Winter Youth Retreat in Shackford Hall

Youth Ministry

Near Asheville, Waynesville and Maggie Valley, Lake Junaluska offers youth retreats full of fun, fellowship and spiritual growth

Lake Junaluska is committed to connecting youth to Christ through meaningful ministry, recreation and education. Youth groups that participate in Lake Junaluska’s retreats enjoy not only the on-site programming but also opportunities for mission work and mountain adventures from skiing to whitewater rafting.

Groups choose their accommodations and gather for meals at York Dining Commons, which offers a lakeside deck perfect for fellowship. We also welcome youth groups to Lake Junaluska who wish to plan their own retreats!

Winter Youth Retreat youth listen to the speaker
Friends downhill snowskiing pause for a photograph

Winter Youth RetreatsWinter Retreats

Bring your youth group to the mountains this winter! We offer Winter Youth Retreat packages that include lodging and meals at Lake Junaluska with opportunities to add on skiing/snowboarding (also known as the Ski Lake Junaluska package); mission work projects; and, of course, our Lake Junaluska programs with group games, live music, guest speakers and energized worship for youth groups.

With our winter youth retreat packages, you can choose your own retreat dates! If your group would like to participate in Lake Junaluska’s programs and worship services for youth groups, be sure to add the youth retreat program to your package and select one of the four weekends that our program will be offered. Learn more about retreat add-ons and rates below, see photos, view accommodations, subscribe to youth ministry email updates, and, if you have any questions, contact us.

Ski Lake Junaluska

Group ski packages include skiing or snowboarding at Cataloochee Ski Area, lodging at Lake Junaluska, and breakfast on the first full day through breakfast on your day of departure. Skiing includes your ski/snowboard rental, boot rental and lift ticket. Pick the dates that work for your youth group. Register online.

Mission Work Projects

Lake Junaluska coordinates mission work projects with nonprofit organizations in our community on Saturdays and Sundays during retreat weekends for interested youth groups. Register online.

Lake Junaluska Encounter Winter Youth Retreat Programs

Lake Junaluska Youth Programs will offer lively programs and energized worship services for youth groups on four winter weekends. Join fellow youth groups for a bonfire and s’mores on the night you arrive and come together in the evening(s) and/or Sunday morning for games, live music, a guest speaker and energized worship. The retreat program schedule features evening programs for 3-night retreats and evening programs plus a Sunday morning program for 2-night retreats.  Register online.

Asheville Treetops Adventure Park (Booked Separately)

Groups can book a day trip directly with The Adventure Center of Asheville (5 minutes from downtown Asheville and approximately 30 minutes from Lake Junaluska) to enjoy during their Lake Junaluska Winter Youth Retreat. The Asheville Treetops Adventure Park is the largest Western North Carolina aerial challenge course in the trees with 77 unique climbing, rolling, and swinging elements in a wooded park with smart clips. There are multiple levels to choose from which create a fun team bonding activity for all ages and athletic abilities (weight limit of 265 pounds). Read more about youth group aerial course adventures (PDF), and contact group sales for discounted group rates at 828-450-3400 or [email protected].


Lake Junaluska’s Winter Youth Retreat Packages all include lodging and meals at Lake Junaluska with the opportunity to add on day activities and evening programming. Rates vary based on the lodging and meal options and add-ons your group selects. To learn more, see our 2022-23 Winter Youth Retreat Package Rate Planning Sheet (PDF).

Weekends with Lake Junaluska Evening Youth Programs & Worship Services

Jan. 13-16, 2023

This three-night retreat weekend takes place during Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. Our speaker will be the Rev. Billy Michael Honor with music by Jimmy AtkinsSee schedule.

Youth retreat participants play games
Jan. 20-22, 2023

Grow closer to God and each other at this two-night winter youth retreat. Wayne Kerr will be our speaker and music leader. See schedule.

Youth with microphone at Winter Youth Retreat
Jan. 27-29, 2023

Enjoy meaningful programs and energized worship at this two-night retreat. Our speaker will be the Rev. Melissa Cooper with music by Nairobi O. Smith. See schedule.

Feb. 17-20, 2023

This three-night retreat weekend includes Presidents’ Day holiday. Our speaker will be the Rev. D’Andre Ash with music by Jimmy Atkins. See schedule.

Expand What are your COVID-19 health and safety protocols? contentCollapse What are your COVID-19 health and safety protocols? contentWhat are your COVID-19 health and safety protocols?

Lake Junaluska has been taking extensive measures based on guidance from the CDC to ensure safe and healthy stays at all of our lodging facilities. Please see our current health and safety protocols for more information on how all of the Lake Junaluska staff is maintaining a high standard of sanitation in all Lake Junaluska facilities.

Expand Are snowboard rentals included in the ski package? contentCollapse Are snowboard rentals included in the ski package? contentAre snowboard rentals included in the ski package?

Yes. The ski package includes either a set of skis or a snowboard, fitted boots, and your lift ticket. Each person can choose whether they would like to ski or snowboard. Helmets can be rented for an additional fee. See our 2022-23 Winter Youth Retreat Rate Planning Sheet to learn more.

Expand Does Lake Junaluska provide transportation to Cataloochee, mission sites or any off-site destination? contentCollapse Does Lake Junaluska provide transportation to Cataloochee, mission sites or any off-site destination? contentDoes Lake Junaluska provide transportation to Cataloochee, mission sites or any off-site destination?

No. Groups are responsible for off-site transportation.

Expand Are there date restrictions for my group to ski through Lake Junaluska? contentCollapse Are there date restrictions for my group to ski through Lake Junaluska? contentAre there date restrictions for my group to ski through Lake Junaluska?

No. Groups are encouraged to come on the dates that work best for you! We do invite you to come to Lake Junaluska during one of our programmed event with a speaker and band, and join us in worship!

Expand What are the mission work projects? contentCollapse What are the mission work projects? contentWhat are the mission work projects?

Lake Junaluska will be partnering with local organizations to serve our neighbors here in Haywood and Jackson counties.

Scenic photo of yellow flowers growing by the shore of Lake Junaluska

Confirmation Retreat

Lake Junaluska will host a Confirmation Retreat for youth groups March 31, 2023-April 2, 2023. Our speaker will the Rev. Andy Lambert with music led by Abbye West Pates.  Want to receive email updates when more details are available and registration opens? Subscribe to our youth ministry e-newsletter.

Rev. Andy Lambert
Rev. Andy Lambert

Known as “the funniest man in youth ministry,” the Rev. Andy Lambert has proclaimed the Gospel at comedy clubs, churches and colleges, traveling throughout the United States, Mexico, Wales and England. Learn more

Abbye West Pates
Abbye West Pates

A worship leader from Memphis, Tennessee, Abbye West Pates spent her summers at Lake Junaluska with her youth group.  She’s excited to be returning to lead others in worship with her husband, Jeff. Learn more

Four youth paddleboarders at Lake Junaluska

Summer Youth Retreats

Make memories and have fun as a youth group as you grow closer to God and each other this summer at Lake Junaluska.

Plan your summer youth group retreat at the Lake. Enjoy meaningful moments and time for recreation and fun! Just steps from Shackford Hall is volleyball, cornhole, knockout (basketball), Gaga ball, 9 Square in the Air, the Walking Trail and the lakeside pool. Your group can also make reservations to rent paddleboards, kayaks or canoes, or add on a trip to enjoy rafting, ziplining or a high-ropes adventure course.

Does your youth group want to spend time in service? Ask us about taking part in such projects as building ramps for people who have mobility challenges, completing critical landscaping tasks, and assisting food kitchens, food pantries and organizations that provide clothing, shoes and other items for people in need.

Want to receive email updates about youth ministry programs at Lake Junaluska? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Youth groups take part in service and mission work.

We are excited to share that M28 Camps will be hosting summer youth camps at Lake Junaluska! Learn more and register on the M28 Camps website.

Youth Group Lodging

Lodging popular with youth groups at Lake Junaluska includes Mountainview, Lake Junaluska Apartments and Hillside Lodge. All are close to Shackford Hall, York Dining Commons and Lake Junaluska’s pool and recreation areas.