Workcamps

At Workcamps, teenagers come together to serve individuals and communities while building strong, long-lasting relationships with their friends and youth leaders. In six short days, hundreds of teenagers from youth groups across the country repair and transform homes while growing closer to Jesus.

Repair Homes & Lives

Since our beginnings, more than 450,000 people have participated in a Group Mission Trips experience—logging more than 13 million volunteer hours. These participants have gained a new understanding and deeper faith in Jesus by serving others. The mission opportunities keep growing, and the same passion that prompted Thom Schultz to launch the first Workcamps continues to help teenagers from all different Christian denominations grow closer to Jesus and take on the challenge of service by helping people in need.

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See Real Transformation

Workcamps give youth groups a chance to serve community residents in need through home repair, basic construction, and painting. They'll build relationships with their crew and those they serve.

  • Porch and deck repair
  • Wheelchair ramp construction
  • Indoor painting
  • Outdoor painting
  • General home repairs

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
5:00 PM Dinner
7:30 PM Evening worship
9:00 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.

Native American

Give your youth group a cross-cultural experience without leaving the country. You'll experience some of the worst poverty in America that remains at these locations, with people living under conditions that rival those in the Third World. Some descendants of America’s first citizens still live without running water or electricity. The work you do here truly makes a difference. Workcamps participants have served on Native American reservations for decades, impacting at least 26 different tribes. Our deep relationships in these communities and with tribal leaders provide your group with an unforgettable experience.

Appalachian

An Appalachian workcamp experience provides your group the opportunity to serve and meet the real needs of real people—many of whom feel neglected and cut off from the rest of the world. When you think of Appalachia, you may think of coal mining, hills, a strong culture, and West Virginia. All are “true” traits but do not completely represent the area known as Appalachia. This region of the U.S. covers an area from New York to Mississippi and Alabama, and it’s blessed with abundant natural resources. However, people in the region deal with on-going poverty-related issues. For instance, some areas of Appalachia still do not have a consistent source of electricity or water. Regardless of the situations they face, the people are proud of their history, homes, and communities. Get to know these people who are fiercely loyal and committed to their communities. Enjoy their deep cultural connections and rich historical roots as you serve.

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We offer trips for both junior high and senior high students. Participants who are at least 12 years old or entering 7th grade in the fall of 2017 can attend Jr/Sr High Workcamps. Participants who are at least 14 years old or entering 9th grade in the fall of 2017 can attend Senior High 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.

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 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.

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. Return to lodging for clean-up and free time
5:00 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Evening program and youth group devotions
11:00 p.m. Lights out

*Wednesday:
12:30-7 p.m. Youth group free time, dinner is on your own. The Variety Show and Evening Program start at 7:30 p.m.

Check-out:
Groups depart on Saturday between 7-9:00 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, electric drills, ladders, etc. Coolers and water jugs are also needed for keeping lunch and water cold on the work site. There is a full list in the online Planning Center.

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.

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!

  • 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—appropriate work boots, gloves and goggles are recommended.
  • 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.
  • Our staff visits each work site at least twice by the time of camp and the first thing a crew will do when they arrive to their work site is check for potential safety issues.
  • 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.
  • Site Coaches and other 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 work 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.

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 hot breakfasts, sack lunches, and hot dinners. All meals will be prepared for you. Picnic-style lunches will be assembled in the mornings and brought to work sites. The last meal will be breakfast on Saturday morning (Monday lunch for Weekend Workcamp). IMPORTANT NOTE: At a week-long Workcamp, dinner is NOT provided on Wednesday.

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 the kitchen staff. 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 your trip to be as easy on you as possible. That's why we provide the following so you don't have to:

  • Lodging during the week
  • All meals, except for dinner on your free night
  • Supplies and project materials for each worksite
  • Bible-based, fun, Jesus-centered programs
  • Comprehensive safety training
  • Highly trained, mission-minded staff
  • Online Planning Center with forms, promotion materials, advice, and more
  • Fundraising ideas and support
  • Worksite 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, 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, 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!

  • 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 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.

The majority of a Challenge Workcamp is the same as a regular Workcamp. We do recommend prior Workcamp or construction experience for these camps because projects will be more construction intensive. Groups are asked to bring additional tools and there are more building materials purchased so Challenge Workcamps have a slightly higher price.

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Trip Details

Ages:
12+, 14+
Trip Type:
Home Repair
Trip Length:
7 days
starting at
$429 /person

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