are engaging, and will encourage sharing, bonding and spiritual growth
- being organized
- being an approachable and strong communicator with both youth and adults
- a good facilitator and comfortable working with groups of all sizes
Worship Coordinators (2 youth)
The Worship Coordinators plan nightly CanUUdle worships for each evening of the Con, and a closing circle Monday morning. Together they are also responsible for working with the Young Adult Worship Coordinators in creating and leading the Bridging Worship. The Worship Coordinators may run a Worship Planning Workshop for participants to help plan worship at CanUUdle, if they want. They can also recruit interested CanUUdlers to assist them in leading the CanUUdle worships.
Desired attributes for this position include:
- prior experience planning and leading worship for a youth Con
- having a “worshipful presence”
- being an excellent facilitator
- being creative and insightful
- being adaptable to the circumstances of the conference
- having ideas for and experience with planning youth worship
- being able to collaborate effectively
- having Spirituality Development Conference (or similar) training and/or song leading or other musical talents is also helpful.
Please allow about 15-20 minutes to complete this application. You’ll also need 1 youth and 1 adult reference so make sure you have those before submitting it. It is possible to save the form and continue later (just click “Save & Continue” instead of “Submit”)