Youth Scholars Program FAQ

What is it?

The Ask & Imagine Youth Scholars program is a chance to go to university on full scholarship for two weeks in the summer.  You live in community with a group of students and leaders, and together attend classes and workshops, make meals, have discussions, and meet amazing people.

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Who is it for?

It’s for people who are between 16 and 20 years old (by 31 Dec 2013). You must have completed at least Grade 10.

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Do I have to be religious?

No and Yes.  What does the word ‘religious’ mean to you?  This is a program with a strong spiritual element.  You will be attending classes in Biblical studies, church history, Islamic studies, and interfaith dialogue.  There will be spaces of prayer and worship.

We are based in an Anglican theological school, and many of our leaders are also church leaders.  This is a faith-based space, but also a welcoming space of diversity and respect.  You do not have to be religious, but many of our participants and leaders are.  Wherever you are coming from, Ask & Imagine is an open community of learners, seekers and adventurers.

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I’m not Christian, or from a Christian background. Is this the right program for me?

We welcome students of all faith traditions. Ask & Imagine is hosted by an Anglican (Christian) theological college, and its history is deeply rooted in that tradition. The majority of the leaders and faculty are also church leaders. However, this is changing as the program is growing to welcome and include scholars and leaders from all religious backgrounds.

We are moving towards becoming a program where people of all faiths, or no faith, can explore deep questions and learn from one another’s practices and perspectives. Please join us on this journey!

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What do we do?

There is no ‘typical day’ at Ask & Imagine.  But if there were:

7:30            Wake-up, eat breakfast at the house
9:00            First class (Biblical Studies)
10:30           Break (could included a walk to Tim Horton’s, or homemade muffins
brought  in by our wonderful head of kitchen)
11:00           Second Class (Ethics/History/Media)
12:30           Lunch and break
2:00            Afternoon Session (World Religions/Food Justice/Leadership Skills)
4:30            Tea Time and Break
6:00            Dinner together at the house
7:30            Evening program (Ultimate Frisbee/Hike/Movie/Small group discussion)
9:00            Evening prayer
11:00           House quiet

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What do we eat?

The food at Ask & Imagine is fantastic! Home made, and fresh. A lot of our focus is on living in community with each other – and that means good food! We make most of our meals for ourselves, though sometime we will eat at the dining hall on campus.

We have a wonderful Kitchen Manager, Janet, who prepares a lot of our food, as well as leads the community in preparing meals for each other. Don’t worry if you’ve never cooked a big meal before – Janet and the community will teach you, and you’ll never do it alone. We accommodate all dietary needs and allergies – participants are encouraged to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

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Where do we sleep?

The community stays in the residence at Huron University College.  Depending on which residence you are assigned, you will either have a single or double room. You will share the bathroom with a couple other people, like you do at home.  The rooms are clean and bright.

Check out Huron’s housing and student life website here for pictures and floor plans.

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How much does it cost?

Successful applicants receive a full scholarship that includes your room, meals, tuition and program costs.  A $50.00 non-refundable registration fee is due upon acceptanceYou are responsible for your travel to London, Ontario. There are subsidies available for Ask & Imagine Youth Scholars coming from a significant distance. Please enquire at the time of acceptance if this is something you are interested in.

For more information about fees, please click here.

 

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What is adventure training?

Ask & Imagine is designed to engage many different ways of learning.  One of these ways is outdoors.  The entire community will be going on a 3-day trip to Tobermory, Ontario, a beautiful location on the shores of Lake Huron.  There, the group will go hiking, canoeing, participate in a ropes course, and even try out snorkeling.

All activities are voluntary – you will be encouraged to challenge yourself, but not forced to do anything.  As with everything at Ask & Imagine, we believe in “challenge by choice”, and learning in community.  This experience is a metaphor for facing challenges and supporting one another, building trust, and we encourage everyone to get out there and try new things.

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Could you explain the Higgs Boson particle?

Is there internet access?

Brough House has free internet, though it is weak in the bedrooms.  There is internet throughout campus, but as with all large schools, there are different access procedures for different buildings and different computers.  You may purchase a guest internet account upon arrival, but it is not necessary.  You do not require a computer at Ask & Imagine.  There are computers available for use in the student lounge, as well as other spots on campus.

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FAQ from Previous Scholars

We wrote to students who have been at A & I and said “what questions were you asking yourself before you came to the program, and how would you answer those questions now?”  We thought it would be helpful to include their questions and answers on the website, because you might have the some of the same questions.

So, what was on your mind before you came?

Charles from Ontario wrote:

“Before I came I didn’t quite know what to expect, you hear people talk about this Ask & Imagine program but you just don’t know what it is. What it turned out to be is something which is beyond any experience you ever have in your life and something beyond what you can imagine. Your whole worldview can change in big ways and small ways – from the way you see science to the way you see simply lighting a candle. 
You don’t realize it at the beginning but by the end you find totally new views about yourself and God.”

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What can I expect to get out of the Ask & Imagine experience?

Cleo from Labrador wrote:

“It’s hard to say what exactly you, as an individual, will take away from the program. Different people have taken away different experiences and feelings. What I took away from Ask & Imagine was a deeper understanding of the importance of prayer, new realizations about myself and who I am, it strengthened my faith, and I gained some really fabulous new Christian friends who understand and know me. There’s much more that’s just so hard to describe about the experience, and the only real way to know what YOU will get out of Ask & Imagine is to go yourself!”

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Do I have to know a lot about theology to attend?

Joe from Newfoundland wrote:

Absolutely not! The whole reason for this program is to learn, and not only about theology but about life itself. The whole thing is one amazing learning experience! Think about it, this is a chance to get together with people the same age as you and explore extremely interesting questions.

As well, when you get a group of youth together for the same reason you know its going to be a blast! From God, to different cultures, to making new friends from across Canada, Ask & Imagine is not a test about what you know, its a program filled with activities to intrigue you, challenge you, and above all to answer that one big question…….WHY??

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Will they ask me to share my feelings?

Jeff from Newfoundland wrote:

Well, when I got to Ask & Imagine, I found that the people there were very understanding. I was not forced to do anything that I wasn’t comfortable doing, including sharing my feelings, or anything else that I didn’t want to do. Although a bit shy at first, I was opened up by the positive ‘charge’ I felt from the other youth and the leadership team.

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How do I know if it’s right for me?

Alison from Ontario wrote: 

When I was asked if I want to go to A&I, I really did not know if I wanted to go. Sure it sounded fun but I still worried about work, making money and to tell the truth, I wondered if going to one of those “Christian Camps” (it is not a Camp, but that is what I thought it was at the time) was something I wanted to do.

I always had this idea in my head that these events were for really hardcore religious people, and I was not and still am not all about promoting my religion to others and worshiping all the time. I like to keep it to myself. So as you can tell, this type of thing was not something I would normally do and in the end I knew I had to do it for only one reason. The doxology, “Glory to God, whose power working in us can do infinitely more then we can ask or imagine.”

I had known about the program since the September before the summer I went. Every time I got to that part in the church service, my stomach flipped, it always made me think about the program. It was God’s way of saying “you need this!” My life has been changed forever because of A&I, and I’m glad I listened to my stomach!”

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