OMDSI 2013

Programming specific to 2013

Chair’s Letter

Oh, how quickly Summer Institute approaches!

Welcome to you if you are perusing our program brochure for the first time, and Welcome Back if you have been eagerly waiting since last summer to hear information about this year’s gathering! Your Planning Committee has been hard at work since early last August as we build another fantastic week of Summer Institute (SI) magic for 2013.

We are so thrilled to have Rev. Art McDonald returning to the Ohio Meadville District to join us as our Theme Speaker for the week. We will explore Social Justice as a Spiritual Practice: “A Central UU Path” with him during his morning theme talks, and will carry the theme through the week in many different pieces of our programs.

As you explore this brochure, we hope you will begin to get even more excited about our rapidly approaching week together in the hills of Gambier on the beautiful Kenyon College campus. We have worked to build a great slate of interesting seminars, workshops, and evening programs. ?ou will find some intellectual opportunities, some creative activities and spaces, lots of music and performance opportunities as always, and plenty of physical activity. You may even wonder what’s new this year, and you will find many new things – including kickball!

Our Youth and Young Adult program planners have been hard at work this year as well, bringing all of their energy and experiences to their monthly meetings. The Planning Committee has found that it gets easier and easier to get excited about the things we’re working on as we touch base with our younger planners each month. They have put together some really great plans for SI youth and young adults.

We are very excited to share this year?s gathering with you – and look forward to greeting everyone in a few short months so we can all kick off our SI magic together!

Alison Reed

SIPC 2013 Chair

Theme Speaker

Social Justice as a Spiritual Practice: A Central UU Path

Rev. Art McDonald will share thoughts on the theme including personal, congregational, and larger community perspectives on social justice. Ideas and questions to be considered will include:

  • A Story of Conversion: Confessions of a Slow Learner.
  • Social Justice and the Congregation. Will social justice grow or divide the congregation?
  • Religion, Politics and Democracy. Do we mix religion and politics? If yes, how? Are we democrats and/or republicans? We’ll use the concept of the common good to critique our individualism. What does it mean to say the congregation has a public ministry?
  • Social Analysis. We’ll discuss the importance of social analysis and how gender, race and class and environment intersect. How would a faith-based social justice viewpoint critique our own society?
  • Social Justice Beyond Our Borders. We’ll discuss how to do social justice work internationally – we’ll discuss how U.S. foreign policy has an effect on our lives at home. What’s the role of the church congregation concerning issues of war and peace and U.S. foreign policy?

Our theme speaker, Rev. Art McDonald was ordained to the ministry in 1978 and joins us from the First Universalist (Unitarian Universalist) Church of Essex, MA. Art is familiar to many in the Ohio-Meadville District following his years of service to the Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church in Pittsburgh. He was called as minister to Essex in September of 2003.  Along with traditional pastoral duties such as preaching, conducting rites of passage, worship-leading, counseling and adult education, Art believes that religious congregations have a major role to play in community outreach and organizing. Thus he sees much of his ministry as involved in community issues of justice and peacemaking. Art holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, focused on the relationship between religion and politics. His dissertation research was conducted in Peru, South America. Art is also adjunct faculty at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. More recently Art has been teaching as a part time faculty member at Merrimack College, North Andover, MA and Salem State College in Salem, MA. Art has been married to Melanie (Hodorowski) McDonald for 30 years.


Community life at Summer Institute revolves around twice-daily inter-generational services: Morning Worship and Vespers.  In each, worship leaders create innovative ways to deliver inspirational messages including storytelling, vocal and instrumental music, multimedia presentations and more.  Announcements at worship services – always informative, occasionally entertaining – are the primary source for updates and information throughout the week. For SI community members, worship services serve as daily touchstones.

Morning Seminars

  • 1.  Awaken to the Heartbeat

    Rebekah Benner

    Make a joyful noise!! Connect to the heart of the Mother 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 drummer, and the experienced.

    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.  Limit: 25

  • 2. Belly Dance — Dance of the Goddess

    Pamela Midyett and Laura Howe

    Through movement, video, and music, we will explore belly dance as a dance for all ages and body types. We will explore some styles currently  being danced and introduce the spiritual connection. Participants should wear comfortable clothing such as yoga pants and tee-shirts. Limit: 25

  • 3. Sacred Amulet sand Talismans: Create Your Own with Re-Purposed Objects and Polymer Clay

    Amy Walters

    Amulets and talismans have been used as tools for enchantment, meditation, and prayer throughout human history.  This workshop covers fundamental information on context and use of various amulets and talismans across cultures, e.g. Celtic, Native American, and Chinese objects.  Participants will create their own sacred objects with polymer clay and personally meaningful re-purposed objects. Participants will also compose their own chant, poem, or prayer appropriate to their new amulet or talisman.

    Participants should bring a tissue cutter, a package each of black, white, and translucent polymer clay (Premo recommended).  As many packages as desired of other colors of polymer clay.  Any other tools desired: pasta maker or dryer, extruder, molds, textures, Several small items with which participants have a special connection: sea glass, pine cones, stones, lyrics to a song, bones, leaves, broken jewelry or pottery,  seeds, valentines, dials, gears, small toys, dried flowers, etc. Bring “junk” that may serve as someone else’s treasure!

  • 4. Compassionate Dialogue

    Saunis Parsons

    There’s a lot of talk these days about the need for respectful dialogue, and this workshop is geared towards providing participants with a simple and useful template for addressing conflicts and other difficult conversations. The Dialogue is based on the “Couple’s Dialogue” from Harville Hendrix’s book, “Getting the Love You Want”.  We will discuss basic communication and examine how conflicts can be managed constructively using the Dialogue in a variety of situations.  There will be time each session to practice the Dialogue through role-playing.

  • 5. Cultivating Resilience

    Cindy Frantz

    We all “just want to be happy,” but the reality is that life throws us curve ball after curve ball.  If our goal is happiness, we will fail much of the time.  This workshop will focus on the goal of resilience instead: How can we stay motivated, curious and optimistic even in the face of life’s challenges? Resilience is defined as the ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune. Decades of research show that resilience can be cultivated and increased.  In this seminar, participants will learn strategies and practice techniques that help to build mental, emotional, social, and physical resilience. Participants should bring a laptop or journal. Limit: 16

  • 6. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

    Deb Lemire

    Through film clips from the documentary “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” (based on the book by New York Times Journalist Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn,, workshop attendants will bear witness to meaningful solutions to oppression faced by women across the globe.  These stories help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Through discussion we will explore how those solutions can be translated into our work at UU’s in our own communities.

    Participants should bring paper and pen for note taking.

  • 7. Mayan Theology and The 7 Principles

    Lori McGee

    In this workshop we will read short excerpts from the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Mayan people.  We will look at examples of how Mayan thoughts and beliefs coincide with UU thoughts and beliefs.  We will explore ideas of connected-ness, respect for the Earth, compassion, creation, and the nature of heaven and hell.

  • 8. Massage for Bodies and Souls

    Kari Gunderson

    We’ll learn basic Swedish massage techniques for clothed and bareback massage (with modesty draping.)  We’ll briefly do some yoga stretches and meditation for self-care. On Thursday we’ll learn about muscle pain management through an understanding of trigger points and constricting fascia, and self-massage for lessening our own tight tissue.  Experienced folks are welcome to join us and just work on each other while others are taking instruction. Participants should bring padding for a table, 2 sheets and a pillow (and oil if they prefer their own.) Limit: 20.

  • 9. How The US Military Leads In Social Justice

    David Michel and Lynne Kilgore

    The US Military is unique in the world as the only national military that has been under complete civilian control from its very founding. Military members give up their constitutional rights as part of their entry oath and Congress has developed a completely different set of laws for them known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The US Military Culture has had a direct impact on every part of our culture and led the way in many Social Justice movements; for example the de-segregation of the military in 1948 while Jim Crow was still practiced all over the US, and GLBT rights.  Participants will end with a  better understanding of the US Military intersects with our 7 Principles and how someone can be in the military and a practicing UU.

  • 10. Play with Me! Connecting to the Littlest UU’s through Art & Fun

    Colleen Thoele

    Caregivers, parents and grandparents come and have some fun learning how to be a kid! This workshop will concentrate on activities to connect with the littlest UU’s in our lives through art, music, tradition and adventure.  My hope is that you will leave SI with a new set of tools for connecting and playing with the kids in your life.  Be ready to get creative. This is a hands-on workshop!  Participants should bring one idea/activity to share with the group

  • 11. Rock of Ages-A History of Rock and Roll in the Movies

    Bill Brauning

    Rock and Roll has played an important part in the Cinema for over 60 years. From early beginnings with Bill Haley and the Comets and Elvis, to Woodstock and Saturday Night Fever, we will review landmark movies and the part rock & roll played. Limit: 50

  • 12. Black Appalachia – Oppression within an Oppressed Population: Fostering Individual Action Against Racism in Search of a Unitarian Response

    Wilburn Hayden and Mel Hoover

    The workshop’s purpose is to have participants understand the history of Appalachia being oppressed by the larger society and how blacks within the region have been and continue to an oppressed population. The session will provide a platform for UUs recommitting to the promise of a racial just society. Participants will explore additional tools for individual to move to an anti-racist stance for action.

  • 13. Reading the Rocks of Gambier

    Jamie Martin-Hayden

    If you’ve ever wondered what those people at SI see while staring at the building stone with a jeweler’s loupe, come join us to explore the stories written in the rocks.  We’ll travel from 200 thousand year old soils and rocks dragged down from Canada by the Illinoian ice sheet, to 350 million year old sediments and fossil of the Black Hand Formation deposited when Ohio was a shallow tropical sea. So come travel through time with us, from the arctic to the tropics, and read stories written in the rocks of Gambier.  Participants should bring walking shoes, sun hat, raincoat, and water bottle. Optional: jeweler’s loupe or small magnifying glass, and masonry hammer.  Limit: 30

  • 14. Sex and the Samaritans: The Introduction to the Hebrew Bible You Never Got in Sunday School

    Joan VanBecelaere

    This workshop will explore some of the more powerful stories of social revolution, passion and surprising leadership in the Hebrew Bible.  Drawing on the tools of literary, historical, structural and canonical criticism,  we will also discuss the questions of:  Who wrote the Hebrew Bible and when? Why was it written?  What role has it played in our western culture?  What lessons can we draw from it for our day and age?  And who are the Samaritans?

    Participants should bring a copy of the Bible – RSV, NRSV, NEB or NIV versions preferred.

  • 15. Yoga: Living Your Life Intentionally FULL

    Renaye Brauning

    By developing the tools and techniques to help us live intentionally, through awareness, and by learning to let go, we find true happiness.  This is how we allow our minds to clear so we can better hear the spiritual voice within.  Learn a yoga practice to help you breathe deeply, center in stillness, strengthen your body and restore your spirit.  Learn about the Five Tibetans, Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and more.  No experience required. Limit: 20

  • 16. Shamanic Journey, Social Justice and Spirituality

    Diana VanWinkle

    Based on the writings of Sandra Ingerman, participants will explore the practice of shamanic journeying. Journeying is said to be a common practice in many indigenous societies and is a growing spiritual practice for individuals to make connections beyond what is visible, connections that aid transformation and healing for individuals and the earth. The tenants of this spiritual practice will be applied to social justice, empowerment and advocacy. Limit: 25

  • 17. What’s on Your Plate?  Navigating the Food Landscape with a UU Compass

    Kathy Kerns and Lois Weir

    This workshop will provide a forum to discuss the ethical challenges faced by each of us three times a day.  Why doesn’t the food at my dinner table look like what my grandmother ate?  Is it really better to be a vegetarian?  Is it better to eat local?  Organic?  And what about GMOs?  What are the human consequences of my food choices?  What can I do to help bring social justice to our food system?  These questions and more will be explored through discussion, readings, and activities. Limit: 20.

  • 18. Wedding Dance

    Bill and Susan English

    Weddings can be a special time to get out onto the dance floor.  Learn the basics and some fancy figures for the waltz, swing, polka, free-style, and other special dances you will need for a wedding. Learn how to be a good partner, to navigate the dance floor, and dance safely.  Develop a style and repertoire that works for you.  Learn also how to choose the appropriate dance for the music and appropriate music for a wedding dance.  Participants should bring clean, comfortable shoes.

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 split between the junior high group (*7th – 9th grade) and the senior high group (10th – 12th grade). Each group has its own theme speaker for an hour in the morning, after which both groups come together to participate in a variety of morning workshops, such as music jam sessions, cooking for coffee house, crafts, games, dancing, and planning for that evening’s youth worship.  Following lunch in Kenyon’s new dining hall, you can attend a variety of inter-generational afternoon workshops (everything from Ultimate Frisbee to Dungeons & Dragons.) Your evenings are filled with various activities, including talent shows, card games, dances, movies, games, hand-drumming circles or just hanging out with other UU youth. After these events, Youth Vespers, created by and for youth (although all SI community members are invited to attend), take place. There is no way to describe Youth Vespers—once you attend one, you’ll know what it is all about, and you’ll probably want to attend more! If you’re entering 10th grade, you have the option of staying in the Senior High Youth Dorm. If you elect to stay in the Senior High Youth Dorm, your parents or sponsor can share a room with you, stay in a different room, or with their permission, you may stay alone in the Senior High Youth Dorm.

At SI, it doesn’t matter if you’re 13 or 18 or somewhere in between. Nor does it matter if you prefer music, sports, political discussions, art or just being with UU people. Basically, if you’re open-minded and looking for the fun, respect, meaning, or love that you can’t find in regular society, the SI Youth Program is the place for you. *If you are an upcoming 7th grader, you have the choice of either staying in the Children’s Programming or entering the Youth Program.

Youth Theme Speakers 2013: Exploring Eastern Traditions Through Movement

Darshanie Radha Sukhu grew up in the Sivananda Yoga Ashrams, a monastic community of yogis, and studied yoga and meditation with Swami Vishnu-devananda for seven years. She became certified in 1987. She now teaches at Leela Mata Peaceful Valley Ashram in Sligo, Pennsylvania and at Yoga Vidya in Germany. Her style of yoga is gentle yet deeply invigorating. It involves conscious breathing, flow sequences, inversions, traditional yoga postures and deep relaxation.

Yoga is an ancient philosophy that uses the body and breath to harness the mind and access deep mystical states. It is a spiritual science that allows you to experience for yourself your divine nature.

Stretch, breath, relax and find your joy. Yoga teaches you how to stay centered and happy. Enjoy a complete yoga class and learn a few fun variations as well. Wear modest and comfortable clothing, bring a yoga mat, blanket or large towel.  She looks forward to sharing with you all. Namaste.

Venerable Shih Ying-Fa is the Abbot and founder of CloudWater Zendo, the Zen Center of Cleveland and is the founder of the Nien-Fo Ch’an Order of Buddhist Monks. He is a lineage holder in the Linji school of Chinese Zen Buddhism. He founded CloudWater Zendo in 1994 and subsequently founded Zen meditation groups in a number of Ohio cities as well as in Pennsylvania and Washington state. For the past 18 years he has taught Buddhism at both state and federal correctional facilities in Ohio and has worked with death row inmates at the Ohio State Penitentiary. In 2010 he founded Great Vow Sangha (GVS) which assists those who are recovering from substance abuse by offering an approach that utilizes both Zen and Buddhist principles to understand and recognize the causes of addiction.

Ven. Shih Ying-Fa will introduce the participants to the teachings and practices of Buddhism.  This will be supplemented by the daily practice of Qigong, a form of internal energy circulation which is beneficial to the body, mind and spirit.  The group will focus on how the various teachings and practices of the Buddhist tradition are relevant to our 21st century society and how they may be mindfully applied in everyday life.  Mats or cushions are optional for meditation, as participants can sit on the floor or use chairs.

Youth Morning Workshops

After the morning theme speaker’s activities, you have several workshops to choose from. Maybe you have a song you want to practice for the coffee house performance, but you’re looking for someone who can lay down a seriously funky bass line? Or after an hour of theme talk, you’re tired of sitting inside and want to get up and move around? Maybe you have a couple ideas on how youth vespers could be improved? You’re in luck, because this year’s morning workshops will include:

Touch Groups/Youth Bridging

The idea of showing up to spend a week with more than 100 youth that you’ve never met before can be intimidating. Maybe you’ve been to a couple previous SI’s, but you always spent your time in the children’s program and now you’re too old for that. Or this is your first ever SI and you know at most two or three other youth from your church youth group back home.  No worries, each of us on the Youth Panel knows what it is like to be coming to your first SI in the Youth Program and we’ve arranged a few things to make sure everyone has a good time. The three main things to know about are touch groups, chaplains and youth bridging:

Young Adult Program

Welcome all! Young adulthood is a time of transition, self-discovery, and finding one’s roots. Whether you are freshly bridged from the Youth Program, a new SI attendee, or an old-timer, the Young Adult program has something for you. Our worships meet at night, after evening programming, and will be led by a professional worship coordinator aimed at providing new and innovative worships for Young Adults.

Young adults are also welcome to stay together in Gund dorm, where our evening worships will be located. We will have means to refrigerate, percolate, and microwave, so feel free to bring snacks, coffee, and remember to bring a reusable water bottle! As a community, we welcome young adults with children and families, but for safety reasons, this dormitory cannot house children under the age of 18. However, all YA program participants, whether housed in the YA dorm or elsewhere, are welcome to enjoy each other’s company in the YA dorm. One wing of Gund will be substance free, and all YAs under 21 years old will be housed on this floor. Of course, those 21 and over who wish to stay on the substance free floor can request to do so on the registration form.


This year, touchgroups will be taking the form of mini-workshops and   special interest groups. They will be spread out over the week and some will meet at different times in the afternoon and evening, so come to as many or as few as you please. These workshops will include:

  • Playing in the River
  • Fort building in the Icebox
  • Hiking
  • Board Games
  • Building Spiritual Communities
  • Adulthood 101
  • Social Action
  • Personal Spiritual Growth
  • Your Passions- a chance to nerd out
  • The SI Experience

Weekend Deal

Can’t get the time off or the money together for the whole week? Come for the weekend! For $60, you get to come for Thursday night through Saturday morning, meals included!  Sleep in the luxurious Icebox! Although we can promise couches, we can’t promise empty ones, so come prepared with sleeping bags, blankets, air mattresses, and other camping supplies you may need. Check-in will be from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM on Thursday in Peirce Hall (Dinner), so please arrive on time, or contact the registrar.

Register Early!

Even as a “maybe!” NO down payment and NO cancellation fee means NO excuse to register late! You have to apply for a scholarship on time in order to receive one, so don’t delay! There aren’t enough exclamation marks to convey how important this is!!!

Monte Carlo Night

Summer Institute’s one and only black tie affair! Bring your tuxedos, ties, ball gowns, and fancy pants to wear to this swanky casino night that benefits the SI Scholarship Fund!


Unlike adult morning seminars, children’s RE, and youth programming where you commit for the week, afternoons at SI are more “come and go as you please.”  You don’t sign up for these workshops but enjoy the offerings, or exercise, (or nap!) as the spirit moves you.  Early afternoon workshops are from 1:30 to 3 each afternoon.  They are intergenerational and designed to be experienced by families together.  Please remember to be responsible for your children during that time.  Late afternoon workshops are from 3:15 to 4:45 and are age specific.

Children’s Choir12:45 to 1:25

Joe Schafer

SI Children’s Choir is back for the seventh year. The choir offers children the opportunity to have fun with music while singing about our UU values. Director Joe Schafer has led the West Shore UU Church Junior Choir for over 25 years. He will bring back the songs from the SI choir’s first sixyears, and add a couple of new ones as well. The songs are easy to sing, there are no words to memorize, and all kids are welcome and encouraged to join us, starting at 12:45. (Please be prompt in picking up your little one at 1:25.)

Early Afternoon Workshops (1:30– 3)

  • Boardgames:  A Sampler

    JB Lawton III

    There are a lot more games than Monopoly and Risk. Ever heard of Eurogames or designer games? Come play a few from my library of games, or bring your own and teach the rest of us, if you like. Any of my games will be available to play during the day or evening, but each afternoon workshop will focus on a different game or genre.  Last year we played Dominion, Ticket to Ride, Werewolf, and Settlers of Catan, among others.

  • SI Choir 2013

    Hal Walker

    This year promises to be the SI choir’s best year ever!  Hal Walker has been busy writing, arranging and seeking SI friendly choir music.  This is not you’re average church choir.  This is SI choir 2013!  After years of building together, we are ready to blast the roof off Rosse Hall with our sonic beauty! We are ready to bring summer camp choral music to a whole ‘nother dimension.  We rehearse twice daily, at 745am and during early afternoon workshops. If this interests you, please show up on Monday morning at 7:45 am.  If this seems too early, go buy yourself a good alarm clock and be ready to come alive.  “Unleash the Beauty! We are SI CHOIR 2013!”

  • Body Art

    Jane Dirks

    SI is the place for a soul makeover – so how about a hair/skin/nails makeover, too?  You know you’ve always wanted purple hair and sparkly toenails, so now is your chance.  Just as life is ephemeral, so is Body Art:  everything washes off (though not in the pool, please). Paint a chalice on your leg, your toenail or your skull…join us at Body Art and celebrate the body as a canvas for your creativity.

  • The Hunger Games

    Becky Haines

    We will step into the book of The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.  Each day, we will discuss a topic and then enter the arena!!!!   Topics will include The Capitol,  Katniss Everdeen, The Districts,  Archery and hunting ethics, and District 13.  The arena will not be pleasant.  Contestants will be eliminated with water, jelly, green stuff, purple slime (you get the idea).  You will get dirty, or wet or both.  Children under 10 must be accompanied by a parent.

  • Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop role-playing games)

    Tracy Parsons

    Have you ever wanted to be a valiant knight battling mythical beasts for legendary treasure and the glory of the kingdom? Or how about a hard-boiled gumshoe hot on the case of a kingpin, surviving only by your wits and moxie? At Dungeons and Dragons (and other tabletop roleplaying games), you make whatever character you want and play as them in an exciting adventure! Work together with your group to achieve glory and fame! Or perhaps you are working for your own nefarious ends?

  • Poetry for a Summer Day

    Dean Hazelton

    This is a workshop in reading and appreciating poetry, not writing poems.  We will read poems aloud and discuss them, with the understanding that there can be several interpretations of good poems.  The ideal is to learn from each other.   Likely topics will be poems about nature, love and loss, Walt Whitman’s poetry, poetry and music, and poetry of transformation.

  • Art Space

    Lauryn  Straubhaar and Samantha Phillips

    This year Art Space will focus on repurposing and reusing everyday items in new and fun ways.  There will be a craft of the day for both adults and kids to encourage all ages to participate.

  • Tie Dye

    Nicole Hayman and Lexi Staples

    Tie-Dying has been a Summer Institute tradition for as long as most of us can remember and this year the tradition continues. We will be ready for the projects you bring along and be set up for some new projects you may not expect! The Tie-dye Workshop and its trusty volunteers will help you create your individual wearable art. Let’s Twist, Tie + Dye.  And Un-Dye!  Bring your favorite colored shirts to make a positive or negative image and rock your SI pride! This year’s Tie-Dying just got that much cooler! And we have a couple new tricks up our sleeves so pay attention to announcements for extra exciting activities!

  • Campus Ministry Workshop

    Kelly Heikkila

    How do you set up a campus ministry? Will you worship, do activism, or hold RE sessions? How big do you want your Campus Ministry to be? We’ll go through this and more during this late afternoon workshop for Young Adults.

  • Kickball

    Joey Marfy

    New this year at SI – come out and join the fun as we play some good old kickball together!  As we searched for a new activity, we learned quite a bit about kickball.  Did you know there are at least 10 fabulous variations on the game you probably play(ed) on the playground at school?  We’ll try out a few versions of this game.  We’re especially interested in the Cooperative Kickball.  And Everyone Runs Kickball, Kick Basketball, Three Team Kickball, California Kickball, Big Base Kickball… Oh, the options are endless!

Late Afternoon Workshops (3:15—4:45)

  • Beer!

    Cal Frye

    …because the problems of the world are not solved over a nice glass of white wine.  Are you looking for a way to enlist marchers in the cause of Social Justice? Come learn about the major lubricant of choice of fermenting revolutions everywhere. Sure, we’ll explore the Six Sources of historical brewing tradition, along with the Seven Principles of appreciation of all things malt and hops.

  • Folk Orchestra

    Pat Lorei

    Folk (fok) n. 1.An ethnic group, as a tribe or nation. orchestra (or ki stra) n. 1. A large group of musicians performing    together on various instruments.   The SI tribe of instrumental musicians will gather in late afternoon to make ready some sounds supportive of adult vespers services (and maybe a morning worship service as well).

    Suggested for tribal participation: 1. having an instrument 2. playing of aforementioned instrument

  • Weaving

    Beth Hedin

    On hand will be a floor loom, a rigid-heddle loom and lots of boxes. The boxes serve as mini-looms, where each can be warped with string and woven with wool (or other preferred materials), and make a purse or small mat. It’s a fun & ingenious reuse of materials (boxes and scrap wool yarn). The 2 larger looms can be worked on by anyone…perhaps we can create a wall-hanging like the Youth did 2 years ago, and auction it off at the end of the week!

  • Forever in Blue Jeans

    Karen Jepsen

    We will recycle old jeans into fabulous new purses as well as other useful carrying cases such as bags to carry groceries, beach bags, bags to tote school supplies, diapers, gym clothes, etc.  The workshop will include several simple designs, but the sky is the limit in terms of what participants want to create and how they want to decorate their creations.

    If you can bring a sewing machine to be used (with care) in this workshop, please email Karen at

  • Exercise for Fun and Pain Relief

    Lonna Barker

    This exercise program of warm ups, flexibility, aerobics, strength and stretches, is designed mostly for people with pain and joint problems, including arthritis. We strive to please all. Participants may sit or stand or both. The last 15 minutes are spent in a relaxing, Mindful Meditation to enhance the positive effects and increase the    connection between mind, body and spirit. Please wear loose clothes to move in and well-fitting athletic shoes.

  • Ultimate Frisbee

    Seth Sykora-Bodie and Caleb Sykora-Bodie

    Seth and Caleb have been running the Ultimate Frisbee workshop for nine years between them. It is their favorite part of SI and they love the intergenerational interaction with all of the youth, young adults, and adults that come out for the games. They also get a kick out of how it brings people down to the fields to howl at the moon and run around bumping into each other while playing night ultimate on Tuesday. Come on out for some wild dives, glow sticks, or just sitting in the shade to watch!

  • Legos, Lettuce and Fun

    Gavin VanWinkle-Bright

    Enjoy creating with Legos. Legos are available for building and creating individually or with friends.  Imagination abounds as Lego pieces come together offering intergenerational fun for all.  Bring your own lettuce.  Fun happens during the workshop.  Legos are provided; parents are able to provide support.

  • Ready, Set, Go

    Steven and Conni Wagner

    Calling all kids ages 5 to 11 to play!  Bring your wiggles, fun ideas and a bathing suit (or clothes that can get wet) and a towel. We will be doing all kinds of fun things with water in addition to games, building forts on the lawn and running around as much as possible! Parents are welcome and encouraged to participate!

  • Theme Talk Back

    Delve more deeply into a discussion about the topic of the day with our theme speaker, Rev. Art McDonald


There are many opportunities to perform music and share your musical talents with others at SI. All are fun activities. Choices vary from the intergenerational choir singing hymns and fun songs for services, through the hymn sing, to folk orchestra that welcomes most any instrument that can play a tune or keep time, to small group ensembles which perform a variety of music by groups of 2 to 6 people, all the way to the Talent Show on Friday night, exhibiting the wonderful and VERY diverse talents of SI attendees. So get involved, have fun sharing your musical talents, and join one of the groups on this page:

Mass Harmonica Lesson / Harmonica Flash Mob: On Monday night, in preparation for a TBA flash mob harmonica event,  the SI community will gather for a Mass Harmonica Lesson – Hal Walker style. In 90 minutes, Hal will offer campers of all ages a foundation for a lifetime of harmonica. Bring a key of C harmonica with you or purchase one at the event for $5.  At some point in the week, we will display our skills en masse in the form of a Flash Mob.  Hal says, “Believe me, you want to learn to play the harmonica more than you think you do.”

Choir: A early afternoon workshop (see page 15) led again by Hal Walker.

Folk Orchestra: An late afternoon workshop (see page 17) led again by Pat Lorei.

Small Group Ensembles: Connect with one or more others who like to perform the kind of music you enjoy, put a group together, and perform for concerts on Thursday and/or Friday nights. Watch for a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in Peirce-Dempsey Dining Hall starting Sunday night, and for a lunch table near the exit of the dining room for Small Ensembles discussion. Then you rehearse on your own schedule with your group.  If you don’t know others who play instruments needed for your ensemble, we’ll help you find others who might like your idea and a new SI music group is born! Music can vary from jazz to folk or classical, or anything in-between. Pieces are generally about 3 minutes long. Programs are finalized Wednesday evening. Bob Erdman and Christa Champion will be coordinating this fine event.

Hymn Sing: One evening, everyone interested gets together with others who love to sing, and all sing their favorite hymns. It’s a lot of fun, even if some people are a little hoarse at the pub or the next morning at breakfast.

Children’s Talent Show: No one ever knows for sure what acts we will have in a given year, but this is always a big event with excellent entertainment that shows off the diversity of SI talents. Performances range from skits to original poetry reading to music performances (of all kinds and abilities) to hilarious comedy. Auditions are mid-week. Let us know if you need practice space. Acts are 3 minutes or less.

Pub Sing-Along: Bring your acoustic instruments and lend your voice for improvised musical merriment.

Children’s Choir: After lunch the children will have the opportunity to affirm our UU values singing in a children’s choir. Joe Schafer has directed the West Shore UU Children’s Choir for 25 years, and has written music celebrating UU principles that kids can sing easily and well, using ragtime, jazz, rock, and other fun-loving rhythms. No experience required, and all kids are welcome.


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

  • PEEK
  • Concerts
  • Hymn sing
  • Monte Carlo night
  • Night-time Ultimate Frisbee
  • Dance
  • Coffeehouse(s)
  • The Children/Family Talent Show
  • Movie night

The Pub

What would SI be without 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.  In compliance with state laws, no alcohol is permitted to be brought into the Pub or removed from the space.

Monte Carlo Night

This casino style event is family friendly and includes games for every age and skill level. Favorites such as Texas Hold-Em and Rock-Paper-Scissors will return alongside a variety of competitive wagering games. Win enough Nathan Money to claim a classy prize or relax with refreshments from our snack bar.

Your first $500 Nathan Bucks will be free.

All donations & proceeds will benefit the scholarship fund.


A Summer Institute Tradition that defies description. If you have never encountered a PEEK experience, brace yourself for the perfect UU game. It’s a loud, fun, and quick card game for  everyone, no matter what age. Everyone leaves a winner, with a prize and a smile. For veteran  PEEK players, the management hopes that you will once again gladly contribute a PEEK prize for the festivities.