The 2017 YMCA Youth Pinecrest Conference was an initiative facilitated by members of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Teen Council and involved the participation of youth leaders from various YMCA facilities in the GTA. The event took place from May 12th-14th, 2017 as an interactive conference with sessions, workshops and speakers to help participants broaden their view on this year’s theme of Gender Perception: Stepping Out of Societal Constraints.
Youth from all Youth Leadership Development and Newcomer Youth Leadership Development groups participated in this three day conference. The council members presented about the effects that the media and the idea of nature vs. nurture have on our perception of gender followed by an indoor/outdoor game to keep the youth engaged.
YMCA Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Teen Council
The YMCA GTA Teen Council was started as a form of outreach to youth by encourage them on a path to becoming influential citizens within their own communities. Every year, a group of youth are chosen to become members of the YMCA GTA Teen Council because of the involvement and leadership they have shown within their own communities. Their responsibilities are to create a local GTA-wide and an international initiative to target Youth Social Issues.
The council collected youth from all groups who are a part of the YMCA within the GTA from the following locations with special attention to participants who showed leadership within their community in being a part of their Youth Leadership Corps or Youth Advisory Councils:
- Brampton YMCA
- Central YMCA
- Durham Family YMCA
- Markham YMCA
- Mississauga YMCA
- North York YMCA
- Scarborough YMCA
- West End YMCA
The Pinecrest Conference complimented the local initiative of the True Depiction Project which, followed this year’s theme of ‘Gender Perception: Stepping Out of Societal Constraints’ where members of the YGTA Teen Council spoke to youth participants and facilitated workshops in creating a greater understanding of the Media’s influence on gender perception and how society defines gender.
Kole Peplinskie identifies using the gender pronoun “they”. They are currently working towards a degree in Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa. Since moving to Ottawa, they have been active in the queer community through volunteering with various organizations and presenting workshops on subjects such as decolonizing gender and two-spirit roles, bullying, healthy relationships, coming out and answering any questions about being a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
The Templeton Philharmonic are an award-winning, multidisciplinary comedy duo from Toronto comprised of Gwynne Phillips and Briana Templeton. Together, they write and perform sketches that are known for their surreal flavour and biting social commentary.
Karen BK Chan is a sex and emotional literacy educator in Toronto with 18+ years of clinical and training experience. She is dedicated to education that is plainly spoken, emotionally honest and grounded in justice. Known for her accessible style and easy sense of humour, she speaks internationally to students, parents, and professionals. She also integrates curriculum content into stories and theory into practice.