YSOP Service Trip for High School Youth March 23 and 24, 2018

All Albany UU youth (grades 9-12 during the 2017-18 school year) are invited to participate in an exploration of social justice and social action.


We are planning a trip with the youth from the UU congregation in Binghamton to the Youth Service Opportunities Project (www.ysop.org) in New York City where we will participate in a YSOP Workcamp. I have heard wonderful testimonies from youth who have attended this program. Ann Kadlecek, the DRE in Binghamton, has taken youth to participate in YSOP in the past.

We will:
•    Travel on Friday morning (March 23) either by public transit or by chaperone-driven cars from Albany UU to YSOP headquarters in NYC, which is in the Quaker Meeting House, 15 Rutherford Place, NYC (near Union Square in lower Manhattan)
•    Prepare and share an evening meal with homeless people who sleep in shelters nearby
•    Participate in a discussion with someone who works with the homeless population
•    Spend the night on the floor of the Friends Meeting House in NYC (living simply sleeping bags, no showers, simple meals, etc.)
•    Spend Saturday traveling by foot or subway to work in service at various YSOP monitored sites (mostly soup kitchens and food banks)
•    Participate in several reflective activities to process our experiences
•    Return home to Albany UU late on Saturday evening (March 24)

Cost: We expect the cost will be no more than $175, which includes YSOP fees, transportation, parking, chaperone expenses, and dinner on Saturday evening. The actual cost may be lower, depending on the number of participants, congregational funding and participant fundraising. We plan to make enough money through fundraising and other sources to be able to offer support to those unable to meet the costs involved.

Deposits: Families are expected to make a deposit of between $20 and $50 (depending on your finances) in September. Let me know if this is a hardship and we can make arrangements.

Fundraising: Participants are expected to take part in several activities before the trip to raise the funds needed to lower the cost and provide scholarships.

Supervision: The youth will be supervised by adults from Albany UU according to our Safe Congregations guidelines. Kate Nuding, John Scaringe, Paula Brewer and Sheila Gray are interested in going on the trip. I’ll be attending too.


Schedule: Participants will miss school/work on Friday March 23. They will need to leave on Friday morning, with overnight gear, and will be returning late on Saturday evening. Youth must participate in the entire program. I can provide you with an excuse from school. This is the weekend before Easter. (I will schedule the Rite of Passage Trip to Boston for later in the spring – perhaps Memorial Day Weekend.)
Participants are also expected to attend several pre-trip meetings.


Space is limited: The YSOP has another small group joining us in March and the UU youth group of Binghampton, so we have a cap of 10 youth from Albany and 10 from Bringhampton. We will send 4 adult chaperones from Albany and Binghampton will provide 4 also.


If you haven’t already, please send me an email at dre@albanyuu to let me know if you are interested and plan to attend the meeting.

About Leah

Leah and her husband, Kevin Purcell, live in Albany. They have two grown daughters that were raised at Albany UU. Leah has served as DRE at Albany UU since 2007; before that she worked in both private and public schools. She served as Chair of the Seaway Chapter of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) and now serves on the LREDA Board.

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