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YSA Summit a fun, affordable way of socializing

Young single adults and the leaders who plan events for them are on the same page when it comes to why they attend activities: socializing.This weekend marks the annual YSA Summit for 18 to 31-year-olds in the Riverton, Kearns, West Jordan, South Jordan and Taylorsville regions. At the Aug. 1 activity, which featured water games and carnival attractions, YSAs and organizers alike commented on how great getting-to-know-you activities are for the demographic."The purpose is for the young single adults to mix and mingle," said Matthew Brown, a YSA on the organizing committee of the summit being held in Herriman and Salt Lake City.About 1,350 young people were expected to attend the three-day summit, which began July 31 with a comedy show and dinner, and will conclude with a fireside devotional by Alex Boye on Aug. 2."These kinds of activities help form relationships that bind," Brown said.Because YSAs have been told their whole lives that their challenges and trials are unique, it's helpful to have places where they all can gather and relate, he said.Brown said he didn't think financial concerns kept anyone from coming out, despite the $15 registration fee. He said committee organizers tried to get the word out that the fee would be waived for anyone who couldn't afford it.According to some attendees, the affordable price brought them out.Andy Satchwell, 26, drove down with his roommate from Logan, Utah, where they both attend Utah State University, because they thought the conference was such a good deal.Admission covered two meals, entrance to a comedy show, Saturday's all-day carnival and Saturday night's John Schmidt piano concert."You think about what it would cost," Satchwell said. "Where else could you go for a weekend's worth of entertainment for 15 bucks?"Stacey Stradley, 20, of West Jordan, Utah, echoed Satchwell's statements on the affordability of the summit, adding that she also enjoyed the variety of activities which appealed to many different interests.Saturday's events also included a 5K fundraising run. Brown said about 100 people participated in the race, which benefited the Utah Food Bank as each entrant donated five cans of food.Stradley said that while everyone knows the summit and activities like it are intended, in part, to encourage dating and courtship, the message wasn't so overt that it was vexing.The day was still young though, she said.Satchwell said some of Saturday's activities encouraged people to get to know each other more than others, specifically citing a game in which participants try to pass a Life Saver from a toothpick held in their mouth to another person's toothpick held in the same manner."If you go over to the Life Saver passing with a toothpick, you get to know people pretty quick," he said, laughing.


E-mail: mfarmer@desnews.com