This meeting will get your group ready to do the most common construction tasks at a Group Mission Trip – and do it all safely. Believe it or not, many youth (and lots of adults as well) have never done basic construction tasks like swing a hammer, read a tape measure, or climb more than a step stool. This meeting will give everyone the confidence they need to serve well this summer. It’s also a great opportunity to involve adults in your youth ministry! 

BEFORE THE MEETING: 

WELCOME

STATION 1: LADDERS 

Supplies Needed: Stepladders and extension ladders 
Participants should learn: 

SAFETY TIP: When you’re up on a ladder, look out for overhead power lines. They carry enough electricity to kill instantly. Never, under any circumstances, touch an overhead electric line or electrical service entrance. Let’s say our favorite safety phrase all together: My safety is my number one job! 

 

STATION 2: HAND TOOLS

Supplies Needed: Phillips screwdrivers, slotted screwdrivers, chisels, hammers, nail bars, many 16d nails, and scrap lumber to drive and remove nails 

Participants should learn the safe and proper use of a: 

SAFETY TIP: Don’t use a tool for a task for which it was not intended. Generally speaking, if you’re forcing the tool, you’re probably not using it correctly, and you’re more likely to get hurt. Let’s say our favorite safety phrase altogether: My safety is my number one job! 

 

STATION 3: CAULKING, UTILITY KNIFE

Supplies Needed: caulking guns, tubes of caulk, scrap lumber to practice squeezing and smoothing caulk on, rags for wiping up, utility knives with blades, nails for corking the opened caulk tubes 

Participants should learn: 

SAFETY TIP: Immediately retract the blade of a utility knife after each use—even if you’re just setting it down for a minute. Let’s say our favorite safety phrase altogether: My safety is my number one job! 

 

STATION 4: PAINTING 

Supplies Needed: cans of house paint, wooden stirrers, various paintbrushes, paint trays, paint rollers and paint roller covers, scrapers, scrap lumber to practice painting on, a hose for cleaning, dust masks, and safety goggles to demonstrate safe scraping 

Participants should learn how to: 

SAFETY TIP: In any home repair scenario, assume the old paint on the house is lead-based, and wear dust masks when scraping. Inhaling paint dust is a serious health hazard. Let’s say our favorite safety phrase altogether: My safety is my number one job! 

YOUTH LEADER TIP: Review the points of the document below, called “Just Painting.” 

 

STATION 5: POWER TOOLS 

Supplies Needed: power saw, power drill, spare blades, spare bits, screw tip bits, extension cord, power source, safety goggles, sawhorses, scrap lumber to practice cutting and drilling, screws for drilling. 

Note: Any participant can operate a power drill/driver to put screws into boards. Participants that are under age 16 cannot operate a power tool and participants under the age of 18 cannot use a power saw on a Group Mission trip. 

Participants should learn how to: 

SAFETY TIP: Be careful not to use power tools in wet conditions. Always unplug power tools immediately after each use. Also, power tools must be used under the supervision of an adult at all times during the mission trip. Let’s say our favorite safety phrase altogether: My safety is my number one job! 

 

STATION 6: TAPE MEASURES/CHALK LINES/LEVELS 

Supplies Needed: tape measures, chalk lines, levels, various objects to measure and check the level, speed square (optional), T-square (optional) 

Participants should learn how to: 

SAFETY TIP: Keep small tools in a central location or on your tool belt. Return them after each use. If you spend less time searching for tools, you’ll have less opportunity to get hurt! Let’s say our favorite safety phrase altogether: My safety is my number one job! 

 

WRAP UP & TOOLS: 

BONUS PRACTICE: 

For real, hands-on practice–coordinate a real construction project. Perhaps someone in your church or community needs a new coat of paint or a wheelchair ramp on their home, consider providing this for them. Or, perhaps use it as a fundraiser for the trip. 


“JUST PAINTING”

We sometimes hear from kids (and adults) who express disappointment at being asked to do a painting project. “Just painting”, as they call it, doesn’t seem to them to be important work. 

Honestly, nothing could be further from the truth… 

Group Mission Trips takes on painting projects for two very important reasons: 

  1. Paint is key to preserving the structure of the home. Our developer accompanied a group of state government housing experts to a remote, very low-income community we had served at several years ago. They inspected several homes that our youth groups had painted and the housing pros were very impressed that the homes, while old and in a region of severe weather, were still in very good condition. By contrast, they inspected a home that had not been painted in years. The unprotected siding—once in very good quality—had weathered and begun to absorb, rather than shed, water. This was causing it to rot completely through, actually leaving fist-sized holes in several spots. The insulation in the walls had become wet and useless, and the rot had spread to the wall studs, threatening the structural integrity of the home. The damage was literally beyond repair—and the sad fact was, it all could have been prevented with a simple coat of paint! 
  2. A nice clean coat of paint has an amazing impact on your resident’s self-esteem. Let’s face it, in comparison to many of the residents we serve, we enjoy fairly affluent living conditions. A few gallons of paint just doesn’t seem like much to us. But, to a resident who really can’t afford those few gallons, that paint equals a whole new outlook on life! This point was driven home to us by one of our mission trip partners in the poorest county in the United States. His motto was, “no matter what else we do on the house, every one of our residents gets a nice, fresh coat of paint”. The housing stock in this area was really bad, and we had questioned the value of spending time and money to paint homes that needed so many other things (yes, we once questioned the value of painting ourselves!) In response, we were told the story of two children there who wouldn’t go to school. They were so ashamed of how their house looked that they didn’t want the other kids on the school bus to see where they lived. Our partner told us, “In comparison to us, your people are rich and you don’t understand. But to us, just having a house that looks better makes us feel better about ourselves. It makes us feel like we’re worth something again.” 

We have never been able to forget those words and we hope that you don’t either. And if you could see the delight in your resident’s eyes months before our mission trip when they carefully choose the color they hope you will make their house—you would never again think you are “just painting”.