In 1991 Jaco Ten Hove and others in the Pacific Northwest started a grand experiment, adapting the idea of a week long leadership school into a leadership school for youth. I first encountered Goldmine trained youth leaders as co-leaders of training I was leading in 2005, and Wow! They were impressive. Articulate, self-assured, responsible, passionate. And they each told me, in some way, that Goldmine transformed them, gave them this confidence and capacity. This was something Iwanted for our youth. And, a few years ago, it happened, Goldmine went continental and Metro New York had their first Goldmine in 2011. But one Goldmine isn’t enough for a whole region! So, in 2013 we started TWO Goldmines for the CERG region. One we dubbed “east” and one “west” (I know, creative). We have been joined in this effort by southern Ontario making this a truly “better together” effort.
And, as we hoped, we have been seeing the same transformation in our youth! From the manual, “GoldMineis nota camp or conference, but a concentrated series of workshops, reflection and sharing. The total experience equips young Unitarian Universalists with a foundation that deepens their religious development and expands their ability to contribute, both in their UU communities and in wider applications.”
Goldmine has a series of structured workshops in leadership skills, UU values and heritage, and leading worship co-led by youth and adults. Interwoven into this is a process of self-reflection on beliefs and values and multiple opportunities to lead and participate in community deepening worship. I have seen youth change before my eyes. And they leave with lifelong friends.
If you want to see your congregation’s youth ministry grow and transform, send your youth to Goldmine. Goldmine trained youth are serving in tremendous leadership positions across our region: as worship associates, co-chairing a regional team of youth leaders, as Youth Adult Committee leaders, as facilitators of training programs, as strong local youth leaders building the kind of local youth community every youth deserves.
Register here: rates increase on May 1st.