Youth/Coming of Age
Our youth programs are intended to provide a space for our middle and high schoolers to explore and further develop their sense of self in the contexts of their various communities – family, friends, congregation, the wider world. In 2018-19, we will be collaborating on our youth program with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder. Each Sunday will be an intergenerational dinner from 5:45-6:15, with youth programming occurring both before and after. This year we are offering the Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education program for 7/8th graders and 11/12th graders, Coming of Age (COA) for 8/9th graders, and High School Youth Group.
Coming of Age (COA) – This year-long program is designed to mark a transition from childhood to youth – not quite an adult, but not a child either. The program is offered to 8th and 9th graders. In the support of the larger group, as well as through a one-on-one connection with their personal adult mentor, each youth explores questions, ideas and themes relevant to their own spiritual growth, while also building a supportive community within their Unitarian Universalist faith and identity. By participating in Coming of Age, we hope that the youth will:
- Assume responsibility for their own physical, mental, and spiritual well-being;
- Gain self-confidence and realize that their feelings are valid and that their opinions matter;
- Expand their vision of the world by allowing them to encounter differing views, cultures, and life experiences;
- Understand they have an important role in their family, their congregation, and the larger community;
- Develop a personal value system; and
- Realize they are non-judgmentally accepted in our UU communities, and that it is a safe place for them to be themselves.
The Coming of Age program is a powerful experience for the youth, and is also a time of transition for the teen’s parents and family life. Parental involvement is essential and we look forward to parent/guardian participation at important points along the year.
Coming of Age youth meet twice a month, generally the first and second Sundays. Mentors for each youth will join on the first Sunday, and each meeting will be led by our youth coordinator and another experienced adult facilitator.
The Coming of Age program also includes two retreats, discussions about the “big questions” in life, writing credo statements, playing games, getting to know one another, and lots of laughter! The program culminates with a final celebration and community recognition on Youth Sunday in May. This is a fee-based program ($200 for the year) and scholarships are available.
Our Whole Lives (OWL) – This sexuality education program helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, OWL provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality. This series of sexuality education curricula was developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association in partnership with the United Church of Christ, and is offered at different stages of development (early elementary school, late elementary school, middle school, and high school). For more information, please check out this page.
This year we are offering OWL for 7/8th graders, and 11/12th graders. We are setting up a multi-year rotation of OWL curricula so that all of our youth will have the opportunity to take both the MS and HS classes in the course of their time at BVUUF. Please don’t worry if your youth is not in one of the grades for this year’s classes – the program will be offered again in future years!
OWL is a fee-based program ($150 for members, $175 for non-members), with scholarships and sliding scale fees available. The program includes a required parent/guardian orientation. Participants in OWL make a commitment to attend all of the sessions, and following the orientation, the course is closed to drop-ins and new registrants.
If you have questions about our youth programming, please get in touch with Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org.