(update 2/22/2021)

Hello youth conference friends. 

There’s a lot of new information here for you. We know things could change and we will continue to monitor and adapt as necessary. Of course we’ll keep you updated as these plans continue to evolve.

Some general notes before we get to into more detail:

  • We will continue to follow the guidelines of our state and local health authorities. Here is a link to current NC regulations, which include mask-wearing and physical distancing as well as gathering limits.
  • Program modifications will keep the spirit of the youth conference community while maintaining physical distance.
  • We will consider back home groups as family units who are living together in a household.

Program Updates

In order to limit capacities in plenary sessions, Small Groups (SG), and recreation, we will make a few changes to the daily schedule and shorten program components. Recreation activities will take place in Small Groups (and sometimes in Back Home Groups).

Mornings will be for keynote, Small Group, and a session of recreation. (If we need to limit auditorium capacity we will stream keynote to Upper Anderson and to Convocation Hall.) During the afternoons, Small Groups will meet again for discussion, Bible study, and recreation. To limit auditorium capacity in the evenings we’ll do two worship services with groups assigned to a particular service (just like you may do at your church).

We will treat Back Home Groups like family units and equip Back Home Leaders (BHL) to do some of each day’s activities within that group. Of course, we’ll also encourage those family units/back home groups to enjoy the outdoors as a group — hiking, rock hopping, and relaxing outdoors are activities that this schedule will allow for and encourage. Seating for any plenary session will be with the family unit/back home group and be distanced from other groups.

Indoor gatherings with people not in your family unit/back home group may be eliminated with the exception of our small group times. Small Groups will contain just 15 people from different churches. The Huckleberry is not open this summer and will be used as program space.

Sunday night will probably be the most different part of the schedule. We’re working on how to make sure Back Home Leaders and Small Group Leaders (SGL) get the information they need and conferees get a great introduction to the week’s theme.

We are also working on how to coordinate a candlelight service on Friday night to close our week and send us out into the world. This will most likely be the only time to gather as a full conference – but a great way to end the week.

Montreat is more-than-ever-grateful for the work of Back Home Leaders! Like most churches, we are making plans on other plans as we navigate the pandemic. Please know, Montreat is working to set up experiences to be as great as ever. We know we cannot do this without you. Here are ways we will support you as you help us protect all of our participants:

  • Sunday night opening celebration will be in your Back Home space.
  • We will have instructions and supplies for this and other times of day when you’ll be leading activities for your group in conference activities.
  • Please join us in praying that statistics continue to come down and the vaccine numbers go up. As things open up, we anticipate there will be more parts of the day that don’t rely on the BHL. If things are still very restricted, the role of the BHL will grow.

Knowing you will have the opportunity to spend more time with your back home group, please think now about things you may need to bring to help your youth with our restrictions (ie – additional adults, snacks, games, ways to engage your group in your space).

Last summer we offered an at-home curriculum year and have found that as recently as last week, some Back Home Leaders and other leaders of youth are still using this great resource.

This year’s version is all new and will be even better. For those who can’t get to Montreat for whatever reason, you can still do Montreat@Home! Here’s what you will get:

  • The Small Group Leaders’ Manual – 9 sessions – 60 min each
  • The Recreation Leaders’ Manual – NEW! – 9 sessions – 60 min each; PLUS at least 3 special Back Home events for evenings
  • 5 Keynote Presentations – energizer, music, speaker – less than 60 min
  • 5 Worship services – presentations – less than 60 min

Each of these pieces can be used separately or together – in a special Covid-safe retreat, over the summer, for fall curriculum, or as a part of Youth Sunday. Youth Groups wanting to recreate the Montreat experience can follow the “traditional” Montreat formula for a day:

  • Energizers
  • Music
  • Keynote
  • Small Group
  • Recreation
  • Worship
  • Back Home gathering
  • OR – any mix of this.

Registration will open March 15 with pricing according to church size:

0–100 members $200
101–500 members $600
501–1000 members $900
1001+ members $1200
Learn More About Montreat@Home

NEW TRAINING INFO FOR SUMMER 2021

These new training times are (all times listed are eastern standard time) and will be open to on site SGLs, Back Home Leaders who are choosing to be the SGL for their own group, and leaders of Montreat@Home who want a training opportunity. All trainings listed for the conference weeks are required.

  • Youth Conference 1 & 2:
    • Thursday, June 3rd at 6:30 pm BY ZOOM and
    • Saturday, June 5th at 10:00 am BY ZOOM and
    • the Sunday my conference begins at 4:00 pm in person.
  • Youth Conference 3 & 4:
    • Thursday, July 8th at 6:30 pm BY ZOOM and
    • Saturday, July 10th at 10:00 am BY ZOOM and
    • the Sunday my conference begins at 4:00 pm in person.
  • Youth Conference 5 & 6:
    • Thursday, July 22nd at 6:30 pm BY ZOOM and
    • Saturday, July 24th at 10:00 am BY ZOOM and
    • the Sunday my conference begins at 4:00 pm in person.

Small Group Leaders should plan to arrive in Montreat on Sunday, ready to meet at 4 PM.

Some Back Home Leaders might be interested in keeping their group apart from standard small groups, where conferees are placed with youth from other churches. You can choose to keep your Back Home group together for the Small Group and recreation times with the Back Home Leader serving as the Small Group Leader. Here are some things you may want to know as you contemplate this idea:

  • Yes, you’re taking on some additional work! You might want to bring along an extra adult if you are able. We will refund the conference fee of the adult who is acting as the Small Group Leader for your group.
  • We will support you by inviting you to Small Group Leader training (all on Zoom and prior to arrival) and providing you with the same Small Group Bible study and recreation manuals in use by the rest of the conference.
  • We’ll provide you with a bag of the appropriate supplies.
  • You would be responsible for your group as usual. We understand that you might not follow the schedule of the day with military precision, and you may decide by Thursday afternoon that your group really needs a hike instead of a game from the manual, but we ask that you not release your participants for free time on campus while other conferees are in conference activities.
  • We need you to let us know if you choose this option (by April 1 for weeks 1 & 2, and May 2 for weeks 3 - 6), and we need to count on you to remain in this category of participation once you’ve chosen it. Email cherylp@montreat.org if this is the option you want to select.

Covid Mitigation Plans

(What We Can Say Now)