Just recently I was forwarded an email, originating with the Stake youth leaders encouraging leaders, in enthusiastic, even hyperbolic terms, to get all the youth signed up to attend FSY (For the Strength of Youth) this summer. The information provided in the email covered dates, costs, and the inevitable dress standards. Also included was a link to the FSY website required for the youth to register.

Now I don’t know about you, but as a parent, if my children are going to be signing up for an activity there are some things I want to know. Such as, who is running the activity? Who is going to be responsible for my children whilst they are away from home? What will my children be doing and learning? None of this information was provided in the email, so I took a look at the website.

To provide some background context: When my children’s school organise a residential trip, they hold a parent information evening. Parents see a presentation and are given several pages of information about the activities that will take place, and we get to meet and question the members of staff who will be accompanying the students.

Back to the website. For activities we get a brief paragraph:

“This is the full, five-day, overnight program which begins on Monday morning and concludes early Saturday morning. Youth have the opportunity to learn and grow together while attending classes, devotionals and firesides together. Highlights of the week include Family Home Evening, dances, a musical program, a games night, service projects, a variety show, good food, and a testimony meeting. The main benefits are new friendships, strengthened testimonies, and lasting memories.”

As a parent I’d quite like to know what these classes, firesides and devotionals will be about. What are the service projects? They sound good on the surface, but aren’t actually telling me much.

So for my next concern: who’s running it?

“Sessions are primarily supervised by young-adult counsellors between the ages of 20-30 and who are positive role models for the youth. All sessions are directed by adult instructors.”

That’s two sentences. There is a page with a message from the directing couple. There’s a photograph and names. But I don’t know them, or anything about them. We’ve never met them.

The page with the most information? That’s the one talking about dress, appearance and behaviour, with the greatest emphasis on dress and appearance. It’s in addition to the page with the packing list, which lists types of clothing required. Hmmm.

  • What information do you think should be included?
  • What information is provided where you are, and are you happy with it?
  • Does the balance of information concern you?
  • Am I an over-protective parent worrying about nothing?

Discuss.

*Apparently there are trademark issues with EFY.