Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

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.

Your group might have the opportunity to serve with one of our partners that exists to serve the hungry and homeless in Grand Rapids. With help from volunteers like you, this organization is able to provide more than 200 people beds every night, more than 500 hot meals per day, almost 800,000 pounds of donated food to their food programs, and much more.

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Date Age Availability Stay Informed Register
Jun 17 2018 to Jun 22 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Open Keep Me Informed
Jun 24 2018 to Jun 29 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Nearly Full Keep Me Informed
Jul 01 2018 to Jul 06 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Open Keep Me Informed
Jul 08 2018 to Jul 13 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Open Keep Me Informed
Jul 15 2018 to Jul 20 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Open Keep Me Informed
Jul 22 2018 to Jul 27 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Nearly Full Keep Me Informed
Jul 29 2018 to Aug 03 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Open Keep Me Informed

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Date Price Age Trip Type  

How You'll Serve

As your team members enter into the lives of others and build relationships with the people of Grand Rapids, they’ll experience God working through them at projects such as these:

  • Assist a neighborhood association by landscaping, painting, cleaning, clearing alleys, working with residents that are shut-ins (seniors that are ill or recovering), and low income persons/families.
  • Serve at an assisted living facility doing yard work (mulching, weeding, planting flowers), playing games and visiting with residents.
  • Build relationships with kids in the community by playing indoor and outdoor games, making crafts and going on afternoon off site field trips together.
  • Learn about and help a local non-profit disassembling computers, painting walls, helping stock and clean electronics.
  • Serve at a therapeutic horse center! Serve the kids and adults that come here that are struggling with social, emotional, physical, and mental disabilities. Maintain the grounds, brush the horses and help to fill the hay barns.
  • Assist an emergency housing organization by making welcome home banners and organizing the donation closet.
  • Help the hungry and homeless by sorting donated food products, repackaging food, and serving meals at the local food pantry.

Our Partners

We have a Local Coordinator there that maintains connections throughout the year with the organizations that we serve so that our service and relationships are sustainable. You may meet them during your week as they pop in and out. 


A Week of Hope can hold up to 100 participants and we house them all typically at a local church. Our staff transforms the facility into a home away from home–there will be a separate boy’s hall and girl’s hall, a space for meals, adequate bathrooms and showers, and a space for the programs.

Participants need to bring air mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows and other bedding to sleep on 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.

Air-conditioning: Each location is different, but sometimes there is NOT air-conditioning. We serve where we are needed and in some areas, churches just can’t afford air-conditioning. Even if your lodging facility does have AC, it’s a good idea to still plan on bringing fans as a back up. They are nice for white noise in a crowded sleeping area!

Showers: Often our church facilities do not have adequate indoor showers. We will always ensure showers are available, and they will always be separated by gender, but we do need to get creative in some locations. Showers may be a combination of inside showers, outside showers, and/or showers at a nearby school, YMCA, or an organization that we are serving at. Please remember to bring swimsuits so you are ready for any situation!

Resources nearby include Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Panera Bread, Steak’n Shake, Arby’s, Five Guys Burgers, McDonald’s, Chipotle and Starbucks.

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.

Price: $266 per person
Deposit: $50 per person
50% of Remaining Balance Due: March 15, 2018
Full Balance Due: May 15, 2018

Click any of the questions below to reveal an answer

We normally split groups up into work crews.  But, we are willing to work with your group on how you’d like to split into crews. Our work crews are made up of six people with usually one or two adults and four or five youth--typically each person from a different church. If you’d like to have your youth meet new friends and develop friendships outside of your youth group, then allow us to split up your group. If you have specific church safety rules that require your group to be together, we are more than happy to arrange that for your group as well. Our top priority is to partner with you to arrange the best experience for your youth group and help you meet your ministry goals.

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

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Preteen trips: Must be 10-12 years old OR entering the 5th grade in the fall of 2018. 
Jr/Sr High trips: Must be at least 12 years old OR entering the 7th grade in the fall of 2018. 
Sr High trips: Must be at least 14 years old OR entering the 9th grade in the fall of 2018.

  • 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. 

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 under About Us and Join Our Team.

Yes, group requires that all participants 18 years of age or older be screened and background checked by their church prior to attending.

  • 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 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 Shepherd’s Watch. They are waiving their $30 sign-up fee for our youth leaders and their basic background checks start at just $12. They can be reached at 1.800.447.1070.
  • Groups must provide transportation to and from the mission trip as well as daily 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 required, with seat belts.
  • While adults will be driving their own vehicles, they typically will not be transporting a crew that includes their own youth members (except at Preteen camps). Typically, the youth from your group will be traveling in other vehicles with their crews. 
  • Due to tight 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.

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

Check-in: Sunday between 3-4 p.m.

4:30 p.m. Adult Meeting
5 p.m. First program
5:30 p.m. Dinner
7 p.m. Evening Program, everyone will get to meet their project crews! (6:30 p.m. for Preteens)
8:30 p.m. Youth group devotions (8 p.m. for Preteens)
11 p.m. Lights-out (10 p.m. for Preteens)

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday
6:30 a.m. Breakfast crew begins
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 project sites!
12:00 p.m. On-site lunch and devotions
3:30 p.m. Return to lodging for clean-up and free time (2:30 p.m. for Preteens)
5 p.m. Dinner crew begins (4:30 for Preteens)
5:30 p.m. Dinner (5 p.m. for Preteens)
6:30 p.m. Clean-up (6 p.m. for Preteens)
7:30 p.m. Evening program (7 p.m. for Preteens)
8:30 p.m. Youth group devotions (8 p.m. for Preteens)
11:00 p.m. Lights-out (10 p.m. for Preteens)

Jr/Sr High Tuesday:
Same schedule as the other days until 3 p.m.
3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Youth groups have free time (dinner is on their own)
8 p.m. Lodging facility is back open
9 p.m. Games (optional)
11:00 p.m. Lights-out

Preteen Tuesday:
Same schedule as the other days until 12 p.m.
12:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Youth groups have free time (dinner is on their own)
8 p.m. Lodging facility is back open
9 p.m. Games (optional)
10:00 p.m. Lights-out

Check-out: Friday by 9:00 a.m.

Be ready to tackle any project and expect to interact each day with local residents from the community. Crews typically serve at the same organization for the entire camp (or at the most 2 organizations), creating an environment where meaningful relationships develop. 

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 (preferably on wheels) for every 6 people in your group. All other supplies are typically provided, but small items may be requested.

Personal Items: The full Packing List is located online for every registered group on their Group Page, under the Schedule, Menu, Packing tab. It’s pretty much what you’d expect. A twin-size air mattress and bedding for sleeping, work gloves, and modest swimsuits and 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.
  • Although we do serve in needy areas, we require 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 the crews every day so they are aware of where a crew is working and any issues in the area.
  • Every 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 crew will have a small first aid kit and a bigger one for every vehicle. 

A Week of Hope can hold up to 100 participants and we house them all typically at a local church. Our staff transforms the facility into a home away from home–there will be a separate boy’s hall and girl’s hall, a space for meals, adequate bathrooms and showers, and a space for the programs.

Participants need to bring twin-size air mattresses, pillows, sleeping bags or other bedding to sleep on 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 are prepared by participants on a rotating basis supervised by staff. Picnic-style lunches will be assembled in the mornings and brought to project sites. The first provided meal is dinner on Sunday and the last meal will be cold breakfast on Friday morning. IMPORTANT NOTE: Dinner is NOT provided on Tuesday, 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 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 $50 (non-refundable) per space, there are 2 payment dates for the remaining amount:
March 15th, 2018: Half of what is remaining is due.
May 15th, 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, supplies and staffing–just for starters. Also, 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, 2018. The entire mission trip fee will be forfeited for cancellations after May 15th, 2018. 

We 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, capris or pants, and closed-toe shoes.
  • 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 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. 
  • Lodging during the camp.
  • All meals, except for Tuesday dinner.
  • Site selection and organization.
  • Supplies and project materials for each project site.
  • Bible-based thematic, fun, faith building programs.
  • Devotions to do before, during, and after camp.
  • 3 highly-trained staff plus 2 volunteer staff to handle all the details.
  • An online Group Page full of resources to help prepare you and your group for camp.
  • Unlimited customer support from professional and courteous staff.
  • T-shirt and Mission Handbook for each participant. 

We ask that all participants arrive on time and stay for 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 effect other participants, partners, and work projects--so please check the schedule and make travel arrangements accordingly. Contact us if a situation arises.

  • 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.

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 camp. Call us. We’re eager to help! 

Yes! There are many ways participants can be more involved in the camp:

  1. Help with worship! Any participants that like to sing, or want to bring an instrument to play, come ready to help out with the worship music at the programs. The more the merrier!
  2. There will be a couple skits during the programs for any participants that enjoy acting.
  3. There will be a lip-sync battle during the week! If any participants, or your entire group, want to prepare a little something for this, the camp staff will just need to approve your song (at camp) beforehand.
  4. Bring fun stuff for our theme days throughout the week! There will be Mustache Monday, Tropical Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday, and Christmas on Thursday! Think Hawaiian shirts, flowered leis, knee-high unicorn socks, and your ugliest Christmas shirt...

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

Trip Capacity:
Bus Accessible:

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