Author: Kimberly Silvernale
Trip Leader: A Guide designated to oversee the smooth running of a trip.
By definition, a TRIP LEADER means: A guide designated to oversee the smooth running of a trip. In reality, a Young Life Trip Leader coordinates everything from the training of the volunteer leader team to:
Spiritual health and focus of the team.
Training and Communication to kids, parents and volunteers.
Communication with Airlines, Bus Companies, Camps, Head Leaders, Program Teams etc
Collecting and protecting and dispersing cell phones, devices, medicines, dietary needs etc.
Getting kids to and from camp safely
And most importantly, ensuring that YL Camp is the ‘Best Trip of their Life!” ….and lots more!
Over the course of a Young Life summer we take over 3000 CAMP TRIPS both US and Internationally. They range from overnights, to week-long trips and everything in between...from our US and International properties, to Camps on Wheels, to adventure camping, to backpacking and service projects.
That’s thousands of trips and on average - OVER HALF OF OUR TRIP LEADERS EACH SUMMER ARE YOUNG LIFE VOLUNTEERS!
As a young staff person, I remember the trip leader role was a privileged position. It was a position of high responsibility typically reserved for the local Area Director. Decades later, I’ve noticed that the title is even more significant. On average, the local area staff person is ‘out of the area’ several weeks of a given summer (2-3 camp trips, a summer assignment and a family vacation) To address the busy schedule of a typical YL area, the ‘trip leader’ role often times is given to a senior volunteer leader. What a gift to have volunteers in the local area who give of their time and talents to serve in this way! What a responsibility it is for local staff and committee to train, support, pray for and empower this group to serve well each summer! The Trip Leader plays a vital role in the success of a camp week for their area, caring for leaders and kids and partnering with the Assigned Team to ensure excellence across the board.
Several years ago several Areas/Regions/Divisions started ‘Trip Leader Training’ for all Trip Leaders (staff and volunteers) as they prepared for Summer Camping. The desire was simple: to affirm the role while giving clarity and expectation to the trip leader during the camp week. We had great success in our desire to equip and encourage Trip Leaders in their role during a summer camp week. As we prepare for the 2018 summer camping season, let's equip, affirm and encourage the key people who serve in key roles in making sure kids have the best opportunity to hear the Gospel.
Click the HERE to download a sample Trip Leader Training that you can use in your local area and HERE is a link to the National website for EVERYTHING trip leaders need to know. As we continue to say around the YL Mission, ‘we are a volunteer led ministry and as we head into our 76th year, we are too good to not get better!” Let’s care for our best: Volunteer Trip Leaders.