Youth Programming Guide
We appreciate and recognize each age as an important and essential part of the larger Shoaler community and strive to support conferences with youth programming in the effort of creating a safe, inclusive and fulfilling experience for our younger conferees.
Youth and Children’s Programming Policies
Conferences with youth programming are required to conduct SORI (Sex Offender Registry Information) checks for all youth group leaders working directly with minors (under 18 years old), and each conference to which this applies must submit a “Conference Youth Program Agreement” along with their Letter of Understanding.
Checks can be conducted on the National Sex Offender Public Website. You will need to collect the following information from each youth staff member in advance:
- First, middle and last name. If applicable maiden name or alias.
- Date of birth and place of birth.
- Current address and former addresses from the past three years.
If you would like help conducting SORI checks, please contact Star’s Office Manager, Kate Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please let Justina Maji (email@example.com) know no later than 2 weeks before the conference if any of your youth staff appear in the registry.
Your conference may also choose to conduct criminal background checks on youth staff. This is recommended but not required. You can use a service like Sterling for this service. There is a fee for each background check.
Youth Staff Conduct
Conferences may choose to require that each member of the youth staff submit a form agreeing to behave in accordance to a code of conduct. We have created the following form which you may use or modify as you choose: Youth Program Representative Agreement
Adults in the Company of Youth
Two or more unrelated adults are expected to be present at all events involving youth.
Information for Creating a Youth Program
Conferences are encouraged to develop a curriculum for youth that is inclusive, and includes social justice and antiracism work. Please read the Youth Programming resource provided by Star’s Beloved Community Project as you plan your week.
Conferences with youth are encouraged to include young people in the work of the conference, tying in conference themes to youth programming and including youth in adult programming when appropriate. Your guest theme speaker and minister of the week are good resources, and can be asked to plan some age appropriate activities for the various youth and children’s groups. To help build lifelong stewardship of the conference, give youth (particularly teens and young adults) opportunities for leadership in conference governance and volunteer jobs.
Programming offered by Star Island
Star Island staff is available to provide age-appropriate programming for youth and children’s groups. These activities will enrich your program as well as help build stewardship of Star Island by teaching young Shoalers about the history and natural environment of the islands.
Activities can be scheduled with island staff on Saturday, or in advance by email (starting in June):
- Island Naturalist: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Island Historian: email@example.com
- Music Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sustainability Staff: email@example.com
Snacks and juice can be provided by the conference or ordered from the island using the food order form. We’ll provide compostable juice cups. Some sports equipment and art supplies are available on the island, though conferences should bring supplies for specific projects. There is storage available for conferences to use from year-to-year, but it is very limited. Please only store items you know you will need the following year, and donate others to the Art Barn or Kiddie Barn.