Support At GA
Your GA Youth Caucus Chaplains want you to know about the following resources. The Chaplain Team also has an on-call cell phone number that will be distributed before GA begins.
We are your Youth Caucus peer chaplains, Colleen and Hope, and we are so excited to meet you in just a little over a month in Portland! We, along with the rest of the Youth Caucus staff, are looking forward to working with all of you to foster a spiritually deep and caring community during our time together at General Assembly. Whether you’ve been to GA before or not, it can (and probably will) at times be both exciting and overwhelming. That’s perfectly normal and we’re here to support you throughout this incredibly immersive experience!
Here are some tips and resources that you can utilize at GA:
A chaplain is someone for you to talk to. A sort of spiritually equipped peer mediator. We have training in listening, crisis intervention and non-directive helping. We are here to provide you with an outlet for feelings and a compassionate presence. We won’t give you advice to solve a problem, but rather we will listen to you and help you come up with solutions yourself!
There are also amazing adult chaplains for the Youth Caucus! Their names are Kimberly and Steven and they’re super wonderful and fun and they would be happy to talk to you at any time.
You can call or text us anytime at GA at (503) 880-6093. This phone number will be activated on June 24th.
Come to a chaplain if. . .
- you’re feeling lonely
- you don’t know how to handle a situation
- you’re really excited about all of the rad things going on at GA
- you’re having difficulties with another GA attendee
- you have feelings about a workshop
- you want to talk about your cat that died
- something scary just happened
- you’re super pumped and high fives rock!
- you’re uncomfortable with something at GA
- you have a conflict that you’d like us to bring up with the rest of the Youth Caucus Staff
- you miss your parent/friend/significant other/banjo
- you’re worried about somebody
- you just want someone to talk to
The friendship table is…
a cool place to sit if you’d like some company and you can:
- play a board game!
- draw a picture!
- write something to put on the Good Deeds Wall or the Meetup Board!
- meet up for a meal!
- check in with a chaplain!
- find new friends!
The friendship table will be located in the Youth Caucus room, and you will be able to find a chaplain at the friendship table during each Youth Caucus programming slot. We ask that you don’t use the friendship table during Youth Caucus workshops and instead participate in the workshop that’s going on, but if you need to find a chaplain during a workshop that’s a good place to meet up with them.
- GA is a marathon not a sprint, pace yourself
- don’t feel like you have to do everything, but try some new things!
- drink water, eat, take showers
- check in with your sponsor, let them know if there’s anything they can do to help better your GA experience
- let the Youth Caucus Staff know if there’s anything they can do to help improve your experience at GA
- take time to sleep! Programming starts early and ends late and we want to be energized throughout!
- talk to someone post-programming to de-brief
At General Assembly, we have a structure in place to deal with interpersonal conflicts and relationships called the Right Relationship Team.
Right relationship is a community ideal achieved through a conversation and conflict resolution tool. The aim of the Right Relationship Team is to help GA attendees who feel out of relationship with others. This helps us align our actions with our UU Principles and with the covenants that we make with one another. You’ll see Right Relationship Team members (including Colleen and Hope!) in brightly colored t-shirts at GA. They give regular updates during general session on issues that have been brought to them and will create a space for public conversation if necessary. On top of being your peer chaplains, we will also be acting as youth liaisons to the Right Relationship Team, so feel free to come let us know if there’s anything you think that we should bring to the RRT’s attention.
We hope that GA is a wonderful experience for you all, and we believe that if we all work together we can create a space that is spiritually deep, fun, and encourages everyone to take good care of themselves and each other.
With love and care,
Colleen and Hope