Each summer 1,800 youth and adults from over 180 groups participate in our Summer Programs. For the summer of 2017, we have five site locations throughout Washington, Oregon, California and Arizona. We offer week-long sessions beginning July 2, 2017. Last summer, teenagers completed 86 projects for homeowners and partnered with 19 community organizations. Outside of work projects, youth share in worship and explore the culture of the communities where they are serving. Two of the sites are located in Native American communities, two in rural communities, and one is in an urban community.
Our mission is to enable youth to:
Build faith and strengthen communities through service to others.
Common to all SSP programs is service to the elderly, poor and marginalized. Our service is offered without strings attached and is done with an attitude of respect and humility.
Download and review the 2017 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: July 2 – July 8
- Week 2: July 9 – July 15
- Week 3: July 16 – July 22
- Week 4: July 23 – July 29
- Week 5: July 30 – August 5
- Week 6: August 6 – August 12
- Week 5: July 30 – August 5
- Week 6: August 6 – August 12
- Week 6: August 6 – August 12
View the current availability.
Combined sessions begin on Sunday afternoon and end on Saturday morning.
Please call us if you have any questions about our program schedule!
Register Your Group
The registration process takes place on our MySSP portal, which is our online registration system. MySSP allows you to submit your registration, make payments, and later in the process, update your group’s information regarding roster information, t-shirt sizes and dietary needs.
Registration is open now! View the current availability.
Church Youth Groups
Church youth groups from all over the US travel to one of the summer sites for an unforgettable week of serving, learning, worship and fellowship. Groups from United Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Presbyterian, and Catholic churches are a part of SSP’s network. We are an interdenominational program that has an affiliation with the United Methodist Church. SSP is open to all churches.
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.
Age of Participants for Combined Program
This program is designed for incoming 6th graders in Fall 2017 through 2017 high school graduates. Mature youth will be given opportunities to lead and mentor younger youth.
Groups of only middle school or high school youth are also welcome to attend Combined sessions.
Dedication to a Small Group Size
SSP is dedicated to creating a small group environment at our service projects, with an average of 55 participants each week. A smaller group creates a more intimate setting where youth are safe to grow in their faith, create many new friendships and experience love and acceptance. We intentionally mix the groups that come into different work teams which helps build community among church groups.
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 five youth (if your group is mostly middle school students, we recommend a ratio closer to 1:4).
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.
- $365 per participant for Combined sessions in San Diego, Chiloquin, Smith River and Tsaile.
- $335 per participant for Combined sessions in Spokane.
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: $50 per participant
Due at registration to reserve spaces
Second Payment: $200 per participant
Due March 1st
Final Payment: $115 per participant ($85 for Spokane)
Due June 1st
SSP has established a $30,000 Scholarship Fund to assist churches and families with financial needs. 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 (coming soon) to explain your group’s needs before January 15th to receive priority.
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)
- 7:15 AM Spiritual awakening (optional) to get centered for the day
- 7:45 AM Morning Program
- 8:00 AM Breakfast
- 8:30 AM Community service opportunities (cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, etc.)
- 9:00 AM Arrive at work site, begin service work
- Noon Lunch and Spiritual Sandwiches (group discussion) at work site
- 1:00 PM Resume service work
- 3-4:00 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!
- 5:45 PM Dinner
- 6:30 PM Community service opportunities (cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, etc.)
- 7:00 PM Song time and evening program which consists of team building activities, work site reports, spiritual programing related to our summer theme and handing out mail.
- 9:00 PM Youth prepare for bed. Adult counselors have a nightly meeting with members of the staff to share joys, concerns, and information about the plans for the next day.
- 9:45 PM Evening worship led by a work team
- 10:00 PM Lights out. We have separate sleeping areas for each gender. The work we do is hard labor and everyone needs to get a good night of sleep.
Sample Combined 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, fill out evaluations, breakfast, closing circle, depart