Youthblog asks …….

I’ve got a number of projects at the moment that I (or someone else) needs some help with/people for. Please have a read and see if there’s anyone comes to mind, thanks
On Monday July 14th there will be a gathering of Bishops and young people from across the world (oh and me, neither young or episcopal). I’m looking for some 17,18,19 year olds from the Diocese who’d like to be part of a trip from the Diocese to meet up with their peers from around the globe. It’s looking like an ab-fab event!
The URC all age holiday at Swanwick from Aug 16-22nd have asked me to put a shout out for someone/couple to run the 14-18 year old programme each morning. Looks like it could be fun, no pay sadly but could be a bit of a holiday as the demands aren’t great and your place is free.
Yellow Braces the legendary Diocesan Camp running over the weekend 4th-6th July 2008 is a BIT short of male leaders. Give me a shout if you can come and join us for some faith and community fun and the like.

hälsningar och välkomnande till Oxford

Tomorrow will see yet another event in my life and work happening which can only be filed under ‘R’ for Random. At 5pm on Wednesday I am leading a cultural walking tour of Oxford for a group of Swedish visitors!
“Why?” you might well ask and you would not be alone as I am asking myself the same question!
I am under STRICT instruction not to make stuff up (this is a shame as I consider creatively and spontaneously inventing history as one of my more useful abilities) so I spent last night swotting up on the weird and wonderful history of the city.
For those who know Oxford: I shall be taking the party to Turl Street which is sometimes likened to the Anglican Church going as it does from High to Broad with a bit of Jesus somewhere in the middle.
I shall also attempt not to crack up every time I say cliche’d stuff like, “and on the left you’ll see …… ”
“och pÃ¥ lämnad ska ser du ……….. ”

The world of Youth Ministry

Here’s all the ‘stuff’ that has teleported into my in-tray on my return to the (youth) bridge of the USS Diocese of Oxford. Enjoy:
Andy over at Roll the Rock is asking young people to fill in a snap survey on belief.
On the 11th May you and your young people could go to the biggest prayer meeting (adopt Jeremy Clarkson voice now) …. In the world! In fact that whole weekend is a Pentecost Celebration in the capital, details here.
Calling all Youth leaders to the Global day of prayer (the biggest prayer meeting ….. in the Galaxy). GDOP flyer email version.pdf
Christian Aid week is May 7th – 11th. More details and ideas here!
Looking for money for youth work projects in Oxfordshire? YOF Fund
The newest edition of STREETBRAND is out now.

There but not there

sh log.jpgI’m back! I’ve Just had a great week not being at Spring Harvest! What I mean by that is we (the family) were at Minehead Butlins at the same time as people were Spring Harvesting but we lacked the necessary bracelets to gain access to anything Spring Harvesty. Jolly good time though and great to catch up with lots of friends who were Spring Harvesters (or maybe, Spring Harvested!)
Spring Harvest are all geared-up for 2009 already (I had a look in case we don’t go again)
Interesting ethical dilema: Would it have been OK to sneak into SH stuff given that all are welcome in the Kingdom? (We didn’t, but given that the SH bouncers were very fastidious in their wrist band inspection I don’t think we’d have got away with it anyway)
no day tickets.jpg

Amusing moment:
Walking between two rows of chalets and seeing Steve Chalke on every single TV? (I didn’t know, until then, there was SHTV)

(anyone who knows the tribe called Macdonald and seeks further info on our holiday can by clicking continue reading)

Continue reading “There but not there”

Maintenance Schedule

Apologies for any inconvinience but Youthblog will be closed for routine maintenance (of the author) until 21st April when a ‘normal’ service will be resumed. In the meantime alternative reading has been provided via the blog-roll and Youthblog thanks you for your patience.
Any complaints should be directed to:
Terminal 5 Customer Services
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The meaning of cool

One of the things about an informal educative approach that tries to encourage reflective learning in others is that the learning outcome may not be the one that you intended. One of the other things about it is maybe I should stop being so youthworkery (new word) in conversations with my seven year old, Doh!
We were all at the dinner table* and chatting about the day. My youngest is very into ‘cool’ as an important commodity to be possessed and lived. As we chatted about this he insisted that his older brother “is not cool because he dribbles!”
I challenged this assumption and said that I reckoned being Cool was being happy to be who you REALLY were and not trying to copy others, or not having to become some media idea of what Cool was. He really wasn’t buying this and I particularly wanted him to realize that holding a view that a disability meant you couldn’t be cool just wasn’t true or right. Aha, I thought ….. a scenario for him to reflect on. “Supposing,” I said, “that someone only had one leg! You couldn’t just say they weren’t Cool?”
“No,” he agreed! and I thought, ‘great we’ve got somewhere,’ before he then added,
“They could be cool if they had one leg ‘cos then they could be a Pirate and Pirates are Cool!”
I make a mental note not to do the informal education thing with my seven year old. He sits and thinks about how cool pirates are. And the learning outcome evaporates redundant into the ether.
*I don’t know why we call it the ‘dinner table’ …. it’s not like we have a different table for breakfast and another one again for lunch.

Caption Competition

I loved all the captions for bizarre sledging picture and I reckon Youthblog readers are fab at this, so much so if there is another script-writers strike in Hollywood I reckon you could cover the role. Anyway my favourite had to be *drum roll* …….
“Oh dear Harry,” said Ron, “You’ve turned Professor McGonagall’s broomstick into a sleigh!”
Well done Matt

Computer games and Young People

I’ve just been reading the Byron report (actually I read the executive summary rather than the whole document) and it’s a good piece of work. Byron has been neither alarmist nor laissez fair, has involved young people and been careful to honestly present where there is ambiguity or lack of clear evidence.
In terms of gaming she suggests that there are possible negative effects of violent content in games, but these only become harmful when children present other risk factors, that there is evidence of short term aggression from playing violent video games but no studies of whether this leads to long term effects and that while there is a correlation between playing violent games and aggressive behaviour, there is no evidence that one causes the other.
This is a logical presentation of the actual data available but she does go onto make some useful recommendations (and particularly taking into account where young people are in their developmental process)
Much to reflect on I think.
In addition: Darren in Australia (quite seperate from this report) has been doing some thinking, read what he has said here