Registration opens Oct. 31, 2018, for YouthCon 2019 to be held April 3-7 in Glorieta, New Mexico. The once-every-four-year event is scheduled in a way that most students only have the opportunity to attend one YouthCon as a high schooler. This rare occasion for community worship, learning and networking with peers is an important life event for many who attend.
The 2019 convention is set to take place where YouthCon first began in 1975—Glorieta Camps. While the convention is revisiting a location from the past, the content will be built for youth of 2019.
Not only is the convention going to be a new experience for youth of today, it is being built for longevity and consistency within the USMB denomination—including a new name to go with a new way of thinking about youth ministry.
After Named 2015, held in Denver, Colorado, the convention planning team prayed about and evaluated the convention, and God gave them a new vision of the future. Out of this evaluation time came the new vision of USMB Youth. This new vision includes three parts.
First, the team decided the urban setting was no longer valuable enough to justify the rising cost of the event. The value of serving is still a crucial element of YouthCon, but rather than having teenagers serve during the convention, the team developed Project: Serve where teenagers can serve in their local communities.
The second part of the vision was developing a youth worker network to build the connection between conventions.
Third, the planning team determined one of the weaknesses of an urban setting convention was the space for natural community. Not having meals together or an open gathering space was hurting one of the core values of USMB Youth—bringing churches together. So, with a stronger desire for community and no need for an urban service project, a camp setting was chosen for the 2019 convention.
Glorieta Camp in New Mexico was selected for its location, price and recreational benefits. Hosting YouthCon at Glorieta means everything is included in an all-in-one package with programming, housing, food for all four days and enough fun things to fill up multiple “fun days.”
Glorieta Camp offers more than 35 activities for groups or individuals including everything from zip-lining across the 2,400 acre campgrounds to having a relaxing conversation over coffee at a shop on site to day trips to Santa Fe only 15 miles from the camp. There will be no shortage of things to keep attendees busy in between general sessions and labs and the opportunity to connect with youth from completely different places and walks of life is rich.
The camp’s history as a Baptist retreat center is a perfect setting for spending time with God. Whether worshiping in community at a general session in the 3,000-seat chapel or taking a solitary, early morning walk in the prayer garden, the site is perfect for reconnecting and listening to God’s call.
The final change was renaming the event. The title “National Youth Convention” didn’t bring about much excitement, and in the previous conventions the city and year were emphasized more. Changing the event name to “YouthCon” gives it a permanent title and help with continuity.
Registration for the four-day convention opens October 31 and can be completed online at usmbyouth.com/youthcon. Youth workers can also find additional promotional, fundraising and historical resources on the website. A promotional packet, including a large map of Glorieta Camps, has been mailed to all USMB churches.