Explore the mountain world of the Mescalero people. High above the barren New Mexico desert is the cool, pine-forested mountain homeland of the Mescalero Apache. Historically a nomadic group of hunter/gatherers who roamed across the Southwest, the Apache were well-known for their staunch defense of their lands. And thanks to respected warriors like Geronimo and Cochise, their descendants now live on this land sacred to them, surrounded by their four Sacred Mountains.
For years, Group Mission Trips has partnered directly with the Mescalero tribe to serve their respected elders. You and your students will be part of a long-term, sustainable ongoing project to protect the health and safety of people who are looking forward to getting to know you. Like many Native American people, the Mescalero hold a deep respect for their elders—and consider taking care of the elderly to be of the utmost importance. You will be welcome here—everyone on whose home you will be working will have asked specifically for your help.
This will be an awesome opportunity to explore a rich native culture where many people still hunt for food. Once they get to know you, most residents will be happy to answer your questions, or teach you a bit of their history. Plus you’ll have a chance to learn about a traditional ceremony!
The school where you will be staying is awesome! Big, bright, modern, and surrounded by a pine forest. And plenty of showers!
Like many Native American people, the Mescalero hold a deep respect for their elders—and consider taking good care of the elderly to be of utmost importance. For that reason, you will most likely be working on the homes of older people.
The repairs your group will be doing are needed to preserve the life of the structures there, as well as provide for the health and safety of the residents. Projects like porches, sturdy steps, wheelchair ramps, and painting to protect the siding.
Our partners are awesome, caring people with whom we at Group work closely with to serve the people of their community while giving you and your kids an unforgettable experience in faith and cultural exchange.
We connect directly with an entity of the Mescalero tribe, with the local people themselves, rather than some outside organization. Our partners work every day to provide safe and decent housing for their neighbors, and this Workcamp is part of a long-term, sustainable, ongoing project to build up the community.
For stuff to do in the area, either on Wednesday afternoon or before/after the Workcamp, the town of Ruidoso is just off the reservation. It’s a delightful little mountain tourist town, with lots of restaurants and unique shops. You can learn more at www.discoverruidoso.com.
Head down the mountain the other way to the larger desert town of Alamogordo. There are restaurants there and a Wal-Mart, etc. Just beyond Alamogordo lies White Sands National Monument—a fascinating world of white sand dunes with some short hiking trails. Learn more at www.nps.gov/whsa.
Between Mescalero and Alamogordo is the charming small village of Tularosa and just beyond Tularosa are a couple of pistachio farms with shops open to the public—one even offers tours!
For a longer trip, either before or after the Workcamp, consider visiting the town of Roswell where, supposedly, the remains of a crashed alien spacecraft (and its occupants!) were brought back in 1947. The Roswell UFO Museum and Research Center is a definite must!
|Price:||$464 per person|
|Deposit:||$50 per person|
|50% of Remaining Balance Due:||March 15, 2018|
|Full Balance Due:||May 15, 2018|
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We offer trips for senior high students. Participants who are at least 14 years old or entering 9th grade in the fall of 2018 can attend Catholic Workcamps. No special skills are required.
You must have one adult (21 or older) for every five students. If you have both males and females in your group, you must have at least one adult volunteer of each gender. The minimum group size is one young person and one adult of the same gender.
If you have extra adults over your 1 to 5 adult 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.
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 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 process and have background checks run.
Group requires a pastor-signed Screening and Verification Form for each 18+ participant in order for them to attend the mission trip.
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.
You need to provide transportation for your group to and from your mission trip. The vehicles you bring are used to provide daily transportation to and from project sites. If you intend to bring a large bus, call us first to be sure your trip location can accommodate it.
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: 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
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.
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!
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 a water jug are also needed for every 6 people--these keep lunch and water cold for participants while they are on their work sites. The full Tool List is located online for every registered group on their Group Page, under the Schedule, Menu, Packing tab.
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, work gloves, modest swimsuits, and modest clothing appropriate for a Christian mission trip.
Groups are typically placed into six-person crews for the work portion of each day. In most cases, this is one adult and five youth, each person from a different church. When groups allow us to intersperse participants into crews, individuals develop social and leadership skills, make new friends, and develop a closer bond with their own group. Please give us a call with any questions or special requests regarding work crews.
Safety is our top priority!
A Workcamp can hold up to 400 participants and we house them all typically at a middle or high school. Group 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 the programs.
Participants need to bring air mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows and 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 in their online Planning Center.
Registered groups are given a sample menu online on their Group Page under the Schedule, Menu, Packing tab. Meals will consist of hot breakfasts, sack lunches, and hot dinners. All meals will be prepared for participants. Picnic-style lunches will be assembled in the mornings and brought to work sites. The last meal will be breakfast on Saturday morning. IMPORTANT NOTE: Dinner is NOT provided on Wednesday (except for Navajo Mountain UT, Busby MT, and St Francis SD), youth groups have free time this day and dinner is on their own.
If you have a participant that has a special diet or allergy, share the sample menu with them so they can start planning. Please know that we do have peanut butter on the menu as an option and we are unable to guarantee that there will not be any cross-contamination during the preparation of the meals by kitchen staff. Participants are more than welcome to bring their own food items to fill in as needed during the week. There will be a staff member available who will be able to answer any and 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, 2017: Half of what is remaining is due.
May 15, 2017: The final half is due.
Payments can be made online, by phone or by mail.
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:
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, 2017.
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, 2017. The entire mission trip fee will be forfeited for cancellations made after May 15, 2017.
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 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.
All trips are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early. However, if you register for a trip that's full, we'll give you a choice: Join the waiting list for your first choice, or register for your second-choice location. Call us. We're eager to help!
Absolutely! Don't just take our word for it. Give us a call (1-800-385-4545) and we'd be happy to connect you with other youth leaders who have served with us.