Sponsor Welcome and Responsibilities
Hello, Adult Youth Sponsor!
Welcome to General Assembly 2015 – Building a New Way!
We are Shannon Harper, James Forrest and Sam Wilson – Adult Advisors to the Youth Caucus Staff and your Sponsor Coordinators!
The first thing we’d like to say is THANK YOU!
Large spiritual communities like Youth Caucus can be powerful, life-changing, and deeply meaningful, but they cannot happen without the help of adult Youth Sponsors such as yourselves. Whether you’re brand-new or have done this a dozen times, you are vitally important.
WE’RE GLAD YOU’RE HERE!
Youth Caucus provides meaningful, relevant programming opportunities that make GA a positive, spiritually-engaging, justice-seeking experience for youth.
What YOU Do – What WE Do:
You, the Sponsor, are responsible for the safety, health and well-being of the youth you are sponsoring at all times throughout GA. We, the Sponsor Coordinators, will support your efforts by helping you and your youth overcome disagreements, reassuring you in your role as sponsor, helping connect you with your youth if you have lost contact with them, fielding your concerns about youth-related programming, and working to make sure you and other adults feel welcome at Youth Caucus programming. In the event of a youth emergency, we will work with you, the UUA staff and the appropriate emergency teams to manage the situation.
What to Expect From Us, Your Sponsor Coordinators
- We support you the sponsor, and are your primary contacts at Youth Caucus.
- We can be reached at any time during GA by phone.
- At least one of us will be at every Youth Caucus-sponsored activity.
- Contact us if you need us – we’ll contact you if we need you. Our phone number (for texts and calls) at General Assembly is 971-400-1949. This phone will be activated on June 24th.
- With the Youth Caucus chaplains and UUA staff, we will support your youth if something happens to you.
What To Do on the First Day of GA
- Come to the mandatory Youth Caucus Orientation on Wednesday from 4:30-6:00! This is where you will meet us and all the other Youth Caucus leaders, and can get any last-minute questions answered. If you arrive at General Assembly after this orientation, there will be daily make-up opportunities at 8:30 am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Youth and sponsors are required to attend the first orientation that occurs after their arrival. This is the only required Youth Caucus event.
- Look around! Take a deep breath! Get excited! This is going to be an AWESOME WEEK!!!
What To Do to Prepare for GA
In order to have the best GA experience possible, we recommend that you and your youth get to know each other and develop a plan. Before you come to Portland, take some time to talk things through so that your expectations of each other are clear. We recommend that youth, sponsors and parents/guardians create and sign their own written “Agreement” together, with expectations for youth and sponsor roles, responsibilities and limits. Download our PDF Sample Agreement.
Look it over. Modify it. Make it your own. It is your agreement between yourselves!
Agreements between youth, sponsors and parents should be built on mutual respect and understanding. Everyone benefits when youth, sponsors and parents all agree in advance what they expect from each other. You may want to print your own modified version of this document and formally sign it in each other’s presence to help you remember the covenant you have made with each other.
We are SO looking forward to Building a New Way with you in Portland!
Shannon Harper, James Forrest and Sam Wilson
*Questions before arriving? Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any inquires about Youth Caucus prior to GA.