Grand Rapids Michigan

Spending a week in Grand Rapids will remind you of why Michigan is called the Great Lake State.

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Price $468 per person
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Grand Rapids Home Repair

42.9633599, -85.6680863

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Overview

Age Group
Senior High (14+)
Capacity
400
Bus Accessible?
Yes

Experience living out your Catholic faith at Group Catholic Workcamps. Group Catholic Workcamps is planned and led by trained Catholic youth ministry professionals. All programming is designed to connect your service and justice activities to your relationship with Jesus. Develop a deeper love for your catholic faith by getting outside of your comfort zone and encountering Jesus through meaning home repair and interactive worship, prayer, and liturgy. You’ll be amazed how much transformation happens in one week! 

Spending a week in Grand Rapids will remind you of why Michigan is called the Great Lake State. The city sits on the Grand River and is only 25 miles east of Lake Michigan. Home of the internationally renowned Art Prize, the community is rich in art and culture with sculptures and museums throughout the city. Grand Rapids offers a big city feeling with the warmth of a small town. 

Even though it’s easy to see the beauty of Grand Rapids, the city did not survive the nation’s recession untouched. Living in one of the cities hit hardest by the economic problems, the people of Grand Rapids have struggled through failed industries and unemployment. 

There is a shortage of affordable housing and in comparison, to the other areas in town, there is a lack of investment in the lower income neighborhoods. 

Dates and Pricing

Date Availability Age Price (per person) Register Save Trip
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AvailableCall for Availability
Senior High (14+) $468 Register
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Lodging

Participants will stay in an *air-conditioned facility (no a/c in sleeping rooms) with open and private showers. Everyone will be sleeping on floors, gender-separate so bring your air-mattresses too.  *Subject to change.

How You’ll Serve

How You'll Serve

You’ll be working throughout the city to do various home repairs projects for residents. At the Grand Rapids, MI Catholic Workcamp, your group will demonstrate Jesus’ love and compassion in tangible ways, serving real people in need while working on projects like… 

  • Building wheelchair ramps and handrails 
  • Weatherizing homes and trailers 
  • Reconstructing sagging porches 
  • Significant painting projects 
  • Interior and exterior carpentry 
  • Other home repair projects that the homeowner cannot otherwise complete 

Our Partners

A group of people experienced with Group Workcamps, including the Diocese of Grand Rapids, have come together in Grand Rapids to help those most in need in terms of housing for residents. Their goal is to make Grand Rapids the best place it can be for the community and the people. 

Schedule

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

Sunday
12-2pm
Check-in
3pm
First program, followed by the Adult Meeting
5-6:30pm
Dinner
7pm
Evening Program, meet your crew, project assignments, Mass.
8:30pm
Youth group devotions
11pm
Lights-out
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
6:45am
Wake-up call!
7am
Breakfast, gather tools, fill water jugs, pack lunches.
8am
Morning program and then depart for work sites!
12pm
On-site lunch and devotions
3:30pm
Return to lodging for clean-up, progress report, and free time
5-6:30pm
Dinner
7:30pm
Evening program, Mass incorporated
8:30pm
Youth group devotions
11pm
Lights-out (midnight Friday)
Wednesday
6:45am-12pm
Same schedule as Tuesday
12:30pm
Check-in at lodging facility, youth group free time, dinner on your own
7:30pm
Program with variety show, Mass incorporated
8:30pm
Youth group devotions
11pm
Lights-out
Saturday
7-8am
Breakfast
7-9am
Room check-out, groups depart

Program

An Experience, Like No Other

Together with our partners, the Capuchin Franciscan Friars, we’ve created a program that provides a uniquely Catholic Workcamp experience. Throughout the week we will unpack the glory of Sacramental life through the Catholic Workcamp program.

Some notable programming pieces include liturgy that will be celebrated in conjunction with the program, highlighted by a welcome Mass on Sunday evening and a closing celebration Mass on Friday evening. There will also be opportunities for Adoration during the week.

At Group Catholic Workcamps, up to 400 participants enjoy high-impact interactive programs that incorporate games, music, Scripture, video, hands-on activities, prayer, liturgy, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Group Catholic Workcamps is led by trained Catholic youth ministry professionals and religious brothers and priests. All programming is designed to connect your teenagers’ service and justice activities to their relationship with Christ and their Catholic faith. 

Our program theme is woven throughout the whole mission trip experience to boost your faith through Scripture, discussion, and devotions.

5 Spiritual Touch-Points

  • Morning Programs 
  • Crew Devotions
  • Evening Programs
  • Youth Group Devotions
  • Daily Liturgy
2021 Program Theme

This summer at Group Mission Trips your group will experience a fresh look at the idea of worth through the parable of the prodigal son.

Through each powerful, transformational mission trip experience, your group will see how Jesus wants each of us to know we are valuable, loved, accepted, and worth it to him.

Learn More

Area Activities

There is a mall in Grandville, River Town Crossings, that includes a movie theater and lots of dining options. Grandville is about 15 minutes from Grand Rapids, which is about 40 minutes away from Lake Michigan. Also located about an hour and a half away is Michigan's Adventure amusement and water park.

Oval Beach is known as one of America’s top beaches. The beaches are also surrounded by white sand dunes; check out the family owned and operated Saugatuck Dune Rides

If you would rather stay a bit closer to Grand Rapids, check out The Mitten Brewing Company which is said to have the best specialty pizza around. It is a vintage baseball-themed microbrewery/pizzeria with a focus on community involvement and charitable giving. It is also located in one of the city’s Victorian masterpieces that they renovated and restored to its former glory.

FAQs

What about COVID-19 safety precautions?

Our goal is do our best to ensure the safety of participants, local partners, and members of the communities we serve. We are in contact with our partners in each community and working to make sure we provide the safest environment and follow all local guidelines when it comes time for camp next summer. As we get more specific details and plans, we will be sure to share them with you and your group. In the meantime, you may refer to this list of precautions we are currently evaluating: COVID-19 Precautions

Who can participate?

We offer trips for senior high students. Participants who are at least 14 years old or entering 9th grade in the fall of the same year as your trip can attend Catholic Workcamps. 

  • Due to liability, under-aged participants will be sent home at their own expense (NO babies or any children under the required age).
  • Only registered participants are permitted at the lodging facility and on the project sites.
  • No special skills are required.
  • 19 or 20 year olds are welcome to attend as participants! Remember that only those that are 21 or older will be considered “adults” at camp and count in your 1 adult to 5 youth required ratio. 
Will our group be working together?

Participants are placed on crews of six people- generally one adult and five youth- each person from a different parish. We will work with you and your Diocesan policies and protocols. If that means your group needs to stay together on crews, we will work with you to make sure we fulfill your needs. Call your Mission Trip Advisor with any questions.

Is there a required adult to youth ratio? Can extra adults go?

Yes, you must have 1 adult (21 years of age or older) 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 for supervision at night. 

  • 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 on GroupMissionTrips.com under About Us and Join Our Team.
Are background checks required?

Yes, Group Mission Trips is committed to providing a safe camp environment, so we require all camp participants who are 18 or older (yes, even students) to complete a national background check or to be in compliance with your Diocesan safe environment protocols and have a pastor’s digital signature on our Screening and Verification Form.

  • Background checks must be national and no older than two (2) years from the start of the mission trip.
  • 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 process and have background checks run.
  • Group Mission Trips requires a digital pastor signature on our Screening and Verification Form for every 18+ participant in order for them to attend the mission trip.
  • You may use any organization to run your background checks, but if you are looking for a reliable one, we recommend Clear Investigative Advange. Their basic background checks start at just $12. They can be reached at 1.888.242.2503.
Do you follow safe environment protocols?

Yes. We strive to follow all aspects of the Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. We will also work with you and your Diocesan policies to make sure everyone at Group Catholic Workcamps is safe. Please contact us with any questions. 

What about transportation?
  • Groups must provide transportation to and from the mission trip as well as daily to and from the sites.
  • All vehicles must be available for transportation 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 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 bringing smaller vehicles.
What's the schedule?

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

Check-in: Sunday between 12-2 p.m.

3 p.m First program, followed by the Adult Meeting
5 p.m. Dinner
7 p.m. Evening Program, everyone will get to meet their work crews!
8:30 p.m. Youth group devotions
11 p.m. Lights out

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday:
6:45 a.m. Rise and shine! 
7:00 a.m. Breakfast, gather supplies and sack lunches
8:00 a.m. Morning program and then depart for work sites!
12:00 p.m. On-site lunch and devotions
3:30 p.m. Return to lodging for clean-up and free time
5:00 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Evening program
8:30 p.m. Youth group devotions
11:00 p.m. Lights out

Wednesday:
Same schedule as the other days until 12:30 p.m.
12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Youth groups have free time (dinner is on their own)
7:30 p.m. The Variety Show and Evening Program starts.
8:30 p.m. Youth group devotions
11:00 p.m. Lights out

Check-out: Saturday by 9:00 a.m.

Liturgy Schedule:
4 p.m. Monday
7 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday
8:15 p.m. Wednesday and Friday

What will we be doing?

Your participants 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, post hole diggers, electric drills, ladders, etc. A cooler and water jug is also needed for every 6 people--these keep lunch and water cold for participants on their work site. The full Tool List is located online for every registered group on their Group Page.

Personal Items:
The full Packing List is also located online for every registered group on their Group Page, but it’s pretty much what you’d expect. A twin-size air mattress and bedding for sleeping, water jugs and coolers for lunches, work gloves, and modest swimsuits and clothing appropriate for a Catholic 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 our requirements and that they are approved to attend.
  • Every staff member has been screened, background-checked, and reference checked by Group Mission Trips.
  • 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 closed-toe shoes, gloves and goggles are recommended.
  • Participants are not required to do any work that they consider unsafe. Participants may be using a drill for screws, but no one under the age of 16 can use a power tool or drill for drilling holes. 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 Mission Trips 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 GMT office and directions to the closest hospital. If an injury occurs on the work site, and is not serious, GMT staff will contact the youth leader and coordinate any transportation needed. If the injury is serious, the adult on site will call 911 and GMT 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.
Where do we stay?

A Catholic Workcamp can hold up to 400 participants and we house them all typically at a middle or high school. Group Mission Trips' staff transforms the facility into a home away from home–there will be a separate boy’s hall and girl’s hall, a cafeteria for meals, adequate bathrooms and showers, and either a gym or auditorium for programs.

Participants need to bring twin-size air mattresses, pillows, sleeping bags or other bedding to sleep on classroom floors. Youth groups are assigned to sleeping rooms together, gender separate. Sleeping rooms may be shared with other youth groups, depending on the size of groups and the size of the room.

Registered groups can see more information about their lodging facility online on their Group Page under the General Lodging tab. Trip Leaders are given the lodging facility’s address.

What's the menu? What if there are special dietary needs?

Meals will consist of hot breakfasts, picnic-style lunches, and hot dinners. All meals will be prepared for participants by kitchen staff. Picnic-style lunches will be assembled in the mornings and brought to work sites. The first provided meal is dinner on Sunday and the last meal is breakfast on Saturday. IMPORTANT NOTE: Dinner is NOT provided on Wednesday. Youth groups have free time this day and dinner is on their own.

For registered groups: If you have a participant that has to eat gluten-free--please let us know. We can have a few gluten free options at camp but need to have an accurate number to plan for. The sample menu is located on Your Group Page under the Schedule, Menu, and Packing tab. Share this with your participants so they can start planning. Participants with special diets or allergies are welcome to bring their own food items to fill in as needed during the week. Please know that we do have peanut butter on the menu. Group Mission Trips is unable to guarantee there will not be any cross-contamination during meal preparation by kitchen staff. There will be a staff member available at camp who will be able to answer any questions about food. Click here for a visual on accommodations for dietary restrictions. 

What are the programs like?

Focused on Jesus. Our goal with Group Catholic Workcamps 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 liturgies and prayer, 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:

March 15, 2021: Half of what is remaining is due.

May 15, 2021: The final balance is due.

Payments can be made:

  • Online
  • By Phone: 1-844-258-9616
  • By Mail:
    Group Mission Trips
    1001-A E Harmony Rd
    #459
    Fort Collins, CO 80525
What if I need to add or cancel a space?

Call us! If there’s space available in your camp, we’ll ask for necessary payment. If you have a cancellation, and you’ve exhausted all efforts to re-fill spaces, call us to make cancellations. We’ll adjust your balance accordingly. 1-844-258-9616

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. Also, depending on the time of year, sometimes it’s simply impossible for us to re-fill cancelled spaces.

We recognize that unexpected events happen that can pull participants away from their original commitment. Give us a call, we are happy to talk through ideas to recruit other participants and keep your group intact.

If there is no other option but to cancel your group, call us by May 15th to let us know.

What's included in the registration fee?

We want your trip to be as easy on you as possible. That's why we provide the following so you don't have to:

  • Lodging during the week
  • All meals, except for dinner on Wednesday
  • Supplies and project materials for each work site
  • Bible-based, fun, Jesus-centered programs
  • Comprehensive safety training
  • Highly trained, mission-minded staff
  • Online Group Page with forms, promotion materials, advice, and more
  • Fundraising ideas and support
  • Work site selection and organization
  • Unlimited customer support from professional and courteous staff
  • Mission Trip handbook for each participant (a personal devotion book and guide for the week)
  • Themed T-shirt for each participant
What if someone has to leave early or arrive late?

We ask that all participants arrive on time and stay for the entire time. Every part of the program is valuable and helps guarantee a life-changing experience. We really try not to make too many exceptions to this because it does affect other participants, residents, and work projects. Please check the schedule and make travel arrangements accordingly. Contact us if a situation arises.

Do participants need 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 I can talk to?

Absolutely! Don't just take our word for it. Give us a call at 1-844-258-9616 and we'd be happy to connect you with other youth leaders who have served with us.

How do I get a printed version of the FAQs?

Click HERE for a downloadable version.

When FAQs open you can right-click your mouse and save them to your computer or print them.

Payment Policy

Our payment policy is designed to give you the most flexibility when reserving your mission trip experience with Group Mission Trips.

  • Register June-October: Deposit of $50 per person is due October 31, 2020.
  • Register November-March 15, 2021: Deposit of $50 per person is due upon registration.
  • Register March 15, 2020-May 15, 2021: Deposit of $50 per person plus 50% of your group’s balance is due upon registration.
  • Register after May 15, 2021: Your entire balance is due.**

 

**Deposits are non-refundable. Registration fees are in U.S. dollars and can be paid by check, money order, or credit card.

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We've worked with many of our local partners for years and serve on each of these trips ourselves so we have tons of information to share with you. If you'd like to request more information about this location, please fill out the form below and one of our Trip Advisors will get back to you as soon as possible.

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