The beauty of our trips is that they require very little planning for your leaders, aside from the practicalities of getting here and back. Still, here are a few things to thing about:
Chaperones – We recommend a 1-to-3 ratio for junior-high groups, and a 1-to-5 ratio for high schoolers. During your stay, all your students must be with one of your adults, so it is important to have enough chaperones for situations where we may split up into smaller groups for different tasks.
Debrief Time – At the end of each night after our scheduled programming, you will usually have an hour or two in your dorm with just your group before bed. Take advantage of this space for sharing, processing, and bonding as a team, it can often be some of the most formational parts of the week. Some leaders plan this out, while some let it flow naturally.
Sightseeing – Many groups will take one day or evening to go explore Chicago. While we are happy to help you facilitate this, it is up to you to find out what your group members want to do. Maybe most of your crew has already seen “the Bean” or maybe it’s all new. Perhaps there’s space in your budget for going to Shedd Aquarium? We are happy to lead you on a journey through China Town, along the Chicago River via water taxi, and downtown for deep dish pizza!
Hearts and Minds – The best thing you can tell your students and leaders, “Be open to what God has to teach YOU.” While your service will be a great help to our shelter and community, these trips tend to have even more impact on those who came to serve. So be ready for it!