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Preteen Trips: Participants must be at least 10-12 years old or entering the 5th grade in the fall of 2016.
Junior/Senior High Trips: Participants must be at least 12 years old or entering the 7th grade in the fall of 2016.
Because of liability reasons, under-aged participants will be sent home at their own expense (NO babies or small children). Only registered participants are permitted at the lodging facility and on project sites.
The minimum group size is one young person and one adult (21 or older) of the same gender. 19 and 20 year olds are welcome to attend as participants! They do not count as adults if they are under 21.
1 adult (21 years of age or older) is required for every 5 youth (20 years of age and under). If both boys and girls are registered in your group, you must have at least one male adult and one female adult registered.
If you have extra adults over your 1-to-5 ratio, they can be part of your group or, if staff positions are open at your location, they have the option of serving on staff without paying the registration fee. Information about staff positions can be found by clicking on Join our Team.
- Group requires that all participants 18 years of age or older be screened and background checked by your church prior to attending.
- Background checks must be multi-state and no older than two (2) years from the start of the mission trip. You choose your background check organization vendor.
- 18-20 year olds are not considered “adults” during camp, however because of our commitment to safety, we still ask them to go through your church’s screening proces
- Group requires a pastor-signed Screening and Verification Form for each 18+ participant in order for them to attend the mission trip.
- Lodging during the trip
- All meals, except for Tuesday dinner
- Site selection and organization
- Supplies and project materials for each project site
- Bible-based thematic, fun, faith-building programs
- Devotions to do before, during, and after camp
- 3 highly-trained staff plus 2 volunteers to handle the details
- An online Planning Center full of resources to help prepare you and your group for camp
- Unlimited customer support from professional and courteous staff
- Theme T-shirt and Mission Handbook for each participant
A "typical" day at a Group Week of Hope involves serving others, "God Sightings," daily devotions, and interactive worship programs. Your daily schedule will look similar to this:
3-4:00 p.m. Groups Arrive
Typical work day
6:45 a.m. Wakey! Wakey!
7:00 a.m. Breakfast, gather supplies and sack lunches
8:00 a.m. Morning program
8:30 a.m. Leave for project sites and serve
12:00 p.m. Eat lunch and do devotions with crew
3:30 p.m. (2:30 for preteens) Return to lodging
5:30 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Evening program and youth group devotions
11:00 p.m. (10 p.m. for preteens) Lights out
Tuesday is different:
For Preteens: 12:30-9 p.m. is free time and dinner is on your own.
For Jr/Sr Highers: 3:30-10 p.m. is free time and dinner is on your own.
7-9:00 a.m. Groups depart
Groups must provide transportation to and from the mission trip as well as daily to and from the sites. (Mileage or fuel costs are not reimbursed for any transportation costs.) Vehicles with a minimum capacity of six passengers are requested, with seat belts.
While adults will be driving their own vehicles, they typically will not be transporting a crew that includes their own youth members (except at Preteen camps). Typically, the youth from your group will be traveling in other vehicles with their crews.
Be ready to tackle any project and expect to interact each day with local residents from the community.
Projects could include working with children at a day camp, serving at a food bank or homeless shelter, leading a Vacation Bible School, improving the homes of people in need, assisting the elderly, tutoring struggling kids, working with disabled children, facilitating a sports camp, and/or serving churches and other human service organizations in different ways. If there are any minor repair projects, we may ask your group to bring a few small hand tools and paint brushes.
Supplies: Groups are asked to bring 1 5-gallon water jug and 1 family-size cooler on wheels for every 6 people in your group. All other supplies are typically provided, but small items may be requested if needed.
Personal Items: There is a full list in the online Planning Center, but it's pretty much what you’d expect. A twin-size air mattress and bedding for sleeping, work gloves, swimsuits, and modest clothing appropriate for a Christian mission trip.
Safety is our top priority!
- We require groups to bring 1 adult (21 or older) for every 5 participants that are under 21 years of age.
- We require participants that are 18 and older be screened and background-checked by their church. Their pastor signs off that they meet Group’s requirements and that they are approved to attend.
- Every staff member has been screened, background-checked, and reference checked by Group.
- For overall protection, we have separate shower times designated for participants that are 17 and younger from those that are 18 and older.
- We review safety procedures at camp.
- Participants are not required to do any work that they consider unsafe. No one under the age of 16 can use a power tool and no one under the age of 18 can use a power saw.
- Although we do serve in needy areas, we require work crews to stay together at all times. No one should ever be left alone and all participants are back at the lodging facility by their designated check in time.
- Group Staff visit work sites every day so they are aware of where a crew is working and any issues in the area.
- Every work crew has the direct phone number to the Group office and directions to the closest hospital. If an injury occurs on the project site, and is not serious, Group staff will contact the youth leader and coordinate any transportation needed. If the injury is serious, the adult on site will call 911 and Group staff will offer support and ensure needed medical forms are delivered to hospital. Each work crew will have a small first aid kit and a bigger one in each vehicle.
Groups are split up on six-person work crews for the work portion of each day. In most cases, this is one adult and five youth, each person from a different church. It has been our experience that when groups allow us to mix participants up to make crews, individuals develop social and leadership skills, make new friends, and develop a closer bond with their resident and their own youth group. If you have questions about this process or have specific requests, please give us a call. If needed, we can keep your group together, but still on work crews of 6 people.
Groups are assigned together (in 6-person crews) at our Preteen camps due to age.
We stay at local churches or similar facilities. Sleeping quarters may be shared with other youth groups, depending on the size of your group and size of the room. Participants need to bring twin-size air mattresses and bedding to sleep on floors. Adults are assigned to rooms with their youth group, with separate sleeping quarters for males and females.
There may not be AC, so we ask groups to bring fans with them. Showers will be available, they may be locker room style or even constructed outside of the lodging facility but always separated by gender. Please remember to bring swimsuits. Separate shower times are made for those that are 17 and younger and those that are 18 and older.
There is a sample menu on the online Planning Center. Meals will consist of breakfasts, sack lunches, and hot dinners. All meals will be prepared by participants in a rotating basis supervised by staff. Picnic-style lunches will be assembled in the mornings and brought to work sites. The last meal will be breakfast on Friday morning. IMPORTANT NOTE: Dinner is NOT provided on Tuesday.
If you have a participant that has a special diet, share the sample menu with them so they can start planning. We are unable to guarantee that there will not be cross-contamination since meals are prepared at our lodging facility by staff and participants. Participants are more than welcome to bring their own food items to fill in during the week. There will be a staff member available who will be able to answer all questions about food.
Jesus-centered. Our goal is to point people to Jesus. Programs focus on Bible passages and daily themes that challenge us to respond to Jesus in ways we will never forget.
Interactive. People learn better by doing. Participants will be involved in sharing, speaking, singing, acting,reflecting...not just sitting and watching.
Relevant. Through creative multimedia, thought provoking sound and video, and moving contemporary worship, programs are designed to reach everyone.
Fun. Relationship-building activities, games and having fun are part of every program. Expect to have a great time!
After you register by paying a $50 (non-refundable) deposit per space, there are 2 payment dates for the remaining balance due:
March 15, 2016: Half of what is remaining is due.
May 15, 2016: The final half is due.
Payments can be made online, by phone or by mail. (Note: We do offer an Early-Bird Registration where groups can hold spaces and delay paying deposits until October 31, 2015.
Call us! If there's space available in your mission trip, we'll ask for necessary payment for each additional participant. If you have exhausted all efforts to re-fill spaces and just can't, call us to make cancellations. We'll adjust your balance accordingly. If you cancel a space before May 15th, you'll just lose the $50 deposit per space. The entire fee is forfeited for any cancellations made after May 15th, 2016.
Cancellations have a huge effect on the people we serve, it is devastating news to them when we have to cancel. Based on the number of registered participants, we plan for lodging, food orders, supplies and staffing-just for starters. Not to mention, that depending on the time of year, it is simply impossible for us to re-fill cancelled spaces.
We also recognize that unexpected events happen that can pull participants away from their original commitment. Please give us a call, we are happy to talk through ideas to recruit other participants and keeping your group intact.
If there is no other option but to cancel your group, keep in mind that registration fees, less the $50 deposits per person, are refundable when you notify the Registration Team by May 15, 2016. The entire mission trip fee will be forfeited for cancellations made after May 15, 2016.
We do request modest clothing choices in our Code of Conduct. While Group Mission Trips doesn’t have a formal dress code, we serve local organizations that do have specific requirements for volunteers. Don’t be turned away from your assigned project due to inappropriate dress.
Pack plenty of t-shirts, longer shorts or pants, and tennis shoes. Also, please have your females bring a one-piece swimsuit in case they are assigned to a project site teaching a resident how to swim. Many of our partner organizations don’t allow volunteers to wear shirts with spaghetti straps, shirts that reveal the midriff, short shorts or flip flops. And, of course, no clothing with offensive language or images.
- Hospitality tasks are opportunities for participants to serve each other during the mission trip week.
- Hospitality tasks include: cleaning the cafeteria, restrooms, shower areas, and other common areas. Trash will also need to be taken out. The lodging facility will NOT have the services of a custodian.
- Participants will prepare and serve breakfast and dinner. A staff member will oversee the meal preparation, cooking, serving, and cleanup of all meals. Everyone participates!
- Meal shifts are divided into teams that will help prepare, cook, serve, and clean.
- Personal health insurance is not required to attend, although highly recommended
- If you carry personal health insurance, bring the appropriate information. It is needed if treated at any health-care facility.
- All health-care costs are the responsibility of the participants or his or her parent/guardian.
- If you have participants without adequate medical insurance and/or you desire to purchase trip protection insurance, you can purchase low-cost domestic and international insurance from any insurance provider of your choice.
Absolutely! Don't just take our word for it. Give us a call (800.644.1588) and we'd be happy to connect you with other youth leaders who have served with us.