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For GA Youth Trip Organizers
For GA Youth Trip Organizers

Bringing a group of youth to GA this year and don't know where to start? Or do you wish your youth trip to GA was easier? Check out this video series of advice and what to expect from religious educators who are veterans of the GA youth experience.

We'll release a new video every few weeks, so keep coming back to check out the best thing to do next.

This series is hosted by:

  • Deborah Neisel-Sanders (administrator, UUA Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries)
  • Jessica Laikeman (director of faith formation at High Plains Church UU, Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Mary Carter-Vail (director of religious exploration at Summit UU Fellowship, Santee, CA)
  • Scott Stewart (director of religious education at Eliot Unitarian Chapel, Kirkwood, MO)

Part 1: Let's All Go to GA!

Part 1: Let's All Go to GA!

Video recording: 14 minutes, 36 seconds

What the heck is GA? Why should our congregation spend all this time and money to send youth there? We'll share with you some reasons that you can share with others as to why this particular youth experience is so valuable. We also talk about strategies in initial planning. Here's how we motivate people in the congregation to get them excited and supportive: From the board, staff, parents, and youth themselves!

Notes & Links

Part 2: Let's All Go to GA!

Part 2: Let's All Go to GA!

Video recording: 15 minutes, 58 seconds

How much does it cost? How do you budget? How do we get everybody there? Our experts share their planning and fundraising ideas to help finance a GA trip. Find out how to make it accessible for all families involved, and where you can scrimp and save to do it on the cheap. And hang in there! Parts of the process are scary, but it always seems to come together in the end.

Notes & Links

Part 3: Let's All Go to GA!

Part 3: Let's All Go to GA!

Video recording: 11 minutes, 4 seconds

Where will we all stay while at GA? How do we make those arrangements? What about food? How can we feed the whole group for a full week (including late nights) on the cheap? Our advisory team shares their hard-won expertise of what to plan for ahead of time. (Oh, and also: No, there is no designated "youth hotel." You're on your own!)

Notes & Links

 

Part 4: Let's All Go to GA!

Part 4: Let's All Go to GA!

Video recording: 3 minutes, 10 seconds

How can you keep enthusiasm and momentum going all the way through the holiday break? We'll give you four simple tips for maintaining your fundraising and planning through to the new year.

Email your questions to: Deborah Neisel-Sanders at youth [at] uua [dot] org (subject: GA%20Youth)

Part 5: Let's All Go to GA!

Part 5: Let's All Go to GA!

Video recording: 17 minutes, 9 seconds

Let's talk sponsors! What is a sponsor? Why are they required at GA? What do they sign up for? Who makes an ideal sponsor? While they're looking after their youth's needs, what might their needs be?

Notes & Links

Part 6: Let's All Go to GA!

Part 6: Let's All Go to GA!

Video recording: 21 minutes, 26 seconds

Youth Registration - it's a multi-step process. What are the different parts and steps? Is payment required when filling out the registration form? What about these other forms we talk about so much? Wait - if we're applying for scholarships or volunteer opportunities, we don't have to register??!

Find out the easiest, most accurate ways to complete youth registration and forms for a group of GA youth attendees. We can help you herd the cats! (Or at least the cats' paperwork.)

Notes & Links

GA Youth Registration

Troubleshooting the SignNow E-Signature System [PDF link to come]

* No need to use the UUA Secure Email System to get us your scanned forms - we've got an upload system now! Please use it instead of emailing to a UUA.org email address.

Represent Your Congregation at GA As a Delegate

 

Part 7: Let's All Go to GA!

Part 7: Let's All Go to GA!

Video recording: 27 minutes, 28 seconds

The GA Experience - what's it like for youth? What's it like for trip organizers? Our religious educators tell all! There's more than just what's in the program - keep your eyes and ears open for announcements and invitations to special identity lunches and parties. There's "business" too - GA Youth programming includes spaces to learn about how our denomination governs itself and the issues coming before congressional delegates. And don't forget to research the local area so you can get out and enjoy the town. Lastly, build in ways for everyone to care for themselves and each other (even the adults!), especially young women and those with special needs or marginalized identities; learn about the various care groups available at GA and share that info with everyone going on the trip.

Notes & Links

GA Programs & Schedules

GA Youth (formerly known as Youth Caucus)

Learn about youth programming and care by checking out what the GA Youth Staff positions do:

Other Teams at GA That Are Good to Know About:

GA: There's an App for That

Caring for Yourself & Others at GA

For First-Timers to GA

Part 8: Let's All Go to GA!

Part 8: Let's All Go to GA!

Video recording: 9 minutes, 17 seconds

Returning Home: the best way to wrap GA up in a big bow is to plan ahead.

Be sure to build in some structured time when you get back for reflection and discussion, especially if your congregation takes a summer break shortly afterwards. GA is a big, beautiful, whirlwind experience and attendees definitely benefit from a chance to process what they've seen, heard, felt, learned, and experienced.

Once they've made sense of it, sharing their experience is vital! Choose the method before you leave so your folks can collect images or take notes while they're there. Some ideas include creating and presenting a youth-led worship service; a presentation for the congregation of photos and videos they've taken at GA; taking a special offering to support GA scholarships or travel aid. If anyone in your group was captivated by the business of GA, consider having them do a presentation to get their congregation motivated to take a greater role in participating in future GAs and the business of our faith.

Don't forget to include those who financially supported your group's trip in your "thank-yous" - a special presentation about your experience is a great way to "close the covenant" you began with them by accepting their aid.

Notes & Links

 

Check back every few weeks for the next installment released right when you'll need it in the timeline march toward GA.

For more information contact youth@uua.org.

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