Thank you so much to everyone who made it to the YES Reunion, and thanks to the people who stayed safe and stayed home- we know you were there in spirit!
While 2017 is already off to a exciting start, we are hoping to start the New Year with an awesome winter YES Fundraiser! We will be raffling off a YES gift-goody basket that has everything from T-shirts to patches, YES love, and YES secrets. You’ll get two full set of YES merch (stickers, buttons, and patches) and you can pick your three favorite shirts from our online store! AND Lillie Santo has provided us with an incredible photobook that will be included (aka it’s lit)!
For every $5 you contribute, you’ll get one ticket in the raffle – the more you donate, the better your chances will be! Please consider donating to help build up our scholarship fund and keep the YES conference going!
Please visit our Donate page by February 19th to make a contribution and enter into this raffle!
YES 2016: "Catch the Wind" Week Recap
Thank you to everyone who supported us throughout the year and who attended our conference week!
This past year, we had one of our largest conferences in 6 years! With 71 attendees, 27 of which were new shoalers, it was an exciting opportunity for our community to show our new shoalers the beauty and comradery of the YES conference! This was also our first week with SG2, after working throughout the year on island and off island with Star Island administration and SG2 administration facilitating our week change.
Everyone we worked and met with during the year were delightful, and very excited to be sharing and planning for our time on island together. Even with only a few little bumps during the week (one being, much to SG2's apology, unexpected wake up calls from an army of tots! hahaha), SG2 and its leadership were very a collaborative and down to earth group that we look forward to continue working with and improving with for years to come.
Of the numerous amazing workshops, theme dinners, all–cons, worships, night owls, and other activities during the week, here are just a few highlights!
-Seaweed tour with Arthur, the Island Marine Lab manager! Arthur gave us a super informative and fun marine tour, collecting various types of edible seaweed found all around the island. Arthur was kind enough to then cook it all up for us in a variety of methods creating quite a delicious and fresh seaweed spread!
-Our speaker of the week, Justine Sheffler, led an in-depth, subconscious exploration workshop called “Pandora’s Box: Travels in the Subconscious Mind”. By leading guided meditations, discussing dreams, and diving deep into the meanings behind what our subconscious creates, we were able to learn more about our inner voice and ourselves.
-Purge and Burn worship was held outside for the first time in a couple years, which really made the experience all the more impactful and spiritual. Our community out on the rocks sitting around the fire together, bearing their hearts and fears and what they were purging, was an emotional and beautiful experience that was truly transformative.
-Our talent show was a huge hit! So many talents, spoken word, dance, musical, comedic, tear jerking, and jaw dropping performances from our shoalers made for quite a memorable show. To top it off, our closer was 5 of our shoalers performing some 90’s favorites complete with amps, drum set, guitars bass, and speakers! A mini-concert and mini-mosh is exactly what we needed to wrap up an already amazing talent show.
This and so, so, so much more took place during our 2016 week, we cant possibly fit it into one brief post.. We are so proud and so happy with the way the week progressed and the love within our community that grew. Looking forward to seeing that love continue to grow into 2017 ♥
Now, without further ado, here is your 2017 Staff lineup!
Bryar - Co-Chair
Bryar is from Chapel Hill North Carolina where she spends her time going to classes and teaching youngsters how to dance ballet. This year she is beyond hype to be co-chairing the YES conference with Michael! If Bryar was stranded on a deserted island she would bring a book of poetry by Heather McHugh, her cat Fifi, and her best friend Sally.
Michael - Co Chair
Michael originally hails from Newton MA, and now studies engineering just over the town line in Needham. As one of this year's YES co-chairs, he is stoked to be planning the conference alongside Bryar and the year's incredible staff team. If he was stranded on a deserted island, Michael would bring lots of tree house construction material.
Sara - Registrar
Sara is 22 from Whitman MA and a student at Bridgewater state university. She loves dancing, singing, hanging with the kids at the daycare she works at and turtles! She is super excited to be this year’s registrar and if she were on a deserted island she would bring her best friend, some yummy food and a boat!
Laura - Programming Director
Laura comes from Newington, a suburb of Hartford, Connecticut. She is currently a senior at Clark University in Worcester, where she studies Spanish and psychology in between going on hikes and reading. If she were stranded on a desert island, she would make sure to bring a suitcase full of books (survival ones and pleasure reading included)!
Taylor - Chair Emeritus
Taylor is from Arlington, MA and currently resides a stone’s throw away in Somerville, MA. As last year’s Chair, she is now Chair Emeritus for the 2016-2017 conference year and is super excited to be continuing to help out the chairs, registrar, and conference anyway and everyway she can. If she were stranded on a deserted island, Taylor would bring Iodine pills to purify water so she can stay well hydrated!
Jordan - Activties Coordinator
Jordan is from Pembroke, MA and attends school in Western Mass. at a liberal arts college. She enjoys camping, nature, and all kinds of art. If she were on a deserted island, she would bring a sketch-pad, pencils, and a bag of Reese's peanut butter cups.
Nate - New Shoaler Liason
I'm Nate Handleman, co-new shoaler liaison. I've been coming to YES! and to star for two years. I fell in love with the conference almost immediately, and I want to do everything in my power to make it an amazing experience for incoming people. There are 3 things I love more than anything in this world, and if you asked anyone who knows me they'd tell you what they are: Jurassic Park, Pokémon, and Mac&Cheese. I am excited to see everyone, new and old, and I can't wait to make YES! the best it can be. I would bring a boat to a deserted island so that I could get back to my friends when I got bored there. :p
Ian - New Shoaler Liason
My name is Ian Teare-Thomas. I have attended the YES conference three times. I participated in and help organize cons hosted by CAT before I bridged out. my answer to the question "what would you bring with you to a deserted island?" is, a giant towel, like a blanket sized towel.
Linnie - SG2 Liason
Linnie lives in southern New Hampshire, where she spends most of her time doing schoolwork and trying to stay busy. She's pumped to be working with Remy Beauregard to create even more activities and sharing between YES and SG2 this coming year and is really excited to be back on island. If she were to be stranded on a deserted island, she would bring her cat, a good book, and her best friend.
Remy - SG2 Liason
Hi there! My name is Remy Beauregard, I am a 20-year-old student at Vassar College hailing from Hamilton, Massachusetts, and I am one your two SG2 liaisons for the upcoming year on Star Island. But Remy, just what is an SG2 liaison? I’m so glad you asked! As you may know, last year marked the first of many times that the YES conference will be sharing the island with the Star Gathering 2 conference. Along with Linnie, my job on and off island is to foster engaging conversation between members of these two conferences, to promote inter-conference activities and sharing, and to help assure that any feedback finds its way to the appropriate source. I want to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to have a transformative week on Star Island, and would love any suggestions on how to make our shared island experience even better! Stranded on a deserted island (rather than the tastier alternative, a dessert-ed island) I would probably opt for a solar-powered water filtration system and an emergency flare.
Sabine - Family Group Coordinator
Hi! My name is Sabine Michaud! I have been going to YES on Star Island for 5 years now. YES has taught me so much about community and empowerment, and I can't wait to continue my summer's with this conference. I study theatre design and technology at Purchase College, and I love to create beautiful work with a collaborative team, whether it be theatre or anything else. If I could bring anything with my to a deserted island, I would bring my hammock!
Grady - Family Group Coordinator
I’m Grady Cardeiro and I will be this year’s Family Group Coordinator. I am from Exeter, NH and attend college in Boston, MA. I’ll be organizing family groups, and activities for these groups. I would bring a surfboard to a desert island, being stranded at sea is way more fun when you can surf everyday!
Craig - Worship Coordinator
Craig hails from the suburbs of Reading MA, a prototypical "two Starbucks" kind of town, if you will. He is ecstatic to be taking on the position of Worship Coordinator along with Noah. Were he to be stranded on a desert island, he would bring Castaway-era Tom Hanks, because that guy really needs some company.
Noah - Worship Coordinator
Noah Lukens comes from Rhode Island. He’s excited to be a part of planning the island’s worships, and to give back to the conference from the staff perspective. If he were stranded on a deserted island, he would definitely bring a guitar.
Nathaniel - Social Action Coordinator
Nathaniel Clark, hailing from the very small town of Dunstable, MA, enjoys indie comic books, Shakespearean theater craft, fencing, and writing about himself in the third person. He is currently living in Hamburg, Germany, during his JYA program from Smith College, where he is living the high life and struggling to order at restaurants, because half of the dish names have umlauts in them and those are surprisingly difficult to pronounce. He is one half of the YES Social Action Coordinator Team, which he privately refers to as the Justice League, and looks forward to working with new and old shoalers to tear down with our bear hands the outdated and malicious systems that threaten our fellow humans.
Dani - Social Action Coordinator
My name is Dani Tyrcha. I didn't grow up in the UU faith but instead was raised Catholic. When I came out as part of the LGBT community and faced discrimination because of that and the UU became a place where I felt I could truly be myself. If I was on a deserted island, I would bring my partner Bailey.
Kieran - Fairy Godmother
Kieran is your stunningly fabulous Fairy Godmother, granting staff wishes, and helping out the conference. They would bring water and sunscreen to a desert island.
Lillian - Historian
I'm Lillian Santo from Reading Mass. This year on Star I'm the historian. Which means I will be keeping the spirit of our conference and conferences past alive. Through traditions and photos I will help to show everyone what our conference is all about. I would bring a magic genie to a deserted island.
Registration for Reunion 2017: "Starstruck !", is now available!
When?: Friday January 6th at 7:00PM through Sunday January 8th at 8:00AM
Where?: First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 1508 Washington Street, Canton MA 02021
How much?: $30-$35, either in cash or by check. Please make checks out to "RYE, Inc".
What to expect?: Check out our flyer included in this post for more information!
How to Register?: Follow this link!
Minor medical release?: Our minor medical release is required by all regardless of age! You can access it by following this link.
We can't wait to see you there!!
**Any current and former conferees under 24, as well as any guests who will still be eligible to attend our conference in 2017 are welcome to attend for the weekend. If any alumni wish to visit just send our chairs a message so we know when you are coming!**
Thank you to our staff, conferees, and all else who took part on making this week as memorable and beautiful as it was! We are so proud to have shared such a wonderful week with all of you and can't wait to see our conference continue to grow and spread the love ❤
Speaking of, Bianca and I are beyond excited to pass the torch to our newly elected Chairs, Michael Costello and Bryar Loftfield! We will be here for them every step of the way serving as Chair Emeritus, and know they will do an amazing job carrying our conference into another year!
Love you all,
Bianca Giolitto and Taylor Travers
P.S. Keep a lookout for our conference week recap and 2017 Staff introductions soon to come!
We're very excited to announce that we have just launched our YES 2016 Scholarship Fund campaign!!
The goal of this campaign is to raise money for our scholarship fund, which provides financial assistance to conferees whom otherwise would be unable to afford the costs of attending. We aim to help as many shoalers as we can, with the hope that no one has to miss out on the beauty of our conference due to financial constraints.
With our conference nearing over 70 attendees this year, scholarship requests have also increased. At least two-thirds of our conferees require some amount of financial aid each year in order to attend. As a result, this campaign is crucial to our conference's ability to provide aid.
As a thank you for your generosity, you'll get some hand-made personalized gifts from our conference! Some of these amazing donation perks include:
So please spread the word to friends, family, and strangers because every dollar helps!
Visit our campaign at: YES Conference 2016 Scholarship Fund