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What is The Presence Kalamazoo?

The Presence Kalamazoo has traditionally been a 40-hour eucharistic retreat for high school students started in 2013 by the direction of Fr. Derda, accompanied by a group of lay volunteers with the support of the Diocese of Kalamazoo staff. We hope that the young people attending will grow in prayer, devotion to the blessed sacrament, and community with fellow Catholics.


Who can attend The Presence Kalamazoo?

The Presence Kalamazoo is designed for high school students and their adult Leaders who are 21 or older.


How do I register?

The forms will be available online to download including a Welcome Pack with instructions.


Can I send my youth alone?

To provide the best possible context for fellowship, sharing, ministry, and supervision, we will handle registrations by groups only. No individual registrations will be accepted.


What do I do if I have a food allergy?

If you have a food allergy we need to be aware of (vegetarian, lactose intolerant, wheat/peanut allergy, etc.), please specify on the registration form. We can accommodate most allergies and food sensitivities.  


What should I pack?

Each participant should bring clothing appropriate/comfortable for a church function, a coat, pillow, sleeping bag/bedding, towel, and toiletries. A packing list is included with the registration forms.


How many chaperones do we need to bring?

For each group, there must be a minimum of two chaperones. The adult chaperone-to-student ratio is determined by the overnight cabins. Please refer to the FEMALE and MALE CABIN forms in the GROUP LEADER PACKET to confirm the appropriate chaperone-to-student ratio which is as follows.

The following ratios apply per cabin:

- 1-4 boys: 1 male chaperone (another group will be assigned to share a 10-person cabin)

- 5-8 boys: 2 male chaperones


The following ratios apply per cabin for girls:

- 1-5 girls: 1 female chaperone (another group will be assigned to share a 12-person cabin)

- 6-10 girls: 2 female chaperones


What are the criteria for Group Leader, Adult Chaperone, and Youth?

Group Leader: The adult responsible for organizing your trip and serving as the main contact for your group. Written and oral correspondence takes place between the Group Leader and the retreat team. 

Adult Chaperone: An Adult Chaperone is someone attending the retreat to chaperone the youth throughout the ENTIRE retreat. All Adult Chaperones must be 21 years of age or older, and have been approved to work with youth through the groups home diocese protocol training. This weekend is challenging physically and spiritually. All Adult Chaperones must be able to lead kids to safety in case of an emergency: Ex. Fire, Natural Disaster, etc. We recommend that chaperones feel comfortable directing, sharing with, and praying with youth.

Youth: Youth participants at the retreat must be in 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grades.


Where is The Presence Kalamazoo held?

The Presence Kalamazoo will take place at Camp Geneva, 3995 Lakeshore Ave, Holland, MI 49424. Once you arrive on campus, parking officials will guide you to registration.


Who do I contact for more information?

We are happy to answer any other questions you may have. Please contact us at We are always ready and able to help!

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