Take a moment to learn more about Young Life, where we come from, what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.
What We Do
Since Young Life of Canada began in 1954, staff and volunteers have been leaving their adult “comfort zone” to meet teens on “their turf”. You will find Young Life leaders wherever kids are found… cheering in the stands at a hockey game, encouraging them in school activities, or hanging out at the nearest coffee shop or skate park . Young Life communities strive to create meaningful, mentoring relationships between leaders and teens and to create spaces where teens are listened to, and where questions of life and faith can be discussed.
Young Life started in New Westminster, BC in 1954 and enjoyed years of camping at YL USA’s beautiful camp called The Malibu Club. The work grew in the west and also started in the Toronto area. In 2004 we opened our own Canadian camp, RockRidge Canyon, near Princeton, BC. Today we continue our work in BC, Alberta, Ontario and are moving into a new province in the next few years.
Over 40 years ago, Geri Ashdown came to camp at Young Life in Canada for the first time.
I was a typical grade 10, skinny, clumsy, emotional kid who loved to laugh at anything, and often asked too many curious questions. I didn’t want to be left out and didn’t want to stand out. Mostly, I wanted to belong. — Geri Ashdown, Toronto, ON
Young Life set me on a journey that developed in my relationship skills, leadership competence and confidence that integrated into the rest of my life. — Geri Ashdown Fitch, 2015, National Board Member (pictured with daughter Julie)
At Young life, we welcome, value and respect all teenagers, engaging them in the context of their lives. We have cared for young people in Canada for over 60 years and — with an increasing number of communities asking for our help — we are excited to reach more teens than ever before in the years to come. As we continue to grow, our motivation remains the same: to care for Canadian teenagers and earn the right to share God’s great love.
Whenever I’m at a club activity, I feel like I actually belong. There’s always at least one person who’s excited to ask about how my week is going, and I like that.
In all of our Young Life communities, we seek to engage teenagers through long-term relationships, allowing room for trust and mentorship. Because every teen is unique, we have developed a variety of programs — both one on one and in groups — to further these relationships, as well as provide unique, life-giving adventures. Even just one positive influence in a teen’s life can change their outlook for the better, and affect their decisions for the future.
When I try to talk to my Young Life leaders, they really listen.
Our staff and volunteers are a diverse and fun-loving group of individuals who are seeking lives of significance for every teen they meet. They’ve chosen to serve with us because they understand there is a loving God and want to help teens know that same love. We are always looking for new people to partner with us and help us reach more teens in more communities.