Announcing: East Shore Outdoors Youth Adventures!

Jan 30, 2021 | Children and Youth, Learning, News, RE-Flections

Online engagement has tried and tested our group! We miss the excitement and joy that comes from being in person. Since last spring, HS Youth has met for several months twice a week online, offered a virtual Youth Worship service, and had a wonderful virtual youth bridging ceremony. This fall, we’ve had a weekly Friday meetings, with a prominent Dungeons and Dragons group forming and some success with conversations around social justice, including homelessness and voting. We’ve also participated in several virtual UUA events for youth.

We also know that many of our youth want to “do” and not just “talk” about the world around them! And we love that. Living out our values happens in the real world, with one another when we’re trying new things, connecting to nature and community, and when we’re challenged and enjoying our selves in a deep and meaningful way. Be sure to read on for an introduction to key organizer, Mark Norelius, to learn more about his passion for the outdoors and his role as volunteer with youth.

On the last Saturday of every month, in February, March, April and May, join us for outdoor Saturday youth adventures. Each month will feature a different activity at a different location. And, on the second Sunday of each month, from 6-7pm, there will be an online planning session with volunteers and participants to get ready as a team. We ask that all interested youth attend the planning session. We’ll talk about equipment requirements, transportation, location, meals, and such. These events are open to any youth in our immediate and extended community, so you can invite a friend whether they’ve been to East Shore forever or haven’t been yet.

Sign up, via Signup Genius here

Here’s the schedule:

Snowshoeing 4th Saturday February 27th 10am-3pm

  • 2nd Sunday Planning February 14th 6-7pm Zoom Meeting ID: 842 5667 0954

Geocaching 4th Saturday March 27th

  • 2nd Sunday Planning March 14th 6-7pm, Zoom Meeting ID: 842 5667 0954

Adventure TBD – Help us decide! 4th Saturday April 24th

  • 2nd Sunday Planning April 11th 6-7pm, Zoom Meeting ID: 842 5667 0954

Adventure TBD – Help us decide! 4th Saturday May 22nd

  • 2nd Sunday Planning May 9th 6-7pm, Zoom Planning Meeting ID: 842 5667 0954

Although the events themselves are free, sometimes the activities will require appropriate gear and clothing. And for that, we have funds available! Please get in touch with DRE, Amanda Alice, to help make sure you’ve got the money you need to cover the costs.

All of the events require your own transportation, because of the pandemic we’re not able to coordinate that or ride share. And of course, you’ll need to bring masks, hand sanitizer, and to avoid physical contact with one another.

We know some of you aren’t able to join us outdoors during the pandemic, and we hope you’ll rejoin us when a safer time for all will come.

These outdoors programs for youth are intended to serve the community during and beyond the pandemic, providing “field” opportunities for connection and learning and to give youth who may not have connected online or in the classroom with our programs a fresh start at Unitarian Universalist youth culture. Join us to help build it here at East Shore!

by amanda alice uluhan, DRE

Hi to the youth of East Shore and your families,

I would like to introduce myself to the youth and parents who I have not yet had a chance to meet. I have served on the East Shore Board Of Trustees for the past three years and in June my term will end. As a board member, I watched Amanda Alice move into a position of leadership of the Religious Education program and am convinced she is bringing great things to the program. I have observed a few of the Youth Group on-line activities in the past few months and have briefly met a few of the youth in these sessions.

I have offered to Amanda Alice help in adding to the youth programs some outdoor activities that will provide for some events where they can have fun together without needing a screen to communicate and still stay safe. When the COVID restrictions are behind us we will hopefully have the basis for a program that includes regular outings that will be attractive.

When people ask me to describe myself I often will say that I am a kid at heart. I have 5 boys ages 19-36 and though I won’t say I can always keep up with them I would say I can hold my own :-). As a parent I ended up adding to my resume: soccer coach and Scoutmaster for my boys’ troop. I have traveled with groups of kids to soccer tournaments around the state, with scouts to Mt Rainier, Oregon coast, Yellowstone, Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, and to Florida Sea Base.

I am retired and an empty nester now but my love for the outdoors is as strong as ever. I am into skiing (snow and water), SCUBA, backpacking, windsurfing, sailing, rowing and the list goes on.

What is important for you to know is that I love sharing my love for the outdoors. I love watching and helping kids learn to love the outdoors. We live in an amazing place that allows us all to enjoy such a variety of activities.

I am hoping to meet and get to know you all at outdoor activities in the near future.

With Care,

Mark Norelius