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There have been a lot of e-mails and postings flying around the internet over the last few weeks regarding the status of YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists) and its relationship to the UUA. There’s been some good coverage in the UU blogosphere, with lots of interesting posts and comments. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a single place to turn to for getting the straight dope. Until now, that is. The UUA’s website now has a “Frequently Asked Questions about the Status of Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) and Youth Ministry” page. It covers a full range of questions, from “What is YRUU?” to “What will happen to UUA services to youth such as trainings, curricula, continental gatherings, etc?” and beyond. So if you’ve been hearing rumors about the YRUU and Youth Ministry in our Association and are interested in getting the facts, please visit www.uua.org/leaders/announcements/100691.shtm.

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I just read an article in Wired that says, “As people spend more time communing with their televisions and computers, the impact is not just on their health, researchers say. Less time spent outdoors means less contact with nature and, eventually, less interest in conservation and parks” (Nature Giving Way to Virtual Reality“).That’s bad news for good memories, as far as I’m concerned. You know the kind of memories I’m talking about, time spent outdoors with family and friends. The kind of experience that church retreats and summer camps can produce in minds young and old. Fortunately for Unitarian Univeralists, there are a fair amount of opportunities available. Just check out the CU2C2 (Council of Unitarian Universalist Camps and Conferences) webpage.

There’s a good news/bad news situation for Prairie Star District, however. Our only camp is Camp Unistar, which is located on Star Island in Cass Lake, a part of the Chippewa National Forest in northern Minnesota. It is one of the real treasures of Prairie Star, so much so, in fact, that the camp is always filled to the brim, which makes it hard for newcomers to find a spot. The need for another camp experience in the district has been recognized for some time, and I’m happy to say that something is finally happening.

If all goes well, there will be a new camp experience available for families and individuals in Prairie Star beginning the summer of 2009. The plan is to get exclusive use of a camp somewhere in the southern part of the district (Nebraska, Kansas, or Missouri) for a week-long UU summer camp. At least, those are the plans of a small group of committed people who met last weekend at the Carol Joy Holling Conference and Retreat Center in Ashland, Nebraska. We’re hoping that things will come together in the month or two so we can make an official announcement about the new camp at the PSD Annual Conference in April. I’ll keep you posted.

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