First time at SPARK? Need more details? Scroll down for answers to many of your questions!
Who is SPARK for? What is it? When is it?
SPARK is Western Pa UMC's annual youth rally. It is for youth in 6-12th grade and their leaders. It is an entire weekend of worship, messages, and fun (we also throw in a whole lot of Jesus too)! It is held at the Sheraton Station Square Jan. 19-21, 2018.
How do I register for SPARK? Do I have to register before I come?
You can register right here! If you have questions about registration or need help, please contact Jane or Amanda at the conference center! Registration is required by January 12th. It is to your benefit to register early! The early bird registration is through November 3rd and it is $185 for 4 in a room. After that the price goes up to $210 for 4 in a room.
What is included in the cost of SPARK?
Quite a bit! Your registration cost includes two nights at the Sheraton, all the programming, evening activities, breakouts, and a shirt! The price also includes breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and lunch on Saturday. *Dinner is on your own on Saturday. Cost is also dependent on how many people you have to a room. See here for some creative fundraising ideas!
Where should I park? Does it cost to park?
You can park right at the Sheraton hotel lot or across the street at the parking garage. Parking at the hotel is self-parking and is $25/day. The hotel parking fee will be added to your hotel bill. The parking garage prices vary.
What is the hotel like?
It is a Sheraton so it is pretty nice. The hotel has all the regular amenities as well as an indoor pool. You will need a credit card to check in to your group's rooms. Check here for Sheraton hotel info.
What time does everything start and end?
Registration for SPARK runs from 5:00-8:30 on Friday. The event ends on Sunday around noon after worship with communion.
How many adults do I need for my group of youth?
You should follow your church's Safe Sanctuary policy in regards to transportation, clearances, adult ratios, and rooming requirements. We recommend a 7 youth to 1 adult ratio. You are responsible for your own youth!!!!
Is there security?
Yes. Our conference's safety team is on site during the entire weekend including nights to insure every person's safety. The hotel also has security during the night.
Where should I go when our group arrives? What is the registration process?
When you arrive, please send in 1 or 2 adults to the lobby to check your group in. There will be tables set up on the side of the lobby and you be greeted warmly on arrival. If there is any payment still owed, you can handle that there. You will gather your group's name tags as well. We will also have your group's room keys there. Once you are registered, your group can come through and grab t-shirts.
What should I bring?
Make sure each youth from your group has completed this form and bring them with you to the event. Bring any payment you still owe. As for a packing list, just bring the essentials. It is a hotel after all so most things are already provided for you! Be sure to bring warm and cool weather clothing as the hotel's temperature can change. Pack a bathing suit if you plan on using the hotel pool.
Do I need money?
The hotel does have a cafe and store if you want to use it. We will also have a vendor hall this year where items may be for sale. Dinner is on your own on Saturday so you may need cash for that. We will be taking an offering on Saturday.
Where can I eat dinner on Saturday?
There are a ton of places to eat dinner right in Station Square within walking distance of the hotel. You can even take your group for a ride on the incline. There are also lots of places within the city of Pittsburgh you can drive to as well. We recommend you plan ahead and make reservations early! There are also several pizza places that will deliver to the hotel.
Do I have to stay at the Sheraton?
No. There are other hotels in the area you can stay in if you prefer. You can also commute from a church or home. We have a commuter rate just for you. We also have a one day rate this year as well. Remember about parking costs though!
Who are the bands and speaker this year?
Check out On Stage for info!
What are the breakouts and fun rooms?
See here for that info!
What is the schedule for the weekend?
Here it is! There are some small changes to it this year.
Have another question not answered here?
Contact Amanda at 724-776-2300 ext. 224 or email.