7th & 8th GRADE HUMAN DIGNITY MILESTONE
A sexuality milestone for students in 7th & 8th grade
This sexuality/dating milestone consists of a Friday evening 6 pm to Saturday evening 6 pm retreat; parents are welcome to attend with their child, but are not required to. There is a Human Dignity Milestone Celebration at the 9:30 worship service, followed by a required lunch at which parents and students have a chance to discuss what was learned on the retreat by the students and parental expectations about dating. Conversation starters are provided!
This is a synod-wide event; I work with several other ELCA youth directors and pastors on this milestone and students from various churches attend. We structure the retreat with a combination of big group/small group talks/activities and energy spenders. We end with a contemplative worship time, which includes communion.
Most students who go on the retreat are not dating yet or have just begun dating, so our material is geared toward that population. We present the topics "Created For Good", "Voices of Influence", "Healthy Dating" and "Sexuality". During the retreat we answer questions that are asked by the students either verbally or anonymously via a question box. Don Carlson, former assistant to the bishop, leads a discussion group for parents.