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Youth Celebration

June 23-28, 2024


Interested in becoming a Small Group Leader

“Great week. Loren and the leadership team did a great job. Really enjoyed my small group this week.”

-Michael Martinez

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

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!

Conference goals

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

Conference Director: Emily McAllister 

Emily is the Director of Family 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 second summer 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.


Conference Co-Director: Ryan Simpson

Ryan is from College Station, Texas and the Youth Director at FPC Bryan. He is about to graduate from Tarleton State University with a degree in Kinesiology, and he loves watching Houston sports, playing sports, video games, and trading card games.

Keynote: Rev. Christopher Lee

Chris serves as the Executive Presbyter for Grace Presbytery in Irving, Texas. Chris was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and raised in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He is married to his college sweetheart, Brandy, and they have two beautiful daughters Erin and Jordyn. Chris believes that God has called him to live out a ministry that seeks to engage with Christ as Christ is working in culture, unafraid and unashamed in challenging the status quo, welcoming strangers, and embracing the “tough” questions that culture, life, and Scripture present. More than anything else, Chris believes in working hard and playing harder!



Worship Leader: Matthew Aldas

Matthew is a pastor serving the congregation of Faith Presbyterian Church in Aledo, TX. He grew up in Garland, TX, went to college in Dallas, and completed his MDiv at Austin Seminary. He is passionate about many things but none more than helping people discover their belovedness in Christ. Matthew is married to Kathryn Aldas and they have three amazing daughters: Kyrie, Koryn, and Kinley. He is an avid fan of all things Legend of Zelda, 80’s pop culture, synth wave music, and really good coffee. He hates white socks.






Music Leader: Grace Roberson

Grace is a native Texan who was born and raised on the beach in Corpus Christi. After studying acting and directing in college, she moved to Austin and is currently the Associate Director of Youth Ministry at Covenant Presbyterian Church. She has been coming to Mo Ranch since she was born and considers it to be one of the most spiritual places she knows. She has been serving as a music leader for various youth conferences for the last 8 years and can think of no place or role that feels more like home. In her free time, Grace loves hiking, being outdoors, reading, and discovering good music, movies, and food.


Recreation: Taylor Curtis 

Taylor is originally from Arlington, Texas but after spending the last 8 years in the Northeast she calls Vermont her home. She recently moved back to Fort Worth with her dog Maze, and cat Sheeba.  She loves trail running, hiking (mostly getting lost), baking, and sewing.  While she’s not earning her honorary Grandma badge she teaches pilates and is studying in hopes of being a physical therapist.  Taylor is excited to get to know everyone through games, laughter, and communion.






Small Group Coordinator: Miriam Ross 

Miriam lives in McKinney, Texas, and serves as the Director of Youth Ministry at Melissa United Methodist Church (But she’s a cradle Presby!). She is currently in her second year of seminary at Union Presbyterian Seminary- Charlotte working on her MDiv (Hoping to get Ordained! YAY) and MACE (Master of Arts in Christian Education).

Born and raised in Mississippi, Miriam realized very quickly her love for church camps/ conferences when attending Camp Hopewell as a kid. In high school, attending the Montreat Youth Conference, quickly became one of her favorite places on Earth- I mean meeting your husband there in 9th grade doesn’t hurt! As a Youth Director, Mo-Ranch and Camp Gilmont quickly added to her some of her favorite camps and conferences!

As an “adult”, Camps and Conferences are a great passion, having been on planning teams for many- from Grace Presbytery weekend Retreats to Co-Directing Montreat Youth Conference!

When not at school, hanging out with her youth group, or studying, Miriam spends her time with her husband, Andrew, and their 3 kids- Kaylie, Emalyn, and Sawyer, running, and planning her next Disney trip- her other favorite place on Earth!



In the World…

This week we will be asking what it means to be a Christian in this world. How do we engage in challenging conversations with those who do not agree with us? We will not be telling our youth what to think or what the “right” answer is. We will be asking them to think beyond themselves and expand their views on what it means to be In the World… together.


Romans 12:1-2

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”


$275 per registrant/adult sponsor for group lodging.

$410 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 (


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


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.

Adult Sponsors

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.

Appropriate Dress

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.

Swim Check

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.

Personal Electronics

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.

Ropes Course

This conference will include a selection of our ropes course elements. To read a description of each element, click here.

Trading Post

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



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