Erie, Pennsylvania 2019

Erie, Pennsylvania

The boroughs adjacent to Erie, PA, have seen a cultural change over the last several years as major industrial businesses have left and caused the community to rely on tourism for the foundation of their economy.

This beautiful area draws many tourists, being only two hours from Niagara Falls and directly along the lengthy shores of Lake Erie. Maybe you know that Welch’s grapes are grown here…that’s right, THE Welch’s of juice and jelly fame. Well, the same weather that makes the Erie area perfect for delicious grapes creates harsh winters along the south shore of the lake that boasts the “Best Sunsets in the World.” Nonetheless, tourism is slight during the harsh winters and many businesses don’t last long.

Your week of service will greatly impact the residents of Erie. 

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Date Age Availability Stay Informed Register
Jul 14 2019 to Jul 20 2019 Senior High (14+) Available Keep Me Informed

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Date Price Age Trip Type  

Lodging

The public high school where you will stay has large sleeping rooms.

*Subject to change.

How You'll Serve

Many elderly and disabled are in need of help with exterior maintenance. Your group will improve homes replacing gutters, helping the house-bound access the community with the aid of a wheelchair ramp, and sprucing up many weather-beaten homes with paint and siding—all while enjoying the beauty of this great lake community. A short walk from the school to the beach will prove the sunset claim correct.

Our Partner

Our amazing Cosponsor in Erie has impacted surrounding communities for several years. The return to Erie will again establish a strong presence of Group Workcamps and the impact we have together with locals dedicated to their hometown.

Enjoy the breathtaking views of Niagara Falls, just a two hour drive from Erie. Don't forget your poncho!

Hit the beach or explore the lagoons at Presque Isle State Park, located right in Erie on an arching, sandy peninsula that juts into Lake Erie.

For more outdoor adventure, visit Waldameer Water World or the Erie Zoo.

Take a short walk from the school to the beach in the evening and see what the locals boast as one of the best sunsets in the world! 

Price: $464 per person
Deposit: See Below
Our payment policy is designed to give you the most flexibility when reserving your mission trip experience with Group Mission Trips.

Register before October 31, 2018 No deposit is required.
Register June-October Deposit of $50 per person is due October 31, 2018.
Register November-March 15, 2019
Deposit of $50 per person is due upon registration.
Register March 15, 2019-May 15, 2019
Deposit of $50 per person plus 50% of your group’s balance is due upon registration.
Register after May 15, 2019
Your entire balance is due.**
**Deposits are non-refundable. All payments are due by and become non-refundable on May 15, 2019. Registration fees are in U.S. dollars and can be paid by check, money order, or credit card.
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.

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  • Jr/Sr High trips: Must be at least 12 years old OR entering the 7th grade in the fall of 2019. 
    Sr High trips: Must be at least 14 years old OR entering the 9th grade in the fall of 2019.

    • 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 GroupMissionTrips.com under About Us and Join Our Team.

Yes, Group Mission Trips requires 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 Mission Trips 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 Clear Investigative Advantage. Their basic background checks start at just $12. They can be reached at 1.888.242.2503.
  • Groups must provide transportation to and from the mission trip as well as daily to and from the sites.
  • All vehicles must be available for transportation 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 vehicles, they typically will not be transporting a crew that includes their own youth members. Typically, the youth from your group will be traveling in other vehicles with their crews.
  • Due to rough terrain 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 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

Wednesday:
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 start
8:30 p.m. Youth group devotions
11:00 p.m. Lights-out

Check-out: Saturday by 9:00 a.m.

Your participants will provide home repairs at no cost for elderly, disabled, and disadvantaged people who need your help. Work 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, post hole 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.
Personal Items:
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 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 nationally background-checked by their church every 2 years. Their pastor signs off that they meet our requirements and are approved to attend.
  • Every staff member has been screened, background-checked, and reference checked by Group Mission Trips.
  • 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 close-toe shoes/boots, gloves and goggles are recommended.
  • 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.
  • 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 Mission Trip staff visit work sites daily 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 Mission Trip's office and directions to the closest hospital. If an injury occurs on the work site, and is not serious, Group MIssion Trip staff will contact the youth leader and coordinate any transportation needed. If the injury is serious, the adult on site will call 911 and GMT 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.

A Workcamp can hold up to 400 participants and we house them all typically at a middle or high school. Group Mission Trip 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 Mission Trips 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. 

Focused on Jesus. 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:

March 15, 2019: Half of what is remaining is due.

May 15, 2019: 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, 2019 you’ll just lose the $50 deposit. The entire fee is forfeited for cancellations made after May 15th, 2019. 

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, 2019. The entire mission trip fee will be forfeited for cancellations after May 15th, 2019.

  • Lodging during the camp.
  • All meals, except for dinner on Wednesday for a week-long Workcamp.
  • Site selection and organization.
  • Supplies and project materials for each work site.
  • Bible-based thematic, fun, faith building programs.
  • Devotions to do before, during, and after camp.
  • Director, MC, and up to 14 other highly-trained staff to handle all the details.
  • Custodians and cafeteria staff to take care of lodging cleanliness and meals.
  • An online Group Page full of camp information and 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 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!

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.

  • Personal health insurance is not required to attend, although highly recommended.
  • If you carry personal health insurance, bring your info to camp. 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 (844.258.9616) and we’d be happy to connect you with other youth leaders who have served with us.

$464/person
Age:
14+
Trip Capacity:
440
Bus Accessible:
Yes

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