We suggest you have this meeting a month and half before your mission trip starts.
BEFORE THE MEETING
- Share the link to the Participant Info Form with all youth and adult participants before the meeting.
- They need to click on the Participant Info Form tab to enter in the participant’s information and digitally sign. NOTE: If the participant is 17 years old or younger, their parent/guardian needs to fill this out and sign for them. Participants that are 18 or older do it themselves. Tell them they must have this done by this scheduled meeting.
- Tell your adult drivers that, when they are filling out their Participant Info Form, to enter information about the vehicle they are driving and whatever insurance it will be covered under. (If they don’t know yet, have them type “NA”.)
- Login to your customer account:
- Keep track of who has submitted their Participant Info Form online and who hasn’t.
- Click on the Lodging Info tab to view the lodging information (with address). You can view this information on the screen or print screen and share with your group.
- Remember all your participants that are 18 years or older need to have a national (or multi-state) background check run on them. These checks cannot be any older than 2 years from the start of your trip. Once you have those background checks completed, go to the Screening Form tab and select “Add New” to enter the participant names, their background check organization, and date the check was run. Once you are done with that list, enter your pastor’s name and email address and click “Send Authorization Message.” You will receive an email notification when your pastor authorizes your adults.
- Print the Packing List for everyone (located under Helpful Resources and then under Schedule, Menu, and Packing).
- Invite all participants and parents to this meeting.
- Have your customer account up online to help you answer questions.
- Have a computer available at your meeting for any participants/parents that haven’t submitted the Participant Info Form. They can fill it out right there.
- Ask participants to bring a copy of their health insurance card to the meeting, you’ll want to keep these for your records.
- Create any other forms of your own that you want signed or reviewed by parents. Do you have a medical release form? Group Mission Trips does not collect any medical information. Gather your church medical release forms and any other release forms that may pertain to your mission trip experience.
Say: Welcome everyone! Thank you for supporting us as we serve and grow closer to God this summer. Our group is so excited for the upcoming mission trip! I want everyone to leave feeling informed. If you have questions at the end of the meeting–please ask!
- Remind everyone of the exact dates and times you’ll be leaving and returning. The more details you can give, the more reassured the parents will feel. Share your, and your adult participant’s, cell numbers with the parents.
- Discuss your group’s plans for free time and dinner on Tuesday afternoon/evening and if there is an additional cost or release form needed. Talk about any other fun activities or overnight stays that you have planned.
- Give update on how the group is doing with its fundraising.
- Make sure every parent has the lodging information and address. Let parents know that they can send mail to participants during the week.
- As camp gets closer, there will be contact information populated on that Lodging Info tab that includes a phone number and email address for the staff at camp. If there’s an emergency and parents can’t get a hold of anyone in your group, they can call that number to leave a message for your camp staff.
- As you review the AC and shower details at your camp’s lodging facility, remind participants that this is a mission trip! It’s their opportunity to sacrifice certain luxuries to concentrate on serving others and growing closer to God.
WHAT TO BRING
- Hand out and review the Packing List in detail.
- Remind everyone that they will be sleeping on the floor and need to bring a single-sized air mattress (unless otherwise noted on your Lodging Info).
- Give an update on the community gift donations you are bringing as a group. Do the parents need to help with this?
- Review what NOT to bring.
- You and your adults will be responsible for your participant’s dress during camp. This is a perfect time to set your guidelines for appropriate dress within your group.
- Group Mission Trips staff will not be policing dress during the camp, they will be focusing on participant safety and spiritual growth. GMT recommends all participants wear modest clothes that are appropriate in every situation and will not embarrass anyone.
- Say: We’ll be serving at local organizations that do have specific dress requirements. Don’t get turned away from a project site because of inappropriate attire! Pack plenty of t-shirts, longer shorts or pants, and tennis shoes. Also, ladies need to bring one-piece swimsuits in case they are assigned to a project site teaching a resident how to swim. Please no tanks with skinny straps, shirts that reveal the midriff, short shorts or flip flops. And, no clothing with offensive language or images. Our goal is to serve these organizations and residents while showing them Jesus’ love. The community will expect our dress and behavior to be different as Christians.
- Thank parents for their support in this.
CODE OF CONDUCT AND RELEASE AGREEMENT
- Pull up your online customer account. The Code of Conduct and Liability and Release Agreement are both there under Helpful Resources and Getting Started. (You should have already gone through the Adult section of the Code of Conduct with your adults in your separate Adult Pre-Trip Meeting.)
- Read through the Code of Conduct. Remind everyone that, by signing their Participant Info Form, they are agreeing to both the Code of Conduct and the Liability and Release Agreement.
- Talk about any other discipline/rules that you have.
Field any questions and close in prayer.
AFTER THE MEETING
In your customer account, let Group Mission Trips know of any participant changes or cancellations. (Remember any cancellations after May 15th are non-refundable.) Your forms should be complete at least 30 days before your trip starts.