The Illinois Great Rivers Conference offers a mentoring ministry to youth (age 12-18) from local churches and districts who are members of annual conference. The ministry is a team effort between the IGRC Camping, Retreat, and Youth Ministry office, local churches and districts, parents, supervisors (if other than parents) and the youth. All of us work together to make annual conference an edifying, inspiring, and safe experience for the young people who are taking leadership at this young age.
This page includes information that all of these team members need, including FAQ's and contact information if there are unanswered questions. If you are bringing youth to annual conference, please read it!! Use the Quick Links in the column to the left to navigate to particulars that are most relevant to the part you play.
Mentors and Supervisors
What is the difference in the roles of mentors and supervisors?
Mentor: With respect to IGRC annual conference youth members, a mentor is an adult who walks with young people through the experience of annual conference. Mentoring includes relationship-building as a foundation, attentiveness to the needs of the youth, modeling the role of members, asking and answering questions, and, as a part of relationship- building, times for play. There is a youth section in the conference hall where these mentors may be found, and this year, for the first time, a youth lounge on the second floor (209) of the Civic Center. IMPORTANT! A mentor is not a supervisor, except for the duration of a scheduled youth event away from the Civic Center or after conference hours.
Supervisor: A supervisor is the adult who is the in loco parentis (in place of a parent or responsible party) during the annual conference. Sometimes the supervisor is the parent, and sometimes a clergy or lay member. The supervisor is to watch over, direct, hold accountable, and assure the safety of the youth for the duration of the annual conference. If the supervisor is not a parent, it is highly recommended that he/she be background checked by the local church. Read more on background checks below.
Local congregations and supervisors of youth are strongly encouraged to look over this article before traveling with a minor: Traveling with Youth.
The IGRC Youth Ministry, supervisors, local churches, district offices, and youth make several commitments when a youth attends annual conference.
Responsibilities of the IGRC Youth Ministry include:
- providing mentors to youth in the youth section of the conference hall during scheduled sessions (remember! mentoring is not the same as supervision)
- providing mentors whose credentials and gifts are suitable and safe for working with youth
- providing necessary permission forms for the youth's participation in activities outside the conference hall or outside of conference hours
- serving as supervisors when specific group activities are held away from the Civic Center or after hours
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who will serve as mentors? We are still putting together the team, but it will be led by Rev. Kathy Crozier, who is the Vocational Discernment Facilitator for the IGRC. Kathy has worked with youth and young adults for many years and as part of her job assists young people in the discovery of their calling. Kimberly Woods, Chairperson of the IGRC Youth Ministry Team, is also a member of the core team, as well as Rev. Jim Crozier and Rev. Bennett Woods. More detailed information will be sent to youth members in May.
- Can a youth attend without a supervisor? No! unless the youth member is 18 years of age.
- What paperwork should the youth bring? Each minor is required to submit an All-In-One Health and Permission Form to the mentors to participate in activities outside of the Civic Center and conferencing hours. All-in-one Health and Permission form. This form also includes questions about health care that may be beneficial in the event the youth needs treatment.
- Are background checks required for supervisors? Background checks on supervisors are highly recommended if the supervisor is not the custodial parent of the youth. Local churches can run the background checks through the conference office. Download the Background Check Form
- Where can I find answers to more questions? Download an FAQ sheet. The Conference Office will also field questions. Contact Rev. Alice Shirley, firstname.lastname@example.org or (217) 529-2646.