What Is Youth MWLS?
Midwest Leadership School is a weeklong intensive experience designed to engage participants in all aspects of leadership in a Unitarian Universalist faith community. Since 2009, we are pleased to offer Midwest Leadership School for Youth (ages 14-18) in tandem with our Adult School. It will challenge and train Unitarian Universalist youth in three areas:
- Leadership Skills Development
- Religious Values & Heritage
This is an intentional community and learning experience. It equips young UUs with a foundation that deepens their religious development and expands their ability to contribute, both in their Unitarian Universalist community and beyond.
Youth Leadership School is designed to be an intensive learning experience. The days will be long, varied and demanding, with little free time. The community we create together will be safe, supportive and fun—aiming to give each participant as full a sense of his or her own developing leadership skills as is possible in one short week. This is not a setting for anyone who might be dealing with personal life crises and it is not a "Con." Students should be mature and able to manage their time and emotional needs in this intense context.
Days are highly structured and participation in all aspects of the school is required. The adult to youth ratio is about 1:4, so there will be ample adult support for students.
What Is It for Us to Do?
In July 2014, we attended Youth Midwest Leadership School (YMWLS), a week-long UU leadership camp for UU youth in Beloit, Wisconsin. It was the best week of our lives.
We arrived with little preconception about the week's activities. We hoped for fun and eye-opening experiences. What we encountered was far more than we could have hoped for, particularly the relationships we developed with 28 other open-minded UU youth. We created a unique UU community where, together, we pursued acceptance, spirituality, communication, peace, equity, and unconditional love. We bonded until the idea of leaving sounded impossible. We departed feeling we'd evolved into new and better versions of ourselves who had experienced a real taste of what community, spirituality, and love truly means.
Youth 2012 Videos
Thanks to Ben Wallace for his creativity with video & music...a fun capsule of Monday's activities in Youth Leadership School. At times yesterday, I was wishing we had the money to run 5 or 6 separate weeks of this all summer - our teenagers are so amazing and inspiring! -- Dori Thexton, Dean of YLS