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Peer Advocate Leader
(PAL) Application

What do PALs do?

   Peer Advocate Leaders (PALs) work closely with the Youth Program Manager to plan and implement Youth CONs. Training includes discussions of group facilitation skills, conflict resolution techniques, program development, and intersectionality as we strive to plan CONs that are truly welcoming to all. Planning includes selecting a theme for each CON and hammering out the details of workshops and other activities. During CONs, PALs co-lead workshops, activities, and focus groups of 8-10 participants. 


   PALs are youth ages 14-18. Youth empowerment has always been at the heart of CONs. PAL Mentors are ages 18+. Often, they attended CONs as youth and return as adults to ensure that youth have the same opportunity for life-enriching experiences and community building as they had.

   A Fall & Spring commitment is preferrable, but it is possible to be a PAL for just one season. PALs must be available for the PAL Training/CON Planning weekend and at least two of the three CONs of the seasons they apply to. COVID vaccination is strongly encouraged; adherence to COVID protocols (such as masking) as determined by the Youth Program Manager is mandatory. PAL Mentors must complete a background check. PALs do not need to be accompanied by an advisor to attend PAL Training/CON Planning or any CONs.

AFTER your application has been approved, please register for the CON. In our registration system - select Youth CON.

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​Benefits to being a PAL:

  • Excellent opportunity to hone your organizational, interpersonal, and leadership skills

  • Can be counted towards volunteer hours or internship hours (this position is unpaid), excellent resume builder

  • Programming, meals, and housing provided free of charge for every weekend you are at The Mountain as a PAL 

  • Build meaningful relationships with fellow PALs, youth, advisors, and Mountain Staff


   Our Youth Program Manager, Catherine Zenaida (she/her), is very excited to be facilitating Mountain CONs this year! As a youth, she attended, planned, and led numerous CONs in Florida. If you have any questions or accessibility needs to discuss, please contact her at

Items of Note: 

The Mountain’s Youth Protection Policy requires a background check for anyone age 18 and over working with youth. Each PAL Mentor MUST go through a background check to participate in Youth CONs. See the steps below.

  • Download the Authorization for Consumer Report (PDF)

  • Print the form

  • Complete all the information

  • Sign

  • Send to Youth Program Director via 

  • Mail:

P.O. Box 1299

Highlands, NC 28741

Youth Protection Policy

The Mountain recognizes the importance of fostering and creating communities where everyone, especially our most vulnerable populations such as children and youth, are protected.

We seek to preserve that spirit of welcome, respect, and trust in balance with our concern for the safety of our children, applying the test of “reasonable precaution” to any policies or guidelines we adopt. We further acknowledge that institutions operating in the best possible manner with all due concern still cannot guarantee an absolutely risk-free setting.

In this spirit, we adopt this policy statement and apply it to all events conducted under the purview of The Mountain.

Read The Mountain’s Youth Protection Policy

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