Earlier this month, the Church notified wards and stakes in the United States and Canada when they would attend For the Strength of Youth conferences in 2022 and 2023.
The approximately 250 FSY conferences that will be held in 2022 will require a lot of young single adult counselors to be successful. The Church is looking for 2,200 counselors, ages 19-30.
“We need them,” Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon said at an FSY earlier this year. “We need their love, we need their enthusiasm.”
On average, counselors who are selected will serve for seven weeks between May and August 2022. Some may have the opportunity to volunteer for as little as one week.
Emma Lind, an FSY counselor this past summer at BYU, admitted that the commitment can be tough.
“It can be so nerve-wracking to leave everything that you have going on,” she said. “But I knew that this would be so worth it.”
Lind compared her experience at FSY to experiences she had while serving as a missionary in Indianapolis, Indiana. The hard work, the exhaustion, and seeing the transformation of individuals whose testimonies of the Savior are growing, were all similar to her mission service.
“Watching other people? That’s a miracle. Seeing somebody change is so worth it for a counselor,” she said.
What kind of person does she think should consider being a counselor at FSY?
“It’s for anyone who needs to feel that love again from God and have an experience that might help them find where they need to be,” Lind said.
Ryan Sorensen served as an FSY assistant coordinator this past summer. He, too, agreed that there are similarities with serving a mission.
“It’s the same principle as a mission where you plan diligently for your different lessons, but you go with the Spirit and meet the different needs that the youth have,” he said.
Sorensen said that parents appreciate the work the counselors put in, too.
“I hear repeatedly of parents saying their kids will come home saying, ’I learned this and this from my counselor,’ and the parent will say, ‘I’ve been telling you that for years and you haven’t been listening.’”
Sorensen said it’s a good feeling to know that youth listen to the counselors and that they are picking up on principles that parents and Church leaders are also trying to teach.
“If their heart is open, they can be changed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ,” he said of the youth who attend.
President Cordon said that the experience of being an FSY counselor is like many other opportunities to serve in the Church.
“They give so much,” she said, “But that’s the beauty of the gospel — for as much as you give, it just expands what you receive in return.”
The process to be considered as an FSY counselor starts by visiting the FSY Employment website where eligibility requirements, policies and processes are more fully explained.
Those selected as counselors will receive food, housing and a weekly allowance.
While counselors will be filling a need and helping youth have a great experience while they attend FSY, the biggest benefit to those who participate comes to their own testimony.
“They walk away knowing the Savior more,” President Cordon said.