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1997 National Youth Workcamps

Planting Seeds
Growing In Faith

"Your faith is growing abundantly..."
2 Thessalonians 1:3 NRSV

    During the 1997 workcamps, we will be planting seeds, sharing our lives with other people while we grow in faith. By trusting in God's growing power, we are opening ourselves to the warm light of human relationships and the refreshing waters of service. As Psalm 1:3 states, "They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit into its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper." Come, grow in faith as we both plant seeds and encourage growth in the people around us.

Schedule of Workcamps

Young Adults
Quito, EcuadorMay 29-June 8
Senior High
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin IslandsJune 16-22
San Juan, Puerto RicoJune 16-22
Germantown, Pa.June 22-29
La Verne, Calif.July 7-13
Black church rebuilding
(location to be announced)
July 7-13
Chicago, Ill.July 14-20
Sedalia, Colo.July 14-20
Americus, Ga.July 21-27
Rosebud, S.C.July 21-27
Ephrata, Pa.July 21-27
Lend-A-Hand, Ky.July 28-Aug. 3
Orlando, Fla.Aug. 4-10
Perryville, Ark.Aug. 10-16
Washington, D.C.Aug. 11-17
Junior High
New Windsor, Md.June 23-27
Harrisburg, Pa.June 25-29
Dayton, OhioJuly 16-20
Philadelphia, Pa.July 30-Aug. 3
Indianapolis, Ind.July 30-Aug. 3
Richmond, Va.Aug. 6-10

Description of Workcamps

Young Adults

Quito and Misahualli, Ecuador, May 29-June 8

Misahualli is the point of departure for a two-hour canoe trip further in to the jungle where workcampers will help villagers with agricultural and construction projects. Almost everything is done by hand labor in the jungle. In the tropical humidity, workcampers need strength, determination, and the willingness to endure blisters! Included in the ten days are ecology lectures, time to see the charming capital city of Quito, a visit to Mitad del Mundo, a market day in Otavalo, and worship with nuestros hermanos in Christ.

Limit:15 participants

Cost: $600 in country (Example of airfare: Round-trip from Miami to Quito is approximately $500.)

Senior High

San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 16-22

Recognized for its beauty, Puerto Rico draws many tourists to its beaches and scenery. However, we will delve below the tourist sights to work among the residents for whom the island is home. Our work here includes painting the community center, repairing homes, and teaching children. As we experience a new culture which retains most of its heritage and traditions, we have the opportunity to share our lives with others and learn. Come to the island of Puerto Rico and work with us in the inner city of San Juan with the Caimito congregation and community center.

Limit: 20 participants

Cost: $260
St. Croix, Virgin Islands, June 16-22
The Virgin Islands' area of beauty and high tourist travel. Yet beyond these sites lies another vision of St. Croix, one where poverty and poor living conditions prevail. It is in this area that we will focus our attention. While in St. Croix, we will work with the Queen Louise Home for children, assisting with facility renovations, clean-up, and spending time with the residents. At the other end of the spectrum, we will also help out at Flambouyant Gardens, a residence for the elderly. Come, share in this unique opportunity to experience the West Indies culture in a way the cruise ships ignore.

Limit: 25 participants

Cost: $260
Germantown, Pennsylvania, June 16-22
Come back to the roots of our Brethren faith in the United States! This workcamp, co-sponsored by the Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) and the National Youth Ministry Office, will return to the site of the first Brethren church in America. However, the environment has changed dramatically from what our forebears knew and experienced. Now Germantown is an urban area, offering workcampers the opportunity to interact with residents through a large neighborhood gospel mission, leading in an evening Vacation Bible School, and aiding in light construction and repairs. Participants will also help maintain the grounds of Germantown Church of the Brethren, where they will be staying. This workcamp is intended for those who can identify with the views of the BRF evangelical, conservative ideals will be emphasized and drawn out as roots of Brethren history are re-visited at Germantown.

Limit: 20 participants

Cost: $225
Black church rebuilding (location to be announced), July 7-13
This workcamp is a bit of a mystery because we don't have an exact location for it, but we do know it will be somewhere in the deep South. We will be working with the Church Rebuilding Program along with Habitat for Humanity. For those interested in rebuilding churches burned as a result of intolerance and overt racism, come share your abilities. The project has at least 30 churches to rebuild, two of which the Church of the Brethren Disaster Response program has committed to rebuild. We may or may not work on one of these sites, but we will certainly have an opportunity to examine our attitudes toward diversity and test our willingness to help in a environment where civil rights have not been embraced by all. This workcamp will require a certain amount of trust for now, but more details are promised.

Limit: 20 participants

Cost: $210
Camp LaVerne, California, July 7-13
Long Beach, site of the 1997 Annual Conference, also is considered an extension of Los Angeles. Camp LaVerne lies about two hours away, and it is here where we will spend the majority of our time for this workcamp. Specifically, we will involve ourselves in a blitz-build of a new restroom facility, finishing it by the end of our time together. Additionally, there will be opportunities to work with one or more agencies in the Los Angeles area. This workcamp offers both picturesque scenery and urban realities, both challenges workcampers to grow in faith.

Limit: 35 participants

Cost: $210
Chicago, Illinois, July 14-20
Chicago is filled with rich basketball champions, but it is also filled with low income, poverty level inhabitants. The windy city will be a place for senior highs to plant seeds of faith. Our host for the week will be the Chicago First Church of the Brethren. Our work will include helping with the church's children's summer program, as well as renovating apartments with the possibility of painting a community wall mural.

Limit: 20 participants

Cost: $210
Camp Colorado, Sedalia, July 14-20
Located less than an hour from Denver, Camp Colorado offers beautiful scenery and cool air in the summer. Some youth may recall experiences in Colorado during the 1994 National Youth Conference, and others may be anticipating the 1998 NYC. Come a year early to explore this state by serving to improve the camp's facilities. As we work, we will be making it easier for future campers there to enjoy the camp and grow closer to God.

Limit: 35 participants

Cost: $210
Americus, Georgia, July 21-27
Based on the philosophy that everyone needs simple, decent shelter, Millard Fuller organized Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit Christian effort to make homes available to those who might otherwise not be able to afford them. Now, with over 1,100 affiliates in the United States and 70 others worldwide, we will be traveling to Americus, Habitat's international headquarters. While there, we will participate in building projects, working side by side with the house's future occupants who help to pay with sweat hours. This will also be a chance to explore and learn about Habitat's efforts across the globe and how one man's seed of faith grew into one of the most popular housing ministries.

Limit: 15 participants

Cost: $210
Rosebud, South Dakota, July 21-27
Before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Unites States, Native Americans honored and utilized the land. However, as settlers spread across the nation, our native sisters and brothers moved to reservations where they could keep their faith and culture alive. The Rosebud reservation offers a rich background in the Sioux tradition and will give us the opportunity to join our Native American partners in work and sharing. While there, we will help with some general building rehabilitation and will provide leadership for summer Bible school. The experience will also be a great opportunity to view the culture of another group and compare how the media has distorted images of Native Americans.

Limit: 30 participants

Cost: $210
Conflict Mediation, Ephrata, Pennsylvania, July 21-27
This workcamp is unique because it involves skills of the mind such as mediation, individual and group problem-solving, listening, and negotiation rather than physical skills to make the workcamp a success. This will be work of the head, not the hands. God's message is often shared with us in ways that tell us what to do and why to do these things. This workcamp will focus on the how of nonviolence and conflict resolution. God's message to love one another in a violent and confrontational world will be explored, as we work at learning new skills and obtaining new tools to help with relationships. Our workcamp time will be spent learning and practicing these new skills so that they become part of the way we live.

Limit: 20 participants

Cost: $210
Lend-A-Hand, Kentucky, July 28-August 3
Lend-A-Hand Center, located within the Appalachian region, serves as a mid-wife and medical clinic and farm project. We will be assisting with general farm operations including cow-milking, in this very rural environment. Our work, organized through the Commission on Religion in Appalachia, a ministry to help struggling communities overcome injustices, may be hot and dirty, but it offers lots of opportunities to examine our purpose in serving.

Limit: 15 participants

Cost: $210
Orlando, Florida, August 4-10
Maintaining and protecting God's creation is part of our responsibility as Christians. Beyond the tourist attractions of Disney World and Universal Studios lies a natural world with just as many interesting sights and activities. Our focus for this workcamp will be on conservation issues such as water quality and protection of habitat and endangered species in the midst of the urban sprawl and development of Orlando. We will be staying at Camp Ithiel, our Brethren camp on the edge of the city. Grow closer to God in faith as we practice good stewardship of the land we have been entrusted with to preserve.

Limit: 30 participants

Cost: $210
Heifer Project Ranch, Perryville, Arkansas, August 10-16
Dan West, ambitious dreamer and a man dedicated to the Brethren ideal of service, had a plan to feed the hungry by providing live animals for them to use and pass on the offspring. Now, over 50 years later, Heifer Project International continues the work Dan started and is constantly expanding its programs to meet the world's needs, from llamas to leucaena trees. While at its headquarters in Perryville, we will work on the ranch where animals once were prepared for shipping, and we'll help maintain sites at the educational center. However, this workcamp focuses just as much on education, we'll learn about HPI's mission and the breadth of hunger in the world today. Although Heifer Project works with animals, we will not be working much with the livestock.

Limit: 40 participants

Cost: $210
Washington, D.C., August 11-17
True to its identity as the capitol of the United States, Washington, D.C. is a culmination of diversity. This diversity exists not only in skin color, but also in beliefs, social status, language, and other factors too numerous to name. While politicians abound on Capitol Hill, large sections of the city struggle to secure daily needs of food and shelter. During our week in D.C. we will strip away the veil of wealth seen in tourist brochures to deal with human issues that newspapers claim Congress must face. We will be working with a variety of community service agencies that help low-income and homeless persons.

Limit: 20 participants

Cost: $210

Junior High

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, June 23-27

Not far from the rolling hills and farms of Lancaster lies Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's capital. During this workcamp, we will join Brethren Housing Association, a program committed to providing homes for those who do not have the funds to purchase them through traditional means. Our work will include painting, cleaning, and rebuilding homes for persons in need. Join us in Harrisburg as we plant seeds of our faith.

Limit: 20 participants

Cost: $160
New Windsor, Maryland, June 23-27
Home of the Brethren Service Center, New Windsor will be the site of one of our first junior high workcamps. Initiated by Brethren visionaries like M.R. Zigler, New Windsor has encouraged growth of developing area through a variety of means, including disaster relief efforts. While here, we will work with two other programs of the service center -- clothes processing and SERRV, a program which provides a way for artisans form around the world to sell items in the United States and receive the money in their home country. This workcamp will give participants a chance to see where many seeds of faith have been planted and where their fruits continue to grow.

Limit: 30 participants

Cost: $160
Dayton, Ohio, July 16-20
Located just north of Cincinnati, Dayton experiences much of the big city life, including homelessness and hunger. Although its needs may be overshadowed by Cincinnati, Dayton's poverty level has been increasing. While there, we will stay at the Mack Memorial Church of the Brethren and we will work with a variety of social service programs such as Habitat for Humanity, shelters, soup kitchens and others. At the same time, we can explore options concerning why Dayton is experiencing the same fate of larger cities. Come, plant seeds of hope and faith among the people of Dayton who are considered poor.

Limit: 20 participants

Cost: $160
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania July 30-August 3
Its name means city of Brotherly love, but poverty and homelessness have filled many of its residents with despair, not hope and joy. Come, share Brethren love in Philadelphia as we tackle the effects of these problems. We will work with the Greater Philadelphia Food Bank, as well as soup kitchens. As we aid in providing food, we will also grow in our understanding of what Jesus meant when he said, for I was hungry, and you gave me food...as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it for me.

Limit: 25 participants

Cost: $160
Indianapolis, Indiana, July 30-August 3
Indianapolis is known for the Indy 500, the largest single sporting event. However, behind the fast cars is another reality of urban poverty. We will speed into action working with the Concord Community Development Corporation. Work will include, but not be limited to, painting, cleaning, and repairing homes of members of the Indianapolis community. We'll stay at the Northview Church of the Brethren. Join us in Indianapolis as we share and plant seeds of faith.

Limit: 25 participants

Cost: $160
Richmond, Virginia, August 6-10
Those who have lived the longest among us carry the most memories and often possess great wisdom. However, in a society that feeds upon speed and youth, people who are advanced in age may feel marginalized and neglected. If you are looking to enrich your relational skills with elderly persons, then this is the workcamp for you. We will work with the Capital Area Agency on Aging doing yard work, painting and repairs for the elderly. Our host will be the West Richmond Church of the Brethren.

Limit: 30 participants

Cost: $160

General Information

    The cost of the workcamp covers food, housing, on-site transportation, recreation, a workcamp T-shirt, and materials for the project. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the workcamp. Workcamps have a small, secondary health insurance policy which is supplemental to the family health insurance of participants.

    Registrations are on a first-come/first-served basis. Junior high workcamps are open to those who have completed grades 6, 7, and 8. Senior high workcamps are open to those who have completed 9th grade through one year out of high school. Young Adult workcamps are open to those 18 years of age and up. Advisors are encouraged to attend with their youth. Congregations are asked to comprise no more than 1/4 of the participant limit of any one specific workcamp.

Request a registration form by:

Mail
Church of the Brethren General Board
c/o Liz Bidgood and Greg Enders
1997 Workcamp Coordinators
1451 Dundee Avenue
Elgin, IL 60120

Fax
(847) 742-6103

Phone
(800) 323-8039, ext. 269 or 276

E-mail
cob.youth.parti@ecunet.org

    Please complete the registration form and send it with a $50 non-refundable check. The balance of the registration fee is due April 1, 1997. Many congregations and districts offer financial assistance to those who show need and express interest. So don't be afraid to ask your pastor, past-NYC participants, or even your parents for fund raising ideas. If you really want to be involved, don't let money be an obstacle!