COVID-Proof Trips

Heading into summer 2021, you and other individuals from your group may be asking, “With many unknowns about COVID-19, how is YouthWorks working to ensure safety on my mission trip?”

This page highlights some of the specific work we’re doing to provide the safest environments possible that could help mitigate the impact of COVID. The breakdown includes key safety updates. 

Download the Trip Leader’s Guide to COVID-Proof Trips

Our Safety Philosophy

YouthWorks has been creating summer COVID-19 safety policies by looking at CDC guidelines, state recommendations and resources from the American Camp Association. It’s easy to look at these policies as ‘restrictions’ – we understand that some things may feel more stringent than your group is used to! However, we encourage you to look at these safety policies not as ‘restrictions,’ but as a way to care for each other and communities. Our intent is that your entire trip is safe for everyone involved.

Below are some of the safety plans YouthWorks intends to implement for summer 2021 mission trips. Know that at this time these plans are based on the current climate of COVID-19 requirements and additional standards may be added or removed pending guidance from the CDC and American Camp Association. Any changes will be communicated to you prior to your YouthWorks mission trip.

Arrive Healthy

Participants will not be allowed to participate if they are currently sick with COVID-19 symptoms, if they have had COVID-19 symptoms in the last 14 days or if they have recently been around someone with COVID-19. We also recommend that anyone with an underlying health condition that makes them vulnerable to COVID-19 stay at home for their safety. 


YouthWorks Mission Trip Associates are working with and listening closely to our Service Partners when determining the safest and most respectful ways to serve. This may mean that in some communities, we will be unable to serve with more vulnerable individuals directly. Before your trip, engage with your group about what respectful service could look like and how you can enter into the community with an open mind to that service.

You might experience things like…

  • Smaller service crews.
  • Serving only with your own group.
  • Updated vehicle or transportation guidelines and requirements.
  • Specific guidelines for engaging with community members.

Your Mission Trip Associate will provide more direction and information as we get closer to summer 2021. 

Large Group Meal and Gathering Times

During meals and large group gathering times (such as The Gathering and devotion introductions), crews will sit together while maintaining social distancing requirements. Crews must be separate from other crews by at least six feet. Because of this, a large well- ventilated area is required – for example, a 1,200 square foot room is required for 32 people to maintain social distancing. Outdoor areas are preferred for these large group times.

YouthWorks is planning and budgeting for the need to have at least 2,500 square feet of space for dining. This may mean spreading out to other rooms in addition to the primary dining room, or even renting outdoor tents ahead of time to provide plenty of room for people to sit and eat. 

Housing Capacity for Sleeping

The Mission Trip Associates organizing housing locations are planning and budgeting for the possibility of needing to host groups at 50% of sleeping room capacity. This means that alternative primary lodging facilities or secondary facilities are being sought out to ensure there is plenty of room to spread out in sleeping spaces. Curious what this might look like? Check out these example diagrams.

Shower Exclusivity

The Mission Trip Associates organizing shower locations are planning and budgeting for the need to keep shower access to only YouthWorks participants. This means that we would
be the only groups who would have access to the shower facilities during our designated shower time. Showers may be provided on-site at the housing facility, at a local school or church that allows only YouthWorks to shower there or at a public facility (such as a YMCA) with a dedicated time and space to exclusively use the showers and clean them prior to and following shower use. 

Download the Trip Leader’s Guide to COVID-Proof Trips