What is the Youth Caucus at General Assembly?
Youth Caucus refers to programming at General Assembly (GA) designed specifically for youth. Youth Caucus includes workshops, meetings to discuss and take part in GA business, networking and other social opportunities, and worship. Youth Caucus also takes part in the wider GA programming, including General Sessions, public witness and worship. All youth are welcomed to participate in Youth Caucus. All youth are also welcome and encouraged to explore the full range of GA programming, as many workshops outside of Youth Caucus may also be of interest.
The purpose of Youth Caucus is to serve:
- Youth who want to get involved in Unitarian Universalism (UUism), who want to grow as Unitarian Universalists (UUs) through a variety of workshop and worship opportunities, and want to network with the wider UU community.
- Youth, including youth delegates, who are interested in and/or committed to participating in plenary sessions and the business of GA. There will be support and programming for how to participate in the business, as well.
Adult support and supervision at GA is also different from youth conferences. Read more about supervision at GA in the Policies and Supervision section of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
What is the Youth Caucus programming like?
Youth at General Assembly are encouraged to explore all that GA has to offer. There are also programs designed specifically by youth, for youth, to be found in the Youth Caucus. The Youth Caucus programming is not a "youth track," does not have offerings in every available spot, and youth are not required to attend beyond the initial mandatory orientation.
In the past, Caucus offerings having included trainings, networking opportunities, sessions to discuss GA business, workshops on topics like service project planning and social justice in pop culture, and opportunities to worship as a youth community.
Who can attend Youth Caucus?
Anyone with a name-badge can attend Youth Caucus! We invite folks of all ages to drop in - including those younger than 14 or in 8th grade or below (with their parent/guardian) and adults.
Adults may find they play a different role in Youth Caucus space than they usually play in majority adult spaces. Youth Caucus is a place for high-school aged youth to explore their Unitarian Universalist identities, make cross-country connections, hone leadership skills and practice living their Unitarian Universalist values. Because of the nature of the space, adult participation is often that of mentorship and curiosity in an effort to draw out the gifts and wisdom of the youth.
There is an appropriate minimum developmental range for optimal appreciation of Youth Caucus programming.
In striving to provide a good experience for all participants, we maintain the same age/grade-level criteria for Youth Caucus as that qualifies for Youth Registration (in grades 9-12 during the past school year). Youth Caucus programs are geared towards the middle of that range, at the 10th-11th grade developmental level. We've seen in the past that younger attendees, no matter their maturation level, find it difficult to participate in Youth Caucus programs which are outside of their age cohort, even with a parent or guardian present, and even if they are used to participating in a youth group at a similar grade-level at home.
Please bear in mind that no programming at GA is ever barred from any attendee, and younger youth are welcome to participate in Youth Caucus (as well as any general GA programming or activities) with parental presence. However, the Youth Caucus staff are not equipped to provide younger youth with the additional appropriate support to integrate them into such a large group of several hundred older youth from all over the country. Younger youth should find the children's programs at General Assembly more accessible.
What else is there for youth at General Assembly?
Youth are always welcome and encouraged to attend programming throughout General Assembly, not just Youth Caucus. Check the program schedule for workshops that interest you! Youth Caucus staff will be putting together a suggested workshops list that will be distributed to all registrants in early June.
Public witness and service opportunities, worships, and spiritual practices are intended for all GA attendees and youth are especially welcomed and encouraged to attend. You can learn more about these opportunities on the GA website as details become available. Highlights will be available here as the schedule is finalized.