don't call it a conference.
SERIOUSLY, THRIVEanooga is Not a conference.
It's a highly-relational and truly interactive event created by youth ministers for youth ministers. We took everything we love about conferences, and added more of that. We also threw away the stuff we didn't love and added what we thought was missing. The end result was a two and half day event unlike anything else you've ever been to.
We call that result "Thriveanooga",
and we think you're going to love it!
Last year, we had youth ministers from over 25 dioceses take part in Thriveanooga!
"Everything about Thriveanooga felt exactly right. The conflab model that allowed for real expertise to be engaged and shared was perfect. Not once did I find myself being talked at or unseen. This experience was intimate and wonderful."Carol Wiget (Birmingham)
who is this for?
This event was created exclusively for Catholic youth ministers, but because it's a unique event, we wanted to help you decide if this event was really for you.If you can emphatically answer yes to all the questions below, then you definitely need to join us for Thriveanooga!
- Are you a Catholic youth minister?
This event was specifically created for parish youth ministry leaders – if that's not you, this is not the event for you. Paid or volunteer: doesn't matter. Full-time or part-time: you're invited!
- Would your pastor say you're in charge?
As much as we love volunteers (or whatever you call them at your parish), this event is for the LEAD youth worker. Most parishes call them the "youth minister", but your title isn't important – if you're the one people are mad at when your teens make a mess, Thriveanooga was created for you.
- Are you willing to think outside the box?
We're not looking to maintain, we're ready to dream big and innovate. If you're happy with the way things are, this is not the event for you.
- Do you like people?
You will be spending a LOT of time with other people during this event. Introverts are welcome – but we want to make sure you know there is going to be way more group time than alone time. (Don't worry: you'll have time to decompress at night in the awesome hotel.)
- Do you work well with others?
This is not a "listen to experts talk at you all day" kind of event. This is a "roll up your sleeves and get to work" kind of thing. You'll be spending a lot of times in collaborative sessions and team-oriented workshops that will actually move the needle in your ministry.
- Are you ready to be real?
If you're looking for a place filled with people who have everything figured out and haven't struggled in years – this ain't it. Thriveanooga is the place to come figure things out, which means you need to willing to be real and vulnerable about what's working (and not working) in your ministry (and maybe even your life).
- Do you like fun?
We're going to get a LOT done during the day, but when evening rolls around it's all about fun, community, and competition. If you're looking for low-energy and boring, you're going to hate Thriveanooga.
- Are you ready to finally play a game?
Most youth ministers love games, but they never get to play them because they're always running them. Well not at Thriveanooga – you better be ready to lace up your kicks and put your game face on because we've got some awesome games ready for you!
- Are you down with not knowing all the details?
We're not going to publish the event schedule – so if that will cause you too much stress to enjoy yourself, you might want to sit this one out. But we will tell you some things...
"I have never felt so fed and inspired and seen in my ten years of ministry. At Thriveanooga, I found companions on this road of ministry who’ve lived the same experiences as me. The solidarity and support is second to none. The opportunity to be poured into rather than being the sole person pouring into others was invaluable."Megan Moore(Dubuque)
so what is it?
THRIVEanooga is COLLABORATIVE.
We're not bringing in big name speakers for this event, the biggest asset of Thriveanooga is you. Every person who comes has their own skills and experience, so we're going to leverage that for everyone's benefit.
Rather than keynotes and lectures, the day is filled with collaborative sessions where we'll work together to create action-oriented solutions to your real world ministry problems. It's all about learning from and challenging each other.
THRIVEanooga is CREATIVE.
We are not looking for cookie cutter solutions, we're ready to push the envelope, challenge conventions, and dream up creative and innovative solutions. To make that possible, we've structured each day to give time and space for creative thinking and group brainstorming sessions.
THRIVEanooga is CROWDSOURCED.
Our team is not picking the topics to be covered at Thriveanooga, you are!
After you register, you'll get to suggest topics for conversation. Based on upvotes from all the registered attendees, we'll choose the most requested topics and build the content for the event around those.
THRIVEanooga is COMMUNITY ORiENTED.
More than anything else, Thriveanooga is about community. Youth ministry can be lonley at times – we get it. We want Thriveanooga to be about building real, in-person community. We created the schedule and intentionally chose venues that will foster community.
We've built Thriveanooga to be intentionally small. It's far too easy to get lost in the sea of people at a big conference – that won't happen at Thriveanooga. By the end of the week, you'll know everyone's name (or at least their face).
We will be facilitating pre-event and post-event conversations inside of Thrive to make sure that community we build at Thriveanooga doesn't stay at Thriveanooga (though the stories might).
THRIVEanooga is COnstructive.
When you head home from Thriveanooga, you won't be leaving empty handed. Throughout the week, we will be building innovative solutions together. You'll be able to take back these solutions and implement them in your ministry right away and make real change (we're not just talking theory).
THRIVEanooga is CATHOLIC.
At ProjectYM, everything we do is rooted in our Catholic faith – Thriveanooga is no different. We'll have dedicated time to pray, worship, and celebrate the Sacraments together. We're honored to be joined throughout the event by various clergy and Catholic worship leaders.
"This is the first ministry event I’ve been to where authentic community was fostered between all the participants. Within 2 days, there was a deep sense of family and love - it was an absolute blessing."Alyssa Trutter(Austin)
a few more details
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
- Downtown Chattanooga, TN.
We'll stay, play, eat, and gather in the heart of the Innovation District in beautiful downtown Chattanooga.
- Three Night Hotel Stay Included.
We'll be staying in an awesome hotel within walking distance of the best of downtown Chattanooga.
- Breakfast and Lunch Included.
You'll be spending the week in the South – so you can be sure that we'll be feeding you well.
- Intentionally Small.
This is NOT a conference. We're creating a different type of event, and we're keeping it small and community oriented.
- Very Limited Space.
Because this event is intentionally small, it means registration will sell out quickly! So register early.
- Thrivers Only.
Thriveanooga is exclusively for members of our Thrive community. Not a member? Go join for free before trying to register.
"Everyone who works in Youth Ministry has something new to learn and some wisdom to share. I cannot think of a better place to do either of those two things than Thriveanooga."Paul Minarik(Chicago)
what does it cost?
*This price is the double-occupancy rate.
Single rooms are available for an additional cost.
REGISTRATION INCLUDES LODGING, BREAKFAST AND LUNCH!All you have to pay for once you get to Chattanooga is dinner and drinks.
Three Important Notes:
1) Registration fees are transferrable but non-refundable .
2) You will have a roommate. If you want to pick your roommate, you'll be able to do that before the event. Otherwise, our team will assign you someone awesome.
3) Does not include the cost of "Adventure Day" – see below.
At the end of Thriveanooga, we're taking a small group of youth ministry leaders on an incredible East Tennessee adventure!This unique experience will give you the opportunity to explore the beauty of Tennessee, build even deeper relationships with other leaders, and give you extra time to process and discuss all that you've learned throughout the week.
- Zipline Canopy Tour.
You'll sail over 14 wooded acres with 9 zip line sections and 3 swinging sky bridges. This tree-based canopy tour has spectacular views of Big Frog Mountain and Cherokee National Forest.
- A Beautiful Night in the Mountains.
We'll be spending the evening in a beautiful cabin in the pristine natural surroundings of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
- Dinner and Breakfast Included.
Don't worry – we'll feed you well!
- Bonfire by the River.
What's a night in the mountains without s'mores and conversation by the campfire.
- We'll Drop You Off.
We'll make sure you get to the airport for your flight on Friday – just make sure you book a flight after 2pm.
- Very Limited Space.
Adventure day is only open to 10 people – so make sure you grab your spot today when you register for Thriveanooga.
- Cost: $259.
You'll be able to add on the "Adventure Day" package during registration – but if you need to pay for it separately, go ahead and register for Thriveanooga WITHOUT the add-on and then email us right away.
- Important Note.
The zip line company lists the following requirements to participate in the canopy tour: Flyers must be in good physical condition and able to raise their arms over their head to regulate speed and braking. Please do not participate if you are pregnant or have chronic back or shoulder injuries. Flyers must be between 60 - 250lbs.
This event will sell out quickly, so DON'T WAIT TO REGISTER.REGISTER
If you attended Thriveanooga in 2021, you'll get first dibs! But the window is short: only 48 hours!
THRIVE Diocesan Partners
If your diocese is a Thrive Partner, you've got a 24 hour head start to sign up for Thriveanooga!
THRIVE Pro Members
You have to be a Thriver to attend Thriveanooga, but if you're a PRO MEMBER, you'll get early access to register.
PRIORITY LIST Members
Enter your email address below to join the "Priority List" to make sure you get a chance to register before it sells out!
If there's still spots available, registration will open on January 25th to the whole Thrive community!
ADD YOUR EMAIL BELOW TO GET added to the priority list and be NOTIFIED when you're able to register for THRIVEANOOGA 2022!
While we aren't giving out ALL the details about Thriveanooga, we do want to give you the information you NEED to know.If you have other questions, click the red chat bubble in the corner and ask – we just might answer them!
- When does it start and end?
Exact times will be announced soon, but in order to help you plan your travel: Thriveanooga starts late afternoon on Monday, September 26th and ends before lunch on Thursday, September 29th.
- How many people will be there?
Thriveanooga is intentionally small. We only open registration for 48 people, so that's all that will be here (plus our small team).
- Where do I fly into?
You can fly directly to the (awesomely small) Chattanooga airport – it's only a $14 Uber ride from the airport to the venue. Atlanta, Nashville, and Knoxville are all two hours away if you prefer to fly in there – but you'll have to arrange transportation to and from those bigger airports.
- Do I need a car?
Nope. All transportation during the event is taken care of (it's mostly walking). You'll need to grab an Uber from the airport, but that's it! (It's like a $14 ride.)
- What meals are included?
Your registration fee covers breakfast and lunch for September 27th and 28th as well as breakfast on the 30th. We've also got you covered for snacks during the event. Dinner and (alcoholic) drinks are on you.
- Do I have to wear a mask?
No...well, maybe. At this point, we are doing our best to follow all local guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety. As of right now, there are no mask requirements here in Chattanooga, so we will not be enforcing one either. You are absolutely welcome to take any precautions you feel necessary during this event. If there are any changes to the local policy that affect us, we will let you know.
- Can I get my own room?
Yes! Though the pricing above is based on double-occupancy (2 beds in 1 room), you can upgrade to a single occupancy room. That upgrade will cost you an extra $250.
- Can I bring my baby?
No. As much as we love babies (and we really do), the format of this event is not conducive to having that much cuteness in the room.
- What's the cancellation / refund policy?
Because this is a very limited registration event, there are no refunds if you cancel. However, your registration is fully-transferable up until September 16th. If we've got a waiting list, we might even be able to help you sell your ticket if you need to cancel.
If we have to cancel the event for some reason, everyone will get a full refund.
"As ministers, we pour into others so much and so often; and there aren't always resources and ways for our own cups to be filled. You should come to Thriveanooga to be poured into, refreshed, renewed, and restored."Natalie Pronio(Baltimore)