St. Charles, Illinois 2020

St. Charles, Illinois - July 27-31, 2020

Located an hour from downtown Chicago, St. Charles sits on what was a Native American community for the chief of the Potawatomi tribe.

Named one of the regions “Top 10” by the Chicago Tribune, downtown St. Charles is home to shopping, live events, and endless dining options.

You’ll get to experience the area through your service projects and take in all that St. Charles has to offer.

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Date Age Availability Price Stay Informed Register
Jul 27 2020 to Jul 31 2020 Junior/Senior High (12+),Senior High (14+) Available $250 Keep Me Informed

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.

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. 

Take in the history of St. Charles through several museums; ride the trolley cars to see all St. Charles has to offer.

Otter Cove Aquatic Park is a great place to have some fun in the sun with its lazy river, water slides, pool and diving boards.

With just a 40-mile drive into Chicago, the possibilities are endless for fun. Museums, aquariums, bus tours, river and lake cruises, and dinner shows await your group.

Price: $250 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 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.
Click any of the questions below to reveal an answer

You can find additional information on specific locations by visiting this page.

Merge is a gathering best suited for teenagers and youth leaders.

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

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.

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.)

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. Leave 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

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. 

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

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.
  • 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

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.

  • 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 location. Call us. We’re eager to help! 

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.

starting at
$250
/person
Age:
12+, 14+
Trip Capacity:
500
Bus Accessible:
Yes

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