Advisor: Adult in the HS youth group. Responsible for living out the values of the youth group covenant and sharing leadership of the group’s activities with youth leaders.
Audio Volunteer: Opportunity to learn the audio-board in the Sanctuary. Inquire about volunteer training and audio opportunities with Bill Braband.
Background Check: Criminal background check to determine whether a prospective volunteer has committed any offenses that would preclude them from teaching, advising or chaperoning in the RE Program or being an RE Ambassador.
Background Screening: A sex offender screening that potential volunteers must consent to in order to work with children and youth in RE. Both the background check and sex offender screening are required for volunteers in our youth programs and classes for all ages OWL class teachers/facilitators.
Beach Trip: End-of-summer beach trip to Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, DE, to kick off the new RE year. Open to high school youth, rising 9th to rising 12th graders. Specific Permission Form required.
Bridging: Seniors walk over a ceremonial “bridge” to move from the youth program to young adult status during a service in May or June. Youth schedules permitting, we offer sessions in the winter/spring for youth to discuss this transition. The Unitarian Universalist Association also offers a bridging ritual for seniors at General Assembly, the annual gathering of UUs.
Building Bridges: High School curriculum that teaches the theology and customs of other religions traditions. You can view the curriculum online. Youth make visits to other churches and faith communities.
Chalice: Symbol of Unitarian Universalism. The high school class, like many other UUCF groups, generally opens with a chalice lighting (lighting a candle) and reading. Readings may be prophetic quotes, words meaningful to the group or words of invitation to the gathering. .
Chaperone: Adult chaperones must be at least 25 years old and pass the background screening and background check. One chaperone per seven youth is required for overnights and field trips.
Check In: Activity at the beginning of a group gathering where people are given an opportunity to share with the group how they’re doing. This is an important part of building community and allows the youth to listen deeply to one another.
Child care: Opportunity for youth to work for pay at UUCF providing care for infants up to age 12. An adult is always present. Contact Tasha Jackson to share your interest. Child care opportunities include both weekend and evening events and help in the nursery on Sunday mornings.
Coffee House: A casual youth talent show organized by high school youth during overnights.
Coming of Age: A rite-of-passage curriculum for Gade 7. Participants learn about UU theology and get to examine their own spiritual beliefs. We offer this at 9:15 and 11:15 a.m. in the 7th Grade classroom.
Con: Short for youth conferences. Youth cons are weekend-long gatherings held at UU congregations where youth from all across the UUA Central East Region (CER) gather to learn, worship and build religious community. All cons are open to any UUCF high school youth to attend, but youth need to provide their own ride and chaperone. These are not considered to be UUCF activities, but UUCF still needs to ensure the safety of the youth involved and therefore will follow all guidelines provided by the CER Youth Program organizers.
Covenant: An agreement about the way we come together in community: what behavior is acceptable, what behavior is unacceptable and what behavior should be encouraged. A written covenant hangs in the youth room and represents significant discussion and group ownership by the youth and their advisors. It is revisited regularly and rewritten annually.
Director of Religious Exploration: UUCF full-time staff member responsible for directing the entire scope of the Religious Exploration program. Coordinates RE activities, trains volunteers and implements a safety policy. The Youth Ministry Coordinator, RE Assistant and Child Care Coordinator report to the DRE and the DRE reports to the Senior Minister. Contact DRE Diana Tycer.
Discussion: A group-sharing activity where individuals are invited to speak and share their viewpoints on a given topic as well as hear the perspectives of others. This is a primary activity in the high school youth group and allows youth to discuss topics in relationship to UU principles.
Driver for Youth Form: A form for prospective drivers of youth to apply to drive for UUCF events. Drivers license and auto insurance information are kept in the office. Youth are allowed to drive themselves and siblings to UUCF off-site events with parent consent and completed Driver Forms on file. They do not need a form to drive to UUCF.
Event Specific Permission Form: Permission form for events not covered by the general permission slip. Some examples include Youth Cons and other events more than 50 miles away from UUCF.
General Assembly (GA): The annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association where members, staff and clergy of UU congregations around the country meet to discuss relevant issues of the day and form policy. Youth of UUCF members are able to attend.
High School Curriculum: Can refer to sets of lesson plans organized around a theme and a common structure, such as “Popcorn Theology,” “Virtue Ethics,” “Heeding the Call,” of which the latter two are available online at the UUA Tapestry of Faith web pages for review. “Popcorn Theology” is available for review in the UUCF office. High school curriculum can also include the discussion topics that arise from the Youth-Adult Committee meetings, current events and issues, social justice topics, and group interests.
Mentor: An adult member of the UUCF congregation who volunteers to be matched with a youth in the Coming of Age Program for 6 months and supports them in their spiritual growth.
Our Whole Lives (OWL): A comprehensive, nationally acclaimed sexuality education curriculum offered for 8th Grade students annually and HS students every other year.
Overnights: An overnight youth group gathering held at UUCF. Youth cook, worship and sleep on campus. A current Enrollment Form is required for each youth. A chaperone is required for every seven youth, and adults take shifts so that one adult remains awake at any point during the night.
Quaker Work Camp: A weekend-long service learning trip in D.C. The youth work on community service projects with the Quaker Staff and visit a Quaker Meeting House. Often occurs over President’s Day Weekend. Event-Specific Youth Permission Form required.
RE Assistant: Melissa Campos-Peohnert. Part-time RE staff with administrative tasks including all permission slips and RE registration forms. Reach her at email@example.com.
RE: Religious Exploration. UUCF programming for children and youth that helps them explore their spiritual beliefs, learn UU values, and experience a safe, supportive covenanted community. uucf.org/learn-grow
Realm: UUCF’s member database. Keeps track of enrolled youth, events and communications with congregants.
Enrollment: Enroll for RE classes online. Families receive monthly RE emails and information on special events. Enrolled youth are added to class rosters or can be added by families to the appropriate Realm Group.
Room 11: The room in the Program Building at UUCF where the high school groups meet on Sunday mornings. Sometimes called the “teen room” or “youth room.”
Snacks: Food brought for the high school group on Sunday morning that ranges from fruit and cheese to donuts and chips. Provided by youth and their families. Often, several families bring something to offer to the group snack. No peanuts or nuts are allowed in the Program Building. A sign-up will be sent to youth and families at the beginning of each year.
Sponsored Event: A UUCF-event coordinated, promoted and overseen by UUCF volunteers and staff.
Spring Break Movie-Thon: Youth pick a full day and evening during Fairfax County Public Schools spring break to watch multiple movies in the youth pod. Drop-ins welcome to stay as long as they want. General permission form required.
Teen Pod: The cluster of meeting rooms on the east end of the program building. Rooms 9 through 11.
UU-UNO: Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office. Organization that advocates for UU values and causes at the U.N. Offers a three-day spring seminar in New York City for youth (intergenerational) based on a theme. Youth and chaperones travel by train or bus and youth stay at a NYC UU congregation. Event-specific permission form is required to attend.
Worship Associate: A few youth are invited annually to be worship associates for Sunday services. Worship associates support the minister and worship committee in planning and conducting worship services. Training is provided by ministers and/or worship committee.
Youth Adult Committee (YAC, pronounced /yak/): A committee made up of youth and adult advisors that plans youth group activities. YAC youth co-chairs meet regularly with the youth ministry coordinator.
Youth Group: UUCF group for high school youth grades 9-12. Regularly meets each Sunday at 11:15 a.m. and does a mixture of games, curricula, worship and other youth-led activities.
Youth Ministry Coordinator (YMC): UUCF half-time staff person responsible for coordinating youth programming for grades 7-12. Provides advisor and mentor training, attends overnights and activities as well as classes.
Youth-Planned Sessions: Sunday morning class sessions where the youth pick the topic and facilitate the session. Adult advisors offer assistance.
Youth Service: Worship service the first weekend in March that is written and designed by youth group members. Ministers, DRE, youth advisors and youth ministry coordinator offer support and guidance. Planning begins at an overnight in the winter.