Youth Trust is a remarkable leadership development experience. It is a FREE four (4) day leadership retreat held at the YMCA’s Camp Ocoee! Join students from over 20 Chattanooga and North Georgia middle schools, both public and private, to participate in numerous activities and events. You will learn leadership and responsibility through challenge initiatives, small group discussions, and presentations from a few of Chattanooga’s finest adult leaders.   

Participants join small groups, called Families, led by high school student leaders who participated in Youth Trust in past years.

Topics that will be covered during the retreat include:

  • Teamwork
  • Peer pressure
  • Conflict resolution
  • Respect
  • Making positive decisions
  • Diversity
  • Self-motivation

We know that this is a time in a child’s life when family influence gives way to peer groups and peer group pressure. The students’ values and beliefs about their community are being developed and put to work toward a better community.   

The goal of the retreat is to bring the group together, break down barriers, have open discussions on community issues, help the group define the “community” in which they live, develop ways for the students to get involved in each others’ lives, and to have fun.  The retreat is highly structured with talks by community leaders from both the private and public sector. Training sessions on leadership and community involvement will be conducted plus a great deal of group fun and challenging opportunities, such as Camp Ocoee’s Zip Wire and Climbing Tower. 

”It is only when people bring their differences together that we can weave a unique and beautiful world.”  (Youth Trust Motto)


For more information, contact Matt Russnogle, Program Director at or 423.800.2131.