We have gathered some of the best children and family ministers in the Church to present The Encounter Conference Kids Track.  Our kids do not have a mini Holy Spirit and Jesus was very clear that the Kingdom belongs to them.  The Kids track will provide a safe pastoral environment for our kids to Encounter Jesus and learn to minister in the power and love of the Holy Spirit.

Through sessions that incorporate worship, skits, themed games, crafts, presentations and activations of spiritual gifts, the Encounter Conference Kids track covers the following sessions:

Provisional Schedule of Sessions

Thursday Evening Session – Invitation to Follow Jesus (Caroline Gambale-Dirkes)

  • 5:30pm Check in Begins (Children will receive their name tags)
  • 6:30pm Session Begins
  • 9:30pm Mandatory Pick up

Friday Morning – My Sheep Hear my Voice (Monica Richards)

  • 8:30am Check in Begins
  • 9:00am Session Begins
  • 11:30 Mandatory Pick Up

Friday Evening – The Holy Spirit (Fr. Mathias Thelen)

  • 7:00pm Check in Begins
  • 7:30pm Session Begins
  • 10:00pm Mandatory Pick up

Saturday Morning – Jesus Still Heals (Patrick Reis)

  • 8:30am Check in Begins
  • 9:00am Session Begins
  • 11:30 Mandatory Pick Up

Saturday Night – Prayer Ministry (Caroline Gambale-Dirkes)

  • 7:00pm Check in Begins
  • 7:30pm Session Begins
  • 10:00pm Mandatory Pick up (children can go back to the main hall with their parents if they like)

Caroline Gambale-Dirkes

Kids Track Emcee

Caroline is a pioneer of multi-generational ministry through 2Tim4 Ministries, which she co-founded with her husband Dan. Together they have successfully led childrens ministry events that help kids live in the fullness that God wants for them.

Encounter Kids Track Presenters

Fr. Mathias Thelen


Fr. Mathias is the president of Encounter Ministries. He has a great love for God's children and believes that God wants to powerfully impact this generation of children to advance the impact of the New Evangelization for the Kingdom.

Patrick Reis


Patrick Reis is the director of Encounter Ministries and has been passionate about pioneering what Catholic families ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit look like. His family regularly ministers together and he has gained a great deal of wisdom and understanding in how to teach children to use their spiritual gifts to build up their families, friends and the Church!

Dan Dirkes

Children's Music Minister

Dan Dirkes has been involved in Youth Ministry and Music Ministry in a variety of different roles since 1997. A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Dan’s background in leading worship has been influenced by his involvement in the Word of God Covenant Community, Renewal Ministries, Christ the King Catholic Church and LIFE TEEN, Inc. Together he will be leading working with his wife Caroline to lead the Kids in worship and adoration as they grow in this transforming time together.

Kids Track FAQs

What age and maturity level is expected from a child attending the Kid’s Track?

The Kids Track is designed for children ages 6-12. Because the evening sessions will end at 10pm, please thoughtfully consider whether your younger children will have the stamina and focus to attend these sessions and also will not be too exhausted to attend morning sessions the following day.

When and where are the Kids Track Sessions?

The Encounter Kids Track Sessions happen during the Morning and General Sessions in the Ballroom.  The Ballroom is located in the attached Radisson Hotel.

What safe environment regulations are in place?

All volunteers have been through the Virtus safe environment training and have received a backround check.

How does check in and check out work?

Upon purchase of a ticket, you will receive a custom ticket for your child that includes a QR code.  The parent/guardian must physically check their child in for each session.  At the entrance, the Kids Track staff will scan your QR code and welcome the child.  Children are not permitted to leave the Kids Track Sessions until the pick up time.  At the pick up time, the parent/guardian must come back with the ticket and bring it to the staff.  The staff will then scan the QR code and after a successful scan will call the child over the PA system to be dismissed.  If a parent loses their ticket with QR code, they must go to the Registration Desk, show their ID and have a new ticket printed.

What happens if my child melts down during the Kids Track?

In the event that a child becomes distressed and inconsolable during a Kids Session, a staff member will attempt to call the cell phone number provided for the primary parent/guardian and parents should keep their phone on vibrate during the general session.  If the staff cannot contact the parent, they will escort them to the general session and locate the parent.

What does my child do during the afternoon breakout sessions?

The afternoons are comprised of 2 breakout sessions and a Mass and they will be with you during those times.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: December 27 or until tickets are sold out.



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26 April 2019
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