As announced in the July 19, 2019, notice “For the Strength of Youth (FSY) Conferences in the United States and Canada,” the Church will begin holding FSY conferences in the United States and Canada. Beginning in 2021 and 2022, all stakes in the U.S. and Canada will participate in FSY conferences every other year.
During 2020, a limited number of FSY conferences will be held at locations in the U.S. and Canada to prepare for full implementation. Answers to frequently asked questions about attendance, costs, registration, the calling of young single adult counselors, and other topics are enclosed. Leaders should share this information with youth and parents as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions about FSY in the United States and Canada
What is FSY?
For the Strength of Youth (FSY) conferences are modeled after Brigham Young University’s Especially for Youth (EFY) conferences. These five-day events have been held extensively outside the United States and Canada for a number of years. Youth may attend beginning in the year they turn 14 and until their high school graduation. Each stake will be invited every other year.
FSY conferences include activities, devotionals, and classes designed to help strengthen faith in Jesus Christ and provide opportunities for youth to grow spiritually, socially, physically, and intellectually. Beginning in 2020 in the United States and Canada, FSY conferences will be provided by the Church and held locally with the support of BYU. Areas outside of the U.S. and Canada will continue holding FSY conferences under the direction of the Area Presidency.
A list of stakes in the United States and Canada scheduled to attend FSY in 2020 is available at newsroom.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Information on scheduling for 2020, 2021, and 2022 and tentative dates and locations for 2020 is enclosed.
Are stakes scheduled for FSY responsible to plan the conference?
Ward and stake leaders are not responsible to plan the conference, to secure FSY locations, or to provide speakers. If assistance is needed, area leaders may call upon local leaders.
Ward and stake leaders are responsible for helping youth register and for arranging transportation to the FSY conference as described in question 9, below.
Is it necessary for stakes to provide adult leaders to attend FSY conferences?
Young single adults will fill logistical and leadership roles at FSY conferences. A limited number of adults will attend FSY as session directors and teachers. The majority of the adults serving in these positions will be full-time seminary and institute employees. Area leaders will reach out to local leaders if their assistance becomes necessary. All local leaders are encouraged to prepare youth for FSY and to talk to them about their experiences when they return home.
Who will serve as FSY counselors?
Young single adults ages 19–30 may volunteer to serve as counselors at one or more conferences. To understand the role of local leaders in identifying young adult counselors, see the enclosed document “Recommending Young Single Adult Counselors for FSY.”
Does FSY replace youth conference, Young Women camp, and Young Men camp?
In the year that youth attend FSY, their stakes should not hold other large events, such as a youth conference or trek. Stake or ward Young Men and Young Women camps and other regular activities may continue as normal. Camps should be scheduled at times that do not conflict with scheduled FSY conferences.
Do all youth from a stake attend the same FSY conference?
FSY is a five-day conference. Stakes will be invited to the conference or conferences their youth are eligible to attend. In areas with many stakes, youth may have options of choosing among several conferences. In such locations, youth and their parents may register youth for the conference that works best for their family. Youth are encouraged to register early to ensure they can attend the conference that best fits their schedule. Participation is, of course, not required.
Will BYU hold EFY for youth whose stakes are not assigned to attend an FSY conference in a particular year?
Traditional five-day EFY conferences will no longer be held. EFY Special Edition and EFY Express will still be available. For more information, see efy.byu.edu.
At what ages are youth eligible to participate in FSY?
Youth may attend FSYs scheduled for their stake beginning in the year they turn 14 and until their high school graduation. Each stake will be invited every other year. Those who have graduated from high school may not attend.
What are the guidelines for travel to the conference?
Individuals whose stake center is located less than 2.5 hours away from the conference will be required to provide their own ground transportation to the conference location. If a large number of youth from a stake will attend the same conference, stake leaders may arrange for commercial transportation, following the guidelines in Handbook 2: Administering the Church, 13.6.24. FSY will provide transportation for those who live more than 2.5 hours from a conference.
Do youth stay overnight at FSY, or do they come home at night?
FSY conferences will typically be held at college or university campuses. Youth will stay overnight in the campus dorms.
How much will FSY cost?
Each participant will be asked to pay U.S. $75. In addition, the stake or ward will pay U.S. $75 from the local unit budget allowance (LUBA) for each individual. The bishop may also use LUBA to help individuals when necessary. If desired, wards may use the annual fundraising effort to help offset the cost (see Handbook 2, 13.6.8).
How and when can youth register for FSY?
Youth in stakes scheduled for an FSY conference in 2020 will be invited to begin registering online within the first quarter of 2020.
What responsibilities do stake and ward leaders have for helping youth register?
Ward and stake leaders should encourage and help youth register for FSY. Bishops should consider the financial circumstances of the youth in their ward and determine if there is a need to provide assistance so all who are eligible are able to attend an FSY conference.
Recommending Young Single Adult Counselors for FSY
Local leaders are encouraged to identify potential young single adult FSY counselors. All FSY counselors must have a strong testimony of the Savior and His restored gospel and promote principles consistent with Church doctrine. Leaders might also consider potential counselors’ worthiness, ability to help youth understand the scriptures, willingness to uphold dress and appearance standards, reliability, communication skills, humility, and positive attitude.
The responsibilities of FSY counselors are demanding, requiring skills in teaching, leadership, and ministering. For example, counselors will:
- Be responsible for a group of approximately 10 youth, promoting their temporal and spiritual well-being throughout the conference.
- Lead daily devotionals and other discussions in both formal and informal settings.
- Provide motivation and correction, when needed, in a kind, uplifting way.
- Organize and play active games, walk long distances, and participate in dances.
Counselors will receive orientation and instruction prior to beginning their responsibilities.
Recommendation and Application Process
Young single adults ages 19–30 who are worthy of a temple recommend are eligible to serve as volunteer, unpaid FSY counselors. Counselors can be from any stake in the U.S. and Canada—no matter if their stake is participating in FSY that year or not.
Bishops and stake presidents are encouraged to prayerfully consider who they could invite to apply, giving special consideration to recently returned missionaries. Currently serving missionaries who could serve at FSY after their missions can apply online with permission from their mission president. Mission release dates should not be adjusted for service at FSY.
Bishops will be notified of those who apply and asked to endorse candidates they recommend. After bishops have endorsed an individual, the candidate’s application will be submitted for a background check. Based on information in the application and background check, counselors will be invited to participate. Once a counselor is selected, the bishop will be informed and a member of the bishopric invited to set apart the counselor.
Later this year, bishops can recommend counselors at LCR.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Potential counselors will receive an email inviting them to apply. Applicants will be asked to identify which FSY conference(s) and location(s) they are available to participate in. Counselors must be available for the entire conference and the weekend before the conference begins. They will also need to complete monthly preparation experiences leading up to the conference(s).
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