Temperatures may be below freezing but I know that many parents are considering their children’s summer plans. I’d like to highlight several UU summer camps and conferences that UUCWC children love attending. These longer UU immersion experiences are excellent ways to solidify a child’s Unitarian Universalist identity build lifelong friends with other UU children and have fun. UU Camps are magically religious. They offer games, swimming, music, nature, art bonfires and more.
Children’s UU overnight summer camps
- Murray Grove: A small nurturing five-day overnight camp for rising 4th-7th graders located on a historical Universalist sight near the Jersey shore. “An amazing experience…a ton of fun” Mahin Hardaway. “I have made lifelong friendships” Ishaan Hardaway.This is an excellent camp for a child’s first overnight camp experience. Representatives from the camp will be at UUCWC on February 10th. In 2019, camp will be held Aug. 4th-8th. For more information see: http://www.murraygrove.org/camping-in-the-grove
- Unirondack . Several teens from UUCWC are passionate about this camp in the Adirondacks. . The Campbell’ family calls it “Never-never land.” because of how it is a youth-led paradise. “ Weeks are for specific age groups. Spots fill up quickly. http://www.unirondack.org/
- Rowe Camp located on the Vermont/ Massachusetts border. Its philosophy is to balance individual freedom and responsibility to the community in a fun, relaxed, creative, energetic environment. See: http://rowecenter.org/wp/youth-camps/
Adult and Family UU conferences
Typically, UU conference weeks have both intergenerational activities and separate programs for adults and children. In the morning, adults attend a theme talk and a workshop from several choices on anything from drumming or poetry; to “ ethics for Unitarian Universalists” while children attend a fun and creative children’s program. Afternoons have free time or small intergenerational workshops. Evenings are filled with music, dances, games, and conversations in front of a fire. There are short inspiring worship services at the start and end of each day (often outside). All activities are optional so you can always read, relax and swim while you enjoy the all-inclusive aspect of the conference. It is wonderful to meet and socialize with UUs from other congregations.
Listed below are brief descriptions of a few of the many UU camps and conferences.
- Star Island: The Jensen family attended last year and described it as a UU paradise where your children are loved for who they are. The entire island off the coast of NH is devoted to a UU conference center in a turn of the century grand hotel. I have been attending Star “Religious Education week” for more than 10 years. See www.starisland.org or ask me for more information.
- Ferry Beach: Ferry Beach is located on the beach in southern Maine on Saco Bay. It offers a variety of one-week conferences. Ferry Beach has a campground attached to it, which allows for a cheaper housing option. I have been here and really enjoyed it. More information is available at www.ferrybeach.org.
Bringing an entire family on an all inclusive week vacation can be beyond a family’s budget. There are ways to keep costs down by camping, by working part of the day and by applying for scholarships. They often have special discounts for first time attendees. Contact individual camps or see me for ideas about how to make a UU camp a possibility for your family. I highly encourage it.
Robin Pugh, DLRE