Youth Mission Trips

High School Youth spent a week near Monticello, IA working at Camp Courageous, a year-round recreational and respite camp for individuals of all ages with disabilities. The work included washing windows, cleaning chairs, sealing picnic tables and a large deck, loading and unloading 200 large bags of mulch, and sealing cracks on nearly ½ mile of pavement in preparation for resurfacing.

Here are some thoughts from those on the trip:

Sam Cramer: This truly was an amazing week/trip. I was extremely happy with all the hard work we did to help this wonderful camp. In my case, I was really moved by the camp itself. It seemed like for the first time there wasn’t a barrier between people with disabilities and people without. At this camp a disability wasn’t a set-back, the campers were able to go canoeing, and swimming! That is why I loved this trip so much as it was an eye-opening experience filled with hard work and fun! 

Henry Flogel: This trip was definitely a valuable and fulfilling experience for me. Knowing that we helped to take the work load off of the fantastic staff at the camp filled me with a sense of accomplishment. Not only that, but I definitely had a fun time on the job, and during our free time when we could explore all the camp had to offer. You could definitely admire the camp’s staff and just how much effort and patience they put into their job. I wish the best for all of the campers and staff and hope to volunteer there again some day.

Charlie Baker: (came as a friend of Henry, left a friend of all) Although I was a foreigner to the church and the youth group, I was included and made to feel a part of the greater whole. Activities, engaging, and ever filling cracks with tar was entertaining. I enjoyed the trip and got to experience something completely new to me. I learned that the staff at Camp Courageous have a level of patience that I could not match. I enjoyed the entire experience and would be open to do something similar and being part of the youth group. 

Thomas Lovely I really enjoyed helping make it possible for people to be able to attend Camp Courageous. It has lots of great things for them to do. I feel like the most helpful thing that we did was pick up that load (bags of mulch) in Cedar Rapids and bring it to the company store so that they could sell it and continue the great program.


Mid-High Youth initially headed north to Adams County to explore rural poverty, but when the planned work site fell through mere days before the trip, the youth learned a valuable lesson in Who Is My Neighbor. Assisted by a service organization, and members of a local church in the area, the group was directed to a Milwaukee couple in need. The wife had had open heart surgery, and had been in intensive care for two weeks when a storm came through, bringing down limbs and branches onto their Adams County cottage and property. First Cong Youth were up for the challenge and took on the task with gusto! Here are their thoughts.


Gwen Parker: I was really glad we did this for the [Adams Co] couple. Open heart surgery is hard enough without having a lot of yard work to do when they got home. I hope our work has helped them a little.

Ellis Ringle: I thought that the different species of mushrooms, fungus, and slime molds [in the yard], also hiding in the cupboards [hide and seek at the church] was fun.

Holden Ringle: I enjoyed helping in the yard, and was amazed how well we managed to work together, and efficiently complete the task. I was also happy to help the couple in their time of need.

Spencer Noth-Hazen: I was really proud of how we could work together to accomplish what seem to be a lot of work, and make it into something we could all enjoy.

Max Veit: I’m glad I went on this trip. (not because of the ice cream of course!) I met a lot of new people and it feels good to know that someone will be able to come back to their cottage and it will look better than it was when they left.


~ Jeff Rabe


Posted on August 4, 2015 at 10:17 am in Featured Content.

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