Our youth took our annual mission trip this year to Virginia Beach June 24-29.  Work Camp has been a tradition for our high school students for many years.

This year, the trip was planned from scratch and we couldn’t have made it possible without the connectional ministries of the United Methodist Church.  We connected to two UMC churches in Virginia Beach that are heavily involved in serving their community. The first two days we harvested and weeded two community gardens, mulched a community playground, sorted donations at one of the church’s clothing room and packed boxes of donations to be shipped to Kenya. It was a packed two days!

Two of the other ministries we participated in were geared to homeless neighbors in the community. The first program we assisted with was “Fresh Food Wednesday” at The Gathering at Scott Memorial UMC. They typically host around 100 households and give an opportunity to go through an open grocery set-up.  Items included produce that we harvested from the community gardens. I was so impressed with our youth! Volunteers serve as personal shoppers and the youth jumped right in.

Another program we helped with was serving dinner to the neighbors of Virginia Beach with awesome food from The Thirsty Frog, LLC food truck! The youth served as waiters, took orders and delivered food to the tables. Then once everyone had seconds, we sat and ate and made new friends.

Each step of the way, our youth contributed to the community in what may have seen like small ways yet hopefully gave a lasting impact.  Of course, we also found time to visit the beach and bond together throughout the week.  Look for more details from the youth on this trip during our worship services on July 29!

 – Ashley Gerard, Director of Discipleship from Birth to Young Adult