Central East Region
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CER River Rising Summer Youth Immersion Experience

NOTE - Due to COVID-19, this event has been postponed to 2021. This summer we offer the Treehouse for UU Youth. Learn more about this online program.

River Rising is the CER summer youth immersive program. In 2019 we began this program. We learned from Goldmine Youth Leadership School and created a program for this time. 

These times of change and uncertainty call for a certain kind of UU leadership. A leadership that is rooted in our Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist history but is also ready to re-examine and question old narratives and ways of being. A leadership that honors our ancestors while making way for new innovative and emergent voices. A leadership grounded in justice, skilled in listening and able to move between support, witness, organizing and pastoral care within our congregations and in the wider world.

At River Rising Youth will spend a week creating community and learning to care for that community spiritually, pastorally and physically. They will have conversations about how Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist values influence their own sense of purpose and work on articulating their own faith based values. We’ll approach leadership as a continual process of self reflection, group processing and practice work. And we’ll have a lot fun just hanging out and playing together!

The school is taught by pairs of youth and adult Guides. Youth Guides are experienced leaders. A typical day at River Rising will consist of youth led worships, silent reflection time, small group discussions, team based cooking projects, games and activities to teach leadership skills, and of course necessary free time. 

Want to apply to be a guide? Use the appropriate form below:

Read about the 2019 River Rising experience here and the reasons for the shifts here in these two blog posts by CER staff Shannon Harper.

To attend River Rising youth should be entering grades 10-12 the following school year or the equivalent home school age 15-18. Youth outside that range who wish to attend River Rising should contact Shannon Harper, sharper@uua.org.

There are two or more offerings of this event each summer in the Central East Region. Registration will open in December 2019. For 2020 the training dates and locations are:

  • July 5-11 at UU Church of the North Hills, Pittsburgh, PA. Click to register.

  • July 27-Aug 2 at Main Line UU Church, Philadelphia PA. Click to register

In 2021 we are planning the following dates and locations:

  • Early July in central PA

  • Mid August in eastern NY

Half Scholarships are available for this event. These scholarships should be matched by congregational funding (therefore equaling a full scholarship). Deadline is June 1 for applications. After that date, we will accept applications on a rolling basis until our funds are used. Apply for a scholarship (but only do so after applying for River Rising).

All tuition must be paid in full by cancellation date. Full refund available until cancellation date. $75 processing fee afterwards until two weeks before event. Refunds after this only available in cases of illness.

Have questions? Check our FAQ. Still need an answer? Email Shannon Harper (sharper@uua.org) .

Shannon Harper, CER Staff for Youth and Young Adult Programming introduces the new youth leadership school, River Rising.

River Rising Logo, honor ancestors, find balance, ground yourself, weave connections, leadership for a new future.
Youth at Goldmine

Youth from River Rising 2019