top of page

Client / 

Young Life


Timeline / 

current role

Role / 

Event Coordinator,


UX Designer

Platform / 

Web (mSites),



Malibu Club in Canada

Events at a PNW paradise

Young Life's Malibu Club, one of 37 Young Life Camp properties, is located 100 miles north of Vancouver, BC. And most notably, is not accessible by car, only boat or seaplane. Facilitating a 4-day retreat for 200 - 300 adults from across the US and Canada comes with a complex array of design challenges.

I have worked for the camp, participated as a guest, and currently serve a number of groups that hold these weekend retreats in the spring and fall. This is the situation in which I found myself, understanding the viewpoints, specific desires, and nuances of organizational hierarchy of three distinct "user groups" involved in holding a successful weekend retreat.


implement low hanging fruit

Over the last 4-years, I have moved these two retreats to online registration and payment for guests and volunteers, created dedicated splash pages and email addresses for each event and creating systems to answer guest's questions from the start.

I have been able to slowly try new things as a way of testing and iterating from one event to the next.

provide guests key information

Malibu Club is in Canada, not California?

I quickly learned that you cannot assume that even if they have already purchased tickets that they know the camp is actually located in British Columbia. And even if guests are familiar with Young Life or Malibu, they may have never been in charge of transportation to/from camp.

Aside from actual driving directions, I realized guests needed a quick way to understand the complexity of how to get to the Malibu Club.

Malibu Travel_2x.png
Malibu Travel Overview

With the goal to reduce emails with repetitive questions from guests soon after completing registration, I identified key information to be included in an automated confirmation email.

Specific details in confirmation email
2019 Women's Weekend
registration confirmation email

20 years of varied processes

When I began coordinating these retreats, it was clear that over the previous 15-years, there had been minimal effort to implement technologies such as online registration, electronic consent forms, or services to support communication and continuity for guests, the camp staff, or the planning/host team.

When I started, I was given a few spreadsheets, some old example flyers, and some leftover postage from the previous year.

evaluate outstanding pain points

Complexities with the camp staff living in a remote location with limited connectivity, years of inconsistent communication, and a lot of assumptions caused a disjointed flow of information not only between the camp and my team and trickled into the communication with guests.

Streamline information flow
Minimum 1800 emails per year

One of the biggest parts of pulling off a successful event is communication. Communication with the rest of the planning team, with the camp staff, volunteers and guests. I sent and received a minimum of 1800 emails about the events in the first year, many of which were repetitive and redundant. 

2015 YL email screen shot.png
2016 Men's Weekend
Event details + registration

Based on flyers, a few brief conversations and my own previous knowledge about getting to camp, I translated the manual paper process into an online registration experience.

For those that wanted something physical to pass out, we supplied them with postcards including the basics and pointing people to the site or to get in touch with us.

Learning + iterating on the fly
2016 Men's Weekend
event details + registration

ongoing feedback and looking forward to next year

While the upside of working for a nonprofit organization is the freedom​ to try new things, the downside can be the slow pace at which systems can be more widely adopted and implemented.

With hundreds of guests at each event, Malibu Men's and Women's Weekends are never short on opinionated guests. I have used this to my advantage when looking at the next steps toward more smooth event management and priority level of problems to be solved.

bottom of page