The Three-Dorm Model
For many years the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario has facilitated weekend long retreats for the youth of the Conference. The youth have learned about their faith and experienced acceptance and affirmation during those events.
As we gain a better understanding of what it means to be inclusive and affirming the Conference Young Adult and Youth (YAAY) Committee has elected to make some changes to continue to improve the inclusivity of our events.
Beginning with ALF in October 2017, we moved to a three-dorm model, which is one of the inclusive models being used in different United Church youth events across Canada. There will be a mixed gender dorm, a male dorm and a female dorm. The three-dorm inclusive model affirms to youth of all identities and orientations that we as a Church welcome them for who they are. Concerning changing areas, stall washrooms are available to ensure everyone’s comfort. There will be female, male, and gender-neutral washrooms.
The 3-dorm model is a stepping stone towards the YAAY Committee's wish to eventually achieve one inclusive sleeping space for all participants and leaders. Therefore, we encourage any and all participants who feel comfortable to select the mixed gender dorm.
Participants will be engaged in conversations about respecting the personal space of all people attending the event and will have the opportunity to discuss what that looks like. Home Group Leaders and Planning Team Members will be sleeping amongst the participants to provide supervision. A Chaplain will also be available for support.
Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to build a safe and inclusive community for all. If you, participant/parent/guardian, have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the YAAY Program Coordinator, Twila MacNair at email@example.com or 1-204-421-8148 or text/call 1-204-781-8124.
Parents please make your best guess as to your youth's dorm choice and then after you've registered, you can take more time to discuss the dorm choices. Your choice here is not definitive. This will just give us an idea of how big a space we should plan for each dorm. You will be asked again to check off a dorm choice on the permission/health form that you will hand in upon arrival at the retreat. Whatever you choose on the that form will be used in directing your youth to their dorm.
As the mixed-gender dorm has been growing as the choice of more and more participants, we will be making sure we choose a larger space for that option at this retreat.