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2023 Middle School Conference

Igniting a Spark

July 19–23, 2023SummerYouth
Sponsored by Montreat Conference Center in partnership with Maryville College

God’s spark of grace and love is within each of us. How do we respond and nurture the spark? How do we “fan the flame,” joining with others to share God’s message with the world? As we consider these questions, the biblical stories of Jesus, Mary his mother, Isaiah, and the Apostles will be our guide and illustrate how other people of faith have responded. We will worship and play, study and build relationships as we celebrate God’s spark within us and the ways the Spirit moves amidst us all.

The Middle School Conference is designed for youth who have completed fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth grade by summer 2023, and for their group leaders. Adults must be fully registered and housed with their youth in campus housing. The daily schedule includes keynote, worship, recreation, singing, small groups, and many other activities.

The conference will be held at Maryville College, a PC(USA) affiliated private college, located in Maryville, TN, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville.

Need to talk to a real person? Contact Hope Barker, Youth Conference Registrar, at hopeb@montreat.org, or call 828.419.9828.

Leadership

What is MSC?

Worship & Keynote

Worship and keynote engage youth in the theme and challenge all in attendance to faith exploration and growth. Using scripture, Reformed theology, and song, youth are affirmed and united as children of God. During keynote, everyone gathers for group building, announcements, and song. During worship, youth hear the Word of God proclaimed in word, song, and action.

Small Group

Small group is a place where youth can share their journey of faith with peers through respectful conversations. Small group sessions are led by trained adult leaders who facilitate honest discussions about the themes presented in keynote and worship. It is an important time where youth can dive deeper into the conference theme, while forming bonds and making dear friends with youth outside of their congregation.

Recreation

We engage youth physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in events that build up the Christian community while having fun! We believe that people who can play together can pray together; people who can sing together can talk together; and people who can dance together can walk together.

Back Home Time

Back Home Groups are the people you come with to Montreat. Each evening groups gather together to connect through prayer and conversation. Our hope is that experiences in keynote, worship, small groups, and recreation will provide all the content youth need to have some meaningful conversations with their back home group. Materials are provided to help adult leaders debrief the amazing events and emotions of each day with their youth.

Conference Registration

This comprehensive rate includes conference, room, and meals. The rate you pay per person is dictated by the date you register. A person registered later might pay a different rate than the rest of your group. Registration rates are as follows:

Enrollment Date Registration Rate
On or before April 1, 2023
($100 deposit due at registration)
$430.00
April 1–May 20, 2023
(full rate due at registration)
$445.00
After May 15, 2023
(full rate due at registration)
$460.00

Participation

Conference Participant

The Middle School Conference is designed for youth who have completed fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth grade, and for their group leaders. All groups must include at least one adult for every six young people. Adults must be fully registered and housed with their youth in campus housing. Child care is not provided during this conference.

High School Students

High school students have an opportunity to participate in the Middle School Conference in a unique way – as a member of the Work Crew. We are looking for high school students who want to attend the conference with their church groups. You will have the chance to help the conference planning team during the week. You will work behind the scenes, learn the ropes, and get an up-close look at what is involved in running a Middle School Conference. The number of work crew members will be limited.

The Work Crew application can be found here

Jeremiah Project

Jeremiah Project (JP) is a small group experience for youth who have an interest in learning more about worship leadership while still participating in some of the typical small group activities. There is an application to participate.

Be on the lookout for an application coming soon!

Small Group Leaders

Small Group Leaders provide critical guidance for the heart of the Youth and Middle School Conferences by leading small groups (approx. 25-30 people). If you are 21 or older and can contribute some part of your summer, click the button below!

Conference Planning Team

Yes, you too can be a part of planning this wonderful conference for a future group of youth! Click the button below to learn more.

Maryville College

The conference will be held at Maryville College, a PC(USA) affiliated private college, which is ideally situated on 263-acres in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state’s third largest city. Easy to access from either I-40 or I-75, the campus is also just five miles away from McGhee Tyson Airport. Driving time is approximately three hours and twenty minutes from Atlanta, four hours from Charlotte, and 30 minutes from Knoxville. The physical address for the college is Maryville College, 502 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Maryville, TN, 37804. Check out their campus map.

Accommodations

Dorm rooms have twin beds and mostly hall baths. All rooms are air-conditioned. There are shared refrigerators on most halls. If you would like to triple a room, you will have to bring an air mattress with you. Please indicate your intentions on the housing form.

Schedule

All times and events are tentative. 

Day 1
3:00–6:00 pm Registration (Bartlett Hall)
5:00–6:30 pm Dinner
7:30 pm Opening Night
8:30 pm Recreation
10:00 pm Back Home Group
11:00 pm Lights Out
Day 2
7:00–8:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am Energizers, Music, & Keynote
10:30 am Small Group #1
12:00–1:30 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Small Group #2
3:30 pm Recreation
5:00–6:30 pm Dinner
7:15 pm Worship
8:30 pm Recreation
10:00 pm Back Home Group
11:00 pm Lights Out
Day 3
7:00–8:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am Energizers, Music, & Keynote
10:30 am Small Group #3
12:00–1:30 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Small Group #4
3:30 pm Recreation
5:00–6:30 pm Dinner
7:15 pm Worship
8:30 pm Recreation
10:00 pm Back Home Group
11:00 pm Lights Out
Day 4
7:00–8:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am Energizers, Music, & Keynote
10:30 am Small Group #5
12:00–1:30 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Small Group #6
3:30 pm Recreation
5:00–6:30 pm Dinner
7:15 pm Worship
8:30 pm Recreation
10:00 pm Back Home Group
11:00 pm Lights Out
Day 5
7:30–8:30 am Breakfast
7:30 am Check Out Begins
9:00 am Closing Worship with Communion

Resources

MSC Theme Resources

If you're looking for the conference theme branding to use on a newsletter, email, or poster, leadership sheets, or a gig poster, check out MSC Theme Resources.

Welcome Back-Home Leaders!

Please visit the Back Home Leader Information page for resources and necessary information to help your youth conference experience be a success. We'll help you prepare for your trip and let you know where to go when you get here!

Covenant Form

MyMontreat.org will allow group leaders to do the following:

  • The group leader will be able to send a link to their youth allowing them to complete their covenant/participant information online.
  • Once completed, the group leader can print out the completed covenant signature page.

When you receive your back home packet sixty days before your conference, you will be given further instructions about this process. You can also find instructions at mymontreat.org.

Scholarships

Limited scholarship funds are available for this conference.

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