Step Out: Seeking New Paths

Three rows of young adults wearing light green workcamp t-shirts in front of trees

“Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the desert, paths in the wilderness.” (Isaiah 43:19 (CEB)

Theme statement

Stop. Put down what you are doing and pay attention. This old, stuck-in-a-rut way of living is no good. Strike a match and let the fire within you burn. See how your dry bones ignite with new life. God has made you a living sacrifice ready to transform the world. All you need to do is pack a bag, grab your favorite sweater, and follow the compass placed on your heart. Call a friend when you get lost, rest when you are weary, and celebrate each step you take, for the journey lasts a lifetime. God has given you a spirit that is powerful and a map to show you the way as you take the first step out, seeking new paths

Interest Survey for 2021 Workcamps

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Workcamp Office has developed alternative workcamp options for summer 2021 workcamps. Our top priority is the health and safety of workcamp participants and the communities we serve, and we hope to offer workcamp options that reflect this priority while also providing a meaningful workcamp experience. At this stage, we are gathering information from individuals and congregations to gauge interest in and comfortability with various options. Any information gathered does not constitute a final decision for 2021 workcamps. At this point, we are not asking congregations or individuals to commit to or register for a workcamp. We are only trying to assess what the interest might be at this point. The options presented at this time are not final and are subject to change at the discretion of the Workcamp Office and Church of the Brethren leadership. Additionally, the final workcamp options for summer 2021 might change based on the information gathered in the informational survey. In making decisions, we will be monitoring COVID-19 cases around the country and following guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and local and regional health departments.

Individuals and congregations who are interested in participating in 2021 workcamps should complete a brief online survey that will take 5 minutes or less to complete. Please complete this informational survey no later than September 15, 2020.

The four options being considered for 2021 workcamps are:

Tier 1: In this tier, participants will serve in their local communities during the day, either individually or with other members of their congregation. In the evening, participants will gather virtually for devotions and activities. Participants will be expected to bring their own lunch while serving. The Workcamp Office will work with individuals and congregations to coordinate service opportunities within their local context. The Workcamp team will also provide leadership during the virtual evening meetings.

Tier 2: In this tier, participants will serve in their local area with other members of their congregation during the day. In the evening, they will gather together physically, in a socially-distant manner, for dinner, devotions, and activities. Participants will return home to sleep each night and be expected to bring their own lunch while serving. The Workcamp Office will work with the congregation to plan local service and will provide leadership and participate in-person during the week.

Tier 3: In this tier, participants will serve locally with other congregations in their region during the day. In the evening, they will gather together physically, in a socially-distant manner, for dinner, devotions, and activities. Participants will return home to sleep each night and be expected to bring their own lunch while serving. The Workcamp Office will work with each congregation interested in participating to plan local service and will provide leadership and participate in-person during the week.

Tier 4: In this tier, participants will participate in a “normal” workcamp. Workcamp participants from around the country will travel to a workcamp location, stay together in local housing accommodations (church or camp), and serve together for the week. The Workcamp Office will plan and lead all service work, meals, devotions, and recreational activities.
** This Tier is presented as an option pending the distribution of a safe vaccine in Spring 2021.

Please note: Tier 1-3 workcamps will start on a Sunday evening and run through Friday evening. Tier 4 workcamps will begin Sunday evening and run through Saturday morning.

This year, all workcamps will be intergenerational and open to individuals who have completed 6th grade and older. As usual, adult advisors are required to attend with groups of youth and are expected to fully participate in all aspects of the workcamp. Advisors will register at the same time as their youth and pay the same registration fee. The Workcamp Office asks that congregations send at least one adult advisor for every two to four youth participants, keeping gender in mind (i.e. if youth are all male, there should be at least one male advisor). All adults who attend a workcamp will be required to go through a background check administered by the denominational office.

Go to the workcamp survey