YWx Frequently Asked Questions
General YWx FAQs
YWx trips exist as an option for groups who would like to have more control over their schedule, programming and meals, amongst other things. In YWx, we provide housing, kitchen and shower locations, a thorough service schedule for each full day, and resources to support you as you fill in the rest of the details. You can find more information about the comparisons in the chart at the top of this page.
For groups who aren’t interested in planning and leading their own meals, creating their own programming, and who want a more guided experience, we offer our traditional YouthWorks trips like we always have. Find out more about those here.
For YWx experiences, we ask each group to fill a minimum of 25 spaces. Groups under 25 can participate in a YWx experience, however, we ask that they commit financially to 25 spaces.
We will not have YouthWorks staff to guide you through the week, though you will have a point person in the office to help you prepare for your trip, as well as a local Ministry Liaison to provide a housing site orientation, basic logistical support and troubleshooting during your trip.
Our YWx trips do not include any of our thematic programming, including devotional books and elements of The Gathering. If you are interested in using previous YouthWorks themes, you can purchase digital curriculum and/or physical Trip Journals in our store. We will provide a guide that includes questions for processing your trip, tips for leading large and small group times, and ways to go deeper with students.
You get to decide! We’ll give you some meal ideas, but ultimately your group is responsible for creating menus, buying ingredients, and safely prepping, serving and cleaning up meals. Each housing location will have a kitchen stocked with cookware and cleaning supplies and will have a place for your food storage. You can bring along volunteer cooks for the week, or you can split your students into groups that prepare and cleanup meals.
We provide a service schedule for your group, which takes place generally from 9am-3pm. In many communities, showers will happen directly after the service portion of your day. Anything outside of this time is available for you schedule as you desire. For more information on the schedule, including a sample schedule of our traditional trips, visit here.
Each Trip Leader will get a YWx Planning Guidebook which covers logistics, safety requirements and recommendations, and schedule elements to consider as you set up your trip – everything from planning your processing time and discipleship elements, to meal suggestions, to sample schedules and general community activity ideas to do in the evening. You will also get access to our Trip Leader Resource Library, full of resources on promoting your trip, fundraising ideas, tips for recruiting students and adults, and many topical resources for your planning and youth ministry.
Trip Leaders for YWx will have a contact in the office throughout the year to answer any questions and will have a scheduled information sharing time leading up to your trip.
We partner with the community by coming alongside a local church or community group, called a “Mission Hub.” The Mission Hub assists in connecting us to local service projects as well as providing housing for groups. They also choose a Ministry Liaison who will be the primary contact during the week.
We can help you through this process. Adding spaces can happen at any time provided we have availability. Please contact us as soon as possible, as we may need time to find sufficient service for your group. There are some deadlines for decreasing spaces, please check out the Registration Process for more specifics.
YWx experiences are affordable. Experiences range from $99-$179 per person plus a setup fee. Cost varies by length of trip. Cost per participant includes:
- Service Partnerships
- Ministry Liaison
For YWx trips we ask that groups financially commit to a minimum of 25 spaces. YWx trips have a $500 setup fee. For groups 35 and under, the setup fee is in addition to the cost per space. For groups of 36 or more, the setup fee will be applied to the total trip cost per space.
If cost of the trip is an obstacle for your group or for a specific student in your group please call us to find out more about scholarship opportunities.
What’s great about YWx is the flexibility you have on when you go on your trip. We can set up a mission trip for your group any time throughout the year, starting in January 2022. We generally need a minimum of two months to plan your YWx trip.
We offer full week trips (4 service days and 5 nights) and partial week trips (2 service days and 3 nights). Start and end dates are customizable, however, Sundays are typically only an arrival or departure day. Contact us if you have questions about the length or dates of a potential trip.
Registrations for a YouthWorks mission trip must be made through a church or organization. Because of YouthWorks’ program and policies and agreements with ministry partners, we have a minimum age of 12 (or going into 7th grade) for those attending the mission trip.
Adult Leaders also play a key leadership role on YWx trips. A leader needs to be at least 20 years of age and be willing to take a role of leadership with your teenagers. We welcome multigenerational groups on YWx Trips, and you can bring parents, grandparents, and other adults from your church or organization.
- High School Trips: A minimum of 1 Adult Leader for every 7 students
- Middle School Trips: A minimum of 1 Adult Leader for every 5 students
- Mixed Trips: A minimum of 1 Adult Leader for every 5 students
Yes. Each church group will need to conduct a national (multi-site) criminal background check and sex offender registry check on any participant (adults or students) that is 18 years and older. Church groups will then provide YouthWorks with written confirmation that every participant 18 and older has been approved to work with youth and children, and will provide written confirmation that all participants (youth and adults) are deemed safe.
For more on this check out the Background Check FAQs on your paperwork page of the dashboard.
For questions about our COVID-19 safety measures, click here.
Safety is of the utmost importance to our organization and we want participants to feel safe throughout the entire week. Trip Leaders are responsible to enforce safety procedures and guidelines during our YWx experience and must certify they have set policies in place addressing sexual harassment, and child safety and protection. Leaders must enforce the YouthWorks standard adult to minor ratio, and participants under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Groups must also agree to follow current CDC and local COVID-19 policies.
Each YouthWorks site is unique. We encourage you to take a look at the specific community pages to learn more.
It depends on the YouthWorks site. We seek to meet the needs of our community partners and their ministries. Some of our organizations prefer the same volunteers to come back each day, all week long so there is consistency in the relational aspects but also logistically as well. In other situations you might serve with multiple partners during the week.
For YWx trips, your group will be the only group participating in your customized mission trip. The minimum group size that you’ll need to register is 25. You’re welcome to sign up alongside other churches if you choose, but you would need to initiate that relationship. Talk to use before you register so we can set this up correctly for your groups.
If your group is larger than seven people and has more than two Adult Leaders, you will most likely be split into different ministry/work crews for the week. Each crew will have anywhere from 7 – 10 people with 1 – 3 Adult Leaders depending on the needs of our service partners, the size of the group on site, and the number and size of vehicles available.
Each group is responsible for transportation (vehicles, gas and mileage) to and from the YouthWorks site and throughout the week of your trip.
Bus accessible communities are designated as locations that can accommodate groups traveling on buses. Buses are defined as any vehicle that is larger than a standard 15-passenger van. We do not allow buses at all of our sites because of safety, the needs of the community and the problem of parking. Even if a site is designated as bus accessible, we still require that you provide additional transportation for participants during the week.
Groups are housed in a local church, school or community building. Participants need to bring their own sleeping bags, pillows and sleeping pads or air mattresses that are twin-size or smaller. We will plan that all females and males sleep in separate rooms. Please contact us if there is a need for special sleeping arrangements or accommodations needed for individuals in your group.
Showers are available either on site or at a nearby location. Off-Site showers may be at local community center, YMCA or public high school which may include open shower rooms or private stalls. Specific details will be available in the spring as they are confirmed in each community.
YouthWorks welcomes youth and adult participants with disabilities and works collaboratively with Trip Leaders to provide accommodations to need and circumstance. Due to the diverse nature of our 45+ mission sites and on-going changes at service locations, creating a coordinated plan with a Trip Leader is important to help us discern if and how the special need can be accommodated. While we are working toward greater accessibility in each of the communities we serve, there are some mission locations that are more easily equipped to handle special requests than others and some communities that cannot fully accommodate all needs. For more information, please talk with a Trip Consultant, if not yet registered for a trip, or a Mission Trip Associate, if you are registered already.
We believe Christ-centered mission trips….
- Disciple Students
- Develop Leaders
- Serve Communities
We’ve built a mission trip structure that can spot, empower, and launch student leaders. We utilize a mission trip model based on servant-leadership that prioritizes what God is already doing through the local Church and community development organizations so together, we can serve communities respectfully.
It is our privilege to partner with organizations already at work serving the needs of people within the community. We want to help these organizations do what they do every day of the year by providing them with volunteers. Our partnerships include working with the elderly, children, individuals with special needs, people who are homeless or in transition, or serving through hands-on labor with food banks, community gardens or neighborhood revitalization projects. While we place a priority on relational service ministry opportunities, we are also pleased to serve behind the scenes through manual labor; many YouthWorks participants will experience a little of both.
We love to partner with organizations that have a faith-based focus, but we also value what other non-profit organizations are doing in our communities. Our hope is to provide volunteer support to local organizations (service partners) that share our desire to love and serve the people of the community. We are blessed when we can be part of the story of what God is doing in a community whether His work is being done through a secular or faith-based organization. Of course, YouthWorks does not endorse its partners beyond providing volunteer support, so participants will not be asked to distribute fliers or solicit gifts or donations for any of our local partners.
We certainly want to be able to share God’s truth and love with the people in our communities; however, some of them have seen a great deal of aggressive Christian evangelism, and we also understand that many of our ministry partners rely on government funding that limits traditional evangelism. It is because of this that while we encourage participants to be open about their reasons for serving, as well as in sharing their faith, we believe that this sharing is most meaningful when it is done primarily through our actions and within the context of relationships that have been built during the week. We serve as the hands and feet of Christ and in turn He uses us to impact others for the Kingdom.
Full-time YouthWorks staff will work with community members and the Mission Hub to choose appropriate service opportunities for your week of ministry. The Trip Leader will place each person from their group on a ministry, or work crew who will serve together throughout the day at the pre-determined service locations.
Your group will get detailed service schedules, including orientation information and logistics for each service partner. You will find out these details about specific service sites in the weeks leading up to your trip.
Yes, you are responsible for your transportation to the service location each day. You may be at one place all day or serve at one place in the morning and at a different place in the afternoon. You will be given addresses to each location, back to the housing site, and to emergency facilities.