What is Beacon?

In April of 2008, a Youth Caucus at the UU General Assembly was held and the attendees voted to dissolve YRUU. Beacon was formed and in 2009 new organizational bylaws and guidelines were developed to ensure a safe, healthy, and thriving Unitarian Universalist youth community for District wide events.
Critical Components of Youth Ministry include community building, spirituality, learning, social action, youth empowerment, leadership, and good youth-adult relations.

Youth Empowerment IS
  • The foundation and guiding principle of youth ministry.
  • Youth being trusted and knowing it.
  • About supporting others in finding their own power.
  • Providing youth a chance to participate in the discussions that impact their experiences.
  • Supporting, encouraging, and supplying youth with tools, resources, and opportunities.
  • Not abandonment. Empowering youth must be an intentional goal and must have active adults working with youth to make it happen.
  • A living partnership between youth and adults, one in which power is shared.

There are guidelines to ensure the safety and supervision of the youth. Advisors must ensure that one youth and one advisor are never in a room alone and out of sight. No two youth, regardless of gender, are to be out of sight alone together. There must be an advisor for every 8 youth attending at the CON site. All advisors attending CONs must have completed Advisor Training, or made arrangements with the Adult co-chair to receive training at the CON. 

Advisor training covers issues including
  • Maintaining appropriate boundaries.
  • Keeping the youth group safe physically, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually.
  • Building community within the group.
  • Advisors being mandated to report issues of health and safety risks to parents or other required authorities.
  • Advisors being members of the group, who are not above or below the youth.
  • Youth safety being both essential and inherent.

During CONs and other youth events, rules are in place to ensure a safe and peaceful environment conducive to community building. You will find the following rules on the notarized permission forms needed for CON attendance:

Conference Rules: 

• Community breaking behaviors, such as sexual activity, destructive actions, or attitudes are prohibited. 
• No tobacco products, alcohol, illegal drugs, weapons or fireworks are allowed. 
• If a Youth is taking prescription drugs or has a medical condition, he or she must inform his or her advisor. 
• Quiet, same gender, and coed sleeping must be made available at all conferences, and an advisor must stay in any sleeping area where there are two or more people.
• One blanket=one person, no sharing of blankets. 
• All advisors attending the Con must have completed Advisor Training. In special cases, the youth council co-chairs may waive this requirement. 
• All attending the conference must remain onsite. In order to leave the premises, one must receive permission from his or her advisor and inform a designated advisor from the hosting church. 
• All attending the Youth conference, regardless of age, must abide by these rules, understanding that they may have to forego some of their usual privileges. 
• Additional rules may be set by the hosting group. The purpose of these rules is to ensure a safe and peaceful environment, which is conducive to community building.

The above rules are restated at the opening circle of every CON. A Trespass Committee is established for each CON, consisting of two youth and two advisers. The role of the Trespass Committee is to meet and determine appropriate sanctions if any rules are violated. It is rare for the Trespass Committee to convene as the youth encourage each other to behave in ways that are community building.

Find out more about CONs here.
William Cromar,
Apr 13, 2015, 12:47 PM
webmaster Florida beacon,
Aug 1, 2014, 11:37 AM
William Cromar,
Apr 13, 2015, 12:53 PM