For almost one hundred years, the British Columbia and Yukon Anglican Youth Movement (also known as BCYAYM) has been bringing youth aged 14-25 together to celebrate faith, to learn, and to love. The main conference always takes place on the Thanksgiving weekend somewhere in B.C. This year's fall conference is taking place at St. Paul's in Nanaimo, Oct. 6 to 9.

The conference, along with inspirational speakers and spiritual prayer sessions, always includes numerous outrageous outings, some free time, a themed dance, a talent showcase (talent is defined loosely as I have learned) and of course, the famous Thanksgiving dinner accompanied by the roaring and rowdy rendition of 'Johnny Apple Seed.'

I remember when I was twelve and the AYM conference was held at my then parish of St. Paul's in Kamloops, being too young to attend, but watching in awe as the youth seemed to connect with each other.

The pierced, the tattooed, the large, the small, the name it, everyone seemed to be a part of an accepting community. By the time I left my very first AYM conference, I too, had created relationships of my own that were the same as those I was in awe of the year before.

A good AYM friend of mine, Ally Pearson, said, "It's so good to go back and see everyone from the year before" - and it is. The conference is a chance to see people who you otherwise wouldn't get a chance to.

The theme of this year's upcoming conference is "Back to the Basics," which is being led by the Rev. Kyle Norman. AYM's adult lay representative Shea McLean explains that "the theme came out of a conversation [with] the council who just wanted to simplify the conference theme...the 'basics' are just God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the basics of what Anglicans believe."

The dance theme, which is straying away from the alter-ego theme of last year, (which gave us everything from promiscuous girls to Peter Pan) is going to go back to the basics as well, with a simple "black and white" theme.

BCYAYM is a great place to be yourself and find yourself!
For BCYAYM registration information contact Lauren Knowlan at or 250 868-4992.