What is an Albany UU Children & Youth Guide?
A Guide is a volunteer who is trained to assist with the programs offered to Children and Youth at Albany UU.

How can I become a Guide?
Please send an email to Director of Children & Youth Programs Elizabeth Baldes, who will assist you in exploring a good fit and starting the application process.

Why do people donate their time and effort to children and youth?
Sharing the excitement of learning and exploring new ideas with children can be a very special experience. Volunteers often say that they learn as much, or more, from the young people as the young people do from the volunteers. The fresh outlook of children and youth can help adults to keep our youthful perspective.

I’m still forming my own beliefs.  How can I teach religion to children?
As UU’s, most of us spend our entire lives formulating our religious beliefs. It’s a part of what we’re all about! Since we have no creed, we don’t try to “teach” our children religion. Instead, we guide them to question, to wonder, to grow their own spirituality and worldview. We help them consider how to think about religion, not what to think about it. Our small group guides don’t need theological certainty, just open minds and open hearts.

But I don’t know how to guide a small group!
That’s okay – we’ll help you. Our staff of Paula Brewer, Program Assistant and Elizabeth Baldes, Director of Religious Education, support the team of volunteers throughout the church year. There is also an opportunity for guide development (teacher training) every fall. Many guides learn from witnessing their teammates in action for a session or two, before taking the lead themselves.

I can’t do it alone.
Don’t worry. You’ll be a part of a teaching team of four volunteers per group. When it’s your turn to teach, another member of your team will be there to assist you and monitor the interactions.  You can expect to lead one session a month and assist once a month. You’ll receive an email each week to remind you of the schedule and check in with you. Elizabeth and Paula will provide you with the materials you need.

I’m not particularly good at arts and crafts, music, drama, etc).
You don’t have to be! Our curricula is designed to be easy to use. We’ve always said that nothing has to turn out “just so” in our activities. Children and youth will appreciate the opportunity to explore what they like and to share with the group what they are excited about.

I enjoy the Sunday sermons in the adult service too much to miss them. 
Good news! We have teams so that no one has to volunteer every Sunday. Plus, now that we are multi-platform, most services are recorded and shared.

Ok, I’m interested. How do I apply?
Email your interest to Director of Children & Youth Programs Elizabeth Baldes. She’ll be happy to talk with you about what might be a good fit for you. 

2. You will then need to complete these two mandatory forms and submit them to Elizabeth Baldes:

What groups could I work with? Please visit our Learning/Children & Youth page for details on all our age-related classes.