61st Annual Diocesan Youth Convention
Welcome to the joy of being the Group Leader for your parish group at the Diocesan Youth Convention! While this position is certainly a lot of responsibility, it also affords you the opportunity to walk closely with young people in their journey to and through an amazing experience of faith. Good luck and may God bless you on this journey!
Please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministry with any questions you have as you prepare your group for the Convention.
Each parish must designate one adult age 22 or older to be the Group Leader. This adult is the contact person between the Department of Youth & Young Adult Ministry and the parish and has primary responsibility for the parish group during the Convention.
Checklists for Group Leaders (print and use these lists before, during and after the Convention!)
Special Offers! Ways to save money on your parish's registration!
Raise Funds by Selling Ads! Help your group reduce their Convention registration fees by selling ads for the Convention program book!
Teens, Junior Advisors & Adults are needed as small group facilitators. Please contact Jennifer Kilo at email@example.com, call 716.688.3578 OR Laurie Marshanke at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 716.847.8789.
Preparing Your Parish:
Be sure to use the Parish Preparation Resources to help you get your group ready.
Email youth and parents with the link to the Convention Promo Video!
See Registration Forms & Process page for complete details about how to register your group for the Convention.
Helpful Hint: Parish group leaders should keep a copy of the permission slips for themselves. Keep the copies with you at all times during the Convention. If your group leaves the hotel for your parish dinner, be sure to take the permission forms with you.
If any member of your group needs financial assistance to attend the Diocesan Youth Convention, please forward them the Scholarship Application.
- Youth Roommates: Reservations will not be accepted for youth rooms of 1 or 2 persons. All youth rooms must have 3 or 4 persons. Group leaders who need to find additional people to fill a room MUST make those arrangements on their own.
- Adult Roommates: Group leaders who wish to find additional adults or junior advisors to share a room with MUST make those arrangements on their own.
- Group leaders who are unable to make these arrangements on their own may contact Diane Ruminski who will help you get in touch with other group leaders.
Safe Environment Compliance:
- All persons age 18 and older who work regularly with youth in the Diocese of Buffalo must fulfill the following requirements of the Diocesan Safe Environment Program. Because of the intense, extended nature of the Convention experience, the following requirements apply to all adults and junior advisors who attend the Convention:
- Completed a Uniform Volunteer Questionnaire
- Have references checked by parish representative
- Signed the Code of Conduct
- Have a criminal background check (requested by parish)
- Attended the Protecting God’s Children seminar; and
- Stay current on the Virtus Online Training Bulletins
Group leaders MUST be sure that adults and junior advisors with your group are in compliance with this program and verify this compliance by completing and returning the Safe Environment Compliance Letter with your registration materials by January 17, 2013.
Each parish is encouraged to create a banner that will be displayed in the ballroom of the Adam’s Mark. The banner should show your parish identity and the Convention theme, “Through Temptation to Salvation.”
Important guidelines for banners:
- Banners should be 4’ wide x 8’ long.
- Banners MUST include a sewn pocket at the top (so that banner can slide onto pole).
- DO NOT include lights or other heavy objects on your banner.
- Banners should be delivered to the Catholic Center by Tuesday, February 12. If you are unable to deliver your banner by Feb. 12, it will not be hung until Saturday during the Convention.
- Please pick up banners from the Catholic Center after the Convention.
- Banners MUST be labeled on the back (upper left corner) with your parish name, location, group leader, and phone number.
Photos for the Big Screen:
During the Convention, we will showcase this past year’s accomplishments, exciting moments, and people. Please send us the following photos:
- Group photos: Look through your photos and send us your best (only 10 per parish, please). We will use some or all of your pictures to make a collage of images from the past year.
- In Memoriam: If an adult or youth who was involved in your parish’s youth ministry program has died within the past year, please send their name and photo.
Digital photos are preferred (but we can take printed photos too!).
- Digital photos can be emailed to email@example.com by January 17, 2013.
- If you send printed photos, be sure to label each photo with your parish’s name and location on the back.
Catholic Charities Appeal:
The Convention marks the beginning of the Catholic Charities Appeal for parish youth ministry. Prior to the Convention, each parish will receive information about the appeal and a pledge form. It is essential that young people have the opportunity to participate in this very important campaign and learn more about how Catholic Charities impacts the people of our communities. Every parish is asked to make a pledge to the Catholic Charities Appeal. These pledges will be collected during the weekend and there will be an exhibit at the Convention. Catholic Charities is always there. Please be there too.
Helping Youth Financially:
Many parishes organize fundraisers to help defray the costs of the Convention for their group. In addition to your parish fundraisers, you can reduce Convention registration fees by taking advantage of the following Special Offers:
- Raise Funds by Selling Ads: Advertising space is available in the Convention program book. Youth (or parish groups) can sell ads for the program book to defray their own Convention fees. 20% of the ad price for each ad sold will be credited toward that person's (or parish's) Convention registration fee. Learn more about how much you can earn by reaching out to businesses, organizations and other potential advertisers.
- Convention Scholarship Fund: Partial scholarships are available for those that demonstrate financial need. Download a scholarship application...
- If your parish is NEW or NEW AGAIN (has not attended in the past 3 years), your Group Leader comes for FREE with a group registration! Learn more...
- If you are a Returning Parish, recruit another parish to attend and take $100 off your total bill! Learn more...
Please be sure that your group is aware of the following information:
- Friday evening: Food and snacks for a light dinner will be available for purchase in the hotel gift shop.
- Saturday breakfast: Food and drinks for a light breakfast can be purchased at the Tiffany Rose breakfast bar in the hotel restaurant.
- Snacks: There will be light concessions available for purchase during the social time on Friday and Saturday evenings.
- Late-night Pizza: Pizza can be ordered for Friday and Saturday nights. Place your order in the hotel lobby before the evening events and pick it up in the lobby when returning to your room at night.
- Parish Dinner: Each parish is encouraged to make plans for Saturday’s dinner. If you choose to go out, a restaurant guide and map can be provided. Please make your plans well in advance.
- Dinner at the Adam’s Mark: The hotel offers a special menu for the Convention and has banquet facilities that your group can use. Be sure to call the hotel early because space is limited (716-845-5100).
- Adam's Mark Banquet Dinner Menu
- Adam's Mark Restaurant Dinner Menu
- Adam's Mark Restaurant Reservation Form
- Don’t forget: Saturday’s lunch and Sunday’s brunch are provided for you!
- Participants are welcome to bring food with them to the hotel, as long as no cooking/heating appliances are used.
Parish Trader Items:
Each parish group is encouraged to bring trading items with the parish’s name on it to exchange with participants from other parishes. These should be an appropriate size to attach to the strings on the name badges.
Registration packets will be given only to the individual who is registered.
Hotel room keys will be given to the Group Leader who will then distribute to the youth.
The Parish Group Leader will receive a packet of information at check-in. Please review the packet immediately for any urgent announcements.
Return to the Diocesan Youth Convention main page