The Youth Ministry Team is seeking feedback from UPY families on the possibility of taking a joint summer mission trip with First Presbyterian Church in Springdale! Parents/Guardians and students are encouraged to respond using the appropriate form below. Please respond by Wednesday, March 3.
Typically, UPY takes a trip during the summer that is approximately a week long. We have gotten into the habit of taking these trips in partnership with First Presbyterian Church of Springdale and Bentonville. The purpose of the trip is both to give students the opportunity to serve others and also to build fellowship, community, and comfortability amongst the students.
UPY is on a three year summer trip rotation:
Year 1: Rural Mission Trip (Last Example: Portsmouth, Ohio 2017)
Year 2: Urban Mission Trip (Last Example: Houston, TX 2018)
Year 3: Triennium (High School Conference)
Summer 2020 was intended to be a rural mission trip to South Dakota. However, COVID-19 forced us to cancel that trip outright. Next summer (2022) will be the summer for Triennium, a Presbyterian high school conference. We typically do not take mission trips the same summer as Triennium due to the costs associated with the Triennium trip.
Which means, the last mission trip UPY took together was in Summer 2018, and (if we do not travel this summer) it may be until Summer 2023 until we take another mission trip together.
With this in mind, we are seeking your input on the possibility of taking a mission trip this summer. While we realize that COVID-19 will still be a very present reality, we believe there are a number of things we can consider that make this trip possible:
1) We will not travel very far. We are only looking at mission trip locations within 5 hours drive time. (Locations we are considering: Tulsa, Kansas City, Memphis, Oklahoma City.)
2) We will only use a mission trip organization with strict COVID-19 guidelines that we agree with. (Examples: Praying Pelican Missions.) These organizations have experience running safe trips for high school students.
3) While everyone taking the trip will have to accept a certain level of mutual exposure and risk, this will not be a “free for all,” COVID-19 ignoring experience. Masks will be worn at nearly all times (exceptions: eating, sleeping, showering), hand washing will be routine, and the Youth Ministry Team will consider if other measures (requiring a negative COVID-19 test, quarantining, etc.) will be enforced.
It is important to remember that even with all the COVID-19 guidelines we could imagine in place, the students and chaperones traveling together on this trip will be mutually exposed given the amount of time spent together in the bus, sleeping in a church basement (or wherever), eating together, etc. There is a certain level of risk associated with taking the trip, though we do not believe it is significantly more risk than a student attending summer camp or even attending school in person.
At this time, we are asking for feedback from students and families on your comfortability and excitement about a trip like this. We do not have specific plans in place yet, because we want to gauge interest before cementing any plans. If there is enough interest to move forward, the Youth Ministry Team will develop a specific plan (trip location, COVID-19 guidelines, etc.) in collaboration with FUPC’s COVID-19 Task Force. We will then present that plan for Session approval.
All that to say, indicating that you are interested in this survey does not mean you are committed to the trip. Assuming we move forward with planning the trip, you and your family will have the ability to make a determination about sending your student on the trip based on the specific plans developed for a safe trip. Additionally, FUPC maintains the right to cancel the trip entirely if – as the trip date approaches – we feel that it is no longer safe or wise to participate.
We would like to receive feedback from both parents/guardians AND students. Please use the appropriate form below to provide your feedback (be as honest as possible) by next Wednesday, March 3.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Brianne or Jacob.
FORM FOR PARENTS/GUARDIANS