O.W.L. Facilitator Training at UUSM

OWL Training 12-2-2022

When we decided to train up a new set of Our Whole Lives instructors for our middle and high schoolers, we couldn’t find a training close enough to us that we could do and still run the program for our current 7th to 9th graders. So we reached out to the UUA Pacific Western Region (PWR) to see if we could host one! They said yes, if we could get enough participants and feed and care for trainees.

By the training weekend of December 2-4 we had 13 participants from across Southern California (and a special guest from Colorado)! In the end, we had five newly minted UUSM O.W.L facilitators and we had a couple new relationships with former YRUUers (now adults) who will be joining us for our Winter/Spring training!

It was a long and grueling weekend, but very, very rewarding. We shared a lot of learning and a lot of food. I was personally so glad to be in a group of young adults and hear how their OWL classes enriched their lives. Our trainers were Kathe Larick and Emmalinda Macclean. We learned a lot about how OWL is adapting to meet the challenges and new learning in our ever changing world.

Youth RE Team members Beth Brownlie and Jack Weber balanced learning with hosting. Additional UUSM grads included Mike Monte, Nick Henning, and Lisa Moran, who will join Alan Brunell, Beth Rendeiro, Larry Weiner, and guest facilitators/PSWD YRUU alum Kai Yoshida (Long Beach) and Caro Knapp (Long Beach). Amy Thiel is coordinating the program and will also join Leon Henderson-McLennon as a parent group coordinator.

New this year, participants will embark on two camping trips — one to de Benneville Pines and one to Ojai (Wheeler Gorge) to learn the ins and outs of birds and bees.

A modest registration fee will cover some of the costs. But you can also support this life-affirming ministry at UUSM with a special gift.

  • $50 underwrites a meal at one of the camps for OWL participants
  • $100 underwrites a campsite at Wheeler Gorge
  • $250 helps pay for thank you gifts to volunteers who will have contributed more than 200 hours in training and 200+ hours in facilitating to make this life-affirming program possible
  • $500 helps rent a van to transport kids to de Benneville Pines for a Superb-OWL weekend!

What is OWL?

Our Whole Lives is a series of sexuality education curricula for five age groups: grades K-1, grades 5-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, and adults, (developed by and) used in schools, agencies, summer camps, in virtual classrooms, and in Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ (UCC) congregations across North America where it was originally developed.

Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality.

Our Whole Lives provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality. Sessions are taught by co-ed teams of trained facilitators (church members) who have attended official OWL trainings.