2023 Presbyterian Youth Connection (PYC) Retreat
Event Location: Pinecrest Camp and Retreat Center – La Grange, Tennessee

Maybe a comment from one of our youth leaders and retreat committee members summed it up best. She said, “this just proves to us that we need to buy curriculum for every retreat. My kids got so much to chew on.” Three other youth leaders asked who wrote the prayers; one said, “do they know my child because that prayer was written directly for her.”

Our PYC Retreat occurred 02/24-26/2023 at Pinecrest Camp and Retreat Center. We used the theme name “Where Did We See You?” as well as the PYT Connect Group Study Guide and Worship & Prayer Guide. 88 people were registered and a few dropped out right before the event began, so we ended up with about 10 less. Seven churches from the Presbytery of the Mid-South and one from St. Andrew Presbytery attended.

2023 PYC Retreat Schedule

We began with supper on Friday and moved to some mixer/minglers by our recreation leaders while I spoke with the adult leaders. Directly afterward, our first worship service began. The weekend contained 4 worship services (each between 35-45 minutes) with various student liturgists (14-15 in all) leading. 4 of our preachers were ministers in our presbytery and one was from the CP church and is ED of a local non-profit, Room in the Inn, which houses the unhoused. The others spoke about their mission ministries, tying into the scriptures provided.

The whole weekend included energizers, recreation, small groups (split MS/HS), back home groups, a spirituality center event, great food, and free time. For the spirituality center event, students wandered through 10 different and poignant experiences, spending more time at some than others. Their discoveries led to some really good discussions about how God reveals Godself in people who seem to be ‘needy.’ I’ve heard from most all of our youth leaders and all have told me that this was one of our best events!

Students LOVED the swag bags that you sent. They LOVED the navy long-sleeved tee with the full color logo even more. (We normally cheap the t-shirt out.)

Mostly, I think they were engaged and touched. “I had a blast. My kids did too.” “I thought this weekend was amazing.” “The only criticism was that the spirituality centers should have been moved up closer to dinner (we started at 7:15p) so that they could talk more in their small groups about them. The centers were so meaningful. They didn’t want to miss campfire and night games, so they didn’t have enough time.”

All in all, VERY successful. We all wish you would produce free curriculum every year. Thank you so very much.