About the Youth Program

2017 Youth Theme Speaker – Janine Harris Degitz

Janine Harris Degitz – Compassionate Communication – Restorative Justice: Janine has been studying Non-Violent Communication (NVC) since 2005 with a primary focus on Robert Gonzales’s work of Living Compassion. She is a graduate of Robert’s 2009-2010 LIFE program and was an assistant for Robert in the 2012-2013 LIFE program in Portland, OR. She has spent […]

Youth Safety Guidelines

The SI Youth Program strives to create an environment of safety that fosters youth independence and accountability. A panel of youth and adult leadership help to create that environment as well as manage situations that may arise with empathy and confidentiality. All youth staff are committed to providing a safe and healthy community, which means […]

A Day in the Life of an SI Youth

Sunday On their first day, the youth will generally arrive before dinner. They will unpack their belongings into their dorms and then have free time until dinner. After dinner there will be a community-wide opening ceremony in the church, followed by a mandatory youth opening. Here, new youth will be bridged in and the SI […]

The Youth Program

The SI Youth Program is a week-long place to explore and learn about UU ethics and values without some of the constraints of today’s society, while still in a safe environment. A core part of SI, the Youth Program offers age-appropriate programming for about 125 youth from rising 7th graders – 12th graders. Youth have […]

Touch-Base Groups

What are Touch-Base Groups? Each touch group consists of around ten youth and they are led by a specially trained youth leader and an adult leader. Touch groups meet daily to play games, do crafts, talk and provide a smaller, casual setting for you to get better acquainted with other youth.


During the first night of Summer Institute the youth have a bridging ceremony. This is an event for incoming Seventh graders or youth who are new to Summer Institute to formally join the youth community. It is a joyous celebration as well as a physical symbol of initiation into the youth community. What to expect […]

Youth Chaplains

What are chaplains? If you are having an issue or just want to talk to someone, there is a youth chaplain and an adult chaplain available. Their primary purpose at SI is to provide a supportive ear for those who need it.

Youth Panel

Youth Co-Chairs Alan Kerns Arielle Swinehart Youth Members Gavin VanWinkle-Bright Jimmy Moore Trecia Cintron Tucker Phillips Katie Ughrin Adult Co-Chairs Dave Gill Chris Hurlbut Lauren Straubhaar