- Pre-Camp Questions
- What Is Reach...
- Where Will We Stay?
- Who Can Attend?
- Work Projects
This is the person who owns or lives in the home that Reach workcampers are repairing. Reach requires the homeowner to be home during the time workcampers are present at their house so that you have access to the bathroom (if present) and inside projects. We also hope to form a relationship with each homeowner during the week through normal conversation and the on-site devotions. Reach refers to the homeowners as the “neighbors” we serve based on Mark 12:31 when Jesus is talking about the two greatest commandments, “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Reach refers to the person who owns or lives in the home that Reach workcampers are repairing as the “neighbors” we serve based on Mark 12:31 when Jesus is talking about the two greatest commandments, “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Reach requires the neighbor to be home during the time workcampers are present at their house so that you have access to the bathroom (if present) and inside projects. We also hope to form a relationship with each neighbor during the week through normal conversation and the on-site devotions.
An On-Site Devotions is a pre-written devotion to be discussed at the worksite everyday. These devotions go along with the daily theme and are meant to be completed within 15-25 minutes. The on-site devotions include any scripture needed so you don’t have to bring a Bible to the worksite. One person on each workcrew chooses to be the Devotion Leader, who basically reads the devotion and encourages discussion.
There are two main types of program: Morning Program and Evening Program. Morning Program lasts about 15-25 minutes and is meant to introduce the daily theme and open your eyes to where Christ may be working in the day ahead. Evening Program lasts for 90 minutes and consists of praise and worship music, drama, reflection, group discussion, and workcamper sharing. Both Morning and Evening Programs occur in the school’s gymnasium as Reach sets up a 60′ x 20′ stage with lights, sound, and a 17′ screen.
Each workcamper will receive their own Program Guide, which is a journal-type booklet to help them reflect on the program, read scripture, and remember the workcamp. It is their personal book that nobody else will read.
A Red Shirt Volunteer is not assigned to a worksite, rather they help the Reach Staff with various tasks around the school such as preparing for Program, running the Reach Store, answering phones, filling water coolers, making staff lunches, and other duties that are essential to making the workcamp run smooth. Red Shirt Volunteers only pay $100 to attend camp to help cover the food and insurance costs at workcamp. All Red Shirt Volunteers must be 18 or older. Each workcamp also has one spot available for a camp nurse as a Red Shirt Volunteer.
A Troubleshooter is an experienced carpenter, contractor, or jack-of-all trades. They are not assigned to an individual worksite, rather they oversee 4-6 worksites during the workcamp. We ask Troubleshooters to bring a vehicle that can be used for delivering materials and picking up trash. Troubleshooters also go to the lumberyard each afternoon to help obtain the tools and materials needed for the following day. There is no charge for a Troubleshooter to attend camp because of these extra duties they are expected to perform. All Troubleshooters must be 18 or older.
A workcrew is the team of individuals assembled together to serve a homeowner. Each junior high workcrew is usually 10-14 participants, including adults. Each senior high workcrew is 7-8 participants, including adults. Sometimes larger senior high projects will require two workcrews, but we try to limit the total number of people to 14 at a worksite so everyone feels included. Each workcrew becomes like a family over the course of a workcamp week as you sweat together, laugh together, and sometimes cry together as you say good-bye at the end of the week.
A worksite is the home that each workcrew will work at during the workcamp week. Typically Reach will work on 40-55 worksites during the course of one camp depending on the number of participants as there are normally 8 participants per worksite. Each worksite is only worked on for one week by Reach, thus allowing your crew to both start and finish all projects on the house. You aren’t left cleaning up someone else’s mess from the week before. Also, it is a fresh experience for the homeowner as they won’t have people at their house all summer long. Yes, that does mean we accomplish big projects in a week’s time, where some other organizations will take an entire summer to do them.
Youth Group Reflections occur immediately after every Evening Program. They last for 30 minutes and it is a time for youth leaders to spend time with just members from their youth group. Reach provides devotion material based on the daily theme that can be used for Youth Group Reflections, but it is not required to use Reach’s material. Some youth leaders simply use this time to focus on any issues that may be relevant to their individual group.
This is a common question for many first-time Reach Workcampers as many of the projects may seem overwhelming at first. But rest assured that many systems are in place to help all workcrews finish on-time. On the rare case that a project is not completed on-time, Reach will follow-up with a local agency or church to complete the projects making sure each homeowner is satisfied with the work.
Many precautions have been taken to make sure each worksite is safe. This includes the projects being completed and also the environment both in and around the home. Each worksite is visited at least three times by Reach Staff to meet with the homeowners, review the projects, and deliver the materials. If at any time a workcamper or a workcrew feels unsafe at a worksite, they are encouraged to return to the host school at which point they will be assigned another worksite. Workcampers’ safety is top priority at all worksites.
Completeness is our goal when we talk about worksites. We are typically at a workcamp location for one week. Therefore, we want to start and finish all our projects, including hauling the trash away and saying good-bye. In no way does this mean that we skimp on the types of projects that we complete. Thirty foot wheelchair ramps, framing and drywalling, complete tear-off and shingling a home, scraping, priming, and painting a home that requires 20+ gallons of paint, are all projects that are completed each week at camp. We recognize the impact on a student that is able to begin and complete a project. At Reach, you’re not the crew that simply gets a project started only to let someone else finish it, nor are you the one that fixes problems that previous crews created. You are the crew, from start to finish, for your homeowner. We are not always able to work on everything a home may need but we complete the projects we start. This way it is also a fresh experience for the homeowner and they tend to open up more to the workcrew.
We look at many factors when assigning workcrews. First, any middle school campers are assigned together with at least one adult from their church. For high school campers, college students, and adults not placed on middle school crews, we assign them on crews keeping in mind the following guidelines:
- Attempt to put at least two adults on every worksite
- Spread out ages so there is a good mix within the crew
- Keep an even male to female ratio
- Assign people to certain worksites if they are skilled in a certain trade
- Put at least one returning workcamper on every site to help answer any questions amongst the crew
- Avoid having more than one person from a church on a workcrew to prevent pre-formed cliques
- Take into consideration any special health concerns or allergies based on the site
- Honor requests from individuals to avoid roofing projects, heavy lifting, or high ladders
- Honor any special requests by parents or youth leaders to keep people together or separate
The home repair projects include basic weatherization, painting, repair and construction of porches, steps wheelchair ramps and outhouses. The projects selected are appropriate for the age group attending the workcamp. All repairs are made at no cost to the homeowner.
Each middle school workcrew is usually 10-14 participants, including adults. Each high school workcrew is 7-8 participants, including adults. Sometimes larger high school projects will require two workcrews, but we try to limit the total number of people to 14 at a worksite so everyone feels included and has work to accomplish.
Each afternoon upon returning to the host school from your worksite, one person on your workcrew will meet with your Troubleshooter. Your workcrew simply creates a shopping list for the supplies needed for the following day and the Reach Staff will compile the lists from all the workcrews, purchase the supplies at a local hardware store, and have the supplies ready and waiting for your workcrew the next morning.
- Obvious Need – Either the home is in obvious need of repairs or the resident physically can not complete needed repairs
- Workcamper Safety – Both structural conditions and environmental conditions are safe for the workcampers. All worksites have been evaluated for workcamper safety.
- Location – All worksites are within 20 minutes driving distance from the host school.
- Homeowners – All worksites need to be occupied residential homes.
- Faith – Religion and/or faith are NOT requirements for worksite selection.
- Other – Local community agencies may wish to include additional criteria such as income, specific area of the county, age groupings, etc.
Reach only works on existing and occupied homes. This means we don’t build brand new homes and that we require homeowners to be home during the time workcampers are serving at their house. This allows a relationship to be formed between the workcampers and the homeowner, whom we affectionately call “our neighbors.”
No, construction skills are not a requirement to attend a workcamp. A servant’s heart and a “go-get-em” attitude are the most useful tools to bring to the workcamp. Experienced maintenance and home repair volunteers,called Troubleshooters, make daily on-site visits to ensure quality workmanship and to assist workcampers with the skills necessary to complete their projects.
Yes. Reach provides pre-written on-site devotions to be discussed at the worksite everyday. These devotions go along with the daily theme and are meant to be completed within 15-25 minutes. The on-site devotions include any scripture needed so you don’t have to bring a Bible to the worksite. This is a great opportunity to include your homeowner.
Each evening at the workcamp, there is a time called ‘Youth Group Reflections.” This opportunity will help you as a youth group grow closer to each other and to God through sharing and testimony. The devotionals are prepared for you ahead of time by Reach, but it is your time with just your group so you may use your own material as well.
- Who Is Reach?
Reach is a non-profit organization offering quality workcamp experiences.
Reach supports Christian churches and organizations and actively encourages
workcamp participants to adopt a lifestyle of serving those in need in their
home communities. Through reaching out to others, Reach equips Christians
with the skills and opportunities necessary to impact their world for Jesus
- Ministry Philosophy
Reach believes that most people come to know Jesus and/or make a deeper commitment
to Jesus because of relationships. At each workcamp, we read scripture, pray
and talk about a personal relationship with Jesus and His call on our lives
to reach out to people in need. We provide a structure for adult leaders,
within their own theology and relationships with students, to extend and foster
opportunities for their own youth to respond to this call.
- Statement of Faith
We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. We believe there is one
God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We
believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. We believe our only means of salvation
is through the blood and grace of Jesus Christ.
Yes! Each morning begins with a quiet time to focus our thoughts and attitudes upon God and our relationship with Him. Each evening Reach Workcamps has a thematic program with a focus on worship, interactive activities, dramas and skits presented by the Reach staff, and a time of sharing. Reach’s program sets us apart from most other organizations due to its depth and quality of presentation. You don’t just get a video of a speaker when you come to Reach.
Nope. Sometimes you will see “Reach” spelled out in all capital letters simply because our old company font was “Neuland,” which only used capital letters. If you have any fun acronyms, we will always consider using them!
What better way to answer this question then by listening to quotes from youth leaders who have been to camp?
- “The workcamps tend to foster servanthood within the youth group.”
- “Reach Workcamps is an actual hands-on experience of the body of Christ in operation…by meeting the needs of others.”
- “Each individual’s personal relationship with Jesus is strengthened.”
- “It is a spiritual experience that has ripple effects the next 51 weeks of your ministry, Reach doesn’t end after the workcamp is over!”
- How will teenagers be impacted?
A workcamp is a life changing experience for teenagers. They learn through
their week of hard work that real hurting, loving people live behind what
seems to be the immovable barriers of poverty. A teenager will no longer look
on the needy with a casual glance. A workcamp enhances the teenager’s
faith and provides them with the opportunity to experience the empowerment
that comes with making a difference. A workcamp enables teenagers to create
changes in their lives and in their world.
- Teenagers will learn new skills
At the workcamp, you will hammer, measure, paint, hang drywall, repair roofing,
caulk windows – the list goes on. New skills will be learned during this week
of work. You DO NOT need to possess these skills before you come to workcamp.
A servant’s heart and a “go get-em” attitude goes a long way. Through
the activities and programs, teenagers gain valuable relationship skills –
meeting new people, giving and receiving encouragement, making lasting friendships.
Living together for a week with other students, they will have the opportunity
to learn from and about each other.
- Teenager’s self-esteem will be enhanced
Through the workcrews, the program activities, and the making of new friends,
teenagers discover new strengths and talents. Through this weeklong experience,
teenagers will begin to look at themselves in new and life-giving ways. The
best way to make yourself feel good is to do something good for someone else.
- Teenagers will have a unique opportunity to think about their values
A homeowner asks, “Why did you come all of this way to work on my house?”
A new friendship is made – an evening program touches a teenager – these are
all opportunities for a person to think about his or her value system. The
workcamp also provides an opportunity for a person to think about establishing
and prioritizing goals.
- Teenagers will develop reflective skills through journal keeping.
Each individual at the workcamp is provided a program guide and is encouraged
to keep a reflective, guided journal of their experience during the week of
the workcamp. This experience will not only help them to process the many
different activities and experiences they have; it will provide something
to reflect on after they have returned home.
No. Reach hires the school’s kitchen staff to cook and the custodians to clean. There are two reasons Reach does this. First, we want you to spend time with your youth and not worry about behind-the-scenes details. You will be tired enough after a full day at the worksite to worry about cooking, cleaning, or other duties. Second, it is an extra source of income for people in the areas we are serving. They are the professionals in each of their areas and therefore we feel it is best for them to do the work. The only cleaning we ask you to do at the end of the week is to help clean your sleeping quarters by sweeping and picking up trash.
All high school participants (students going into the 9th grade and up) work in groups or “workcrews” of eight people selected from all workcamp participants. The same workcrew works together all week on one worksite. Middle school participants at the combination workcamps will work together in teams of typically three youth and an adult sponsor, all from their church. This middle school church group will then be teamed up with another middle school group from another church, thus allowing all middle school youth to already know people on their workcrew while meeting new friends at the same time.
Note: If you attend a combination workcamp, middle school and high school students will be assigned to separate workcrews and therefore, won’t work on the same homes. This also means they will be separated during the Evening Programs as most reflection time is spent within your workcrew.
Typically between 250 and 450 young people and their adult sponsors from across the nation will be at each workcamp. This usually represents 15-25 different youth groups. Each workcamp will also have 7 Reach Summer Staff members, at least 2 Directors (Camp Director and Worksite Director), a Master of Ceremonies, numerous Troubleshooters and Reach Red Shirt Volunteers that help the camp function behind the scenes.
Students may want to bring along spending money for snacks or other goodies. Reach sells T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, shorts, coffee mugs, water bottles, pictures and postcards during the workcamp. Additional spending money may be needed if your youth group stops for another activity either on the way to the workcamp, on Wednesday’s half day, or on the way home from the workcamp.
Any person or group that registers on or before November 1st, (of the calendar year before the camp) the total cost per person is reduced by $20.
All Senior Pastors (the lead person at your church) attend any Reach Workcamp with their group for free. We want your workcamp experience to last longer than the week you’re at camp. There is no better way to get support from your church than to show your Senior Pastor the benefits of your mission trip. It’s great for your youth to see the everyday side of your Pastor, and the Pastor gets to know the future generation of the church.
Some of this may seem trivial, but many other organizations don’t provide all this:
The registration fee starts at $399 if you register on or before November 1st (this is referred to as our Early Bird Registration). The registration fee is based on both dates and location of each mission trip. If you register after November 1st, the registration fee increases by $20 per person.
To reserve spots, a $50 deposit is needed for each spot. This $50 deposit is part of the registration fee, so as an example, if your camp is $399, then the remaining balance would be $349 after you reserve your spots. The remaining balance ($349 in this example) will be due in to two equal payments on April 1st and June 1st.
Reach provides three meals a day for all participants, beginning with Sunday night supper and ending with Saturday morning breakfast. The exception to this is Wednesday. Dinner will not be provided on Wednesday evening due to the half day of work on Wednesday.
No. This means that Reach does not pay any sort of overhead money to a larger organization or entity. Reach is an independent, non-profit organization governed by a nine member national Board of Directors.
Participants need to bring their own sleeping bags and/or twin-size air mattresses, personal items such as toothbrushes and towels, suntan lotion, water jugs and shampoo. Some schools have air conditioning and some do not. You may want to bring personal fans or you may want to bring a blanket. A full packing list will be sent to your youth leader upon registration. Each group will also be asked to bring tools. A detailed list of tools needed will be sent to you after you register.
Private showers will be provided for both genders. If the school facility does not have built-in private showers, Reach will “privatize” them ahead of time. If you attend a Combination Workcamp with both middle school and high school students, the middle school students will return to the school about 60 minutes before the high school students so they can access the showers first.
All workcamp participants will stay at a local middle school or high school facility. There will be separate sleeping areas and showers for each gender. All showers and classrooms are privatized before you arrive. Reach hires the school’s kitchen staff to prepare and serve all meals and Reach also hires the school’s custodial staff to help keep the school clean and the facilities stocked.
Each participant is covered by secondary accident insurance. Coverage includes physicians’ and nurses’ fees, hospital confinement costs, surgical fees, x-rays and prescriptions. This plan of insurance is secondary to any health insurance you have. Submission of claims should be sent to your personal insurance first. (Please bring your personal insurance card.) If you have a hospital visit, please be sure to take the Claim Form given to you at the Reach Office home with you. The secondary insurance is to prevent out of pocket expenses for the workcamper.
Your group is required to bring vehicles to the workcamp with enough seating capacity for your group as these vehicles will be assigned for transportation to and from the worksites. We will request a vehicle information form to be filled out so that drivers may be assigned to workcrews that will need a lift. Each vehicle must have proof of insurance on file with the Reach office prior to camp. Reach will pay for any gas used to transport workcrews to and from the worksite.
We truly recognize that many youth group leaders have families with younger children (newborn through elementary age). We believe that bringing children to the workcamp has the potential of being a distraction to the overall purpose of our ministry for teenagers and the daily flow of the week’s events. It is our policy that children are not permitted to come to a Reach Workcamp. Items such as food, lodging, safety/insurance are all factors that have helped shape this decision.
It is recommended that youth groups include at least one adult sponsor, 21 years or older, for every four youth participants. However, it is required to bring at least one adult for every five youth. If you are bringing both young men and women, you will need adults for each gender. Every participant 21 years or older will need to have a current background check on file with their church in order to attend camp. There is no limit to the number of adults you can bring.
Please Note: If your group is planning on bringing Red Shirt Volunteers or Troubleshooters, we do ask that you double check your student to adult ratio. Red Shirt Volunteers and Troubleshooters do not count as part of the adult to student ratio. This ratio is set to help ensure safety on the worksites.
College students, 21 years and older, may attend all Reach Workcamps. They will be mixed in with the entire workcamp population. If college students come with their church youth group, they will participate in the Youth Group Reflections with their group. If college students come without a church youth group, they can be assigned to a youth group for Youth Group Reflections or meet with other college students at camp (assuming there are others). All college students are expected to pay the normal registration fee. We believe that having college students at workcamp is a positive experience as they have an opportunity to grow in leadership while also mentoring younger youth at camp. If college students are not yet 21 years old, they either need to come with their youth group or an adult who is over 21.
We do not have a minimum or maximum group size that can attend workcamp. Due to supervision and safety matters, we cannot accept any workcampers without an adult 21 years or older in their group.
Anyone who will be entering 6th grade or later (including college students and adults) can attend all Reach Mission Trips. (Young adults between the ages of 18-20, although they do not fulfill the requirements for adult sponsors, can attend all Reach Mission Trips.) Middle School and High School students will be assigned to separate workcrews and therefore, won’t work on the same homes. This also means they will be separated during the Evening Programs as most reflection time is spent within your workcrew.