New Youth Quake dates, junior retreat announced
2022 will mark the return of the in-person Youth Quake retreat and the beginning of a new era for YQ.
Instead of one weekend for grades 8–12, the retreat is expanding to two weekends—a new retreat for junior youth (grades 7–9) and one for senior youth (grades 10–12). Instead of February, both retreats will be taking place in early May.
These changes were born during a year of innovations prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
2021 was a long year full of change, but with the change came some pretty cool opportunities. YQatHome was established and we started to rethink what YQ could look like
Kait Giddings, Director of Youth Quake
However, the new format and dates address some challenges that were present before YQ21, Giddings explained.
Although Youth Quake in February is a time-honoured Briercrest tradition, hosting over a thousand teenagers during the winter semester has posed an increased challenge in recent years.
“[Youth Quake] adds to our student body experience on campus and our students add energy and excitement to the retreat,” said Giddings. “However, it also adds much stress, distraction, and expectation to our community. Moving YQ out of the school year has pros and cons, but we want to prioritize our students while they are studying on campus and prioritize youth groups in May.”
The practice of hosting teenagers in the rooms of college students has also become an obstacle. Many groups come from churches that abide by Plan to Protect policies, prohibiting them from staying in college dorms with college students at Youth Quake.
“Hosting YQ when dorms are fully available will open doors for certain groups to now join us and provide a much better sleeping situation for them,” said Giddings.
Briercrest College and Christian Academy students will continue to play a role in Youth Quake, Giddings assured. Plans are in progress to involve student and community volunteers throughout the year and during the events in May.
Youth Quake will also continue to make its mark on the February long weekend through YQatHome. YQatHome saw exciting success in its first year. “We were encouraged to see hundreds more groups registered to participate in this free online package,” said Giddings. “Based on a survey of registrants, we estimate that thousands more youth were reached through YQatHome this year!”
This is another opportunity for Youth Quake and Briercrest to develop worship and teaching content that serves youth groups across the country without the limitation of location.
Amidst another year of changes, Giddings is grateful for the legacy she and her team get to steward and for the people they get to serve. “Youth Quake has occupied the February long weekend for the past 58 years! We are so thankful for each and every one of those years and the continued support we have received from the YQ community.”
Youth Quake 2022 events will take place on the following dates:
- YQatHome: launches February 18
- Senior retreat (grades 10–12): April 29th – May 1st
- Junior retreat (grades 7–9): May 6th – 7th