Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Faith Like a River: A Program on Unitarian Universalist History for Adults

Alternate Activity 1: Unitarian Summer - The Isles of Shoals

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Print out the story and prepare to present it.
  • Invite two volunteers to read the parts of Mr. Elliott and Mr. Marvin. Provide them with the story in advance.
  • Optional: Download Poppies, Isles of Shoals and print out the image to pass around or prepare it as a digital slide.

Description of Activity

If you have the image, project or pass around Child Hassam's Poppies, Isles of Shoals, to set the scene. Introduce the story with these words, or words of your own:

Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist camps and conferences have been offering experiences to campers and conferees for well over a century. These settings and programs offer recreation and renewal, education and camaraderie. For many Unitarian Universalists, camps and conferences offer the only opportunity each year to live immersed in the values and principles of Unitarian Universalism surrounded by those of like mind and intention.

Each Unitarian Universalist camp, conference, and institute has its own illustrious and important history. In this activity, we'll consider the founding moment of one site that has hosted Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists for more than a century.

Read or tell the story, "Unitarian Summer - The Isles of Shoals." If you have volunteers to read the parts of Mr. Elliot and Mr. Marvin, take the narrator's role and read all the text that is not dialogue.

Invite participants to share experiences they have had at a Unitarian Universalist camp or conference center. In the words of Thomas Elliot, "given (so many people) of one mind and one purpose," did something "happen?"

Distribute paper and writing/drawing implements. Invite participants to let their imaginations create the perfect Unitarian Universalist camp or conference experience. Where would it be located? What would the site be like? What programs and activities would be offered? Who would attend? How long would a program run? What would be unique about the experience? Would it draw from or connect with other Unitarian Universalist experiences you have had?

Allow participants 15 minutes to write, draw, diagram, or otherwise put their dream on paper. Then, invite volunteers to share.