Summer Staff FAQs
YouthWorks mission trips began in 1994 to provide quality, affordable, Christ-centered mission opportunities for teenagers. That first summer, we had two mission sites with over 400 youth participating in mission trips. Over 25 years later, we have 45+ mission sites and over 20,000 participants join us in service during the summer.
Each week a group of approximately 65 teenagers and their Adult Leaders come to sites to participate in service. These groups, coming from across the country and many denominational backgrounds, arrive on Sunday afternoons and depart on Friday mornings. Staff facilitate all aspects of the groups’ service and mission experience. From breakfast until lights out, staff serve, build community, organize service projects, lead meals, network within the community, facilitate programming elements and spend time getting to know youth and Adult Leaders. Days are full, weeks have a lot going on and great ministry happens within it all.
Most of our housing sites are local churches or schools where staff will be permitted to stay in a specific section of the building. Most likely, staff will need to purchase an air mattress or sleeping pad to stay on during training and throughout the summer in their assigned community. Showers and laundry may be on-site or off-site, depending on the community.
Staff will find out their specific community and team placement details in the weeks leading up to training.
Summer staff are needed to serve at one of 45+ communities located across the United States. The types of communities include: small town, small urban, large urban and Native American reservation. Check out the YouthWorks website to learn more about the unique personality of each community. The majority of staff will be placed in a community outside of their current or home state. YouthWorks intentionally places diverse staff together in order to bring a variety of skills sets and experiences to each team.
Several factors go into community placement and the process takes much time and prayer. YouthWorks wants to find the best match for staff and communities. After all staff have been hired for the summer, they are assigned to a community. If you have specific knowledge, experience or passion regarding a community or type of community, please let us know during the interview and we will take it into consideration. The YouthWorks Recruiting Team makes all final decisions about community placement.
A typical site has a Site Director and three Site Coordinators. One Site Coordinator will be a Ministry Support Coordinator while the other two Site Coordinators will be a combination of: Kids Club Coordinator, Community Service Coordinator, and Work Projects Coordinator. YouthWorks also hires several people to fill the Utility Support Coordinator position. See Staff Positions for more details.
We seek individuals with the qualities and traits found in our most successful summer staff – an active relationship with Christ, servant leadership, humility, perseverance, critical thinking, organizational and motivational skills and respect for and ability to work effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds and denominations. We also are seeking staff who are emotionally ready to serve in a rigorous environment alongside diverse communities and team members. Potential staff should demonstrate flexibility and respect for authority. Many of these traits are the same characteristics that define great leaders in any context. Staff must be 18 years of age and one year post-high school or equivalent.
YouthWorks staff are selected based on their qualifications. At minimum, potential YouthWorks staff must be in their first year out of high school (equivalent to a first-year college student). YouthWorks policy requires that staff be 20 years or older to be eligible to drive company vehicles; non-driver staff positions are very limited. Positions available to non-drivers are Kids Club Coordinator, Ministry Support Coordinator and Utility Support Coordinator. YouthWorks also requires that staff be able to conduct various physical and strenuous tasks in a safe manner. Tasks include, but are not limited to, lifting and carrying up to 60 pounds, directing participants in meal preparation and safely operating YouthWorks vehicles.
When hired, staff have access to the YouthWorks training website that includes helpful information and summer prep tasks. Summer staff spend their first week of training with their team in Minneapolis, at our training location. After training, staff teams travel (using YouthWorks vehicles) to their community to spend the next week preparing their site for participants. Programming typically begins the following week. A more experienced YouthWorks staff will be present for the first week that participants are on site to provide additional leadership and training for the team.
We encourage all people, at least one year out of high school (equivalent to a first-year college student) or older, to apply at any point in the season. If you are under 20 years of age for the dates of our summer employment, due to our insurance requirements, you are considered a non-driver. There are a limited number of positions for non-drivers which makes these positions very competitive. We begin hiring staff in October and will continue to accept applications until all positions have been filled. Check the summer staff page for staffing updates.
Site Director candidates must be a graduating college senior, post-college age or at least 4 years post high school. A college degree is not required to be considered for a Site Director position but substantial leadership, maturity and management experience must be shown in post-high school settings.