Are you ready for the time of your life? Then you’re ready for the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation’s LifeSkills Conference!

Dates: July 14-19, 2024

Registration Deadline: July 1, 2024
Registration Fee: $400

The conference is held at the Masonic Conference Center – Patton Campus, in Elizabethtown, adjacent to the world-renowned Masonic Village at Elizabethtown.

This active and engaging conference challenges attendees to develop leadership, respect, relational skills and personal responsibility through various creative approaches. Students are educated on conflict resolution, violence, self-management, social media, technology and more. The conference features hands-on activities, including a ropes course.

The conference is open to youth 12 and older who have not reached their 18th birthday at the time of the conference. Attendees must be sponsored by a Masonic Youth Group, a Masonic Lodge, or Masonic relative.  Only 100 registrations will be accepted for the conference, so early registration is recommended.

General Information

So, what’s it all about?

LifeSkills is an active, creative, experientially-based week of learning and relationship building with other young people and a talented staff of professionals and volunteers. Through a variety of hands-on sessions and tasks, participants reinforce the foundational principles of LifeSkills:

RESPECT for yourself and others.
RESPONSIBILITY in actions and decision-making.
RELATIONSHIPS with your peers and mentors.
VALUING others and operating by common ground rules.
CHOOSING your personal level of CHALLENGE.

Who May Attend?

Maybe You!

The Conference is open to Pennsylvania youth who are:

  • 12 and older who have not reached their 18th birthday at the time of the conference.

And any one of the following:

  • A member of a Masonic-sponsored youth group

  • A close relative of a Mason

  • A youth sponsored for attendance by a Masonic lodge

  • Ready to invest in a fun and challenging week of NEW experiences, NEW ideas and NEW friends

How do I qualify for the Conference?

All applicants must indicate one of the following:

If you are a member of a Masonic-sponsored youth group (DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, Rainbow, Knights of Pythagoras or Ruth Mitchell Tucker Girls), you may list that membership to qualify. Your registration request must be signed by an advisor of your group, indicating their approval of your participation.

Find out if you have a close relative (such as father, grandfather, uncle or brother) who is a member of a Masonic lodge. If so, they may act as your “sponsoring organization” on your application. Give full contact information for your Masonic relative.

Contact a local Masonic lodge or other Masonic organization to ask them to sponsor you for the conference. Be prepared to explain the conference to them and why you wish to attend. They may or may not pay part or all of your registration. Their recommendation is all that is required. If you don’t know how to contact a local lodge, you can use the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania’s Lodge Locator.

If you live outside of PA, you may still be able to attend. Contact us to find out more.

LifeSkills is for …

First-timers – “LifeSkills Classic” continues to be refined and revised to give all participants the best possible learning and growth experience. You’ll never forget this week! First-time attendees will receive registration priority up until the registration deadline.

Returnees – A limited number of repeating attendees will have the chance to re-experience some of their previous LifeSkills week and to add to their knowledge and confidence with new activities designed especially for them. Due to increasing demand, however, you may only repeat the conference one time.

Adult Staff – Our adult volunteers tell us they get more out of the conference than the youth possibly could! Whether that’s true or not, we know that adults who volunteer once usually ask to come back again. If you’re over age 21 and interested in working with youth, contact us about how you might become a LifeSkills volunteer. We’ll usually ask you to come and visit a conference for a few days prior to volunteering for the whole week, so you’ll know what to expect if you volunteer full-time the next year.

If you are having difficulty determining whether you are eligible for the conference, contact the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation.


Take Life to a Whole New Level …

Beginning with small challenges and working your way up, you’ll have the chance to develop trust and leadership skills until you’re ready to pass the big test – working together to conquer a high ropes course with your team and actually jumping from a tree 50 feet above the ground, with teammates “belaying” you with safety ropes from below.

LifeSkills is so much more than just another summer camp. There’s something here for everyone:

  • You’ll have fun with the creative and active learning environment.
  • You’ll love the beautiful top-of-the-line facilities.
  • You’ll think the world of the conference staff (we sure do!)
  • And, by the end of the week, you’ll have something more … we really believe this conference is life-changing.
  • You’ll come away with new friends, new skills and new confidence in yourself and your peers.
  • Even your family can get in on the fun. The week closes with a family celebration, where you’ll have the chance to put your family “through the paces” and give them a first-hand taste of your week’s experience.
  • So, what are you waiting for? Only 100 registrations will be accepted. Click here for registration information, including a downloadable registration form, and mail it today!

You’ll be glad you did!


To attend the LifeSkills Conference, you must agree to follow these rules:

  1. Rules for use of the Masonic Conference Center
  2. The Full Value Contract
  3. Other rules may be enacted from time to time for the protection of people and property, but these are the major regulations which all must observe while at the LifeSkills Conference.

That’s your first essential LifeSkill – agreeing, with everyone else, to behave as young adults who can be trusted (by us, by your parents and by each other) to be both respectful and responsible in all relationships at the LifeSkills Conference.


Kid-tested, Parent Approved!

Pennsylvania Masons are committed to Pennsylvania Youth

The Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation subsidizes a large part of the cost of this conference. The per-attendee cost for the full-week conference, including food, housing and conference materials, is estimated at $600.

But you won’t pay that much. If you are attending the conference for the first time, we will subsidize $200 of your cost. If you are attending for a second time, we will subsidize $50 of your cost. After those subsidies, your registration fee will be:

You’ll be hard pressed to find a comparable program at twice the price!

First-Time Attendee


Second-Time Attendee


A typical day’s schedule at LifeSkills

7 A.M. Wake up, optional morning activities
8 A.M. Breakfast
9 A.M. Community meeting and large group teambuilding activities
10 A.M. Adventure-based life skill development / Conflict resolution
Noon Lunch
1 P.M. Adventure-based life skill development / Respect for self and others
4 P.M. Fun, fitness and free time
6 P.M. Dinner
7 P.M. Juggling your way to self-esteem / Leading with success for success
8 P.M. Group activities led by your counselor/ Interview and writing skills
9 P.M. Movies
10 P.M. Snack
11 P.M. Lights out


Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Review the rules for the conference and share them with your parents. Your registration is your agreement to abide by these rules throughout the week.
  2. Fill out the digital registration form completely. Be sure to indicate how you qualify for the conference (see eligibility). Have your parent or guardian digitally sign the form, indicating their consent for you to attend. Click submit on the form.
  3. Mail your registration fee to the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation, 1244 Bainbridge Road, Elizabethtown, PA 17022. Your space cannot be reserved without payment. We’ll notify you, within 3 weeks of receiving your application, whether you have been accepted for the program.
  4. If your registration fee is being paid by scholarship, or by your school district, please confirm with your contact.
  5. Pack up and get ready for the week of your life!


Thom Stecher

Tom StecherThom Stecher is a nationally recognized motivational speaker and educational consultant. He specializes in self-esteem, wellness and student assistance programs. He is one of the original developers of the nationally acclaimed Pennsylvania Student Assistance Program, which has received recognition by both the National Governors Association and the American Medical Association. He has expanded the model to programs at the elementary, middle and high school level. He is involved in training and development of school-based prevention and intervention services for at-risk youth in over 20 states, Canada, Germany and Great Britain. Thom originated the LifeSkills program in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation. You’ll rarely meet anyone with a more gentle and encouraging spirit.