One local resident describes Vandalia as a “quaint small town with kind people.” And that pretty much says it all. Once the state capitol, Vandalia is surrounded by lush farmland. It’s a glimpse into America’s past—an easy-going place where people stop to chat on the street, and strangers are never strangers for long. It’s a comfortable place, a place where your group will quickly feel right at home.
You’ll serve in Vandalia and other even smaller towns in the area, perhaps on some of the area’s many local farms. The people in need include elderly folks who can no longer physically maintain their homes themselves, the “working poor” people who struggle to make ends meet in low-paying jobs, and men and women who have lost hope in the "American dream." You’ll change lives as you answer Jesus’s call to serve.
The town of Vandalia is joining forces with several other surrounding towns and local churches to reach out to their needy neighbors with God’s love. You can count on being welcomed by the entire community!
Vandalia is a place where people know how to have fun! One thing you have to see is the Kaskaskia Dragon. It’s a huge metal beast with a 16-foot neck. Insert a special “dragon coin” (available at some local businesses) and watch the dragon breathe fire!
There’s also the Madonna of the Trail—a memorial to the pioneer women of the covered wagon days. Catch some rays at the beach on Vandalia Lake, or just kick back in Lincoln Park, not far from the school.
|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.
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.
Yes, group requires that all participants 18 years of age or older be screened and background checked by their church prior to attending.
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.
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.
4 p.m. Monday
7 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday
8:15 p.m. Wednesday and Friday
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!
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.
Each group is asked to bring painting and construction tools including rollers, gloves, hammers, circular saws, post hold 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.
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.
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 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.
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 are going to have a few gluten free options at camp this year and need to have an accurate number. 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 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.
Jesus-centered. 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!
After you register by paying a $50 (non-refundable) deposit per space, there are 2 payment dates for the remaining balance:
March 15, 2018: Half of what is remaining is due.
May 15, 2018: The final balance is due. (All payments are non-refundable after this date.)
Payments can be made here online, by phone, or by mail.
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. If you cancel a space before May 15th, 2018 you’ll just lose the $50 deposit. The entire fee is forfeited for cancellations made after May 15th, 2018.
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. Please 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, keep in mind that registration fees, less the $50 deposits per person, are refundable when you notify the Registration Team by May 15, 2018. The entire mission trip fee will be forfeited for cancellations after May 15th, 2018.
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:
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.
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.