Although we have many campers who are not Unitarian Universalist (UU), we call ourselves a UU camp. Why do we do that? To answer that question, we need to look at our history, to
S.A.U.G. is a descendent of SaugForAll..
AMUUSE has always been a UU camp. SaugForAll was also always a UU camp. SAUG is a UU camp too!
In a nutshell, being UU is about being open to the world, embracing social justice, respecting everyone, and loving the earth.
When I first came to camp, I was a UU church member. From my experiences in UU churches, I can tell you that many of our camp traditions are
Are there things that a UU camp doesn’t do that most UU churches do? Well, at camp we have a lot fewer committees, fundraising, and a lot less time in religious services. Our time together is mostly fun, growth and friendship and the spiritual activities (like vespers and Sufi) are optional.
The church talks about how to be a UU, camp is an experience of UU.
UU isn’t like most religions with a strong dogma or a defining belief system. People don’t get baptised or confirmed or bar mitzvah'd into being a UU. Part of being a UU is to not make a big deal out of being one.
I went to a UU church for about 10 years and while I still believe in the principles and philosophies I no longer attend. Although I no longer go to UU church, I still want to go to a UU camp.
I’ll quote from a recent AMUUSE’s website where they stated:
“What does UU stand for? Unitarian Universalism (UU) is a liberal religion with Judeo-Christian roots. It has no creed to which one must subscribe. It affirms the dignity of all, and advocates freedom of belief. UU works to provide a warm, open, supportive community for those who believe ethical living is the highest religious expression. You need not be a Unitarian Universalist to attend.”
Back when Jon and
What about our websites? The
“Eligibility: Any adult 21 or over.
At http://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-believe/principles the official list reads*…
1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our community*;
4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our communities* and in society at large;
6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
* I’ve replaced the word “congregation” with “community”, because that’s a better fit for what we are at camp.
I feel these are very appropriate for SAUG. They work as basic principles and I think all our campers (UU or not) would agree with these.
While I agree that are downsides to any organized religion, I can’t think of another group that better fits the philosophy of what I experience at camp.
Whether we do or don’t say we’re a UU camp, we’ll still have the same ideals and be the same community.
We want to encourage new people to come to camp. From a practical standpoint it’s very helpful if we can give them an idea of what camp will be like. Saying we’re “UU” summarizes a lot of hard to describe ideas.
You can call it being UU or you can call it being a decent human being, but either way we want to be that and to meet others that aspire to be that at camp.
We like it the way camp has been, and it’s been UU. We invite our friends. We welcome people who find us on their own.
With UU in our name we hope even more like-minded people will join us (beyond just friends of friends).