“Great week. Loren and the leadership team did a great job. Really enjoyed my small group this week.”
A conference for high school age students to explore their faith, make friends, and do some fun recreational activities!
Youth Celebration is a conference for high school students that have completed 9th-12th grade that is a week filled with exploration of faith, worship, new friends and recreation. This conference begins on Sunday evening with the “big hello” and closes with the “big goodbye” on Friday morning. Conference activities include energizers, keynote presentations, worship and music, small groups, afternoon recreation and evening vespers.
Small groups are a key feature of this conference providing youth with a chance to build community with people from other churches. In small groups, youth are guided by adult leaders who facilitate building community, Bible study and discussions on matters of faith and life. Are you interested in becoming a small group leader? Click here to learn more!
To create a safe, Christ-like environment for all participants to share their feelings and thoughts without fear of being persecuted or treated negatively.
- To worship God in all that we do at Youth Celebration; not losing sight that we are all at Mo-Ranch because of the grace of Jesus Christ.
- To help all participants fully understand the love of Christ and how to live a life of love as a Christian.
- To help all participants learn about their faith journey in connection with our theme through small groups, worship, keynote and home group time.
We offer scholarship opportunities! Please contact the program office at 800-460-4401 ext. 246 fo rmore information.
To register and view paperwork, click here.
2024 Leadership Coming Soon!
Keynote: Rev. Amy Meyer
Rev. Amy Meyer is the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Elgin, Texas where she spends most of her time doing pastor stuff. When she’s not busy at church, Amy enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, and playing the drums
Worship: Jake Clawson
The Reverend Jake Clawson is pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Flower Mound, Texas. He’s served churches as pastor in both Pennsylvania and Texas, so he’s bilingual, fluent in both “Yinz” and in “Y’all.” During seminary, however, he served for several years as a Youth Director and a love for youth ministry has never left him. In fact, as he and his wife Colleen have welcomed their own children into the world and he’s grown into his ability to lay down Dad Sized Puns, making the youth at his church groan has become a favorite pastime. Jake loves Mo Ranch and is excited to be with you for his first Senior High Celebration!
Music: Kim Mendoza
Kim Mendoza is excited to spend the week with you all singing and dancing in worship to God this summer! Kim currently serves as a Pastoral Resident at First Presbyterian Church in Libertyville, IL, and has served as a musical worship leader in various ministry contexts. Mo-Ranch holds a special place in Kim’s heart because it was during a Music and Worship Conference at Mo Ranch as a senior in high school where she felt God’s tug on her heart to musical ministry. When she is not pastoring, Kim enjoys coaching her 5th/6th grade girls’ basketball team, running, and dreaming about In-n-Out (they don’t have one where she lives).
Recreation: Ryan Seekins
Ryan Seekins is the Rec leader this year at Mo Ranch Celebration. She is a middle school choir teacher in Wylie, TX. She lives in Garland, Tx with her boyfriend and her three cat children she loves very much. When you don’t see her teaching she is outdoors sitting in her hammock reading a good book. She used to go to Mo Ranch in the summer in middle school and high school and her favorite thing to do was The Big Gulp. She is looking forward to meeting new people and spreading the love of God to everyone.
Small Group Coordinator: Rev. Brendan McLean
While originally born and raised in the Midwest, Brendan has been a Texan for more than six years, serving currently as an associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Tyler. He has served in ministry in Texas in a variety of ways—doing committee work for Grace Presbytery, leading worship for migrant teen boys in Dallas, and working in an internship as a hospice chaplain in Austin while in seminary to name a few. He is a man of many interests including, but not limited to, glass blowing, abstract painting, printmaking, listening to and playing music on the piano, movies, hiking, good food, exploring new places, and spending time with his loved ones. If you asked Brendan to sum up his ministry in three words, he would choose solidarity, imagination, and curiosity. He is excited to employ all three of these aspects of ministry and help youth meaningfully engage with their faith at Mo-Ranch!
Conference Director: Sarah Dixon
Sarah Dixon is the Director of Children, Youth and Families at First Presbyterian Church Austin, TX. She grew up going to this conference and Mo-Ranch, and is so excited to be the Director this summer! She grew up at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Flower Mound, TX and then went to Oklahoma State University. After graduating she did a Young Adult Volunteer Year in Denver, CO where she worked at a drop-in center for homeless youth. She loved youth work but wanted to do it in a church, so she went to Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary upon finishing her YAV year to get her Masters in Divinity. She is now certified ready for ordination, and loving her job at FPC Austin working with youth and families! Much of her faith was formed at Mo-Ranch and looks forward to being a part of that formation for others this summer.
Conference Co-Director (and 2023 Director!): Emily McAllister
Emily is the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Kerrville TX. A lifelong Presbyterian, growing up in North Texas she loved getting to travel to Mo Ranch for summer trips and can’t believe it’s now right down the road from home! This is her first time serving as leadership for a camp and can’t wait to play, grow, and worship with all these wonderful youth. When not busy at church, Emily loves to watch movies and tv shows, fish, travel and spend time with family.
Abide in Me
The Vine and the Branches
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.
Program Department COVID Protocols – June 1, 2022
- At this time face masks are welcomed, however not required.
- Please monitor symptoms of all participants in the days upcoming.
- Once your group arrives, we ask you do not leave the property unless for emergencies.
- Small Group’s will be outdoors, in shade, under pop-up tents, with cold drinking water at each space.
- We are still encouraging social distancing and effective hygiene.
- Hand sanitization and disinfectant stations will be widely available.
- Mo-Ranch Executives are continuing to monitor probable COVID cases in seventeen counties in Texas included in the major metro areas of Texas as well as the lower Valley.
Protocols are subject to change and may be amended at any time
$250 per registrant/adult sponsor for group lodging.
$385 per registrant/adult sponsor for hotel lodging.
Many of the buildings on our historic property were built as early as the 1950s. We acknowledge that our buildings cannot accommodate all abilities and people yet and commit to making reasonable accommodations until all facilities are renovated.
Standard housing for youth conferences at Mo-Ranch is group housing. These spaces include, but are not limited to, Milk Barn, Milk Barn Bunkhouses, River Dorm, Guest Lodge, and Log Lodge.
Conference Housing Description – Shared space with other churches, youth groups, and conference attendees.
Sleeping quarters will vary from semi-private to dormitory style housing that can consist of 4- 20 beds in a shared communal living environment. These rooms can consist of single or double beds, and single bunk bed styles. For specific bed/room layouts, please visit Stay at Mo-Ranch • Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly (moranch.org).
Bathroom Facilities Description
Bathrooms in group housing are shared community spaces. Private showers and bathroom stalls are available. There are no designated private changing areas. Mo-Ranch encourages all guests/campers/staff to change clothes in private areas and discourages nudity or disrobing directly in front of others.
Mo-Ranch encourages all participants for youth conferences to reside in the community living environment. However, if this style of lodging does not meet your individual needs, please make us aware. We will make every effort to accommodate your housing needs. Changes in housing are subject to availability and additional fees.
Housing Reservations: When booking your group for a conference at Mo, please be mindful of our limitations and our available housing. Conference participants will be housed on a first come, first serve basis, though we will do our best to honor your housing preference. To be good stewards of the housing facilities that we have available, your group may be housed with other youth groups in dorm/group housing. It is always a good idea to share this information with your group, including youth participants, parents, chaperones, and church leadership prior to booking so that we may partner with you and your group to try meet the needs of your participants.
You will need a sponsor to youth ratio of 1:5. Adult sponsors must also pay and register for the conference. The number of adult sponsors must correspond to the gender numbers in the group they are bringing. Five boys and three girls would mean at least one male and one female sponsor. If your group chooses to stay in hotel-style accommodations, youth will be housed 3-4 youth per room and churches may be combined to accommodate this arrangement.
Questions? We’re happy to help! Contact us at 1.800.460.4401 ext. 246 or email@example.com.
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, strapless tops or dresses, shirts that allow for a bare midriff, pants worn below the waist line. Dress should be appropriate for a youth conference.
- 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.
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!
We’re happy to help! Contact us at 1.800.460.4401 ext. 246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.