One of the great pleasures of my job at Montreat is getting to work with all kinds of great people and helping them to have a fulfilling time. I am constantly in search of helpful hints and ideas to share with folks heading our way.
As this summer is gearing up, I find myself asking the question: What are ways that groups can make the most of their visit to Montreat? What information might be helpful for folks as they come through the ‘gate’- whether it is the first time or the thirtieth.
During a recent visit to Bellevue Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN, I talked to some veterans of Montreat Youth Conferences who were able to offer some advice. I spoke with John Ryan, Director of Youth & Family Ministries. John states that the most important advice for a leader is to remember that this experience is HUGE in the life of the youth and that they will not be the same once having it. “Be open, be excited!”
As for the students, Graham and Adam Tudor have attended Montreat Youth Conferences in the past and they offer this advice. Adam says one should “Go into the week with an open mind and open heart. Make as many friends as you can and open yourself up to God and fellowship. Be goofy, outspoken, and make the most out of every hour – it will be over before you know it, and you’ll be left craving more. Learn about yourself, your beliefs, your comfort zone, and through that you will come to know God.” Graham also gave some very helpful insight for those that are not normally outgoing. “Don’t go in to the week shy. Be open and vulnerable. Respect others. Don’t be afraid to be goofy, don’t worry – others won’t judge! Meet as many people as you can.”
We look forward to seeing you soon and trust this experience will be life-changing for you.
I hope that helps you on your journey with us.
Thank you for all you do to get groups here to Montreat. What advice would you give a new group or a new leader? Tell us about it!
Susie Watson Burns is the Youth Outreach Director for Montreat Conference Center. If you have questions about Montreat Youth Event, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.