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Presidents Day Weekend

February 16-19


Theme: Embrace Winter. Embrace the Word.

"For as the rain and snow come down from heaven...so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth."

Isaiah 55:10-11


Over three days, participants will enjoy engaging preaching and energizing worship, paired with a special appearance by illusionist Joshua Lozoff! Lake Junaluska offers incredible winter programming where groups can customize their experience by choosing to ski, zipline or do mission work during their time at the lake.


Eddie Willis

Eddie Willis (Speaker) is the campus minister at the University of Mississippi  and serves as a local pastor at Taylor UMC outside of Oxford, MS.  He and his wife have four children, who have spent every summer at Lake Junaluska.  He strives to use creative resources, speaking, and music to help children, young people, and adults understand the deep love of Jesus Christ.   He understands the importance of retreats and camps in the formation of faith of youth and adults!

Abbye West Pates

Abbye West Pates (Worship Band) is a worship leader from Memphis, TN. Originally from south Mississippi, she spent her summers at Lake Junaluska with her youth group. She's excited to be here for her first summer, leading others in worship, with her husband Jeff. Both in performing originals and as a worship leader, she has a passion for the work of hospitality, that even in leading others, she helps set the tone for inviting others into a participatory work. Abbye and Jeff live in community, where they grow their own food, cook lots of meals, and find joy in opening their home for their friends and neighbors. You can find her original songs at abbyewestpates.com.

Joshua Lozoff

Joshua Lozoff (Illusionist) has studied and shared magic around the world for the past decade. After 14 years as a professional actor, Joshua left Hollywood to devote more time to service work, including volunteer stints throughout Latin America. It was during his travels that a chance encounter with a street magician sparked a new passion.  After years of full-time training, he began sharing his craft with others. Now Joshua is a highly sought-after performer at corporate events and at colleges around the country, performing over 200 shows per year. Joshua loves sharing his craft with people in every setting. And his love, respect and passion for magic come across in every performance. A few moments spent with Joshua can truly inspire, amaze and entertain.

Presidents Weekend Schedule


            3-9 p.m.                            Groups Check in at Welcome Center

            Check in will be available all day. Bethea Welcome Center closes at 9pm. Groups arriving after 9 pm can check in at Terrace Hotel.

             8 p.m.                               Event Store Opens

             8:30 p.m.                          Program and Worship

             Group Leaders will meet with Lake Junaluska Director of Programs at the beginning of the session to go over information for the weekend.

            11 p.m.                                 Quiet Hours     


             7:30 a.m.                            Breakfast

Group Leaders please remember to pick up your Box Lunches during breakfast (for those going to Cataloochee, Zip Line or Mission Work) 

              9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.            Activity: Ski Cataloochee or Wolf Ridge, Zip Line or Mission Work/Swimming

                                                         Lunch at Activity Area (Box Lunches or voucher)

                                                         Lake Junaluska Gifts and Grounds open with hot chocolate and coffee.

              5:30-7 p.m.                       Dinner

              7:30 p.m.                           Event Store Opens

              8 p.m.                                 Program, Worship, and Illusionist Joshua Lozoff

                                                                  *Includes Mission Offering.

              11 p.m.                                 Quiet Hours


              7:30 - 8:30 a.m.                 Breakfast

              Group Leaders pick up Box Lunches at the dining room during breakfast (except those going to Wolf Ridge which provides vouchered lunch). 

               8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.         Activity: Some groups choose to add a ski or zipline package. Others explore the local area or hold their own retreat activities. 

                                                            Lake Junaluska Gifts and Grounds open with hot chocolate and coffee.

               2 - 4:30 p.m.                       Shackford Hall Open for Prayer Stations/Board Games/Video

               5:30 - 7:30 p.m.                 Dinner

               7 p.m.                                   Event Store Opens

               8:30 p.m.                             Program and Closing Worship

                                                                  *Includes Communion.

               11 p.m.                                   Quiet Hours


                7:30 - 8:30 a.m.                  Breakfast

                11 a.m.                                   Hotel Checkout


Packages includes lodging, worship, t-shirts, an activity of your choice (ski, zipline or mission work) and breakfast on first full day through breakfast on day of departure. Additional lodging nights and activity days can be added to your package.

Mitzi Johnson, Director of Programming






See other program weekends for the Winter Youth Retreats

  1. Full Schedule