Children and Youth Education
Above: Prairie kids volunteer to pitch in and help clean cages
for birds in need at local parrot sanctuary.
Our young people of all ages enjoy safe and fun programs in which they learn, grow, and build relationships and memories to last a lifetime. We offer childcare every Sunday for babies and toddlers, classes for lower and elementary aged children, and youth groups for middle and high school youth. We have a Coming of Age program for 8th graders and offer the renowned UU OWL (Our Whole Lives) sexuality programming. One Sunday each month, our middle and high school teens go out to brunch, and we have our own High School Summer Camp. Our youth and children also participate in our Service Sundays which have had outreach into the homeless community and a horse therapy farm, as examples this year. Our children and youth learn that they are a beloved part of our whole community.
Ralph Waldo Mouse
Ralph Waldo Mouse (whose name is from our great Unitarian forebear Ralph Waldo Emerson) is our Prairie Church Mouse. He is there every Sunday on the altar, usually very appropriately dressed for the season and the service. He offers bits of wisdom every Sunday, too, in our announcements. He is always seeking for truth in the midst of mystery and the simplest way to summarize our messages for our children and youth. He also sometimes tells us stories and looks forward to playing with our children every Sunday.
High School Summer Camp
High School Summer Camp is one week every summer in Winter Park. Students going into ninth grade to just graduated are eligible. Summer Camp is led by an excellent staff of adult volunteers. Activities include arts and crafts, swimming, hot tubbing, talent show, skits, game night, BBQ, ice breaker games, “last night” party, camper-led Sunday chapel, focus groups, preparing and cleanup of meals, and “Capture the Flag.” Past special programming has included Rachel’s Challenge (anti-bullying), Responsible Sex Education Institute (a division of Planned Parenthood), and The Blue Bench (dealing with sexual assault).