Looking for information about PYM? Look no further! This page should answer most of your questions, and hopefully give you some information that can be helpful when recruiting youth to attend one of our weekend retreats!
PLEASE let us know if there is anything that is missing here. It is our goal to get this information in print form – and sent out to all youth leaders/churches during the summer months. For now, however, please feel free to comment on this page about everything related to PYM. Sometimes the best information comes from folks who actually ATTEND events.
- WHAT IS PYM? PYM stands for “Parish Youth Ministry” – it is a committee of the Diocese of Virginia that is exclusively made up of about 25-30 high school students from around the diocese. The committee plans and then leads three retreat weekends for middle and high school youth. Members of the committee serve at the diocesan Annual Council meeting as pages and volunteer assistants.
WHAT “RETREAT WEEKENDS” DOES PYM OFFER? PYM offers three retreat weekends. All are held at Shrine Mont. Each begins on a Friday evening (registration generally begins at about 7pm, with the opening session beginning after dinner), and ends by about 11am on Sunday morning.
Senior High Weekend – November
6th/7th Grade Weekend – March
8th Grade Weekend – May
- WHO/HOW MANY PEOPLE COME TO THESE EVENTS? There is generally a pretty large group of folks who come from around the diocese. 8th grade is meant to be a bit smaller, so while that event has just around 100 folks total, the other two weekends typically host 200 people or so. The youth represent the different types of churches in our diocese: old and young, large and small – you name it, and they’re here.
- DO ADULTS NEED TO COME TOO? Youth come together as a church group, with adult chaperones in tow. ALL YOUTH MUST BE ACCOMPANIED – this is not like camp, where the youth get dropped off and then picked back up at the end.
- WHAT DO ADULTS DO? While much of the program is run by the PYM committee, there is always some free time (generally on Saturday afternoon) planned in – which should be supervised by the adult chaperones. They are also responsible for checking on their youth after the program has ended each night (make sure they are all going to sleep!), and making sure that they youth are attending the program. On some weekends (6th/7th grade in particular), there are some tasks that the PYM committee will ask the adults to do (lead activities, etc.) – but that will all be spelled out at the beginning of the weekend.
This is a wonderful opportunity for youth leaders to meet other people in the Diocese who are doing the same work. We always provide chances for youth leaders to share their challenges and successes – and often offer other – more structured – ways for youth leaders to connect with and get to know one another.
- WHAT IF I CAN’T FIND ADULT LEADERS? Often, churches in the same area will join together to attend these weekends. Adults from one church will take kids to one weekend, and then adults from the other church will chaperone another weekend.
- WHAT IF I HAVE TO ARRIVE LATE/LEAVE EARLY/ETC? Call Michael Wade at (800) DIOCESE x1027. He is happy to speak with you and see if there is a possible solution to any problem you may be having.
- WHERE DO WE STAY? You will be assigned a room at Shrine Mont in the Hotel or in a cottage next to the hotel. We eat in the Hotel dining hall, gather in the Ballroom for large, and hold all of our other programming in or around other parts of the hotel.
- WHY DO I WANT TO ATTEND ONE OF THESE WEEKENDS? Well, if nothing else, it’s a lot of fun for you and your youth! The kids enjoy singing “camp” – type songs, the games are fun, and it’s a chance for your youth to feel connected with something bigger than just their own youth group. It is a chance for you – as a youth leader – to connect with others and share ideas/tips/frustrations/etc. And if nothing else, it’s a great chance to support the youth in our Diocese who have stepped up into a leadership position and have given of their own time, treasures, and talents to do something special for others! Did I mention it is a lot of fun?
- HOW DO I SIGN UP? As registration forms are available, they will be posted on this site (look at the FORMS AND BROCHURES page) – and they can also be found at the Diocese of Virginia website: under “upcoming events.”
- HOW CAN I JOIN PYM? New applications are made available beginning at Senior High Weekend. If you are in high school, and are interested in applying to join the PYM committee, you can contact Michael via email or phone (email@example.com or 800 DIOCESE x1027) to get an application. You must have attended at least one PYM event prior to applying to be part of the committee. We accept ALL grades, freshman through rising seniors. You will need to get a reference from someone in your church, and you will have a phone interview with Michael. No, your youth group leader cannot request the application for you. No, your parents cannot request the application for you.
- ANY OTHER QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? If you have questions, please contact Michael Wade directly.