Summer Institute 2016

Summer Institute

Summer Institute

June 16, 2016
8:45 AM - 3:00 PM
Wellstone Center

Summer Institute is a day of professional development designed to provide front-line youth workers the tools they need to create safe, engaging, and fun summer activities for youth! Workshops will provide the building blocks of quality youth work for first-time youth workers. Veteran staff are encouraged to attend not only to refresh their own practice but to contribute to the learning of others. 

There will also be a full-day session of Quality Coaching during Summer Institute, geared towards veteran staff and supervisors.

Cost: Free for all Saint Paul staff associated with the Sprockets network.
How to get there: The Wellstone Center is located at 179 Robie Street East. The Wellstone Center is accessible by Metro Transit bus routes 68 and 71. Parking is available in the garage directly east of the Wellstone Center, or there is street parking available. 
Registration: May 16-June 10


8:45-9:00 -- Registration
9:15-9:50 -- Welcome
10:00-10:50 -- Workshop I
11:00-11:50 -- Workshop II
12:00-12:50 -- Lunch & Networking
1:00-1:50 -- Workshop III
2:00-2:50 -- Workshop IV

How to Register Staff

It is the supervisor's responsibility to sign up any summer staff for the Summer Institute! Questions about how to register? Check out some frequently asked questions!

  • Get staff input with workshop preference sheet on back of FAQ
  • Sign up your summer staff here! 
  • Registration opens May 16. Slots for workshops fill up, so be sure to sign your staff up early to have the most workshop choices!
  • Registration closes June 10.


What Would You Do?

Youth leaders are faced with difficult situations throughout the summer including inappropriate conversations, boundary issues, and multiple bullying behaviors. Participants will discuss how to navigate these difficult situations to create positive, inclusive, and welcoming environment.
Led by: Tabitha Mitchell & Jess Harkcom, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation
Appropriate for: All levels

Building Community: Icebreakers, Teambuilders & Energizers

Building an emotionally safe community of peers and adults is essential for youth to learn and develop as individuals. This interactive workshop will introduce participants to a variety of activities designed to support the community building process.
Led by: Craig Sweet, Wilder Foundation/St. Paul Music Academy
Appropriate for: All levels

Focus on Five: Five Ways to be a Top Performer

Instead of trying to remember a long list of workplace dos and don'ts, attend this interactive session and learn the top five ways that you can be a valuable employee this summer. We'll use fun activities, conversation with your fellow summer staff, and some real work scenarios to help you make the best of your summer job!
Presenter: Chris Ohland, Keystone Community Services
Appropriate for: All levels 

The Power of Play

This hands-on workshop will give you the skills to become the stand out performer in your program. Participants will learn how play can be used to manage groups of any size effectively. Use the power of play to build rapport, establish rules and consequences, address learning styles, transition successfully, and engage youth effectively. Bring your sneakers and get ready to have fun.
Led by: Playworks staff
Appropriate for: All levels

Activity Makeover: From "Make-It-Take-It" to "Engaged & Learning"

Summer programs include a variety of activities: sports, crafts, music and more. But how do you take your scheduled activity and make it into an engaging opportunity that not only keeps young people busy-- but deepens the learning and experience? In this session participants will understand key components found in the YPQA and use those strategies to create a lesson plan that will be sure to strengthen your summer program quality.
Led by: Emily Holder, SPPS Discovery Club
Appropriate for: All levels

Reflective Leadership

Identify skills, strengths, and opportunities to grow as a leader. Open to all levels of staff, this workshop will provide you with individual and group strategies to develop your leadership skills.
Led by: Rich Pennington & youth from the Kitty Anderson Youth Science Center
Appropriate for: All levels


Do you communicate with youth in a way that makes them feel supported and heard?  This interactive workshop introduces various communication techniques that help you build more supportive, youth-centered relationships.  Participants will learn to ask more effective questions, to listen actively to youth, and to offer youth encouragement rather than praise.
Led by: Jocelyn Wiedow, Sprockets
Appropriate for: All levels

Quality Coaching

This workshop focuses on helping staff improve through one-on-one consultation.  The Quality Coaching method is based on the three main concepts: respect, observation, and support. The idea is to maximize productivity in the supervisor-staff relationship by starting with a foundation of respect, taking time to observe staff at the point of service and then supporting staff to develop professionally. Register here for Quality Coaching.
Led by: Julie Richards, St. Paul Youth Services
Appropriate for: Veteran staff and supervisors

If you have questions or need more information about Summer Institute 2016, please contact Lisle Bertsche at or 612-314-9575.