Arizona Youth & Children Ministry exists to provide Christian Education opportunities for the youth and children of the Arizona Region. Much of this is done through Retreats and Camps. Our youth volunteers from around the state come together to provide two weekends and one week a year of fellowship and fun for all three of our age groups. Children and Youth grades three through twelve have a chance to come together each Fall and Spring for the weekend retreats to discuss the themes and relate them to current events in their life and their communities. Camp gives them a week away from their day to day summer routines. It’s a chance to cool off and relax in the mountains of Prescott, to worship in nature, team build and enjoy the many activities that our staff as well as the camp provide.
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Ghouls. Goblins. Ghosts. Vampires. Disney Princesses. Halloween has long been seen as an anti-church holiday. But in recent years Halloween has become a holiday where church’s find a way to welcome the community, most of the time it is through events like...
Retreats & Other Gatherings
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Youth Leadership Team (YLT)
What is Youth Leadership Team?
High school students in the Christian Church in Arizona and the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ have a unique opportunity to develop their leadership through practice, training, and education. This manual lays out expectations, rules, and a signed covenant. This handbook applies to both the Youth Leadership Team (YLT) and Adults in the Life of Youth (ALYs).
Purpose of Youth Leadership Team (YLT)
The Youth Leadership Team (YLT) is a ministry of the Christian Church in Arizona and the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ. The main focus of this ministry is to develop young leaders within the two judicatories. These young leaders will develop skills to lead:
- Peers at youth and children’s events
- Local congregations
- The larger community
Throughout a Youth Leader’s time on YLT, it is the hope that they reach several milestones, takes leadership in annual events, and show leadership in their community and local congregations.
While there are some benefits for YLT, like college scholarships, the purpose of participation is not exclusively for the purpose of those benefits.
The YLT is a group of young leaders, and as such there are expectations of participation. Not only does this help with living out our mission and vision, but it teaches leadership.
- To participate in the full ministry of the YLT.
- To participate in the life and ministry of local congregations.
- Clear and consistent communications with the YLT and ALYs.
- Attendance, performance, willingness to learn and grow, and being a team player.
While at camp, the YLT members are expected to take one of three leadership opportunities. The role that a YLT member takes on will be their main focus for camp, they may be asked to help in the execution of other things, but only if that does not conflict with their main focus. For example, if a Peer Leader is asked to help with the Talent Show, the Peer Leader can only help when they are not in Small Group.
- Activity leaders are in charge of camp activities for the different camp age groups. This includes games, crafts, evening activities, etc.
Leadership Skills: Public speaking, high energy, quick and critical thinking, creative, instructional, organization and communication, especially under time and emotional pressure.
- Peer leaders partner with an adult counselor to lead the Small Groups for High School and Middle School Camps.
Leadership Skills: Spiritual leadership, leadership in small group situations and discussion, comfort with leading peers, listening, modeling of positive camp culture and expectations.
- Camper Leaders
- Camper Leaders work as partners with adult counselors in all aspects of the Sprouts and Pines camps, including living in the rooms with campers as assistant counselors.
Leadership Skills: Childhood development sensitivity, leadership with young children, teaching, patience, nurturing, trustworthy, high energy.
Covenant of Participation
All YLT participants, both youth and adults must sign this covenant. If there is a breach of covenant, a discussion will be had with regional and/or conference leadership and may result in the excusal from participation in YLT, and, if serious enough, all youth programming.
A covenant is a promise between people and God. Covenants are promises that we make that we hold with utmost respect and consideration.
As a member of the Youth Leadership Team, I promise to myself, my peers, the Church, and God, to:
- Fully participate in the ministry of the YLT, my local church, and region/conference.
- Follow through with my commitments, to maintain my own schedule, to find my own transportation to events, and to ask for help when I need it.
- Be clear in communication, and ask for clarity when others are not being clear.
- Be nice to all members of YLT, both in person and online.
- Be open-minded to the perspective, beliefs, and situations that my other YLT members have.
- Know when to step up, and when to back off.
- Understand that sometimes adults will have to make decisions that may not make you happy, but that have the YLT’s interest at heart.
- Be an active leader in my local church.
- Practice active listening, knowing that my voice is important but not the only voice.
- Respect my fellow YLT member’s differences and treat them with love.
- What is said in YLT stays in YLT, creating a safe space.
- Be open about my story, creating a brave space.
- During meetings, our main focus is getting things accomplished.
- Know when to work and when to play.
- Be quick to forgive others and myself for mistakes, be humble, listen for God and follow where God calls us.
All accepted YLT will be required to sign this covenant with their church pastor and Conference or Regional Staff.