Mo-TLC, Teen Leadership Conference
June 13-18, 2021
Mo-TLC was a great choice for my son! The smaller atmosphere really worked for him; he is still sharing tidbits and keeping up with the kids he met. Thanks for what you do!
A retreat for high school age students to learn leadership skills, make friends, worship, and do fun activities!
Today, perhaps more than ever before, the church and God’s world need solid, kind, resilient, and faithful leaders. 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 – yet we believe that God will never leave us alone. Guided by encouraging adult mentors, youth participants in the Teen Leadership Conference explore their gifts of leadership, and engage in a process of learning more about themselves and their leadership tendencies…all with the goal of stepping into their role(s) as leaders in their home congregation, school, and communities. Students will explore various leadership opportunities throughout the week as they plan and implement conference activities, including games and initiatives.
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 — Neil McKown: Neil is the Director of Student Ministries at Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church in Austin. 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 recently completed a term of serving on the board of directors for the Presbyterian Youth Workers Association.
Co-director —Rev. Kelly Staples: Kelly is the Associate Pastor of Family Ministry at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Flower Mound and a graduate of Austin Seminary. Kelly first went to Mo Ranch in the mid-‘90s for Junior High Jubilee, then took a 13 year break to return as a small group leader for Youth Celebration. She is 100 percent sure that TLC is her favorite conference. Her favorite parts of Mo 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.
Joel is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, and while he spent a few years exploring the east coast, he had deep roots in Oklahoma.
Joel attended Oral Roberts University in 2007, receiving a degree in sacred music. During that time, he served at First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa as a lay leader working with middle school and college students. He was also heavily invested in their contemporary worship service. For three years, he served as the associate pastor of discipleship at the First Presbyterian Church of Hilton Head, in South Carolina. Currently, Joel serves as the pastor of First Presbyterian of Sand Springs.
Joel is married to Amber, and together, they have two children, Emerson and Charlie. While ministry is Joel’s call, it is not his only passion. If he’s not reading, he can be found spending time with his family, working out, playing disc golf or cheering on the Green Bay Packers or Oklahoma City Thunder.
Joel is driven by the desire and conviction to help all people come to know Christ, love Christ and serve Christ.
Maggie is the director of youth ministry at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas.
A life-long Presbyterian, she grew up attending Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. In May 2019, she graduated from the University of Tulsa with a B.A. in Psychology.
She has been a small group leader at Mo-Ranch for several summers and am currently co-directing a Montreat Youth Conference.
Some of her favorite things include coffee, travel, 3-wick candles, football, and talking about the Bible with young people.
Alex grew up in Dallas, going to Mo-Ranch conferences as a youth.
After attending Rhodes College and getting her B.A. in English, she served as a youth adult volunteer through the PC(USA) in the city of New Orleans. During her in time there she worked at a construction non-profit in volunteer programming as well as for the Presbytery of South Louisiana as their youth coordinator.
From 2016 to 2019, she attended Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and received the Chidester preaching award upon graduation. During her time in Austin, she served as a campus ministry intern for University Presbyterian Church. Most recently, Alex accepted a call as the pastoral resident at First Presbyterian Church in Shreveport, Louisiana where she serves the church’s many different ministries including youth, outreach and worship.
In her spare time Alex enjoy spending time with her husband, basset hound and cat. She is also an avid ceramicist, her work with clay is an important spiritual practice in which she can connect with God.
$250 per registrant/adult sponsor for group lodging.
$300 per registrant/adult sponsor for hotel lodging.
Conference participants will be housed on a first-come, first-served basis. You may let us know of you housing preference and we will do our best to honor that preference.
In order to get best use of the housing facilities we have available, please note your group may be housed with other youth groups in dorm/group housing. 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.
Questions? We’re happy to help! Contact us at 1.800.460.4401 ext. 246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration & Cancellation Policy
Registration for youth conferences is by group only on a first-come basis. 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 amount paid toward other charges or future conferences.
Please contact the program office at 800-460-4401 ext. 246.
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. 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.
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. Directions to Mo.
This conference will include a selection of our ropes course elements. To read a description of each element, click here.
Make sure to stop by the Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly bookstore during your conference to pick out a souvenir!