Youth Forum is an outreach organization working with youth groups, youth leaders and communities in the Upper Midwest to establish our mission, “that every teenager has the opportunity to consider a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” This guiding vision works as the cornerstone to the many facets of Youth Forum.
The organization was founded in 1979, in part, due to the leadership of then Governor of the State of Minnesota, Albert Quie, a member of our first Board of Directors. Governor Quie equipped Darby McDonald, Youth Forum’s founding Executive Director, to connect with community leaders, youth workers, clergy and business people as a catalyst for creating joint youth service outreach to teenagers. Summer Festival, a week-long camp experience, was birthed out of these discussions. It has become one of the premier youth group events in the Midwest, with over 25,000 teens attending Summer Festival since 1981. Students attend Summer Festival with adults from their community serving as their counselors, thus developing relationships that endure and continue once they all return home from camp.
Youth Forum has always sought to be on the cutting edge of youth ministry. We support local churches, para-churches, and community programs through our Youth Ministry Support program, Summer Festival camps, and by encouraging and empowering those who work with students.