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 on even-numbered years, 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!
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 in October each year. Find out about the next WRFG Youth Con by searching on the CUC’s calendar under the category “youth.”
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.”
Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Youth Cons: The CUC’s Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Reflection Guide for youth is in the format of a weekend con. This program uses the CBC’s Eighth Fire series and creative activities to explore the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the place now known as Canada. It is facilitated by a trained team of youth and adults, in partnership with local Indigenous elders or educators. To find out about the next THR Youth Con in your area, search the CUC’s calendar under “youth.” If you’d like to learn more about hosting a THR Youth Con, contact Casey: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 contact Casey Stainsby, Youth and Young Adult Program and Events Coordinator, at email@example.com.
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. 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 past. Space is limited, so apply early.
- 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?”
- GA Youth 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. GA Youth brings together all youth attendees of GA for workshops, worship, social events, and more.
- 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.
- 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.