National Catholic Youth Conference
The National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) is an exciting, biannual four-day experience of prayer, community, and empowerment for Catholic teenagers and their adult chaperones. The schedule includes general and concurrent sessions addressing a wide variety of topics including forgiveness, Catholic spirituality and prayer, global issues, sexuality, and leadership. There are also opportunities for liturgy and special activities such as concerts, exhibits, and a thematic activity village. The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) sponsors NCYC.
The 2017 NCYC will be held in Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indianapolis Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana on November 16-19, 2017. In 2015, over 23,000 people from across the nation attended, including about 300 from our diocese!
Parishes are already working on fundraising for the 2017 pilgrimage. If you are interested in attending, contact your youth minister and get involved. For more information, read the information on each of the tabs below. You can also check out the official NCYC page with great videos, more information, and registration forms. ncyc.info
NCYC – What When, & Where
What is NCYC?
The National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) is an exciting, biannual four-day experience of prayer, community, and empowerment for Catholic teenagers and their adult chaperones. The schedule includes general and concurrent sessions addressing a wide variety of topics including forgiveness, Catholic spirituality and prayer, global issues, sexuality, and leadership. There are also opportunities for liturgy and special activities such as concerts, exhibits, and a thematic activity village. The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) sponsors NCYC. The best way to learn about NCYC is to view the promotional video for streaming or download at www.nfcym.org. The Office of Youth Ministry also has DVD copies of the video which can be mailed to parishes on request.
What is NFCYM?
The National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM), www.nfcym.org, is a membership organization working on behalf of youth and diocesan youth ministry leadership across the country. Headquartered in Washington, DC, NFCYM’s mission is “serving those who serve the young Catholic church.” The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau is a paying member of NFCYM along with 94% of all US dioceses.
When and where will NCYC be held?
The 2017 NCYC will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indianapolis Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana on November 16-19, 2017. Participants will leave our diocese after school on Wednesday, November 15th and return the evening of Sunday, November 22nd. Students will miss two days of school, discussed below.
What is the theme for NCYC?
The theme for the 2017 NCYC is “Called”. The 2017 NCYC theme song, along with sheet music will available at http://www.ncyc.info.
What’s the schedule for NCYC?
Optional events will begin as early as noon on Thursday with the opening session beginning around 7:00 pm. The sessions will run from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm both Friday and Saturday. For a detailed schedule of NCYC activities, visit http://www.ncyc.info.
How big is NCYC?
NCYC is America’s largest regular gathering of Catholic teens. NCYC 2017 is expecting 25,000 Catholic youth and chaperones. Around 300 youth, youth ministers and chaperones are expected to attend NCYC from the Diocese of Springfield – Cape Girardeau.
Is space limited?
Yes. We have approximately 300 slots for youth, chaperones, and staff (limited by hotel rooms and bus seats). If we fill all our slots, we will consider additional participants on a case-by-case basis.
NCYC – Who and Why?
Who can attend?
NCYC requires that youth participants must be in high school at the time of NCYC (November 2017). They are often leaders in their local parishes and/or schools, though many are just beginning to connect with their faith. Don’t forget that your current 8th graders will be eligible for NCYC since they’ll be freshmen next fall.
Why would our youth want to attend NCYC?
Youth and adult participants (chaperones) attend NCYC because they want to:
- Gather together with other Catholic youth on a national level
- Learn more about themselves and their relationship to the Catholic Church
- Celebrate their Catholic Christian faith
- Meet thousands of other Catholic youth
- Share beliefs and experiences
- Recognize their role in the larger Catholic Church
Will participants miss any school?
NCYC high school participants will miss two days of school – Thu, Nov. 16 and Fri, Nov. 17. Past experience has clearly demonstrated the NCYC is worth of these absences. We understand that this is a burden, but feel that NCYC is a unique opportunity. Some schools may give excused absences. The NFCYM has provided a letter (download here) that students can bring to school officials in the fall to explain the great value in attending NCYC. Neither the NFCYM nor the diocese has any control over our schools allowing or disallowing excused absences for NCYC.
Can young adults out of high school and not yet 21 years of age attend NCYC?
Young adults out of high school and under the age of 21 may attend NCYC in the role of parish Young Adult Assistant (YAA) in order to assist their parish and the diocese with various leadership responsibilities. This could include prayer, head counts, small group leaders, etc. They will not be considered “youth” participants, nor will they be considered chaperones. Because they cannot be housed with minors, they will be housed with adults in adult sleeping rooms. YAAs will be charged the same registration fees as other NCYC participants. YAAs cannot supervise youth without chaperone supervision and they cannot be counted toward the parish chaperone ratio requirements. YAAs must be background checked and Safe Environment screened in accordance with diocesan child protection policies. The number of YAAs that a parish brings cannot exceed twice the number of chaperones that that parish brings.
Who’s organizing all of this?
A lot of wonderful people on different levels are organizing NCYC. NFCYM is taking on the massive task of organizing the conference for 25,000. The Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry is organizing, promoting and managing our diocesan package and trip for parishes in our diocese. Adult leaders at parishes of the diocese will be responsible for organizing, promoting, fund-raising and managing their own parish group (see Organizing Parish Groups below).
Transportation, Meals & Lodging
Where will we meet the buses?
We have made arrangements to have professionally driven charter buses pick up participants at various locations across the diocese. You will be responsible for getting your parish participants to the designated pick-up point.
Can we drive our own vehicle?
It is our policy that youth participants must travel in the chartered buses unless they are in a vehicle with their parent. Those traveling in personal vehicles will still pay the full package price. Drivers of personal vehicles will be responsible for all aspects of their vehicle, including but not limited to providing adequate insurance, gasoline, tolls, parking, etc.
What meals are included?
We will provide pizza at the hotel after the closing sessions on Friday night around midnight. Other meals during NCYC are not included and are the responsibility of each participant. Participants will need to bring some spending money for meals and snacks not included in registration. Parish groups are encouraged to make advance arrangements for some meals for their participants such as deli lunches or group dinners. A list of food venues within walking distance of the conference location is available on the NCYC website (http://www.ncyc.info). Keep in mind that you will be competing with 20,000 other participants for meals (wait time at fast food places can be an hour or more!). Some parish groups also choose to bring coolers of food. Because we are bringing charter buses, there is room for coolers and cases of water in the storage compartments. THIS IS THE ONE AREA WHERE LEADERS REMARK THAT THEY WISH THEY WERE BETTER PREPARED.
Where will we be staying?
The Diocese of Springfield – Cape Girardeau has arranged for rooms within the NFCYM room block. We have been assigned the Crowne Plaza Downtown-Union Station. It is the closest hotel to the conference facilities! For organizational, risk management, and insurance reasons, participants and parishes cannot make their own NCYC hotel arrangements.
How many kids or adults to a room?
We will have either 4 youth or 2 adults to a hotel room. We will assign two youth to each bed (they will be double, queen or king sized beds) and one adult per bed. If an adult wishes to have their own room, an additional fee will be required and that request will be granted based on space availability. Please contact the diocesan offices for any such requests before August 15, 2017.
Will we be staying in hotels by parishes?
For the most part, hotel rooms will be assigned by parish to make the job of the adult chaperone as easy as possible. Parish youth ministers will be asked to provide rooming lists to the diocesan offices. In an effort to reduce the overall cost and to utilize our block of rooms effectively, if your parish does not completely fill each room, we may assign youth from different parishes to share. If that is the case, the adult leader of that group would be notified first. Also, we will make every effort to ensure at least two youth from the parish are in the room. Special requests for room sharing between parishes will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
How will we get from our hotel to the conference?
Our hotel will be in walking distance from the conference facility. It will be the responsibility of the Adult Leaders to accompany their group from the hotel to the conference and back. In the case of bad weather, there are internal walkways from almost every downtown hotel to the conference center.
How much will this cost? What is included?
The Diocese of Springfield – Cape Girardeau Office of Youth Ministry has put together a comprehensive package for NCYC. The package includes: transportation to and from Indianapolis in chartered buses, NCYC registration and credentials, four nights lodging in Indianapolis, midnight pizza for Friday night, diocesan hoodie and other goodies. The registration fee is $600 per person (youth, chaperone, or young adult assistant). We have set up an “installment” plan so that fees can be paid to the diocese in more manageable installments. $100 non-refundable deposit per participant is due to the diocese by June 16, 2017. An additional $200 per participant is due August 16, 2017 and the balance will be due by October 16, 2017. Remember, your parish deadlines are probably earlier than these dates.
What is NOT included?
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are not included as part of the registration fees. Parish based tshirts, meals during travel, as well as snacks and souvenirs are also not included. Also, not included are “trading” items which are very popular among participants.
How can we afford to go?
Most parishes organize several fundraisers to offset their participant’s costs for NCYC. We strongly encourage parishes to hold fundraisers. Not only do fundraisers reduce the fees, they help parish groups to bond together. Fundraisers raise the parish’s awareness of your group’s efforts to attend NCYC. Parishes may also apply for a Lay Endowment Grant.
Are scholarships available?
Yes! The scholarship application may be found here. Scholarship applicaitons must be turned in to the diocesan Office of Youth Ministry by May 5, 2017.
Organizing Parish Groups
Who organizes NCYC at the parish level?
Since participants must register through their parish, each parish must have an adult NCYC Group Leader who will also be the single point of contact between the parish and the diocese. This Group Leader will lead the NCYC organizing effort in their parish. This includes forming an NCYC Planning Team, promoting NCYC, recruiting parish youth, organizing the parish NCYC group, collecting fees and forms to be forwarded to the diocese, completing online registration for the parish group, and being a vital communication link between their participants and the diocese. Note that this year, NCYC requires us to enter participants into their online program. This will be a requirement for the parish Group Leader. The parish Youth Minister is often the Group Leader but can delegate the role. In parishes without a Youth Minister, an adult designated by the pastor can be the Group Leader. Smaller parishes are welcome to join together to form one group.
What are the steps to follow to register?
1. The first step is to share all of this information with your pastor, parish leadership, and your key youth ministry leaders. The more the parish knows about NCYC, the more likely they are to support your efforts. This support may be financial, organizational, and/or spiritual.
2. We recommend that you form a parish NCYC Planning Team to help make decisions and share the workload (get at least one other person to help you). Establish a parish timeline that allows you to meet the diocesan timeline.
3. What fundraising strategies will you employ?
4. Decide how you can promote NCYC in your parish. Some parishes hold an informational meeting. Some promote it at their youth gatherings or send promo flyers to each eligible youth. Don’t forget that that your current 8th graders will be eligible for NCYC since they’ll be freshmen next fall. Be sure to view the promotional video available online. Please share your promotional ideas and/or questions on our diocesan youth ministry Facebook page.
5. Start recruiting adult chaperones. The ratio is at least one chaperone for every six youth. Also ask adults to serve as Night Watchmen. We will need 2-3 Night Watchmen for our entire group (they are not counted as parish chaperones). We will cover their registration fees.
6. Collect from each youth and chaperone the “Registration Information Form” and $100 non-refundable deposit per person. We strongly believe that the $100 deposit should come from the participant’s family directly and not be covered by fundraising efforts. This ensures the participant is “in the game” and will be an active participant in your fundraising efforts.
7. Submit a Parish Registration Deposit and the non-refundable $100 per person to the Catholic Center, 601 S Jefferson Ave., Springfield, MO 65806. The deadline for this step is June 16. We will base our hotel and bus logistics on these numbers. Registrations might be accepted after that date if space is still available.
8. Group leaders are asked to register all participants (youth and adults) online at the URL, which will be provided to you, by August 16. A second installment payment of $200 per registrant to the Catholic Center is due by August 16.
9. Liability and Waiver forms will be required. You can download them here once they are released by NCYC. Only diocesan-supplied NCYC forms are acceptable. Be sure to copy these front-to-back. These forms DO NOT HAVE TO BE NOTARIZED THIS YEAR! The original paper forms must be submitted to the Catholic Center by September 16.
10. Final payment of $300 per registrant is due to the Catholic Center by September 16th.
11. All participants MUST be registered online by September 16th or a $40 per person fee will be charged (please do not wait until the last week as the system will be very busy). If you are having trouble with the online system, contact the Catholic Center for assistance.
What if I have late registrants?
Contact the Catholic Center for registrations after June 16th to check for available space. If there is space available, you will have to submit payment to bring registrant up to date and enter their information online. Late registrations received at the Catholic Center after August 16th, but before September 16th will incur a $20 late fee. Registrations submitted after September 16th will incur a $40 late fee.
What is the refund policy?
If the diocese has not already committed the money, there is a possibility that the monies can be refunded, less the $100 non-refundable deposit until September 16. No money is refundable after that time. We encourage parishes to find substitutions for those who are unable to attend.
Is there a charge for substitutions?
Yes, after September 16, there will be a $40 per person substitution fee. There is no substitution fee for changes before September 16.
What about safety and security?
We want to do everything we can do to safeguard and protect our young people as well as minimize risk. All adult chaperones on our trip must be screened according to the diocesan Child Protection Policies. Group Leaders will be responsible for maintaining proper chaperone coverage of their youth during NCYC, including during travel. NCYC participants and chaperones will be issued credentials and no one will be admitted into NCYC venues without proper credentials. All backpacks and bags taken into the NCYC venue will be subject to search. The NFCYM and the local Indianapolis authorities are working together to ensure a safe conference.
I want to put the NCYC logo on my promotional material, where can I get a copy?
Great Idea! The “Called” logo is available on the www.NCYC.info website. As soon as the diocesan logo is finalized, we’ll post several versions on our website. You are free to use them in your promotional print materials. There are very specific rules for using the logo on clothing. Please check with the diocese before using the logo on anything other than your promotional materials.
How do I prepare my young people for NCYC?
Check out www.ncyc.info for lots of information you can pass on to your youth and their families.
How can I get more information?
We will keep as much of the current information on the website. Group Leaders will receive email correspondence from our office with updates. And, you’re always welcome to contact the Office of Youth Ministry with questions: 417-866-0841, firstname.lastname@example.org.