Home Teams

Home Teams are groups of youth and leaders travelling and staying together during the Gathering. Often youth from the same church or parish form a Home Team, and a youth group leader or another adult will act as the leader. Some congregations team up and send one Home Team together. In order to attend CLAY, you must be part of a Home Team.

Pre-gathering information booklet, now available! Inside you will find everything you need to know as a Home Team Leader for CLAY 2023! You’ll ind info about Home Team Leader Expectations, Responsibilities, First-Timer Tips, Preparing for CLAY, Things to Bring, Things to Note, Things to do and see in Waterloo, Insurance, Travel Information, Check-in & Registration, Gathering App & Rules and things for After the Gathering.

Download it here!

Participant FAQ

Participants at CLAY should be aged 14-19 as of December 31 of the year of the Gathering.

NOTE: With the endorsement of their PHTL and their local congregation/parish, and with the permission of the CLAY Registrar, youth who will be 13 years old (born in 2010) may be permitted to attend the gathering. PHTLs who wish to register a 13-year-old should contact the Registrar for information on how to request an exception

Before the Gathering, Home Team Leaders (HTLs) organize and plan out how their Home Teams will prepare for the Gathering, including the registration and fee payments, travel arrangements and pre-Gathering Bible studies. They may also organize fundraisers for their Home Team to lower the costs associated with attending CLAY. Home Team members are expected to participate fully in all of these activities. As a participant, if you have any suggestions for a Bible Study, group bonding activity, or fundraiser, tell your Home Team Leader!

During the Gathering, participants typically attend all activities with their Home Team, from meals to Large Group Gatherings to Late Night Spots. This doesn’t mean that you need to travel in a huge group at all times, but it’s good to have a few friends around to experience CLAY with you! During Home Team Time, participants can share what they’ve learned, ask questions, and get support in a safe environment. The Gathering may be a bit overwhelming at times, and Home Team Time is a great chance to relax with some familiar faces.

After the Gathering, Home Teams may participate in post-Gathering Bible Studies or host a CLAY-themed worship service. Participants can support each other throughout the year and remind each other about what they learned and experienced at the Gathering.

In order to attend CLAY, you must be a member of a Home Team. If no one else from your congregation wants to go, and your church isn’t sending a Home Team, contact your Synod/Diocese Youth Committee. Perhaps they can help you find another Home Team from the same synod/diocese, and you’ll get to meet some new people!

Yes! Clay Crew is made up of youth, selected from across Canada, age 18–21 (by December 31st of the gathering year), who will be involved directly in leading the CLAY Gathering, while having the opportunity to participate in many of the usual Gathering activities like a regular Home Team. Watch out for more information!

Home Team Leader FAQ

Here is the key information you need to know in order to be a Home Team Leader. For more information visit the CLAY 2023 page.

As a Home Team Leader (HTL) you are a very important part of our team in preparing and planning for the Gathering. The planning committee for the Gathering acknowledges that Home Team Leaders have a lot of responsibility before, during, and after the Gathering and is grateful for your commitment to helping make the event a success.

You are in the process of planning to register for Ashes & Embers. This HTL FAQ section is meant to provide further information about the registration process, highlight some important information about our registration process, and to assist you in the Home Team building process.

A Home Team is the basic unit within the Gathering.  Home Teams are made up of youth travelling and experiencing CLAY together, along with their leaders.  A Home Team is made up of a Primary Home Team Leader (PHTL) and up to nine additional members (maximum eight youth and any number of HTLs or LITs for a maximum total of ten per Home Team including the PHTL).

Each Home Team will have a Primary Home Team Leader (PHTL), though they may have additional leaders as well.  This person is the primary reference point for a group of youth leading up to and at the gathering.  As a PHTL, you play a very important and integral role in the functioning of CLAY. The National Planning Committee relies heavily on you as a valued partner with them in making the Gathering successful and appreciates the time and energy you put into this vital position.  It is recommended that the PHTL be someone who is 25 years of age or older, but all PHTLs must be at least 24 years of age by the time of the gathering.  Every Home Team must have a PHTL.

*With the endorsement of their local congregation/parish, and with the permission of the CLAY Registrar, leaders younger than 24 may be permitted as PHTLs. The potential PHTL should contact the Registrar for information on how to request an exception.

In addition to the standard responsibilities and expectations that go along with being a Home Team Leader, the PHTL is in charge of creating the Home Team in the online registration system, ensuring all paper forms get signed, getting congregational forms signed, being the primary contact to the Registrar, and sending in all payments and forms to the Registrar.

Great! HTLs are adults on a Home Team in addition to the PHTL.  It is recommended that HTLs be at least 21 years of age by the time of the gathering.

Groups are welcome to bring Leaders-in-Training (LITs) as part of their Home Team. These participants should be at least 19 years at the time of the gathering and are encouraged to shadow the HTLs as they prepare for and lead their Home Team. LITs are welcome to attend all HTL meetings at the gathering.

You will need to take an active part in all of the activities that are scheduled to take place at the Gathering. Your enthusiasm and the example you set will go a long way to a positive experience for the youth. You will become actively involved with your youth and their experiences before, during, and after the Gathering.

Your role is to help the youth register and prepare for the Gathering, travel with the youth to and from the Gathering, experience the Gathering with the youth, and help them share their experiences when they return home. You (and your leadership team) will need to be attentive to the needs of youth in the following ways at the Gathering:

  • AS  FRIEND- Someone who is available to youth; someone who is concerned about youth and can consult freely with them.

  • AS  LISTENER- Someone who can listen and be aware of what others are saying, feeling, and doing; someone who can respond to problems that arise.

  • AS  SUPPORTER- Someone who can give encouragement and moral support to young people and fellow Home Team Leaders.

  • AS  SPIRITUAL LEADER- Someone who can help youth in their faith development, lead Bible Studies (pre- and post-Gathering), and can lead the group in prayer before, during and after the Gathering.

  • AS  FACILITATOR- Someone who can communicate with youth and Gathering leaders about activities, procedures and rules.

1. Actively worshiping, studying and planning together with the Home Team before, during, and after the Gathering.

2. Assisting members of the Home Team in registering for the Gathering.

3. Having a meeting with the members of the Home Team and their parents where possible to review the expectations of the Gathering. These expectations include:
a) Full commitment to participate in all Gathering activities.
b) Full commitment to abide by Gathering rules. This includes abstaining from the use of alcohol and/or non-prescription drugs at any time at the Gathering. This is prohibited for everyone, including Home Team Leaders.
c) Any other expectations you have for the group or that are in our material.

4. Obtaining the names, addresses and phone numbers of all participants on your Home Team and being alert to any medical problems before you leave for the Gathering. It would be a good idea to print copies of your home teams’ registration forms (for your own records) before travelling. There will be a nursing office on-site, as well as a hospital nearby.

5. Reading the pre-gathering information on the website and setting a time to do the Pre-Gathering Bible Study with your Home Team.

6. Attending all Home Team Leader meetings at the Gathering to obtain vital update information, and to discuss leader and group concerns.

7. Supervising your group at the Gathering. This means knowing the whereabouts of everyone on your Home Team at all times and ensuring that the Gathering rules and schedule requirements are met.

When congregation and dioceses assign Home Team Leader(s) they should consider the Gathering’s Protection Policies: ELCIC’s Policy for Protection of Children, Youth and Other Vulnerable People

If you have female and male youth in your Home Team you are no longer required to have both male and female leaders. We believe that it is desirable to have the most experienced and trusted youth leaders attending the gathering with their youth, regardless of what the group’s gender balance is.

There is no minimum number of people for a home team.  One home team leader can lead a group from two to eight youth.  Over that number, the team needs an additional leader for every 8 participants.

Ask your pastor or priest for assistance or contact your Synod or Diocesan office or Synod/Diocese youth committee for assistance.

Contact your Synod or Diocesan office to see if there are any Youth Leadership Workshops being held in your synod prior to the Gathering. They would be of benefit to you, especially if you are a first time Home Team Leader, equipping you with general youth ministry skills.

Another great option is to contact other Home Team Leaders, past or present in your area or Synod and diocesan youth staff.

The Canadian Lutheran and Anglican Youth Gathering is just that, a youth gathering. There will be no children under the registration age permitted to attend. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE. Any children and their guardians/parents will be denied participation at the gathering, and no refund will be provided.

Please read all materials found on the registration pages. 

Registration questions should be sent to the Registrar: [email protected], and Home Team Leader questions can be directed to the Home Team Leader Coordinator: [email protected]. For all other questions, click here.