Monthly Archives: February 2015

Chair’s Letter

As this year’s SI planning began last August, I had one wish: for a really boring planning year. After 2014 which saw a new venue, change in theme speaker, transition away from a paper brochure, and new procedures for youth housing, among many other changes, I was hoping for a little more stability, a little less excitement.

We came close. We did once again need launch a search for a new theme speaker, but mostly this year is about tweaking things after last year’s shakedown cruise at Oberlin.

This year we are bringing the footprint of the community still closer together.…

Theme Speaker: Rev. Joan Van Becelaere

joanVanB Rev. Joan Van Becelaere serves as the District Executive for the Ohio-Meadville District.

Reverend Van Becelaere will speak with us about “Faith, Evolving: How American Religion Is Changing and What It Means for Unitarian Universalism”

She has served in this position since July 2007. Previously, Rev. VanBecelaere was Vice President for Student Services at Iliff Theological School in Denver, CO where she also taught Unitarian Universalist history and polity classes. She has extensive experience with Unitarian Universalist congregations including serving as the Settlement Representative in the Mountain Desert District. She has previously served on the Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Association (UUMA) executive committee and on the UUMA’s Center Committee responsible for the continuing education of ministers.…


Rev. Lynn KerrMorning Worship: Rev. Lynn Kerr is the minister of the Maumee Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation (MVUUC) in Bowling Green, Ohio and is that congregation’s first called minister. She has been at MVUUC since 2011 and is proud to be in a young congregation that is just 30 years old and is now experiencing tremendous growth, especially with young adults. She is also the ministerial settlement representative for the Ohio Meadville District.

Rev. Lynn served as minister of Lifespan Religious Education at the First Unitarian Church of Toledo; consulting minister for First Universalist Church of Lyons; young adult minister of First Parish Church in Concord, MA; executive director of the Dana McLean Greeley Foundation for Peace and Justice; director of donor relations at the UUA; and a grief counselor in a San Francisco Hospice.…

Is it too early to get excited about OMDSI 2015?

Of course not! Here’s an aerial tour of Oberlin’s campus to help stave off the cold.…

Morning Seminars

  1. Awaken to the Heartbeat

    Rebekah Benner

    Make a joyful noise!! Connect to the heart of the Mother Earth through the drum! Learn the basics of hand-drumming and drum circle facilitation. Rhythms from many cultures will be shared. Shamanic drum journey, trance drumming, drum chant & song will also be explored. For the new and the experienced drummer. PARTICIPANTS MUST BRING THEIR OWN “TALL” PEDESTAL TYPE DRUM; i.e. DJEMBE, ASHIKO, DOUMBEK, THAT CAN BE HELD BETWEEN THE KNEES AND PLAYED WITH BOTH HANDS.

Youth Program (arriving 7th grade-Completed 12th grade)

The Summer Institute youth program provides programming for over one hundred youth in an atmosphere of fellowship in a safe and supportive community. The program is organized by a panel of elected youth and adults working together. Youth also join the entire SI community in afternoon and evening activities which seek to engage them in the wider community. Participants break into daily youth workshops that highlight their diversity and creativity.
Community Organizing 101: How to Get Yourself, Your Friends, and Your Community to Act on Issues You Care About

Theme Speakers: Katie Fry & Sue Lacy, Round River Consulting, LLC

In our many years in the world of community organizing, we have developed principles and tools that can be utilized in your communities to impact your world and create concrete change.…

Young Adult Program (SI-ers aged 18-35)

YAs at SI are a diverse, growing community. Because young adulthood is a time of transition and self-discovery, this year’s Young Adult theme is all about balancing UU beliefs and ideals with living in the real world. Young Adults join the general community for most daytime activities, including meals, theme talk, morning worship, workshops, and evening vespers. They also engage in Young Adult specific activities, which include themed touch-base groups and their own worship. The themed touch-base groups offer a variety of activities that range from exploring nature to discussing what “growing up” really means, and provide a daily opportunity for first-timers and old-timers alike to meet new people.…

2012 Photos


View on flickr…

2013 Photos


View on flickr…

2014 Photos


View on flickr…

Early Afternoon Workshops (1:30– 3:00)

  1. Duct Tape

    Sara Beech

    Today’s Duct Tape has many more uses than just a tool in your toolbox.

Late Afternoon Workshops (3:15—4:45)

  1. Ultimate Frisbee

    Seth Sykora-Bodie and Ryan Haker

    Ultimate Frisbee is one of the most popular workshops at SI with over 40 participants taking part on most days. Seth and Ryan have been playing for years and keep coming back because they love the truly intergenerational aspect of the workshop. And, the highlight of the week is a night ultimate game with glow sticks and light up disks so that everyone can play under the moon!

  2. Dancing Hands Rhythm Workshop

    Mary Palmieri

    This workshop is both intergenerational and ability-inclusive. We use rhythm instruments as well as “dancing scarves” to encourage people of all abilities to participate in the circle.


Each evening’s events are planned to engage, entertain and provide relaxation for campers of all ages:

Lively Concerts
Intergenerational Movie
Family Friendly Monte Carlo Night
Intergenerational Dance
Ultimate Frisbee in Dark
PEEK – an Intergenerational Card Game
Instrumental/Vocal Ensemble Concerts
Open Mic Night
The Youth Coffeehouse

The Pub

From 9:30 PM onward, adults gather there to socialize, share a pub beverage, make music, play games and make new friends while reconnecting with old ones. It’s a great place to relax and hang out when the day’s events are over. This is a great time for families to utilize the Childcare Co-op.…