2019 theme—Pieces of Peace
Scripture: Romans 12:9-17
“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
Living as servant leaders of the risen Jesus Christ is joyful, challenging, difficult, rewarding and sometimes scary. As we all know too well, God calls us into scary places that challenge us, that stretch us, that grow us. But we have to enter into those places trusting in God’s goodness. We have to trust that because God loves us the scary things he’s calling us into are for our benefit. We trust in God who takes our hand, and never lets us go. Guided by encouraging adult mentors, youth participants select from five leadership groups (worship, music, drama, small-group or recreation) in which to work throughout the week to plan and implement the conference activities.
Finding our strengths is a journey that can lead to serving right where God needs us most. At Mo-TLC, we invite youth to seek out their gifts and to be creative in utilizing them throughout all areas of worship. Whether it be through singing, studying, praying or playing, we are Christ’s disciples, reflecting God’s love in all we do. Mo-TLC is open to youth who have completed 9th grade through those who have just graduated from high school. Registration per church is limited to five youth and their sponsors. We encourage you to nudge young people who exhibit unique leadership skills, gifts, and abilities in your congregation to attend—for, at this conference, they won’t be passive recipients of someone else’s planning: they will serve in key leadership roles!
- Develop leadership skills that will honor God in all activities of our faith journeys
- Learn to lead with others so that youth look beyond themselves to find the potential of the community
- Provide safe opportunities for youth to experiment and plan activities and worship that reflect their faith in God
Conference director: Kelly Hodgson Kelly is a wife and mother in Shreveport, Louisiana, who spends most of her time watching her 17-year-old, Carl, play lacrosse and watching her 14-year-old, GraceAnne, at gymnastics meets. When she is not at those two places, she is at her husband’s architecture firm. Kelly first attended Mo-TLC in 1997 as a chaperone and it immediately became her favorite conference. She has attended several times as a chaperone and has been director and co-director several years ago. Kelly took a break from Mo-Ranch until her own kids were old enough to attend, and she is happy to be back at her “mountaintop!” Kelly’s favorite part about Mo-TLC is watching the amazing job the youth do all week who always exceed her expectations and dreams for the conference.
Conference co-director: Neil McKown Neil is the director of student ministries at Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas. Some of the talents that serve him well as a youth director are—in no particular order—a fondness for road trips and baseball, a talent for most musical instruments including the tuba, an inhuman disregard for sleep and a passion for mission and connecting people. He also is currently serving on the board of directors for the Presbyterian Youth Workers Association.
Small group facilitator: Kelly Staples Kelly is the associate pastor at NorthPark Presbyterian Church and a graduate of Austin Seminary. She has one nutty husband, two crazy daughters and the two most misbehaved cats ever, and she hopes to add a capybara or giraffe to the mix one day. Kelly first went to Mo-Ranch in the mid-’90s for Junior High Jubilee and took a 13-year break to return as a small group leader for Youth Celebration. She is 100% sure that Mo-TLC is her favorite conference, and her favorite parts of it are the rapids and vespers on the tennis courts. Kelly would like everyone to know that since she does not do well with “nature,” any confrontations with snakes or spiders larger than her pinky toe will end in her weeping hysterically—please plan accordingly!
Keynote facilitator: Amy Heintz Amy is a cradle Presbyterian who started coming to Mo-Ranch as a freshman in high school. She has attended multiple Mo-Ranch conferences throughout the years, both as a youth and as a small group leader. It was Mo-TLC that first taught her she could combine her love of theater with her love of the church. Mo-TLC has always been her favorite conference, and she is excited to be back helping youth get the same fantastic experiences she had! Amy graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a bachelor’s of arts in speech/theater. She currently works as the youth coordinator for the Presbytery of South Louisiana and serves as a ruling elder at her home church of Covington Presbyterian. Amy lives in Covington, Louisiana, with her husband, Forrest, and they have a 5-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son.
Worship facilitator: Lisa Schrott
Recreation facilitator: TBA
Music facilitator: Paul Demer
Conference participants will be housed on a first-come, first-served basis. You will be asked for your preference for group/dorm housing and we will do our best to honor that preference. In order to get best use of the housing facilities we have available, your group may be housed with other youth groups in dorm/group housing.
Dorm/group housing: $570
Registration & Cancellation Policy
Registration for youth conferences is by group only on a first-come basis.
A deposit of $75 per person is accepted until 45 days prior to the conference. The balance of all fees will be due 45 days prior to the start of the event or upon registration if within 45 days.
A complete/revised list of participants must be provided 30 days prior to the start of the conference. Initial housing assignments will be conditional upon numbers/gender ratios remaining constant. Male for female or female for male substitutions are not guaranteed.
Full refund less $75 administrative fee per person will be made if cancellation is received more than 30 days prior to the conference. There are generally no refunds for cancellations received after 30 days prior to the start of the event nor any applying of the deposit toward other charges or future deposits.
Scholarships are available! Click here to learn more.
Arrival & Departure
Arrive and check-in between 4 and 6 p.m. on the day the conference begins. One sponsor per group should check-in their group. Youth will wait for their group leader in a designated area. Groups will be able to move into their housing facilities no earlier than 4 p.m. Conferences begin with dinner at 6 p.m. and end mid-morning on the day of departure.
You will need a ratio of 1:5; 1 adult sponsor per 5 youth. Adult sponsors must also register and pay for the conference. The number of adult sponsors must correspond to the gender numbers in the group they are bringing. 5 boys and 3 girls would mean at least 1 male and 1 female sponsor. Sponsors are not housed in the same room as youth participants.
While we recognize clothing is one way young people express themselves, we expect them to do so in ways that honor themselves as well as the kind of community we are building during our youth conferences. We ask participants (both youth and adult sponsors) to dress comfortably for the weather, but also modestly.
Please refrain from wearing clothing:
- that is too revealing like: short shorts, bikinis, strapless tops or dresses, shirts that allow for a bare midriff, pants worn below the waist line
- that advertises alcohol or tobacco products
- that contains language demeaning or ridiculing someone’s gender, sexuality or ethnic origin
For recreation events, all participants are expected to wear shirts. Participants out of line with dress standards will be asked to change clothes or put on an over-layer that provides adequate coverage.
Youth will be asked to take a swim check at the pool during the check-in period. For easy access, youth should remember to pack swimsuits on top. Swimmer and non-swimmer wristbands will be issued to all participants. All youth participants must take the swim check even if they are 18 years of age. Participants not wishing to take the swim check must go to the pool to be given a non-swimmer wristband. Wristbands provide guest identification to our staff and act as meal tickets in the dining hall, and must be worn by guests at all times. Please note Mo-Ranch’s appropriate dress standards when packing swim suits.
Stuff to Bring
Water bottles! Bible, casual clothes, closed-toe shoes for ropes course, swim suit (swim trunks for males, no bikinis for females. “Tankinis” are acceptable so long as no midriff is showing), swim towel, river shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, flashlight, toiletries, notebook, spending money, and a camera.
Electronic devices include, but are not limited to: cell phones, tablets, mp3 players and handheld games.
The use of personal electronic devices affect not only the person using the device but others around them. Using an electronic device for activities unrelated to the conference can be disruptive and disrespectful. Mo-Ranch encourages groups to leave personal electronics at home. We ask that any electronic devices brought to the conference be kept on silent or turned off during all scheduled events (keynote, small group, worship, vespers, etc.) Distracting personal electronics may be collected by conference staff and turned in to a sponsor. Mo-Ranch or its representatives will not assume responsibility for devices that are lost, stolen, damaged and/or confiscated.
Mo-Ranch is 90 miles one-way, or a 2-hour drive from the nearest airport (SAT), allow 3 hours travel/check-in time for departures. We recommend generally scheduling arriving flights before 3 p.m. and departing flights after 3 p.m. to be sure you do not miss any of your event.
If you are in need of shuttle service to Mo-Ranch, call Kars for Hire in Kerrville at (830) 890-8200 at least 15 days in advance to arrange transportation from San Antonio International Airport.