Week of Hope

Week of Hope is packed with practical acts of love and service. Students build meaningful connections as they serve people through our strong partnerships with local ministries and nonprofit organizations. They'll learn Christ-like empathy and compassion for others as they meet the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of disadvantaged children, youth, and adults.

As students serve in the name of Jesus, they’ll develop friendships with the people being served, with other teams, with their own youth group, and, most importantly, with Jesus. Denominational differences disappear as like-minded youth work together for a common purpose.

  • boyDogpile-min.jpg
  • boyHairnet-min.jpg
  • girlDowns-min.jpg
  • girlLady-min.jpg
  • girlMan-min.jpg
  • girlWhellbarrow-min.jpg
  • wohCrew-min.jpg

Include Preteens in Serving

In addition to our Week of Hope experiences for junior and senior high students, we offer Preteen Week of Hope. There is no such thing as “too young to make a difference.” Research suggests that by the time kids are 13, their basic value systems are set for life. That’s why we specially designed Preteen Week of Hope for your middle school students, ages 10-12. From the programs and devotions to the projects, Preteen Week of Hope meets younger students right where they are for a life-changing experience.

Reach Out With Local Partners

 Week of Hope meets the needs of all age groups—wherever those needs exist. Projects might include: providing meals to the homeless, tutoring struggling children from low-income families, helping to lead a day camp for kids, working with disabled children, or sharing stories with a lonely elderly person in an assisted-living facility. Your team’s acts of kindness will mean the world to the people you serve. But the impact on your students will go even deeper.

  • Help in a local food kitchen
  • Help with residents in assisted living
  • General yard work
  • Volunteer with local non-profits
  • General home repairs
  • Volunteer at a community center

Serve & Grow All Day

6:45 AM Rise and shine
7:00 AM Hot breakfast
8:00 AM Morning program
8:30 AM Depart for projects
12:00 PM On-site lunch and devotions
3:30 PM Return to camp
5:30 PM Dinner
7:30 PM Evening worship
9:00 PM Youth group devotions
9:30 PM Free time
11:00 PM Lights out

An Experience Like No Other

Every year, the Group Mission Trips team dedicates extensive time and energy to create a new Jesus-centered program experience through morning and evening programs, crew devotions, and youth group devotions (included in participant handbooks). Programs are designed so that you don't just look to a stage, but look to Jesus.

Our well-trained staff leads programs daily. Plus, you and your youth have the opportunity to serve by leading parts of each worship program through music, drama, Scripture reading, and other hands-on experiences. Feel free to bring guitars, drums, harmonicas, banjos, and great voices!

4 Spiritual Touch-Points

  • Morning Programs
  • Crew Devotions
  • Evening Programs
  • Youth Group Devotions

The Road

2017 Program Theme

This summer, your youth group will walk with Jesus along “The Road.” Inspired by Luke 24:13-35, the 2017 program theme takes your youth group on a transforming journey. No matter the road we're on, learning to listen to Jesus and making him the center point of our lives allows us to see him more clearly.

Click any of the questions below to reveal an answer

Click HERE for a downloadable version.

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

We offer trips for preteen, junior high, and senior high students. For preteen trips, participants must be at least 10 years old or entering the 5th grade in the fall of 2017. For junior/senior high trips, participants must be at least 12 years old or entering the 7th grade in the fall of 2017.

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.

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.

Group requires a pastor-signed Screening and Verification Form for each 18+ participant in order for them to attend the mission trip.

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 a Group Week of Hope involves serving others, "God Sightings," daily devotions, and interactive worship programs. Your daily schedule will look similar to this:

Sunday
3-4:00 p.m. Groups Arrive

Typical day
6:45 a.m. Rise and Shine!
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. On-site lunch and devotions
3:30 p.m. (2:30 for preteens) Return to lodging
5:30 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Evening program and youth group devotions
11:00 p.m. (10 p.m. for preteens) Lights out

Tuesday is different:
For Preteens: 12:30-9 p.m. is free time and dinner is on your own.
For Jr/Sr Highers: 3:30-10 p.m. is free time and dinner is on your own.

Friday
7-9:00 a.m. Groups depart

Be ready to tackle any project and expect to interact each day with local residents from the community.

Projects could include working with children at a day camp, serving at a food bank or homeless shelter, leading a Vacation Bible School, improving the homes of people in need, assisting the elderly, tutoring struggling kids, working with disabled children, facilitating a sports camp, and/or serving churches and other human service organizations in different ways. If there are any minor repair projects, we may ask your group to bring a few small hand tools and paint brushes.

Supplies: Groups are asked to bring 1 5-gallon water jug and 1 family-size cooler on wheels for every 6 people in your group. All other supplies are typically provided, but small items may be requested if needed.

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, modest swimsuits, and modest clothing appropriate for a Christian mission trip.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 project 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.

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.

Groups are assigned together (in 6-person crews) at our Preteen camps due to age.

Most lodging is in local schools or churches. Accommodations will include areas for groups to room together by gender, a common eating area, and a program area.

There is a sample menu on the online Planning Center. Meals will consist of breakfasts, sack lunches, and hot dinners. All meals will be prepared by participants in a rotating basis supervised by staff. Picnic-style lunches will be assembled in the mornings and brought to work sites. The last meal will be breakfast on Friday morning. IMPORTANT NOTE: Dinner is NOT provided on Tuesday.

If you have a participant that has a special diet, share the sample menu with them so they can start planning. We do have peanut butter on the menu as an option. We are unable to guarantee that there will not be cross-contamination since meals are prepared at our lodging facility by staff and participants. 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.

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. (Note: We do offer an Early-Bird Registration where groups can hold spaces and delay paying deposits until October 31, 2016.

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

  • Lodging during the week
  • All meals except for dinner on your free night
  • Bible-based, fun, Jesus-centered programs
  • Highly trained, mission-minded staff
  • Online Planning Center with forms, promotion materials, advice, and more
  • Fundraising ideas and support
  • 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)
  • Access to background checks
  • Themed T-shirt for each participant

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.

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, supplies 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.

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!

We do request modest clothing choices in our Code of Conduct. While Group Mission Trips doesn’t have a formal dress code, we serve local organizations that do have specific requirements for volunteers. Don’t be turned away from your assigned project due to inappropriate dress.

Pack plenty of t-shirts, longer shorts or pants, and tennis shoes. Also, please have your females bring a one-piece swimsuit in case they are assigned to a project site teaching a resident how to swim. Many of our partner organizations don’t allow volunteers to wear shirts with spaghetti straps, shirts that reveal the midriff, short shorts or flip flops. And, of course, no clothing with offensive language or images.

Hospitality tasks are opportunities for participants to serve each other during the mission trip week.

Hospitality tasks include: cleaning the cafeteria, restrooms, shower areas, and other common areas. Trash will also need to be taken out. The lodging facility will NOT have the services of a custodian.

Participants will prepare and serve breakfast and dinner. A staff member will oversee the meal preparation, cooking, serving, and cleanup of all meals. Everyone participates! Meal shifts are divided into teams that will help prepare, cook, serve, and clean.

  • 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 low-cost domestic and international insurance from any insurance provider of your choice.

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.

No data to display

Trip Details

Ages:
10-12, 12+
Trip Type:
Community Service
Trip Length:
6 days
starting at
$229 /person

Free Mission Trip Fundraising eBook!

Practical ideas and advice on fundraising for your mission trip.

Choose from 33 life-changing Week of Hope trips!