Tonight, the SPACEintern and I met up with MLSchw, who is leading our 2nd missions trip for the summer (so far at least). This team consists of 20 current 10th graders and leaders and will be going to Washington, DC with the Center for Student Missions.
Even though DC is relatively in our backyard, we have sent teams to CSM-DC 5 or 6 times before with great success. The students get to understand some of the social issues in and around DC, they live in the city amongst different cultures and they get to make an impact in both serving and relating. All in all, a good trip.
CSM does most everything for you logistics-wise, including sending their own leaders with you. And MLSchw has been on this trip 2 or 3 times, at least once as a high schooler and at least once as a leader. Surrounding her is a strong leader team, most of whom are Dteam leaders with this grade. Long time readers will know my ideas about why I'm such an advocate of our own leaders leading our own students in these kinds of experiences (versus farming kids out to other more generic missions organizations.) Of course, the main reason being that our kids can process the experience so much better in the context of a leader that they know well and that continues to stay involved with them long after they have been home.
In terms of our idea of mission progression, CSM is a great start for the younger high school kids. It takes them out of their own comfort zone for a little bit. It is an intense trip, but still good for formation of worldviews that include culture and context as well as engaging the desire of younger students to make a difference in the world.
So far, that is two trips for the summer that are officially up and running. I'll tell you about some more of them in a little bit.