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WORKCAMP FAQS

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Who can participate?

Senior High Trips: Participants must be at least 14 years old or entering the 9th 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.

What is the required adult to youth ratio? Can extra adults go?

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.

Are background checks required?

Yes. To provide the safest environment for young people, every participant 18 years of age and older must be screened by the church and have a current (within the last 24 months) multi-state background check, which includes a Social Security number, on file at the church.

Group Mission Trips must receive a pastor-signed Screening Verification Form for each participant (18 and older) for them to be eligible to attend (form provided in the online Planning Center).

What's the schedule?

A "typical" day at Group Workcamp involves serving others, "God Sightings," daily devotions, and interactive worship programs. Your schedule will look similar to this: 

Check-in:
Week-long Workcamps: Sunday between 12-2 p.m.
Weekend Workcamps: Friday between 2-4 p.m.

Typical 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 work crew
3:30 p.m.  Return to lodging for clean-up and free time 
5:00 p.m.  Dinner 
7:30 p.m.  Evening program and youth group devotions 
11:00 p.m. Lights out

*Wednesday at a week-long Workcamp:
12:30-7 p.m. Youth group free time, dinner is on your own. The Variety Show and Evening Program start at 7:30 p.m.

Check-out:
Week-long Workcamps: Group depart on Saturday between 7-9:00 a.m.
Weekend Workcamps: Groups depart on Monday between 1-2:00 p.m.

What transportation do we need to provide?

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. Typically, the youth from your group will be traveling in other vehicles with their crews.

Due to rough terrain and narrow roads, there are some locations that are labeled “Not Bus Accessible”. If you are serving at one of these, you’ll need to plan on renting smaller vehicles.

What will we be doing?

You and your group will provide home repairs at no cost for elderly, disabled, and disadvantaged people who need your help. Project crews typically serve the same resident for the entire trip, creating an environment where meaningful relationships develop.

Most projects are designed to be completed during the trip, allowing your group to experience the satisfaction of a job well done. You’ll serve the needs of others through projects like... interior and exterior painting, building or repairing porches and wheelchair ramps, building or repairing steps, weatherization and other home repairs. No skills are needed!

What tools and other items do we need to bring?

Tools: Each group is asked to bring painting and construction tools including rollers, gloves, hammers, circular saws, electric drills, ladders, etc. Coolers and water jugs are also needed for keeping lunch and water cold on the work site. There is a full list in the online Planning Center.

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.

What about safety?

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—appropriate work boots, gloves and goggles are recommended.
  • 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.
  • Our staff visits each work site at least twice by the time of camp and the first thing a crew will do when they arrive to their work site is check for potential safety issues.
  • 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.
  • Site Coaches and other 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 work 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.
Will our group be working together?

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.

Where do we stay?

We stay at local schools 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.

What will we eat? What if there are special dietary needs?

There is a sample menu on the online Planning Center. Meals will consist of hot breakfasts, sack lunches, and hot dinners. All meals will be prepared for you. Picnic-style lunches will be assembled in the mornings and brought to work sites. The last meal will be breakfast on Saturday morning (Monday lunch for Weekend Workcamp). IMPORTANT NOTE: At a week-long Workcamp, dinner is NOT provided on Wednesday.

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 the kitchen staff. 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.

What are the programs like?

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!

When are payment dates?

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.

What if I need to change the number of people I have registered?

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.

What if I need to cancel my entire group?

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, work materials 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.

Do participants have to have insurance?
  • 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 from any insurance provider of your choice.
Do you have references?

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.

What's included in the registration fee?
  • Lodging during the trip
  • All meals, except for Wednesday dinner at a week-long Workcamp
  • Supplies and project materials for each worksite
  • Bible-based thematic, fun, faithbuilding programs
  • Devotions to do before, during and after your trip
  • Director, MC, and up to 14 other trained staff to handle details
  • Online Planning Center full of resources to prepare your group
  • Custodian and kitchen staff for lodging cleanliness and meals
  • Site selection and organization
  • Unlimited support from professional and courteous staff
  • Theme T-shirt and Mission Handbook for each participant
What is a Challenge Camp?

The majority of a Challenge Workcamp is the same as a regular Workcamp. We do recommend prior Workcamp or construction experience for these camps because projects will be more construction intensive. Groups are asked to bring additional tools and there are more building materials purchased so Challenge Workcamps have a slightly higher price.

FIND THE MISSION TRIP THAT WORKS FOR YOU

TO TALK WITH A TRIP ADVISOR
CALL 1.800.385.4545 EXT 2


Brent, Bri, & Heidi would love to help you plan your next trip

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