Why Youth Specialties?

Seven of our office staff just returned home from a weekend in Cincinnati for a conference called Youth Specialties. This conference is a place where youth leaders from all over come together to learn more about how to better serve Jesus and their students. TEAMeffort has been represented annually at Youth Specialties for over a decade. Each year, we all enthusiastically pile into an SUV with a U-Haul trailer attached and prepare for the long drive.
So why would we get excited about traveling 12 hours? Why would we spend so much time setting up a hand constructed booth in a room full of other exhibitors? To help answer those questions, we took time to ask each of the office staff returning from their trip what their favorite part of Youth Specialties was.
While we are at youth specialties we spend most of our time in the exhibit hall with other ministries that youth leaders talk with as well. These other exhibitors quickly become our friends in ministry.
“I like meeting other exhibitors and hearing about what their ministries.” – Carlyn Bell, Recruiter
“My favorite part is walking around and seeing what all of the exhibitors do.” – Nathan Jones, Camp Planner
 “I think it’s super inspiring to see all kinds of different people who are living their lives for Jesus. I get really excited to hear about their ministries.” – Ren Wilson, Recruiter
A big part of being an exhibitor is making our booth interactive. This year – as always – we had our mobile Plinko board that we walked around with for a chance to interact with youth leaders outside of our booth. We also had a dart board for youth leaders to play and win prizes.

“II liked working the dartboard and assuring people they weren’t really that bad.” – Caleb Vermilya, Camp Planner
“The first night was fun, walking around with Rebecca and the Plinko board. We got to meet people who ran a special needs camp and that was really cool.” – Nick Foster, Camp Planner
The main reason we attend Youth Specialties is to talk to youth leaders and give them information about TEAMeffort. We love showing them the opportunities their youth can have on a TEAMeffort trip.
“My favorite part was talking to people about TEAMeffort and explaining our camps to them.” – Rebecca King, Registrar
 “I enjoy getting to put a face to the name. I’ve talked with a lot of youth leaders over the phone it was great to meet some of them in person.” – Rachel Boulanger, Registrar
Did you notice a theme in all of our answers? People. We love that we get to spend a whole weekend meeting to people and hearing about how they are serving Jesus, whether that’s in youth ministry, camp ministry, or any other type of ministry. It’s amazing that we get the opportunity to spend time in such close quarters with our brothers and sisters in Christ. What an encouragement to keep serving Him and making His name known in the unique way that he has called each of us.