From seven Societies (St. Louis, Washington, D.C., Northern Westchester, Brooklyn, Bergen, Long Island, and Westchester), 47 teens and 9 chaperones had a lovely 2012 Youth of Ethical Societies (YES) Conference this past November.
The teens thrived on forming new friendships and widening (or even creating) a circle of friends with similar values and viewpoints. A visit to Occupy Wall Street made a positive impact on the teens and adults, and fit well into the theme of Human Rights. One participant said the visit, "made us realize the voices of the young have more influence than we thought."
During our stay in Frost Valley, passionate discussion groups brought out fascinating ideas and varying perspectives. While discussing race issues with regard to human rights, the teens thought about how "exercising a right may compromise another's" and that "different classes have different perceptions of valid rights." We also shared our experiences in community service activities from the year, and more than half of our teens were recognized for the contributions they made to each of their Societies.
Congratulations to our new YES officers: Mackenzie S. as President, Emma R. as Vice President, Isa R. as Secretary, and Tucker O. as Treasurer. We look forward to next year's conference in November 2013.