Thursday, May 2, 2019

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May Birthdays!
Carson Cramer 5/11
Kaitlyn Round 5/11
Nicole Schulz 5/14
Sarah Cramer 5/15
Kristin Eaton 5/1


YL Connect Corner

Reports on Mobile

You are on the move and so is YL Connect. Out of the office and need to check a report? Run any report on your phone by saving it on your desktop first. Learn how in this 1 min video.

Some reports to try:

If you need help accomplishing any of these tasks you can find a variety of training resources by:

Last Week:

Looking for YL Connect training resources and help?

Did you know that the YL Connect Help tab on the bottom right of your screen is not just for your orientation assignments? Go there to see our new layout of training topics organized in the following ways:

  • Training Top 5– these are the top 5 most frequent questions we hear from field staff.
  • Smart Walk-Thrus– step-by-step guides to walk you through a task in YL Connect.
  • Training Videos– short videos that show you how to complete a task in YL Connect.
  • Field Notes & Guides– one pagers and in-depth written resources for key functions in YL Connect.

You can also use the search field to type in a keyword or question that will guide you to all the training resources available for that topic.


Regional Calendar

May 19: Bozeman Clay Shoot
May 27: Memorial Day; YL Holiday
May 31: Areas approve Prelim budgets to Region
May 31-June 4: YBGR Summer Camp in Billings
June 7: Billings Golf Tourney
June 8: Helena Clay Shoot
June 11-16: YL Camp to Malibu (Billings, Bozeman, Cody, Big Sky, Helena, Lewistown)
June 15-19: WL Camp to Creekside (Bozeman)
June 22-27: YL Camp to Canyon (Missoula)
June 24-29: YL Camp to Castaway (Gillette)
June 29-July 3: WL Camp to Creekside (Gillette)
July 4: 4th of July; YL Holiday
July 14-20: YL Camp to Castaway (Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls)
July 22-Aug 1: YL Camp to Castaway (Belgrade)
Aug 4-8: WL Camp to Creekside (Billings, Cody, Big Sky, Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls)
Aug 9: Areas approve FINAL budgets to Region
Aug 12-15: Montana/N Wyoming Younglives Camp (Camp on the Boulder)


New Information

Ways NOT to Give to YL: We LOVE creative fundraising.  And we love using social media.  What we do NOT love is donations/funds not going directly to Young Life.As a mission we are seeing…
Instagram camp bingo cards where donors can select a square that helps to send a kid to camp.

Online payments for shirts via Venmo with the name of the account changed to @area_name_yl

Platforms like Venmo, PayPal and Square have to be connected to a bank account…meaning a personal bank account. So, what staff are doing is changing their personal Venmo account name to be a “Young Life” name but the money goes into their personal account. This is a huge problem.
There are ways to do online/social media fundraising that direct donors to the YL Giving site. More details can be found on this Staff Resources page.
Please be on the lookout for these online fundraisers in your region and be clear with your staff that linking to personal bank acccounts is a serious no-no.

AG Host Needed – Canyon week 9, Aug 6-10th (6th grade week) is in need of an Adult Guest Host. Have a good recommendation? Contact Ky.

WC/SS Needs 
Canyon:  Session 1: 11 male WC   |  Session 3: 15 male WC

Crooked CreekSession 1: 5 male WC, 3 male SS, 1 female SS | Session 2: 3 male WC, 9 male SS, 2 female SS | Session 3: 7 male WC, 12 male SS, 4 female SS
Malibu:  Session 2: 1 male WC

Rocky CreekSession 1: 2 female WC; male kitchen SS, 5 lifeguard SS, 1 sound SS


Previous (but still important) Information
Amazon Business: Beginning April 4, Young Life is partnering with Amazon business to provide staff with Prime benefits via Amazon Business. Please reviewthese benefits and action items and pass this information along to your staff.
Going forward, YL will NO LONGER be reimbursing or covering Amazon Prime on PCards. Partnering with Amazon is saving the mission thousands of dollars a year, while providing the same Prime benefits. All Concur users will receive an invitation to join Amazon Business on April 4th. Anyone in tax-excempt states – the exemptions will already be loaded into the account! If you or your staff already have a business account (like I do), you will need to “de-register” that account, and the “re-register” via the email link you’ll be sent. Refer to Staff Resources for more information.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


As summer comes to an end, the breeze in the air begins to cool, and the hustle and bustle of school has set in, we look back at an amazing summer and CELEBRATE our God who has done incredible things!  Over 500 middle school and high school kids from our Montana and Northern Wyoming region attended a summer camp where they God to hear about a loving God who has a great plan for their life. They then got to go back home with their leader and spend the rest of the summer growing and learning about what a life with God looks like. How amazing is that?! And we celebrate YOU! You were a critical part in making all of that possible. Thank you!

New Information

Health Club Benefit:
Tomorrow (August 31st) is the last day to submit your Health Club Benefit.  Click this link to fill out the reimbursement form and email it along with a receipt/invoice, to

Time Accrual:
Please remember to check your time accrual balance to see if you’re up-to-date. If not, make sure to report your vacation, sick and personal time by the September 15 deadline.

Previous (but still important) Information

Camp & Work Crew Requests 2019 – Area’s camp & work crew requests for summer 2019, are due August 31st to the Regions. Here is the camp request system and the complete Work Crew Timeline.
THESE are the NW Divisional guidelines for requesting camp spots, with some specific instructions for our NWD areas. Here are some great examples of info that went out to areas about camping: North Puget SoundOregon Cascade Region, and here is an email I sent to Reg Admins.
*Billings is looking at going to Malibu Session 1 Week 2

Concur + One Time True-Up – With the end of the fiscal year and the service charge one time true-up approaching, please be very mindful about fiscal year-end charges. In order for charges you want to hit your FY18 budget apply to this fiscal year’s finances, please follow the guidelines below:

Concur Users/All Staff – Any charge that you want to hit on your FY18 budget, please be sure those charges are made and your Concur report submitted by September 25th.

Approvers – Please approve all expense reports and payment requests by September 30th so that the charges submitted in those reports and requests can hit in that line item for FY18’s budget.  It may be worth sending an email to all approvers in your region requesting that they approve by this deadline.

Important Dates to Note
Regional Calendar

Aug 31: Deadline for areas to complete their Camping and Work Crew 2019 requests (area requests to regions)
Sept 7-9: Regional Leader and Committee Weekend
Sept 10: Regional Camp requests due to division
Sept 20 or 21: NWD Camping Allocation day. TBD
Oct 30: Regional Work Crew requests due to division

Regional Update Week of August 13th

Welcome Nate Ackley to our Region!!!!!!!!!!


We are pleased to announce that Nathan (Nate) Ackley will be joining our region as a Staff Associate in Missoula starting this month.  Nate grew up in Colorado Springs where he met Jesus through Young Life.  He spent the past 4 years at Ozark Christian University in Joplin, MO in pursuit of a Ministry Degree where he also served as a volunteer leader and on student staff.  Nate loves snowboarding, mountain biking, and anything outdoors.  He is excited to be heading back to the West and we are thrilled to welcome him to the team as he plans to arrive in Missoula on August 20th.   You can reach out to Nate and welcome to our Region.  His cell is 719-930-8355 and his email is

R1 for Fall Camp is due ASAP!!!!!!!!

R1 for Fall camp is due on August 15th.  Email Keith and Kaitlyn how many kids you plan on brining to fall camp.

You can now sign up for Training classes and other important training information:

  • Registration for all training classes and conferences opens today August 13.  The sooner people register for a class the more likely they are to get into it.
  • I am attaching a template we have put together to help you walk with each of your staff to help them assess what courses or conferences they should be attending next in their development as staff.  This is a draft, but I think it should give you an idea of some questions to ask.
  • 2019-20 is going to be different from previous years of training conferences.  In the past, we scheduled NST and WT either before or after the All Staff Conference.  This next ASC will be different.  In January 2019 we will convene New Staff Training and Winter Training as we had in the past in Florida.  The change will come the summer of 2019.  Instead of doing NST around ASC in January 2020 we are moving it up to August 2019.  For that year only we will hold NST at Washington Family Ranch.
  • For staff who are taking Gospels and Systematic Theology at WT for credit, there will be a new option.  They can, instead, take these classes from their seminary online rather than attend WT in Florida. Should they decide to do this, YL will pay the cost of this class.
  • Biblical Interpretation is now taking the place of Apologetics.  This class is required for all staff associates to complete, but it is no longer a prerequisite for ordination.  SAs can start the commissioning process without having completed this course but, to remain in good standing with their commissioning they must complete the class.
  • As you probably know Crystal Kirgiss is digging into how we disciple in YL.  Her work is beginning to filter into our training materials.  At some point, it would be good to have her address our division in order to help us stack hands on the language we use in discussing the discipleship process in YL.
Important Dates to Note
Regional CalendarAug 10: Final Area & Regional Other budgets due to regional office
Aug 13: Registration for New Staff Training/Winter Training/ AD School Opens
Aug 31: Deadline for areas to complete their Camping and Work Crew 2019 requests (area requests to regions)
Sept 7-9: Regional Leader and Committee Weekend
Sept 10: Regional Camp requests due to division
Sept 20 or 21: NWD Camping Allocation day. TBD
Oct 30: Regional Work Crew requests due to division
Our Regional Leader and Committee Weekend is coming soon!
Please make sure your leaders and committee members are registered.
We cannot wait to spend an amazing weekend with you and all your people.

College Weekend at Creekside: September  21st-23rd:

The camp is charging $125 per camper.  Below is a flyer that can use for your area.  You will need to add your transportation costs.


August 8, 2018

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New Information

Camp & Work Crew Requests 2019: This year, areas will request 2019 camp spots and work crew spots in the camp request system at the same time – betweenAugust 1st to August 31st.

Cash Flow Budget Approval Instructions for Committee Chair: Areas should be finalizing their budgets and having them approved by their committee chair. Here are some instructions a Regional Admin created to help the committee chair with step-by-step process to approve the budget back to the area. Not required to send these out, but if they might be helpful, they are a resource.

2nd Timers and 9th/6th Grade Camping: There has been some confusion and frustration with counting kids who went to 9th or 6th grade camps then going to HS or WL camps counting as second timers. Per the VP of Camping:  The short answer is that they do count as a second timer if someone attends a 9th grade week and then attends HS outreach later. Attached here is the 2nd Timer Policy. 6th grade camping is still considered WL Outreach, and 9th grade is considered SH Outreach. I hope this brings some clarity.

Previous (but still important) Information
Human Resources Policy Updates: Our HR department has made some important updates some policies that were emailed to all US field staff.  The updated policies include our Anti-Harassment, Sexual Health and Supporting Staff in Marital Crisis policies.  Please be sure that you and all of your staff review these policies. More information can be found in this email from Sha Farley. See How Each Policy is Changing. For questions, contact Human Resources.
Important Dates to Note
Regional Calendar

Aug 10: Final Area & Regional Other budgets due to regional office
Aug 13: Registration for New Staff Training/Winter Training/ AD School Opens
Aug 31: Deadline for areas to complete their Camping and Work Crew 2019 requests (area requests to regions)
Sept 7-9: Regional Leader and Committee Weekend
Sept 10: Regional Camp requests due to division
Sept 20 or 21: NWD Camping Allocation day. TBD
Oct 30: Regional Work Crew requests due to division

Our Regional Leader and Committee Weekend is coming soon!
September 7-9 in Bozeman, MT.
Please make sure your leaders and committee members are registered.
We cannot wait to spend an amazing weekend with you and all your people.

July 18, 2019 Regional update

July 18, 2018
We hope you are all having a great summer!
The Lord is changing so many lives through your hard work and leadership!
ECI: Prep you Trip Leaders – For your areas that participated in the Early Camper Incentive (for completing Health Forms early)– Please make sure your AD’s are prepping trip leaders (if they are not the trip leaders) to answer questions at settle up. The link above explains what will happen at settle-up. Here is a great email from the Oregon Cascades Region, that they sent to their staff. Explains the process really well.
Verifying Early Camp Incentive by Areas – Please remind your areas to review their Online Health Forms and verify the Camp, Guest Type, and Session/Week fields are correct for campers and leaders. Also review the Area Participation List to view the information that camp currently has for the area. Correct information helps areas receive the correct credit/discount for the Early Commitment Incentive.  
If an area has a camper who has completed the online health form but the form is missing you can search by name for a health form using the Find Health Forms by name report to see if the health form has been associated with another area.  If you have campers who are missing or campers who need their health form moved to a different area, submit this Change Request form so camping can make the appropriate corrections.  If you have questions or need help, contact Camping Services.
WFR Camp Scholarships available – WFR still has scholarships available for Canyon week 8 and all weeks of Creekside, for campers ABOVE R2 contract. Seethis email for more details and information. 
Volunteer Screening Compliance – Please have your area offices check to make sure that their staff & volunteers are all current with their volunteer screening. Let’s make sure that we are in 100% compliance to ensure the safety of kids in your regions. Regions can pull a compliance report HERE.
Take a look at this awesome area development resource!
Important Dates to Note!
Regional Calendar
*We have added a “Wyldlife” page to our blog!

August 10-18: Montana Fair in Billings
Sept 7-9: Fall Leader and Committee Weekend in Bozeman
Sept 21-23: YL College Camp at Creekside
October 26-28: Young Life Regional Fall Camp
Keith’s Travel Schedule
July 23: Trip to Sheridan
August 17-18: Trip to Ennis
August 19-20: RLT Meeting in Bozeman
August 19-21: Dillon Jump Start
Sept 5-7: Divisional Fall Meeting
Kaitlyn’s Travel Schedule
July 25-28: In Pennsylvania
August 19-20: RLT Meeting in Bozeman 
Sept 12-16: In New Orleans

The Season of Lent: Preparing our hearts for Easter


Sometimes a pause is good for the soul. It gives us the chance to regroup, reflect, and refocus on God. It is good to take the time to read and meditate on scripture and pray about how God a can apply it to your day. Pausing in this way will help you carve out time for God and refresh your spirit even in the midst of a busy life. You may find yourself sensing God’s presence in a new way and discovering that God wants to meet you in the midst of your life as it is, muddles and all.  The app has a devotional reading plan  for this Lenten season. Lent starts March 1 or Ash Wednesday and concludes April 15th (In Western Churches.)

Upcoming Dates

March 1st-Work Crew applications due online and the priority you want them to be in emailed to Shannon.

March 2nd- Mission-wide day of prayer

March 3-5 All region Ski trip to Silver Mountain

March 10- Regional Conference Call

March 23-24 Regional Staff Overnight in Big Sky

March 31-Apr 2  Regional Women’s Retreat in Whitefish

May 5-7 Staff & Spouse weekend


Work Crew is an online Process- Due March 1st

Staff and volunteers can submit a recommendation to start the work crew application process. Applications from your applicants are due March 1st. Please follow up with your applicants to make sure they have completed the online application that was sent to them. Here is a list of 2017-volunteer-session-dates to keep in mind for availability. The more availability your applicant has will open up more opportunities for them to receive a spot.

  1. Login to the Young Life Camp Reservation System.
  2. Click the Camp Volunteers & Guests link on the top menu (see picture below).
  3. Click the  WC Recommendation link on the right navigation bar (see picture below)
  4. Complete both pages of the work crew recommendation. NOTE: You will need to enter an email address for the applicant.
  5. Click the Submit button when done.
  6. When the recommendation is submitted, an email will be sent to the applicant with a link to complete the application. (The recommender also receives the application link via email.)


View Online Recommendations and Applications for Your Area

  1. Login to the Young Life Camp Reservation System.
  2. Select Work Crew Applicants on the top menu. (Note: Click any column header to sort by that column.)
  3. Click the applicant’s name to view their application and recommendation.
  4. Click the Awaiting Application link to open the applicant’s incomplete application. (Note: The URL for each application is unique. If the applicant loses the link to his or her application, you may email him or her this unique URL.)

Reporting your Camp Statistics – N Forms

If an area or region hosts any kind of overnight camp at a location other than a YL owned property, each area should submit an online “N-form” (YL-6221) afterwards to report the camp stats to the YL Camping Services Department.  These N-form stats get added to national camping statistics.

You can submit stats for a variety of different event types:

  •          Outreach camping
  •          Adventure/wilderness camping
  •          Discipleship
  •          YL Training Events
  •          Family camping
  •          Leadership Development for training YL Leaders
  •          Service/Work projects
  •          Retreats for solitude or creating community
Please encourage your areas to report their camping statistics when they camp outside of Young Life properties. Submitting these forms will increase the camping statistics for your region.  If you have questions, contact Ben Milner in camping services.

February info

Dates to Remember

Feb 10th- 9-10am Free gift-Spend time with Jesus on a walk, reading, praying

Feb 10-12 Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Winter Camp- please pray for this weekend

Feb 24th- Regional Prayer call

March 1- Work Crew recommendations & applications due to region

March 1-Leave No Camper behind scholarships due. Link to Scholarship sent to trip leader

Mar 2- Mission-Wide Day of Prayer

Mar 3-5 Teacher Summit
Mar 3-5 All Region Ski Weekend at Silver Mountain
March 31-Apr 2 Regional Women’s Retreat in Whitefish
April 1- R2 due to camp
April 15- Multicultural Urban scholarships due

7 Resources You Can Use Right Now.

Seven Resources You Can Use Right Now

Hey there friends, I haven’t been able to post as frequently as I’d like. I’m in max-hustle mode especially as I try to finish my PhD thesis by January (fingers crossed). But, I’ve been cranking along as I normally do making things for my club and my area that might also be helpful for others. So rather than making seven individual posts, below are seven things you might be able to use… all wrapped into one post. I hope they are helpful! Blessings on all the amazing work you do my friends!
1. Marshmallow Club
Two weeks ago we did Marshmallow club. We are still finding marshmallows in our club room and digging them out of our carpet, but it was a blast. You can find the club plan HERE.
2. Froyo Club
Nothing is as cool as frozen yogurt, well OK… maybe lots of things are. But, we still have a great plan for Froyo club. I tried to get a frozen yogurt machine brought in for club but it didn’t work out, maybe you can pull that off! You can find the club plan HERE.
3. New Spotify Playlist for Club 2016-17
In my history with YL (which began in the early 90s!) I can’t remember a time which was more difficult to find great club songs that are sing-able and also are clean. When will Taylor Swift please come out with a new album?!? Maybe Kelly Clarkson will make a comeback? Probably not. In the meantime I’ve created a playlist for background music for my club. While I did my best to sort out sketchy stuff I’m sure it isn’t perfect, use your own discretion. You can find the playlist HERE.
4. Tutorial using Typorama to make YL graphics for social media
While we shouldn’t over-rely on social media for communication, we all know it is important. Social media requires great graphics. I would love to know what you are using to make your graphics. In the meantime, here is what I am using right now: Typorama. You can find a short tutorial I made HERE.
5. Snapchat YL promo ideas
I’ve received a ton of feedback about Snapchat Geofilters for club (original post on how to make them in 6 steps HERE). Thank you for the messages! One YL leader showed me the analytics from his event were their YL Geofilter received 10,000 views for one event. Wow. Here are some creative uses I’ve heard about:
-Set up a Geofilter at the school at lunch (of before school) when you are doing contact work. Kids who are just using Snapchat at that time will see your Geofilter too (even if they don’t use it).
-Set up a Geofilter for a big event like a football game or a school dance (Homecoming, etc.)
-Create a contest or a game where kids need to use the Geofilter you set up and then send you a screen shot of them using it. You could use this to win a t-shirt, money off of weekend camp, or pretty much anything.
6. Free Snapchat Geofilters
I ran a brief contest for a generic YL Geofilter for Homecoming. You can find the winning design HERE. Thanks Josh Roubik from Flagstaff WyldLife!
Big thanks to Brad Voight (@BradVoigt) for providing these simple YL and WL Geofilters for all to use. Dropbox with the files HERE).
7. Gospel of Matthew Talk Helps: Talk Tuesday!
Last year I went through the Gospel of John and passed along some tips and ideas for club talks. This year I am going through the Gospel of Matthew. I try to do it on Tuesdays (hence, Talk Tuesday!) but sometimes it ends up being Talk Wednesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday… You get the idea. I have switched from Periscope to Facebook LIVE. Facebook LIVE seems to be a much better platform and gets much more engagement. The YouTube videos have over 1500 views, so glad I could help 1500 club talks in the last year just a little bit with these videos! You can find the full details HERE and the YouTube list HERE.
Think ideas like these might help another leader in your club, your area, your region, or maybe someone who just became a leader? Consider signing them up to get emails automatically HERE (with their permission!)

January info

Upcoming Dates

Jan 20-  Regional Conference Call 9 am

Jan 20- Inauguration Day

Jan 24-26 Montana Full time Staff Spiritual Retreat

Jan 27- Regional Prayer Call

Jan 27-29 Student Staff Weekend

Feb 1- R2 for Winter Ski camp at Silver Mountain

Spring Talk Sequence

Here is the  Talk Sequence Spring 2017 for this upcoming spring semester. It is also in the staff & Leader resource page on this blog.

Camp Trip Web Tool on your msite

Do you know how to promote your summer camp trip on mSites?
Learn how to add a camp trip web part, update last year’s trip and enable kids and parents to pay you directly.

What about fall or winter weekend camp trips?

Follow the same instructions as building a summer camp page, but make sure to check the Activity Forms box marked for fall/winter camping at the bottom of the Web Part editing box.

Your area has four different camp trips to three different locations. What to do?
Create a new page for each trip using these instructions, and then add them to your top navigation for high visibility!

If you need help adding this to your msite, please contact Shannon.

Inactive Msites

Don’t forget!  Msites that have not edited in the past 6 months or longer will be archived and deleted. This Process will begin in March of 2017.  Please update your msite.  Here are some great msite “how to” resources to help you learn more about updating msites. 
If you are experiencing technical issues with your mSite please contact The Help Desk. If you need mSite content ideas please contact Web Solutions

 Camp Flyers

The Service Center provides Camp Flyers at not cost to areas (3 x the number of camp spots you have reserved) and here is the link to order them. Here is the flyer-template to input your information. If you need help putting this together, contact Shannon or Anna.

Purchasing Discounts

Young Life has several discount codes for purchasing computer software, hardware, and cell phones.  Refer to this recently updated Purchasing Discounts resource for an overview of discounts.  For more information about these discounts contact the Help Desk at 877-957-2435.

Merry Christmas!

Praying you have a Wonderful Christmas and New years with family and friends!

Upcoming Dates

Dec 23- RSVP for Moose Lake staff Retreat

Dec 23- Regional Prayer Call

Dec23- Christmas Eve observed- Young life Holiday

Dec 26- Christmas Day observed- Young Life holiday

Dec 31-End of Year Giving Deadlines.

Jan 1-Camps begin to accept summer staff applications.

Jan 2- RSVP for Adult guest spots at Malibu club due

Jan 2- RSVP for Dippin Dots due

Jan 2-Young Life paid holiday – New Year’s Day (observed)

Jan 13- Regional Conference call

Jan 16-Camp Directors confirm assigned team work crew spots for each session(see below)

Jan 16-Young Life holiday – Martin Luther King Day

Jan 24-26 Moose Lake Retreat

Jan 27-29 MT Student Staff Retreat

Jan 31- W2’s available on staff resources

Feb 1- R2 due for winter ski camp March 3-5  Action Item: email Anna your cost and mailing address and she will edit the flyer for you.

Assignment Team Work Crew Spots
10% of work crew spots are reserved each session for the Assignment Team.   Once the Camp Director is determined for each session, the camp will send an email informing them of the male/female breakdown of that 10%, and ask them to confirm/deny those work crew spots by January 16. The Region must still approve the camp directors’ choice applicants, by wait listing the candidates in the camp session.