Local Students Participate in Youth Retreat

On Tuesday, September 24, nearly 100 youth from our region’s school districts met for a day of team building and fun at the 16th annual Venango County Youth Retreat. Groups of 8-15 students arrived by bus for a full day of activities at Camp Coffman.

The event encourages youth to work together and develop leadership skills.  Students are identified by their schools and represent a diverse cross section of groups, clubs, and students who participate in outside programs.

Adult teachers and chaperones assist with activities, which encourage trust building. Matt Haines of Children, Youth, and Family Services (CYFS), shared that one activity included students locking hands and passing a teacher down a long line, working together to provide consistent support.

At the end of the day, teams are scored and awards are distributed. This year first place went to the Valley Grove Student Government team.

Matt adds that the day proved to be rewarding for the students and confirms that our region’s youth are deserving of recognition for their cooperative nature and continued willingness to accomplish more challenging goals.

Keystone SMILES provides coordination of the Youth Retreat and facilitates grant funding provided by PNC Charitable Funds. If interested in learning more about the Youth Retreat, supporting the event with funding, or volunteering, contact Pam Johnson at or (814) 221-7023.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s October 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

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