First, we are preparing for what will be a historic experience for Avalanche & Blizzard in 2025! We will be gathering back at Muskoka Woods for an epic 25th Anniversary celebration of God’s faithfulness through these retreats, for the tens of thousands of Youth, leaders, and volunteers he is impacted through them.
We will be pulling out all the stops for these historic retreats and look forward to the ways that we will be awestruck by God’s faithful and gracious work through experiences like these. We have been able to host these retreats for the last 24 years because of youth leaders such as yourself who have taken time to invest in your youth this way. CBOQ Youth hosts Avalanche & Blizzard because we consistently and prayerfully discerned the Holy Spirit’s leading in these experiences and felt that what we were doing was the best way we could do what God had called us to do within the scope of the resources that CBOQ Youth, our churches, and families of our youth could afford.
MOVING TO THE NEXT CHAPTER
As we began to look to the future, we saw a brighter opportunity that the Holy Spirit had revealed, that would see us reach more youth, be better stewards of our financial resources, and empower and resource regional leadership that would more effectively help us all reach and disciple the next generation.
While our annual gatherings at places like Muskoka Woods have been a staple of ministry for a number of our youth groups, many of you have expressed the desire for CBOQ Youth to host or make a shift towards a more regional and accessible retreat experience in the future.
We have heard you! We will be launching in 2026 an innovative approach to our retreats! We will come together in smaller regional experiences, and it will give us the opportunity for you and other local youth ministry leaders to be more involved in shaping these retreats.
This will begin a new and exciting chapter for CBOQ Youth retreats.
2026 AND BEYOND
In 2026, CBOQ Youth retreats will move to a new three-year cycle. The first two years will have three-four different regional-based retreats in smaller more accessible venues across Ontario hosted in partnership with different networks and associations across our CBOQ family. The CBOQ Youth team will be working with local leadership (youth leaders, young adults, and youth) to create a memorable retreat experience we all expect from CBOQ, but with more local involvement shaping it. The third year of the cycle, we will once again return to a CBOQ-wide central gathering retreats for Junior and Senior High students like we have known over the last 24 years. We believe there remains a high value for having as many of our CBOQ churches unite under one roof.
WHAT HAPPENS HERE?
Start putting plans in place to be at Muskoka Woods for our historic 25th Anniversary retreats for Blizzard & Avalanche in 2025. We know this will be a momentous celebration you will not want to miss.
Some of you may have questions about how this shift will work in 2026. We will be hosting two Zoom meetings (see below) for you to share your questions. Alternatively, you can schedule a meeting with Alvin.
We want you to think and pray about joining one of the CBOQ regional retreat experiences for your area and consider how much leadership you might want to invest in this new venture. (You might also consider youth and young adults who can contribute and benefit from being a part of a leadership team.)
In Spring 2024, we will publish a “CBOQ Youth – Regional Retreat Experience Kit” outlining the different responsibilities and support available from CBOQ Youth. If you are already part of a network, discuss with them, what this may mean. If you are not part of a network, contact us and we can discuss existing networks that might be a good fit.
Our aim is to begin conversations with gatherings of youth ministries in the summer and fall of 2024. We hope to announce more definitive plans after our 25th Anniversary Celebration of Avalanche & Blizzard.
GOD CONTINUES TO BE FAITHFUL
God continues to show us His best ways to engage the upcoming generation. We believe what is constant is that retreats are CRITICAL to reaching and discipling the next generation – and that going into the next chapter in our retreats is the right move so more youth can be reached, more local leaders can be involved and ministries can afford to be part of these significant gatherings for years to come.
Questions? Feel free to ask.
Celebrating God’s next steps for us,
Matt, Alvin, and Jaimie