Georgia Program Details

Details about the programs at Fort Mountain

We are pleased to partner with Global Youth Ministry who runs the Fort Mountain Retreat Center. They were blessed with amazing facilities in the middle of the breathtaking Fort Mountain State Park. The retreat center offers a variety of outdoor spaces and lots of recreation opportunities. There is a wonderful mix of small and large group meeting rooms. The amazing sunrise over the Cohutta Mountains are perfect for the morning people.  The night owls will appreciate both the sunsets and times of gathering around the fire pit.


COVID-19 Updates

Because we specialize in working with TCKs, we have been tracking closely the travel restrictions and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our internationally mobile families.

We remain fairly confident (as much as anyone can be these days) that we will be able to run the programs at Fort Mountain this summer. Here are answers to questions we’ve been asked lately.

What safety precautions will we take? All parents will be required to affirm their children are symptom free for 2 week prior to arrival (fevers, coughing, or other related symptoms). Additionally, all participants will be immediately screened upon arrival for symptoms by our staff. Students who show any symptoms at any point during the program will be immediately quarantined in a separate housing. Fort Mountain and our team will be implementing extra precautions including additional sanitizing of sleeping areas, eating areas, and other common areas. We will also spread out sleeping, eating, and seating arrangements.

Why do you think the Fort Mountain Cultural Transition Seminars won’t be canceled? Due do restrictions already easing in Georgia two months prior to our program, and unofficial word from the governor’s office that overnight camps will be permitted as early as June 15, we feel comfortable about the timeline. Fort Mountain has committed to being open for us unless restricted by the authorities. Additionally, our group will be the only one using the entire campground. So we will have plenty of space to spread out and “socially distance” while still being together. Finally, all of our staff has confirmed their availability.

What would cause it to be canceled at the last minute? The ONLY reason we foresee canceling these programs would be if authorities do not continue to relax restrictions allowing for groups our size (likely under 50) to meet.

Program Description

Two Great Programs! Same Great Place!

We are pleased to offer two different programs this summer at Fort Mountain Retreat Center in Chatsworth, Georgia. There will be a four day program for younger teens and a seven day program for older teens.

Interaction International and Compass Ministries are co-sponsoring the TCK Transition Seminars in this new location.

Younger Teens: for those aged 12-16 (generally those heading into grades 6-11, and especially if they will be returning overseas again to live)

Older Teens: for those aged 17-21 (Generally those who have won’t be returning overseas except for visits. We do accept students as young as 13.)

Fun Activities

We love the Fort Mountain Retreat Center and think you will too! Here are some of the free time activities that you may choose to take advantage of:


High ropes swing and climbing tower

Table tennis or foosball

The Blob (It’s basically a large airbag that will launch you into the lake!)

Hiking trails

Indoor swimming pool

Indoor basketball

Lots of quiet outlooks to journal, read or talk

And for those who attend the 7 day program

White water rafting!

See pictures on their website

Travel Arrangements

Here’s what we are offering to help you get to the program.

Driver Accommodations: We realize some may be driving in from far away and you may need a place to sleep. Or simply want a night away. There are potentially a limited number of family cabins or hotel style rooms in the lodge that may be available if you need to spend the night at drop off or pick up. Meals will need to be on your own and you won’t have access to most of the “active” recreational activities. Let us know if you are interested in this arrangement and we will confirm availability and price with Fort Mountain.

Airport Shuttles:  A shuttle will be available to pick and return students to the Chattanooga airport (CHA) in Tennessee for a $35 fee. Sorry, Atlanta is too far away and traffic is unpredictable. It is not recommended to try and use a ride-hailing company like Uber as the distance from the airport is quite far and would likely be quite expensive.

Younger Teen (4 day): Shuttle driver will be at CHA airport from 1pm to 4pm on July 29th. Return flights should depart no earlier than 2:00pm on August 1st.

Older Teens (7 day): Shuttle driver will be at CHA airport from 1pm to 4pm on August 2nd. Return flights should depart no earlier than 2:00pm on August 8th.

Meet the Team: 2020 Program Staff

Interaction Staff
  • Bret Taylor – Chaplain/teacher at West Nairobi School, Kenya (’99-’00) and MK Youth Director with Wycliffe at JAARS (’05-’19). Interaction TCK Specialist.
Compass Ministry Staff
  • Roni Lacuesta – TCK. Missionary to Colombia for 8 years, pastoral counselor and director of MK ministry of Compass
  • Vivian Lacuesta – Missionary to Colombia for 8 years, women’s coach and mentor in MK ministry for Compass
  • Spencer Clower- MK from Brazil. MK ministry coordinator and mentor for Compass.
  • Rebecca Nettles- MK from Haiti. Women’s Bible study leader and women’s mentor for MK ministry of Compass.
  • Amanda Clewis (7 day program only, not pictured)
Auxiliary Staff (not pictured)
  • Angela Warfel – MK from Burkina Faso. Toccoa Falls graduate and currently counseling direct care staff at a home for troubled boys.
  • Andrew Thomas – MK from Indonesia. Currently enrolled in Appilation State University pursuing a teaching degree.

7 day program only

  • Pete Ammerman –  Since 2010 he has been working with Ethnos360 doing member care for MKs and families including many overseas programs and several years on the Biola Transition seminar staff.
  • Jim and Lyn Wheeler (Shingledecker). Both MKs, Jim currently pastors a church in California and Lyn continues working with MKs though Wycliffe Bible Translators. Their two young kids (Trinity and Wesley) will also be joining.
  • Paul and Rachel Laskowske. Both MKs. Paul and Rachel both love investing in the MK program at Covenant College. Paul is nearly a licensed counselor and Rachel has a private counseling practice primarily for Spanish speakers. They will be bringing their foster child.

Refund Policy

Updated 5/9/2020

*NOTE on Refunds* Due to the special circumstances surrounding COVID-19, we have relaxed our refund policy for this year. If you have paid and will not be able to make it for any reason, full refunds will be issued up until June 26th and a 50% refund up until July 10th.

If we have to cancel the program due to government restrictions (or any other reason) we will offer full refunds. Those who are flying, we encourage the purchase of additional travel insurance to minimize potential risk.