Workcamps are high-energy and action-packed, yet powerful and life-changing. The camps are big: Sometimes upwards of 450 youth participate, creating lots of energy and excitement throughout the entire week. Prices to attend Workcamp range from $399 to $469 per person, depending on the location. CLICK to discover what's included in your registration. CLICK here to view a "typical" day.
At Workcamps, teenagers come together to serve individuals and communities while building strong, long-lasting relationships with their friends and youth leaders. In six short days, hundreds of students from youth groups across the country repair and transform homes—and strengthen and transform their own faith.
One way their faith gets built is through daily challenges to do something they may not have done before: painting a house, using a chop saw or drill, or doing some other task that can make students feel a little uncomfortable and vulnerable—exactly where God can speak to them.
Workcamps began in 1977 as a home repair project in Loveland, Colorado, in response to the tragic flood of the Big Thompson River the previous year. In July 1976, more than 12 inches of rain fell within three hours near Estes Park, overflowing and flooding the river. Ultimately, the river became a raging wall of water that destroyed hundreds of houses, washed away miles of roads, and killed more than 140 people—the worst natural disaster in Colorado history.
After that flood, Thom Schultz, founder of Group Publishing, asked church youth groups from across the country to come to Colorado and help rebuild the homes and lives of the flood’s victims. Over 300 youth and their adult leaders responded, working on more than 50 home repair projects.
And so the first Workcamps experience was born. Thom saw a dramatic change in the hearts of youth and adults serving the flood’s victims, and realized that the challenge of helping others in need could ignite and strengthen the Christian faith of teenagers and adults.
Since then, about 300,000 people have participated in a Group Mission Trips experience—logging more than 6 million volunteer hours. These participants have gained a new understanding and deeper faith in Jesus by serving others.
The mission opportunities keep growing, and the same passion that prompted Thom Schultz to launch the first Workcamps continues to help teenagers from all different Christian denominations grow closer to God and take on the challenge of service by helping people in need.
Be sure to keep reading for More Details to help with your mission experience.
You will need to provide transportation for your group to and from your mission trip location. Also, during your mission trip, vehicles you bring will be used to provide daily transportation to and from project sites. Please ensure the number of seats and seatbelts in your vehicles match the number of people you bring on the trip. Vehicles with at least six seats and seatbelts are preferred. If you bring a large bus or charter bus, it must be available daily for transportation to and from sites. Not all locations can accommodate buses. If your location cannot accommodate a bus, it will be designated in the description.
A total of 16 meals will be provided during the trip, beginning with dinner on Sunday evening. Meals will consist of hot breakfasts, sack lunches, and hot dinners. All meals will be prepared for you by lodging facility staff. Picnic-style lunches will be put together in the morning and you'll bring these with you to your project site locations when you depart in the morning. The last meal will be breakfast on Saturday morning. IMPORTANT NOTE: Dinner will NOT be provided on Wednesday. Youth groups will have free time that afternoon.
You will lodge at a local school, community center, church or similar facility. Accommodations will include areas for groups to room together by gender, a common eating area, and a program area. Plan to sleep on the floor (so bring a single size air mattress). Showers will be available; however, they may be indoor showers (locker room style) or they may be outdoor semi-private, temporary showers. PLEASE, make sure everyone in your group brings a swimming suit to be prepared for any showering situation. The facilities may or may not be air-conditioned, so plan accordingly. You might want to bring a small fan. Pay phones may be available; however, there will always be an emergency phone onsite. Also, although cell phone service may be limited in some areas, feel free to bring your cell.
Cleanup: Facility staff prepares and cleans-up all meals and cleans the lodging facility.
Register As: A group (minimum of one youth and one adult, age 21+, of the same gender)
Adult/Youth Ratio: You need to bring a minimum of one crew adult leader age 21+ for every five youth. If you register both males and females, bring at least one adult male and one adult female age 21 or over. Adults serve on project crews with young people.
Criminal Background Check: 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 signed Screening and Verification form for each participant (18 and older) for them to be eligible to attend (form provided in the online Planning Center).
Nature of Projects: You and your group will provide home repairs at no cost for elderly, disabled, and disadvantaged people that need your help. Project crews typically serve the same resident for the entire week, creating an environment where meaningful relationships develop. And, most projects are designed to be completed during the week, 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.
Project Crew Structure: Typically, you’ll work at a home in small teams helping someone who needs — and appreciates — your help. Groups are typically split up on six-member crews for the work portion of each day. In most cases, this is one adult and five youth, each from a different church. This gives participants the opportunity to interact with other Christians from around the country. If being split up is a problem for your group, please give your registration team a call, so we can keep you together with people from your own group. At our Preteen trips, church groups will be kept together on crews because of their age. Groups will be split into six-person crews.
You’ll applaud the daily programs and devotions. Along with hundreds of other people, you’ll experience high-impact, interactive programs with music, Scripture, video, drama, and hands-on activities...led by a trained youth ministry professional and a song leader. Programs are carefully designed by the youth ministry experts at Group Magazine (the most widely read youth ministry publication) to help you shape your group’s service experience into a spiritual growth experience.
We’ve got you well-covered with a trip Director, Program Leader, Worship Leader, and up to 14 additional trained staff to handle project materials, project assignments, office tasks, program multi-media, project site coaching…and more. Additional adults in your group (beyond the 5-to-1 ratio), may apply online for a volunteer position. If chosen as a volunteer staff member, your registration fee is waived. Many of our staff serve year-after-year because they have a heart to minister to church groups.
WHAT TO BRING:
Tools and Supplies: Each group must bring supplies such as ladders, painting supplies, and construction tools including circular saws, electric drills, hammers, etc. Your online Planning Center will provide a full list of what to bring.
Personal Items: Your online Planning Center will provide a full list of what to bring. It’s pretty much what you’d expect—including a twin-size air mattress or foam pad for sleeping, water jugs and coolers, work gloves, sunscreen, and modest clothing appropriate for a Christian mission trip.
Deposit Amount: Per person deposits of $50 are required to reserve space, and are non-refundable. Forfeited deposits can’t be transferred to an account balance or to another group. However, forfeited deposits can be used to add a new participant to your group. Registration fees are in U.S. dollars and can be paid by check, money order, or credit card. Payment can be made online, by phone or by mail.
Early Bird Option: Early Bird Registration lets you delay the per person deposit until September 30th, 2013. Registration fees are in U.S. dollars and can be paid by check, money order, or credit card.
Payment Dates: Because fundraisers can’t all happen at the same time, we’ve broken the registration fee into a deposit and two payments. 50% of your group’s balance is due March 15, 2014, and the balance is due May 15, 2014. Registration fees are in U.S. dollars and can be paid by check, money order, or credit card.
Cancellation: Deposits are non-refundable. Forfeited deposits can be used to add a new participant to your group, however, they can’t be transferred to an account balance or to another group. Registration fees, less deposits, are refundable when cancelled at least 30 days before the start of your trip. The entire camp fee will be forfeited for cancellations less than 30 days from the start of your camp. In order to open spaces for other church groups, missed payment dates will result in automatic cancellation of spaces and forfeiture of deposits.
Travel Insurance: We recommend participants have sufficient medical insurance and that he or she bring their insurance card with them. If you have participants without adequate medical insurance and/or if you desire to purchase trip protection insurance, you can purchase low-cost domestic and international insurance online through our insurance partner...or you can purchase it from another insurance provider of your choice.