This description was written when we were at Oberlin, we’re now located at California University of PA. The places will change, while the general routine will not.
On their first day, the youth will generally arrive between 12:00 and 4:00 . They will unpack their belongings into their dorms and then have free time until dinner at 5:00. When dinner ends at 6:30, there will be a community-wide opening ceremony in the church, followed by a mandatory youth opening. Here, new youth will be bridged in by other, current youth and the SI Youth Panel will go over the rules. Partway through the meeting, the youth will be assigned to Touch-Base Groups: smaller groups of about 10 youth that check in once a day throughout the week to discuss things, play games, and relax. They will also have to attend an intergenerational workshop to help out.
The Touch-Base Groups will then leave to have their first meeting while the parents stay and have a Q&A with the panel. When Touch-Base Groups are dismissed at 9:15, there will be a freezie pop social at Hales Gym where youth can enjoy popsicles and catch up with old friends while meeting new ones. An optional youth vespers will be offered later in the evening, which goes from 9:45 to 10:45.
Each morning every youth must attend morning programming. This will be held at the Cat in the Cream in the Hales Gym and start at 9:40. For the first half of morning programming, they will participate in whole-community discussion with the youth theme speaker for the week. Theme speakers are different every year and the topics presented on range from learning a culture’s traditional songs and dances, to learning how to gather support for an issue in your community. At 11:30, the youth will go to their choice of the offered morning workshops, which include such activities as outdoor games, arts and crafts, and planning vespers. Attending a morning workshop is mandatory. Morning programming will officially end at 12:30, and the youth may then go to lunch. Once morning programming has ended, the youth are free for several hours. In that time, there will be two sets of community-wide workshops, one in the early afternoon and the other from the mid-afternoon till dinner. Touch-Base Groups will then meet from 5:00 to 5:45. Touch-Base Group attendance is required.
Each night after dinner there will be a community-wide activity, such as peek, Monte Carlo night, a community vespers and a youth vespers. The curfew for senior highersis midnight, and is 11:00 for junior highers. They must be within 50 feet of their dorm by these times. Youth staying in the youth focus dorm are allowed to stay up in the lounge after curfew, but should consider getting enough sleep to function during the day. On Thursday there will be a youth coffee house (like a talent show but only for youth), and every night until 12, there is a special activity for all youth (this does override the junior high 11:00 curfew), with a late night space available to senior highers until 2:00 A.M.
As usual, the youth with come together for programming, but instead of workshops, the youth will elect new members for the youth panel. This is a group that plans the youth schedule and sets up additional things, such as this paper. If a youth would like to join, they will simply need to tell everyone why they think that they are qualified. All the youth will then vote, and the winners will be elected. After “morning” programming is finished the day proceeds as normal, but youth should be encouraged to start packing that night.
Saturday begins with cleaning up the youth focus dorm (if you stayed in it) and packing luggage for the trip home. There will be a closing ceremony for the community at 10:00, followed by the youth hug-apillar on the quad. That’s the week at SI for the youth!