Youth Celebration is a conference for high school students that have completed 9th-12th grade. It’s 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. Join the celebration with us, June 24-29, 2018! Click the schedule tab to learn more.
2018 theme is Radical Love: “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” (1 John 4:16b)
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.
Keynote, Bruce Reyes-Chow
Bruce is an author, speaker, parent, consultant, coach and pastor. Author of four books and speaker at gatherings around the country, he speaks and writes on issues of faith, technology, race, parenting and church culture.
He lives in San Francisco where he and his wife, Robin, have raised three daughters and numerous canines. He is an avid soccer and baseball fan, photography feeds his soul, and he’ll take on any comers in Bananagrams. He is also extremely active on social media with 10,200+ followers on Twitter, 12,000+ Likes/Friends on Facebook, 3,700+ followers on Instagram and a significant blog readership. He can be found via @breyeschow on most social networks.
Small Group Coordinator, Rev. Katy Walters
A native of Richardson, Texas, Rev. Katy Walters serves as the associate pastor of Christian education at New Braunfels Presyterian Church in the beautiful town of New Braunfels, Texas. She is a graduate of Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where she studied music and English, and went on the earn her master of divinity and master of arts in practical theology with a focus in Christian education from Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. Rev. Walters has over 10 years of experience working primarily with children and youth, serving in churches in Texas, Georgia and North Carolina. Katy loves learning something new every day and recently discovered she likes many things that begin with the letter “C,” including: coffee, Christ, children, churches, crafts, cards, cats, comedies and collecting coffee cups. Katy loves lock-ins with Disney movies, always requests bumper lanes while bowling and seeks to sing something every day. She also tries to love like Jesus loves daily.
Music, Zach Wells
Zach lives in Dallas, TX, where he is the associate director of music at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church. There, Zach directs the youth choir and band, and leads music in a new Sunday night worship service. Raised in the Carolinas, Zach brings musical experience from the mountains and beyond, blending modern folk and global music with traditional hymns and familiar melodies. In his free time, Zach enjoys writing, biking and spending time with his family.
Worship, Ann-Henley Saunders
After graduating from the University of Virginia, Ann-Henley moved to New York to pursue an acting career. During her six years there, she performed in off-off Broadway plays, starred in independent films and appeared on television shows like One Life to Live, Law & Order and Gossip Girl. While auditioning and performing, she worked many day jobs, including assisting a Broadway producer, serving as a nanny for a famous director and then an NFL owner, and managing a sales team for a financial recruiting firm. She now realizes she moved to New York to find Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church and discover her call to ministry. Ann-Henley followed that call to Princeton Seminary, where her call got stronger with study, prayer and practical experience in the field. She is fortunate to be one of the pastors at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta and gives God thanks for such a dynamic community of faith.
Recreation, John-Paul Marshall
Jean-Paul (JP) is an Austin College alumni, where he studied music and religious studies and was an active member of the ACtivators program. It was there that he discovered his call to ministry and turned his sights on Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. JP is a camp counselor at heart, continuously seeking out ways to serve at Camp Gilmont and Mo-Ranch. In his free time, he loves to watch movies, read a good mystery novel and rock climbing. He lives in Dallas, TX currently with his wife, Susie, as he searches for his first ordained call as a pastor in the PC(USA).
Director, James Sicks
*Subject to change
Registration for youth conferences is by group only on a first-come 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, please note your group may be housed with other youth groups in dorm/group housing.
Dorm/group housing: $490
For help with, or questions about registration, contact the registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-460-4401 x246.
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 60 days prior to the conference. The balance of all fees will be due 60 days prior to the start of the event or upon registration if within 60 days.
A 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.
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.