“It taught me a lot about working together as a community.”
“It is an amazing experience where you make new friends, will always be welcomed, and your faith can grow.”
“It’s a good way to meet new people and help others, while bonding as a church.”
About the Program
The Combined program is a hybrid of the High School and Middle School programs, and a great way to welcome youth groups who do year-round programming for both ages. At Combined sessions, work teams are often split to comprise of either older or younger youth, instead of mixing all ages together.
Groups attending Combined sessions should be prepared to foster community amongst a variety of ages and maturity levels. Some activities are optional to accommodate both middle and high school youth. Our staff cater the programing to each session’s group’s needs.
Download and review the 2019 Summer Information Packet.
Learn More About SSP's Combined Summer Program
There are nine sessions throughout the summer for the Combined Middle and High School Program.
- Week 1: June 23-29
- Week 5: July 21-27
- Week 1: June 23-29
- Week 2: June 30 – July 5 (Note: This session is Sunday-Friday)
- Week 2: June 30 – July 6
- Week 7: August 4-10
- Week 3: July 7-13
- Week 6: July 28 – August 3
- Week 4: July 14-20
View the current availability.
Most combined sessions begin on Sunday afternoon and end on Saturday morning.
Please call us if you have any questions about our program schedule!
Priority Registration Process: Summer 2019
SSP is transitioning back to a priority registration model this year, which will take place over the month of October!
What does this mean? When you register during the priority period, you’ll select your top choices of dates and locations, then reserve your group’s spots with a $60 per person deposit. Once the priority period has ended, SSP will send your group’s placement details. After all priority-registered groups are placed, sign-ups will open to anyone on a first-come, first-served basis as space is available.
Having a priority registration period has historically meant that SSP can typically offer 97% of groups either their first or second choice of session. It also means we can ensure consistent volunteer numbers across weeks, helping SSP plan project completion timelines as well as improving your experience on site!
If you have extenuating scheduling circumstances that truly limit you to only one location and week, you can indicate this when signing up during the priority period. Contact Veronica with further questions.
Download and review the 2019 Summer Information Packet.
As an interdenominational Christian service program, SSP encourages middle and high school youth groups, school groups, families, and individuals to participate. SSP fosters affirming spaces and welcomes volunteers of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities. The only requirements to attend SSP are a willingness to serve and openness to new experiences.
No group is too small! One youth and one adult makes a group. Some churches send multiple groups to different SSP sessions due to their schedule limitations or because they have a large group.
Eligibility: Who Can Participate?
This program is designed for incoming 6th graders in fall 2019 through 2019 high school graduates. Mature youth will be given opportunities to lead and mentor younger youth throughout the week. Groups that comprise of only middle or high school youth are also welcome to attend Combined sessions, with the understanding that there will be youth of many ages present, as well as a mixed level of SSP experience.
Number of Participants Each Week
We are dedicated to creating a positive group environment, limiting our Combined sessions to 60 participants each. Most Combined sessions are split between about one-third middle school and two-thirds high school youth.
For the most part, we work on the homes in the communities we serve. The type of work includes roofing, building wheelchair ramps and porches, painting and other general home repairs. No construction experience is needed, and you’ll be amazed at all of the work that your youth teams complete!
Occasionally, our teams work on churches, community buildings, and schools in the communities that host us. In addition, we will sometimes participate in other types of community service activities like community gardens when there is a need and the work is appropriate for youth work teams.
Most projects take longer to complete than your week at SSP so you may see the beginning, middle or end of a project.
We upload photos regularly on our facebook page, follow us to stay connected!
Safety and Supervision
Safety of every type – physical, spiritual, and emotional – is our top priority. We want each youth to have the best possible experience so we create an environment dedicated to safety, adequate rest, nutritious meals and snacks, and lots of emotional and spiritual support.
Each week begins with hands-on tool training before anyone begins service work.
Site locations are staffed by a team of mature young adults and are made of a Site Director, Spiritual Life Coordinator, three Construction Team members and two Food Service Coordinators. Three sites this summer will have an extra staff member. They are trained and present at the site for the entire summer, working with the community to provide quality service opportunities.
The Staff participates in a ten-day training which consists of hands-on job specific training, sessions on leadership, conflict resolution, youth ministry, and cultural sensitivity among others. This training equips these young adults to be prepared for difficult situations that they may encounter over the summer.
In addition to our staff, youth are accompanied by adult counselors in a ratio of one adult for every four youth.
Counselors must be at least 23 years old and be chosen for maturity and role modeling capabilities; those younger than 23 must be cleared and approved by the SSP office in advance. All counselors are expected to take online training and undergo a national criminal background check before participating.
At site, groups will need to provide their own transportation to and from the work sites each day. Because work teams are composed of six to eight people, minivans and cars work best. Our policy and the law requires that seat belts be used by all occupants. 15-Passenger vans have been shown to be very unsafe. We strongly urge you not to use these vehicles.
Van Rental Information
SSP has been able to arrange for a special discounted rate with Enterprise Rent-A-Car for the rental of vans for your trip to SSP this summer. If you choose to take advantage of this, you need to remember that this arrangement is between you and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. SSP can take no responsibility for reservation problems or any other problems that might arise.
To take advantage of these rates
Call: 1-800-Rent-A-Car or 1-800-736-8222
Or visit www.enterprise.com
Corporate Account Number: 30C2900
On the Enterprise website, all on the first page, enter your dates and location as well as the Corporate Account Number under “Account Number.” This will give you the availability and rates for all vehicles.
Regardless of where you rent your vans, we strongly advise you to call one week ahead of your pick-up date and the day before to verify that your reservation is intact and your vehicles are there.
The fees cover all accommodations, meals, program supplies, building materials and tools, a T-shirt for each participant and supplemental health insurance (excess coverage only).
Deposit: $60 per participant
Due at registration to reserve spaces
Second Payment: $220 per participant (at most sessions)
Due March 1st
Final Payment: $135 per participant (at most sessions)
Due June 1st
In 2018, SSP awarded over $47,000 in scholarships to 336 participants in need. We hope to do the same in 2019. Our commitment is that no youth should be excluded from participating due to lack of money. This fund will be used to lower the second and final payment by the needed amount. Complete the Group Scholarship Application Form to explain your group’s needs.
Typical Combined Daily Schedule
Most days at SSP consist of a full day of service work, team building activities, singing, sharing homemade meals together, reflecting on the experience, and a spiritual program centered around the summer theme.
- 7:00 AM Wake up and get ready (the day may start earlier depending on the site and heat index)
- 7:30 AM Spiritual awakening (optional) to get centered for the day
- 8:00 AM Breakfast
- 8:30 AM Community service opportunities, lunch crew packs sandwiches, teams head to work site.
- 9:30 AM Arrive at work site, begin service work
- Noon Lunch and Spiritual Sandwiches (group discussion) at work site
- 1:00 PM Resume service work
- 4:00 PM Return to site, clean and store tools, shower, free time. Free time is spent at the location where we are housed and includes sports, crafts, cards, snacks and hanging out with new friends!
- 5:00 PM Staff/counselor meeting – adults meet with staff to discuss joys, concerns, and plans for the next 24 hours.
- 6:00 PM Dinner
- 6:30 PM Community service opportunities (cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, etc.)
- 7:00 PM Song time and evening program – team building activities, mail, sharing work site reports, and spiritual programs related to our summer theme. At least one evening is always devoted to learning about the local community.
- 9:00 PM Free time. Volunteers prepare for bed.
- 9:45 PM Evening devotional led by a work team
- 10:00 PM Lights out. We have separate sleeping areas by gender. The work we do is hard labor and everyone needs to get a good night of sleep.
There will be several opportunities during your week at SSP to reconnect with everyone from the group you are attending with, even if they are not on your work team. The time this takes place will vary by location, due to program and community limitations at each site.
Sample High School Weekly Schedule
Arrive 2:00 to 4:00 PM, orientation, staff / adult counselor meeting, assign work teams
Hands-on tool training, half day service at work site, evening program
Service at work site all day, cross-cultural evening program
Adventure Wednesday: community service activity as a full group or activities to learn about the site location, recreation in the afternoon and BBQ dinner, evening program
Service at work site all day, off-site evening program
Service at work site all day, closing celebrations
Pack up, clean site, receive bookmark with website to take online evaluation survey, breakfast, closing circle, depart.