Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2018

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

From the sparkling three rivers that give Pittsburgh its edge to its landmark fountain at the point of it all, water brings life to the City of Bridges. Pittsburgh boasts the only state park in the country that’s located smack dab in the heart of a city. Newly renovated Point State Park—known to many locals simply as “The Point”—is a 36-acre green space right on the water’s edge, and it’s a perfect spot for recreation and relaxation after or during your week of service.

Despite the beauty of this city, thousands of children and adults don’t know where their next meal will come from—and Pittsburgh also has a large homeless population. It’s our privilege to partner with ministries and organizations committed to addressing these and other needs.

One of the very special places we serve is the Rainbow Kitchen, which provides a vital safety net for hungry children, struggling families, low-income elderly, ill and disabled individuals, the homeless, and growing numbers of people who are unemployed or among the working poor. Last year, Rainbow Kitchen provided more than 19,000 nutritious Kids Café dinner meals to low-income children at risk of hunger—and served an additional 18,000 substantial hot meals to breakfast program participants.

The people of Pittsburgh are looking forward to your arrival. We hope to see you there!

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Date Age Availability Register
Jun 17 2018 to Jun 22 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Open
Jun 24 2018 to Jun 29 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Please Call 1-800-385-4545
Jul 01 2018 to Jul 06 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Open
Jul 08 2018 to Jul 13 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Open
Jul 15 2018 to Jul 20 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Open
Jul 22 2018 to Jul 27 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Open
Jul 29 2018 to Aug 03 2018 Junior/Senior High (12+) Open

How You'll Serve

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

  • Serve at a local farm stand as well as a local nonprofit cafe that provides fresh produce to city residents, helping with serving food, cleaning, packing, organizing the pantry, and gardening.
  • Bring hope and help to children by co-leading day camps and daily programs, making crafts with them, and even cooking a mid-day meal at various kids programs around the city.
  • Assemble distribution kits at a local food bank.
  • Complete light exterior rehabilitation of homes for elderly and disadvantaged families in the community.

Our Partners

We have a Local Coordinator who maintains connections throughout the year with the organizations we serve so that our service and relationships are sustainable. He is a former Group Summer Staffer and is very passionate about Week of Hope.

We are excited to spend the summer volunteering with a variety of partners. Our participants will serve with a couple of youth programs (one which could not exist without Week of Hope’s help), residential home repair projects, and a food bank to just name a few.

Lodging

We are grateful to be staying at a beautiful church in New Kensington. There are 4 individual, indoor showers per gender in the basement of the facility. The program space does have air conditioning as well as a few of the sleeping rooms. Some sleeping rooms have a window AC unit and others do not have any AC. Make sure to bring your blankets and a fan so you are prepared for either version!

Security

Staff will lock up the facility every evening.

Resources nearby include Walmart, Walgreens, Sam’s Club, Arby’s, McDonald’s, Sonic, Panera, Chili’s and Starbucks.

Pittsburgh has lots of hills! Take a ride on the Duquesne Incline while you are in town–it is a century-old cable car with some of the best views of the city of Pittsburgh. Once you have ridden, enjoy a bite at the nearby Hard Rock Café. If heights and hills aren’t your thing, check out the tours via amphibious vehicles or kayak or bike your way along the river!

Price: $266 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 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 years of age or older) for every five youth (20 years of age or younger). 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 above the 1 to 5 adult ratio, they can be part of your group or, if staff positions are open at yoru 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.

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. We request that groups bring vehicles that can hold at least 6 people since our project crews are typically that size. 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 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.

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: 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, 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. 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.
  • 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.

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.
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 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, 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 staff and participants. 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 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 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)
  • 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, 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, 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, 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!

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.

$266/person
Price:
$266
Age:
12+
Trip Capacity:
100
Bus Accessible:
Yes

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