Canadian Youth Cons
Youth cons, or conferences, are weekend gatherings of Unitarian Universalist (UU) youth and their adult advisors, with workshops, worship, group games, and other activities. They build community, foster spiritual and UU identity, encourage youth and adults to collaborate, and empower youth. Most are youth-led, with youth and adults working in partnership to create a fun, safe, and welcoming experience for all.
CanUUdle: The CUC’s annual national youth con takes place in a different city every year, but always on the May long weekend. Youth and adults stay in the local congregation’s building, hold their own activities there, and also join in multigenerational worship and workshops at the CUC’s annual conference. As the biggest youth con in Canada, CanUUdle is a great place to meet other UU youth and advisors and grow in your UU identity—and, of course, have fun!
May 18–21, 2018, at the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton, Ontario
Western Regional Gathering and Youth Con: Youth and advisors from Thunder Bay to Alberta gather for this annual regional con, which is part of a multigenerational gathering.
October 19–21, 2018, at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg, Manitoba
Other regional youth cons: Regional cons are regularly hosted by congregations in various parts of the country. Find upcoming youth events on the CUC’s calendar under the category “Youth .”
High school OWL weekends: In some regions, youth in grades 10–12 gather for a weekend of sexuality education through the Our Whole Lives curriculum, which is taught by trained adult facilitators. Find upcoming OWL weekends and trainings on the CUC’s calendar under the category “OWL.”
The CUC provides regular training and skill development opportunities for youth and adults working in youth ministry and for congregational leaders. In addition to in-person trainings, we also offer online webinars and roundtables. If your congregation would like to host or request training in leadership, spirituality development, peer chaplaincy, or youth advising, contact Asha Philar,
- Peer chaplain training for youth, young adults, and adults: Learn how to serve as a peer chaplain at a youth or young adult con or in a group setting. Trainer: Eric Bliss, Pacific Western Region Youth Ministry Specialist.
November 16-18, 2018, at the North Shore Unitarian Congregation in Vancouver, British Columbia
Youth events and programs of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in the United States:
- Summer Seminary is a week-long program for Unitarian Universalist youth exploring the possibility of becoming a religious professional, with a focus on ordained UU ministry. Youth will be able to explore their call to ministry in all its forms, and connect with other youth considering ministry, religious education, and other religious professional career paths. Summer Seminary is open to youth who were in grades 10–12 in the 2017–18 school year. Space is limited, so apply early.
July 24–30, 2018, at Meadville-Lombard Theological School in Chicago, Illinois
- Meaning Makers is a year-long spiritual development program for UU emerging adults (ages 18–24). Through in-person retreats, virtual small group ministry, and mentorship, emerging adults will explore the central questions “Who am I and how can I live my UU faith in the world?” CUC staff member Asha Philar is one of the facilitators of Meaning Makers.
June 5–9, 2018, at UbarU Retreat Center, San Antonio, Texas
- The General Assembly Youth Caucus is held as part of General Assembly, the annual gathering of the UUA, which is attended by thousands of UUs every year. Youth and young adults are vital members of the GA community, participating in their own programming and joining fully in the business of the association. The Youth Caucus brings together all youth attendees of GA for workshops, worship, social events, and more.
June 20–24, 2018, in Kansas City, Missouri
- Thrive Youth is a five-day summer leadership program for UU youth of colour. At Thrive, participants build relationships, develop leadership skills, and explore their own racial and ethnic identities and UU identity.
- Thrive Youth East: July 25–29, 2018, in Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Thrive Youth West: August 1–5, 2018, in Long Beach, California
In addition, Thrive Young Adult serves UU young adults of colour, ages 18–35.
- The Intergenerational Spring Seminar is a UU gathering held in New York City, with a youth con component. Each seminar focuses on a social or environmental justice theme with panel discussions, community building activities, keynote speeches, and worship services. Participants join with other UU youth and adults to explore some of the most challenging issues facing humanity today.
April 11-13, 2019, in New York City