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 some 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. We also know that some groups may want additional levels of safety for their group, and adaptations are noted below. Our intent is that your entire trip is safe for everyone involved.
Below are some of the safety plans YouthWorks intends to use for 2022, and we will likely revise them as we move towards the summer. 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. Note that some communities or housing locations may also have stricter requirements than what we have planned. In those cases, we will default to their policies. Any changes will be communicated to you prior to your YouthWorks mission trip.
Make sure your group arrives healthy and ready to serve.
YouthWorks does not have vaccination or testing requirements for participants this summer, as long as they do not have COVID-19 symptoms or COVID exposures leading up to the trip. A paper symptom tracker is not required. If any participants have COVID-19 symptoms in the 10 days leading up to the trip, they must receive a negative COVID test before attending, regardless of vaccination status or recent COVID diagnosis and recovery.
Stay healthy as you serve, worship, and connect during your trip.
This year, we are considering all participants at a YouthWorks site to be a “bubble” together. Because of this, groups can intermix both in crews during the service day, as well as during meals, free time and The Gathering. We will require COVID-19 safety precautions when groups leave this “bubble.”
If your group prefers to not mix with other churches throughout the week, we will certainly accommodate this. If you would like to make a decision based on the CDC’s high/medium/low risk categories, talk with our Service Center.
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.
Because we want to keep our “bubble” of YouthWorks participants safe, as well as our staff and communities, masks will be required at the following times:
You might also experience things like…
Your Mission Trip Associate will have more specific information related to your trip.
During meals and large group gatherings (such as The Gathering and devotion introductions), groups will intermix on site (unless a group prefers to sit separately).
The YouthWorks Mission Team is planning and budgeting for the possibility of needing to host groups at 50% of sleeping room capacity. Alternative primary lodging facilities or secondary facilities are being sought to ensure there is plenty of room to spread out in sleeping spaces.
As we care for each other, please respect those that choose to go above and beyond our COVID policies (i.e. wearing masks, social distancing and/or those that decide to not mix with other churches throughout the week).
Responses to frequently asked questions about this year’s COVID-Proofing measures.
The person who tests positive would need to go home. Any close contacts within their crew, church or otherwise would need to wear a well-fitting mask for the duration of the trip and would be kept somewhat separate from other groups on site during meals and large group times.
We have some service partnerships who require participants to bring proof of vaccination in order to serve at those sites. At those locations, our site staff will work to coordinate crews who are vaccinated. If you have a vaccination card, please bring a copy or photo of it just in case.
Since we do not require vaccinations to attend a YouthWorks mission trip, we will always have quality service locations for anyone attending, regardless of vaccination status.
Any FDA approved test is fine, including at-home rapid tests.
A participant would need to wait a full 10 days (with diagnosis day being day 0) and must be fever free (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and their symptoms must be improving.
Request additional support to help answer key questions or communicate these COVID-Proofing measures to your group.