The Pilgrim Church Youth Mission Trip takes place bi-annually, late Spring when school gets out. For the last several years we have returned to New Orleans to help residents and community organizations who are still rebuilding from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It’s hard to believe it has been well over a decade now since Katrina hit NOLA on August 23rd, 2005.
What keeps us going back? It’s our commitment, connection and partnership with Camp Restore, a safe haven for organizations like ours who come to the area to do work, ensuring volunteers are fed, have a comfortable place to sleep, enjoy the camaraderie of the camp and at the same time learn big time about the power of working together and the awe in human resilience despite tragedy.
The mission trip takes place in June/July time frame but the ride begins a lot earlier. Prep for the trip begins with attending youth group meetings, participating in fundraising activities to offset costs to families, and creating lasting bonds between peers, youth leaders and mentors.
One things for sure, it’s always a life changing and rewarding experience for both youth and chaperones. The heat, the hard work, learning a new skill, epiphanies around inner strength and pure joy in the rewards of service. If you ask any past participants about the trip, one particular sentiment seems to resonate among all – the amazement at how people can rise about tragedy and find happiness and love in community.
Through fundraising efforts and Church donations we work to defray costs to families and pays for the chaperones. Therefore fundraising events like car washes, bake sales, making chili for the Super Bowl are critically important. Participating in fundraisers not only helps with travel costs, it helps the team get to know each other and builds lasting friendships and camaraderie during and well beyond the trip.
We are enormously grateful to the Duxbury Interfaith Council who makes it possible for some kids to join the trip where it would otherwise be cost prohibitive. It is our goal to include all who wish to join in on the trip. Money should never stop any kid from participating on this trip.
Thank you to the entire Pilgrim Church of Duxbury community for supporting our efforts. We couldn’t do it without you.