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UU Ninth Grade Trip
Responsible Adult (R.A.) Expectations

The UU Ninth Grade Trip could not happen without the involvement of responsible adults who are willing to devote their time, energy and enthusiasm to the trip. An adult's participation in the Ninth Grade Trip because their child is a current Tripper is not encouraged. The expectations of Responsible Adults are many, as are the rewards. Those who participate in the 9th Grade Trip have the opportunity to learn about and visit the Navajo and Hopi cultures, to develop potentially lasting relationships with adults and Trippers, and to help themselves and 9th Graders put their Unitarian Universalist values into practice. For many who participate, the 9th Grade Trip is a life changing experience.

Involvement in the 9th Grade Trip requires a substantial investment of time. For the Trip to be a success the group must transform itself into a caring community of both adults and youth, and all involved must have an understanding of both the values and mores of the 9th Grade Trip and of the Native American cultures that we visit. For these and other reasons it is expected that every R.A. is present for all Trip related activities, including:
  • Three weekend-long retreats
  • Three Sunday morning classes, the first of which is preceded by an adult overnight
  • Ten day trip to the Navajo and Hopi Reservations
  • One overnight retreat following the Trip itself
We strive to have about one adult to every five ninth graders, and hope that the adults participating will be from various Front Range Unitarian Universalist Churches. This ratio gives Trippers the opportunity to work with and interact with a number of adults during the course of the 9th Grade Trip. It also makes it possible to accomplish all that we strive to do on the 9th Grade Trip. The duties of R.A.s include:
  • Facilitating with group research and presentations about Hopi and Navajo history and cultures
  • Supervising and assisting with rotating cook crews
  • Becoming familiar with the cook stoves and the cook kit
  • Participating in all activities, including fundraising events, and Trip classes, retreats and the Trip itself
  • Driving to and from field trip locations during classes and retreats as needed (such as the Denver Art Museum)
  • Waiting with Trippers, following a class or retreat at the R.A.'s home church, until late-coming parents arrive to retrieve their ninth grader
  • Supervising the behavior, safety and well-being of 9th Grader Trippers
  • Providing appropriate supervision of 9th Grade Trippers in single sex motel rooms
  • Notifying Trip Coordinators of inappropriate behaviors exhibited by 9th Grade Trippers
  • Complying with the rules and expectations of "Our Trip Covenant"
  • Maintaining appropriately adult relationships with all youth
  • Maintaining appropriate physical boundaries with both youth and adults
  • Acting as an ambassador for the 9th Grade Trip to home churches, as well as the schools and communities that we visit
  • Willingness to comply with a background check if requested
Adults who have an interest in becoming a Responsible Adult on the 9th Grade Trip are required to:
  • Submit a letter communicating
    • Reasons for wishing to become an R.A.
    • Relevant interests, experiences and skills
  • Request and ensure the submission of a Letter of Reference from your home church's Director of Religious Education
  • Complete the RA Agreement, available on the uu9gt.org website

The UU Ninth Grade Trip Steering Committee may request a background check through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

In addition, any parent of a 9th grader who wishes to be considered as an R.A. must also:
  • Submit a letter of permission from his/her 9th grader. Please note that if, during the course of classes and retreats, it becomes apparent that the parents involvement is not in the best interests of the 9th Grader, the adult will be asked to participate another year.
All application materials should be submitted by September 1st to:
Mitch Pingel
UU Ninth Grade Trip Coordinator
275 Main Street
Broomfield, Colorado 80020
or to
or, if by fax,

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