Facts About Reach Workcamps
Ministering since 1992, Reach Workcamps is a weeklong mission of service to low-income communities. Working with local agencies and/or local churches, the camps seek to make an impact on residents, communities, students and adult sponsors who attend. It is a life-changing experience as campers participate in activities that build community and self-esteem, encourages spiritual growth and enables them to understand their role in combating poverty.
Who can attend?
Any students who will be entering grades 9 through 12, any college-aged students,
and adult sponsors can attend all
workcamps. In addition, students
entering grades 7 and 8 can attend the Combination Workcamps. We do ask
that there be one adult age 21 or older for every five students, and at
least one adult for each gender.
College students may attend all Reach Workcamps. They will be mixed in with the entire workcamp population, but they may not serve as chaperones unless they are 21 years of age or older, and they will not be the only leader on any worksite. If college students come with their church youth group, they can do Youth Group Reflections with their group (this is the preferred method) or with other college students at camp (assuming there are others at camp). 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.
Can we bring children to the workcamp?
We truly recognize that many youth leaders have families with small children (newborn through elementary). We believe however, 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. Items such as food, lodging, safety, insurance are all factors that have helped shape this decision. So it is our policy that children are not permitted to attend a Reach Workcamp.
Reach Workcamps organizes and coordinates the completion of basic home repair projects for elderly, disabled, and low-income families. We refer to each homeowner as our "neighbor" based on Mark 12:31, during which Jesus talks abour loving our neighbors as ourselves. Each neighbor is visited during the year before the camp by one of our staff to look over the home and meet the person whom we will be serving. The construction aim of the workcamp is to provide neighbors with a warmer, drier, and safer home. The workcamp also helps to restore lost pride and hope in the neighbors. In many cases, the repair work helps to reduce utility costs. It is a priority of each Reach Workcamp to establish positive relationships between the neighbors and workcampers. Our workcampers are encouraged to spend time talking with and listening to the neighbors they are serving. The relationships that are established enable the workcamp to achieve one of its goals: meeting the emotional and spiritual needs of the neighbors.
The full registration fee is $399 per person which includes:
- $50 per person registration fee
- All meals (except for Wed. evening) from dinner on arrival Sunday evening to breakfast on the Saturday of departure
- Supplemental health insurance
- Materials to be used for the neighbor's home
- Program materials
It is recommended that each group must include at least one adult sponsor, 21 years or older, for every four youth participants. If you are bringing both male and female youth, there must be a sponsor 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. Adults are key to helping us serve. Each adult will be a part of a workcrew and is expected to help facilitate discussions and encourage students in all parts of the project and activities during the camp. There are also some volunteer positions needed at each camp that help the Reach Staff with "behind-the-scenes" stuff. If you would like to volunteer at a camp that your youth group is attending, click here
to print out a Volunteer Application and Form. This is different than the "normal" adult position.
Each camp is housed at a local high school in the community we will be serving. Restroom and shower facilities are all dependent upon the facility at which we are staying, however, we do visit each school to see that it is acceptable. We make a strong effort to make your stay as comfortable as possible including privatizing the shower areas. Your group will be sleeping at the school, which will be divided into men's and women's areas. An air mattress will become one of your best friends here.
Reach will provide all meals from arrival Sunday dinner through breakfast on Saturday of your departure. Wednesday is a half-day of work and the afternoon is free for your group until 10pm. You will be responsible for dinner Wednesday night. There will be an optional volleyball tournament for all workcamp participants to play against the staff on Wednesday evening. We've found the youth groups to benefit from an afternoon together in the middle of a busy workcamp.
The vehicles your group brings to the camp 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. Reach will pay for any gas used to transport workcrews to and from the worksite.
The projects will include basic weatherization, painting, repair and construction of porches, steps, wheelchair ramps and outhouses, as well as many other unique projects that may be assigned. The projects selected are appropriate for the age group attending and each camper is assigned to a project with their skill level in mind. All repairs are made at no cost to the homeowners. 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 make daily on-site visits to ensure quality workmanship and to assist workcampers with the skills necessary to complete their projects. Click here
to see a sample Worksite Description that is given to each crew in order to complete their work projects. Worksites are selected based on the following criteria:
- Obvious Need - either the home is in obvious need of repairs or the resident physically can not complete needed repairs.
- Workcamper Safety - both the structural conditions and environmental conditions are safe for the workcampers.
- Location - All worksites are usually within 30 minutes driving distance from the host school.
- Residents - All worksites need to be occupied residential homes.
- Religion or church affiliation are NOT requirements to for a worksite.
- Local community agencies may wish to include additional criteria such as income, specific area of the county, age groupings, etc.
Senior High participants (9-12 graders) work in groups or “workcrews” of seven people selected from all workcamp participants. The same workcrew works together all week. Junior High participants (7-8 graders) at the combination workcamps will work together in groups of 3-4 youth and an adult sponsor from their church. They will then be teamed up with another junior high group from another church of 3-4 youth and an adult sponsor, thus making a workcrew of 8-10 people.
Typical Workcamp Day
|6:30 am||Wake-up with some lovely Reach music|
|6:30 am||A fully loaded breakfast|
|7:30 am||Morning Program|
|8:00 am||Head out for the worksites|
|12:00 pm||Lunch and on-site devotions|
|3:30 pm||Return to the school for a well deserved shower|
|7:00 pm||Evening Program|
|8:30 pm||Youth Group Reflections|
|9:30 pm||Free Time|
|10:45 pm||Lights out|
Included during the day are On-Site Devotions that help each workcrew come together
and focus on Christ in their lives. Wednesday is a unique day in that
it is a half day of work. The afternoon is free for your group to go site-seeing,
swimming at the local pool or lake, play mini-golf, cow-tongue football
or whatever it is you want to do. Dinner is your group's responsibility
for Wednesday evening and upon your return, there is an optional volleyball
tournament for anyone, or any group, to showcase their stuff. Youth groups
are expected to return in time for lights out. Want more details on a
typical day at Reach, click here
a Detailed Schedule.
In order to reserve your place this summer at a Reach Workcamp, a $50 per person non-refundable deposit is required. Be sure to reserve enough spaces for your group. If you would like to learn more concerning our registration policy, or you would like to register for a Reach Workcamp, click here
When did Reach Workcamps begin?
Reach Ministries International was incorporated as a non-profit organization in the State of Colorado on November 25, 1991. Reach Ministries International received its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service on July 21, 1992. “Reach Workcamps” is a trade name used by Reach Ministries International to represent all workcamp activities.
Reach is interdenominational. It is not affiliated with any one church but serves all Christian churches. An interdenominational eight member National Board of Directors governs Reach.
Reach held its first workcamp during the summer of 1992 in Madisonville, Kentucky. Since then, over 25,000 junior and senior high school students and their adult sponsors have attended a Reach Workcamp in thirteen different states and Mexico. There have been 117 Reach Workcamps since its birth. Over the years, Reach Workcamps has experienced a 70% youth group return rate.