Roanoke Virginia

Roanoke is a city with impressive buildings, a cool downtown, and rolling hills everywhere you look.

Date(s)
Dates
-
Attendees
Attendees
Price $250 per person
$250 Per Person
Downtown city

37.2709704, -79.9414266

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Overview

Age Group
Junior/Senior High (12+) Senior High (14+)
Capacity
500
Bus Accessible?
Yes

As you likely approach Roanoke from one direction or another on Interstate 81, the mountains and greenery will have impressed you for quite a while. Roanoke is a city with impressive buildings, a cool downtown, and rolling hills everywhere you look. Hidden in this southwestern Virginia city are nearly 100,000 people. When you look around, you won’t know where they could all possibly be! However, once you meet these genteel southern folks, you’ll be glad you found them.

Roanoke has impressive schools, colleges, parks, entertainment, restaurants, and more. But just like any major city, the cool parts are often only a few blocks away from surprisingly poor conditions. You can drive through entire sections of the city that simply cry out for help. Neighborhoods look like they haven’t been improved or maintained for 20 years or more. There are many small homes clearly owned by seniors who have called Roanoke home for their entire lives but cannot maintain the property. Families are in situations where no amount of hours at an inadequate wage will cover all their bills and needs.

Your group will remember their trip to Roanoke for years to come. But even more than their trip, they’ll remember the people they met and served.

Lodging

The church host location is a place for participants to gather every morning for worship and training and to return to for a powerful and high-energy night of music, celebration, and teaching after our day of service.

Once you register, a trip advisor will provide you with specific details on the host church location so you can book your accommodations accordingly.

Lodging, breakfasts, and dinners are not provided at Merge. Lunches will be provided on Tuesday-Friday. You will choose and book your own accommodations. Here are some suggestions—call local churches within your denomination to see if you can use their facility or look at the specific Merge location you’re interested in and search for hotels within close proximity. We aren’t affiliated with any hotels but are always available to answer questions.

How You’ll Serve

Projects might include providing meals for the homeless, helping lead a day camp, sorting food and clothing at a distribution center, working with children in low income neighborhoods, or light home repairs.

Dates and Pricing

Date Price (per person) Register
July 13th 2020 $250 Register

Schedule

Monday
3-6pm
Check-in
7pm
Opening program
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
8am
Morning program
9am
Student & leader training
10:30am
Leave for project sites
12pm
On-site lunch
4pm
Depart from service projects
7pm
Evening program
Friday
8am
Morning program
9am
Student & leader training
10:30am
Leave for project sites
12pm
On-site lunch
2pm
Return from service projects
3pm
Final program
3:30pm
Depart for home

Area Activities

You and your group may want to visit the iconic Roanoke Star, which sits atop Mill Mountain and overlooks the entire region. The star can be easily reached via the Blue Ridge Parkway, the scenic roadway that winds through the heart of Virginia's Blue Ridge.

Roanoke offers many free, interesting things to do, such as hiking, exploring art downtown, geocaching, and frisbee golf. 

Discover other fun things to do in Roanoke here!

FAQs

Who can participate?

Merge is a gathering best suited for junior/senior high students, youth leaders, and adult volunteers.

Is there a required adult to youth ratio? Can extra adults go?

Yes, you must have 1 adult (21 years of age or older) for every 8 youth (20 years of age and under). 

Are background checks required?

Yes, Group Mission Trips 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 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 888.242.2503.
What about transportation?

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.

What's the schedule?

Monday
3-6 p.m. Check-in
7:00 p.m. Opening program 

Tuesday-Thursday
8:00 a.m. Morning program
9:00 a.m. Student & leader training
10:30 a.m. Leave for project sites
12:00 p.m. On-site lunch
4:00 p.m. Depart from service projects
7:00 p.m. Evening program

Friday
8:00 a.m. Morning program
9:00 a.m. Student & leader training
10:30 a.m. Leave for project sites
12:00 p.m. On-site lunch
2:00 p.m. Return from service projects
3:00 p.m. Final program
3:30 p.m. Depart for home

What about safety?

Safety is our top priority!

  • We require groups to bring 1 adult (21 or older) for every 8 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 Mission Trips' requirements and that they are approved to attend.
  • Every staff member has been screened, background-checked, and reference checked by Group Mission Trips.
  • 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 host church by their designated check in time.
  • Group Mission Trips' 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 GMT office and directions to the closest hospital. If an injury occurs on the project site, and is not serious, GMT 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 crew will have a small first aid kit and a bigger one for every vehicle. 
Will there be staff on site?

Yes, there will be staff on site to organize and run the event.

What types of projects will we be doing?

Service opportunities may vary by location but will include things like light home repair and community service projects to help residents in need. Those projects might include providing meals for the homeless, helping lead a day camp, sorting food and clothing at a distribution center or working with children in low income neighborhoods. 

Is lodging and food included in the registration fee?

Lodging, breakfasts, and dinners are not provided at Merge. Lunches will be provide on Tuesday-Friday.

You will choose and book your own accommodations. Here are some suggestions—call local churches within your denomination to see if you can use their facility or look at the specific Merge location you’re interested in and search for hotels within close proximity. You could also look into camping options in the area and create a fun experience with your youth. We aren’t affiliated with any hotels but are always available to answer questions.

Once you register, a trip advisor will provide you with specific details on the conference location so you can book your accommodations accordingly. 

What are the programs like?

Programs at Merge include powerful and high-energy worship, celebration, and teaching after each day of service. As you engage in high-energy worship and teachings, students and leaders alike will be inspired and encouraged to build the kingdom of God in your school, your community, your church, and your world.

What about payment dates?

Register at any time. No payment due until October 31, 2019.

  • October 31, 2019: A deposit of $50 per person is due (nonrefundable).
  • March 15, 2020: Half of what is remaining is due.
  • May 15, 2020: The final balance is due. All payments are non-refundable after this date.

Payments can be made here online, by phone, or by mail.

What if I need to add or cancel a space?

Call us! If there’s space available at your Merge location, 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, 2020 you’ll just lose the $50 deposit. The entire fee is forfeited for cancellations made after May 15th, 2020. 

What if I need to cancel my entire group?

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 keeping your group intact.

If there is no other option but to cancel your group, call us by May 15th, 2020 to let us know. As long as you cancel by May 15th, you’ll only lose $50 per spot. All mission trip fees will be forfeited for any cancellations after May 15th.

Is there a dress code?

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.
  • 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.
What's included in the registration fee?
  • Lunch Tuesday through Friday
  • Participant T-shirt
  • Powerful worship
  • Community service projects where your group will serve and help people in need
  • Leadership training for your students
  • Community service certificate for your students
  • Leadership certificate for your students after training
  • Youth leader training that will include key strategies to strengthen your ministry
What if someone has to leave early or arrive late?

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 too many 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.

Do participants need to have insurance?
  • 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.
What if the camp I want to attend is full?

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! 

Do you have references I can talk to?

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.

Payment Policy

Price: $250 per person  
  Deposit: See Below  

Payment Policy

Our payment policy is designed to give you the most flexibility when reserving your mission trip experience with Group Mission Trips.

 

Register June-October Deposit of $50 per person is due October 31, 2019.
Register November-March 15, 2020 Deposit of $50 per person is due upon registration.
Register March 15, 2020-May 15, 2020 Deposit of $50 per person plus 50% of your group’s balance is due upon registration.
Register after May 15, 2020 Your entire balance is due.**

**Deposits are non-refundable. All payments are due by and become non-refundable on May 15, 2020. Registration fees are in U.S. dollars and can be paid by check, money order, or credit card.

Roanoke, Virginia
$ Deposit Due
$ Remaining Balance

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