Walk, Love, Serve: A Service Learning Trip for Youth

Thanks to Victoria Hoppes of Building Faith for sharing this Great Idea!

Hoppes affirms the challenges of planning a mission trip in the midst of Coronatide and developed a way to remain flexible to ensure the safety of her youth.

She and her planning team:

  • developed a clear purpose and set of goals (learn about racial justice)
  • built in flexible experiences, including:
    • spiritual time (worship, music, prayer, reflection)
    • learning time (visiting museums and other sites)
    • service (working with local organizations to address the focal purpose of the “trip”)

For safety purposes, the experiential learning was the travel part of the trip, while the service and spiritual time were kept local and in-house.

Read the full article here.

Clarifying a local issue can be the work of an adult team of planners, or involve the youth in determining their own goals by doing a real or virtual tour of your town or region and learning about how peoples’ lives are impacted by:

  • racial injustice
  • climate change
  • divisive politics and social structures
  • poverty and/or houselessness
  • under- or unemployment/access to sustainable jobs
  • etc.

Once a local issue is identified, explore where you might learn more about this a macro-scale: what museums, nonprofit organizations, civil rights sites/historical markers, etc., address your local topic. The fun of traveling to these places to learn still exists, but without the sense of being a charity tourist or voyeur.

Bring learning back home as you reflect en route and in worship and prayer in your own setting (though perhaps, moving this out of your sanctuary will enhance the experience).

Then, network with local nonprofits who are already part of the solution to your topic. If they don’t exist, part of your team effort may be developing such an organization with other local leaders.

Safe travels, learning, spiritual growth, and service – with lower costs and hopefully highly transformation for all involved.