A huge part of the youth ministry rhythmic year? THE SUMMER TRIP! It’s one of my favorite things about working with students. Taking a trip together has multiple purposes and benefits, the greatest of which is the growth that God fertilizes within each of us during the time away from normality.
Involve yourself and your teenagers in Group’s upcoming camp experiences. Click here for more information, or you can call us at 800-385-4545. We’d love to talk!
If you’ve met me, you know I didn’t just get off the youth ministry turnip truck yesterday. I’ve been around the church block a few turns times 10. If I was keeping track of my trips over the years, with variables figured in for different churches served, the list might look something like this:
Twelve denominational youth gatherings, six Wilderness Trails, seven Great Escapes, eight Fun in the Son, 10 mystery trips, 20+ summer camp weeks, 30 VBS, AND (drum roll, please…) 70 summer mission trips!
Geez, that’s a lot of nights on an air mattress with snoring girls. No wonder I look… ummm… “mature!” Seriously, I wouldn’t change a thing and have already started my summer youth ministry prep.
Here are a few tips from this old-timer for summer survival:
1) Buy yourself a new air mattress every year and make it a good one. Use the battery operated pump, too, and take fresh batteries. You only THINK you’ll have enough energy to blow it up yourself, but you won’t after traveling two days with your students. In fact, if you’re over 50, splurge on the double-high with pump inserted. You’re worth it (and you’ll be glad it’s not so close to the floor for those middle of the night trips to the bathroom).
2) One word: Aleve. Two in the a.m. and one at night. (No, I’m not a doctor. I’m just old with aches and pains.)
3) Two words: Ear Plugs. If you snore, bring extra to share.
4) Bring less clothing. Wear what you do bring at least twice (inside and out) so there’s room for plenty of clean underwear. I know a lady who goes to Goodwill each year to buy shirts/shorts for mission trip work days and throws the outfit away at the end of each day.
5) The shower alternative? Baby wipes and dry shampoo.
6) VITAMINS! I take a multi-green uber vitamin and 1000mg of vitamin C every day. It will guard you from the germs running rampant in the school or church where you’re staying.
7) DO NOT skip your 10 minutes of coffee and quiet time in the mornings during that magical time before “the camp” wakes up.
That’s what I do to survive.
Looking to partner with Group to bring a youth mission experience? We’re looking for volunteers, churches, and co-sponsors to join us all across North America for 2018, 2019, and beyond.