We are thrilled to announce a Conference-sponsored youth trip to Washington, DC, next summer, July 21-28, 2023. The trip will be open for any youth who has completed 8th-12th grade during spring 2023.
We have been planning this type of experience since the summer of 2019, when the Conference sponsored a service-learning trip to Chicago in conjunction with the Youth @ Synod program in Milwaukee. However, the uncertainty and upheaval of the pandemic have delayed these plans. Now, we invite youth from around the Conference to make plans to travel to Washington, D. C., with us next summer.
The primary focus of the trip will be legislative advocacy on justice issues collectively chosen by the youth participants. Youth will work with staff from UCC’s office in Washington, D. C., and other faith-based groups to prepare for meetings with lawmakers and other officials. To help establish the framework for the service-learning and lobbying work, the group will visit a number of monuments, memorials, and museums, such as the Frederick Douglas National Historic Site, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, U.S. Holocaust Museum and Memorial, and other significant sites. We hope these experiences will reinforce the need for participants to agitate for justice and to never be silent in the face of injustice.
This experience allows multiple opportunities for youth to give voice to their passion, commitment, and outrage as they engage in open and respectful dialogue with our political leaders. These can be powerfully formative experiences for young people working to discern their unique gifts and voice through boldly speaking truth to power.
An essential part of preparing for the trip will be a for youth participants and adult companions to meet for three or four Zoom and in-person events during the winter and spring of 2023. These gatherings will help connect participants, begin the work of building trust and a sense of community, and create space for conversation for youth to name their shared lobbying priorities. Attendance for these gatherings will be a mandatory activity for anyone—youth or adult companion—planning to travel to DC.
More information regarding cost, travel logistics, activities, and detailed schedule will be available by late August 2022. Registration will open in early November 2022 and the registration deadline will be January 15, 2023.
Contact Kevin Brown, Associate Conference Minister for Faith Formation with Children & Youth, with any questions
Save the Dates for Other 2023 Youth Events
Spring Youth Gathering |April 28-30, 2023 | Camp Onomia, Onamia
For youth 6th-12th grades. Come to explore the connection between justice work and faith. We will learn together how to lean on wisdom, strengthen our voices, and tend to our inner needs as partners in creation. There will be plenty of time for food, fun, friends, and a nap!
Summer Middle School Camp | July 5-7, 2023 | Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center, Sandstone
For youth entering 6th grade through 8th grade. Swim, canoe, hike, and meet some birds of prey. Let’s explore the connection of eco-justice and faith while connecting with new friends and eating some great food!