Now an annual event, we went on our first Workcamp mission trip in June of 2002. A total of 9 people participated in that first camp; since then we have sent hundreds of people on these missions, and they love it!
Group Workcamps—A weeklong adventure, a lifelong impact
Group Workcamps build teenagers’ faith. That’s why Workcamps are the premier summer missions experience for church youth groups. Since their inception in 1977, Workcamps have brought more than 100,000 teenagers and their adult sponsors to hundreds of communities across North America to help needy families rebuild their homes—and lives. Workcamps are the ultimate expression of Christian service, offering teens a fun, challenging, and faith-growing adventure they’ll never forget.
Rebuilding homes—and lives.
Over the years, Group has developed a unique program that helps kids mature in their faith through volunteer community service. We have discovered that through service, real spiritual growth happens. Through the experience, our devotions and special activities, young people leave with a deeper faith. Participants stay at a local school, sleeping in classrooms on the floor and eating at the cafeteria. They are teamed with around 5 other people whom they have never met, and assigned to a resident’s home, who has been pre-screened and the work planned out. Workdays at the homes of residents go from 9-3. Supper is at 5 and high-energy worship, drama, and news of the day takes place at 7. Each participating group then meets by themselves for evening devotions around 9:30, and lights are out by 11.
Group ministries out of Loveland Co is the sponsor of these workcamps, this year holding more than 50 such camps throughout the US and Canada this summer. Group’s Statement of Faith : We believe the Bible is the inspired, authoritative Word of God. We believe there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father Son and Holy Spirit. We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father and in His personal return.
On July 27, the team of 21 adventure seekers gathered early in the morning for a send-off by Pastor Schauder, packing of the trailer, and loading into the three vehicles, headed to North Carolina. Most promptly fell asleep (thankfully not the drivers). Once again we enjoyed the hospitality of St Mark’s Lutheran in Cincinnati, Ohio for the first night, then headed out to Fayetteville, West Virginia, where once again we conquered the rapids of the Lower New River. We shared some special times at the campground, worshipping around the fire at night, walking in the woods, hammocking, and growing tight as a youth group. Memories were made that will last a lifetime. Last year we had stayed in the same area and found a very popular local joint called Pies and Pints. We enjoyed a wide and exotic array of wood-fired pizzas and local root beer. Some folks enjoyed the cold leftovers for breakfast the next morning!
On Sunday morning we broke camp and headed for Thomasville, North Carolina. On arrival we checked in, found all the important places (cafeteria, showers were right up there), grabbed lunch and got ready for the 3:00 p.m. kickoff!
On Sunday evening, as always, we met our crews and looked over our project descriptions. At this camp, there were several complex wheelchair ramp projects, interior and exterior painting, and more.There were 43 crews working on about 38 sites in Thomasville and neighboring Lexington. There were a number of logistical challenges at this camp, as the local Lowes store that was contracted to deliver materials the week before camp had not lived up to expectations, and many sites were originally without needed lumber and other supplies. Curt and the other site coaches worked hard to get as many crews going as they could as soon as they could. Meanwhile, those crews that were temporarily idle used the opportunity to get to know their residents. For our Wednesday afternoon off, we went to the “Bull Hole”, a quaint little waterfall and swimming hole at a local state park. It was off the beaten path, and the water was refreshing. We topped the afternoon off with some great Carolina Barbeque!Friday arrived much too quickly as we raced to finish all the projects. As always, the Friday night and early Saturday goodbyes were bittersweet, but with phones, twitter and such, solid bonds are maintained well after camp!