“The staff were easy to talk and relate to.”
“SSP is a unique bonding experience. It invites people into the lives of the individuals you get to work for.”
“It’s a great way to make new lifelong relationships, and learn about faith in Christ.”
About the Program
Middle school youth are in a pivotal point of life transition. We are eager to introduce them to the joys of service, many of them spending the week away from their families for the first time. Middle School only sessions offer more adult supervision and structured free time than our programs for older youth.
Download and review the 2019 Summer Information Packet.
Learn More About SSP's Middle School Summer Program
There are two sessions for middle school only groups.
- Week 4: July 14-19
- Week 5: July 21-26
Middle School sessions begin on Sunday afternoon and end on Friday morning.
View the current availability.
Please call us if you have any questions about our program schedule!
Middle school groups can also participate during Combined and Intergenerational sessions, which are open to incoming 6th graders through graduated seniors. Groups that do this should be open to collaborating with high school youth.
Summer 2019 Registration Now Open
To register, you’ll need your group type, total number of youth and adults, session date and location, and a $60 deposit per person.
- All sign-ups are completed on MySSP, our online registration and volunteer portal.
- If you represent a new group, complete the New Group Login Request If you are a new liaison for a group that already attends SSP, email Veronica Russell to update your account.
- Meet with youth and adults to select a session before registering. Be sure to confirm on our website that there are enough spaces available for your group during your session of choice.
- Determine the total number of spots your group wants to reserve.
- Groups attending Middle School only sessions must have a ratio of at least one adult per three youth (1:3).
- Groups of any size may register, though Middle School sessions are capped at 50 total volunteers.
- A deposit of $60 per participant must be received at the time of registration via credit or debit card online for your group’s spots to be reserved. We highly suggest collecting deposits from families in advance to encourage financial investment in the youth’s trip, and avoid drops later in the year.
Download and review the 2019 Summer Information Packet.
About the Program
Middle School youth are in a pivotal point of life transition. We are eager to introduce them to the joys of service, many of them spending the week away from their families for the first time. Middle School only sessions offer more adult supervision and structured free time than our programs for older youth.
Eligibility: Who Can Participate?
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.
The Middle School program is open to youth entering the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grades in the fall of 2019.
Dedication to a Small Group Size
In order to meet the needs of middle school youth and their counselors, we limit the total number of participants to 50 volunteers each week. This group size allows for opportunities for youth to create deep 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 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 (1:4) at our Middle School Program. Counselors are a key element for a successful week for your group.
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: $195 per participant
Due March 1st
Final Payment: $110 per participant
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 Middle School 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 Energizers and morning program, which includes reflections by staff, energizing singing, and group building activities.
- 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
- 3:00 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!
- 4:00 PM Staff/counselor meeting – adults meet with staff to discuss joys, concerns, and plans for the next 24 hours.
- 5:00 PM Song time, work site reports, and handing out mail.
- 5:45 PM Dinner
- 6:15 PM Community service opportunities (cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, etc.)
- 7:00 PM Evening program – team building activities and spiritual programs related to our summer theme. At least one evening is always devoted to learning about the local community.
- 8:00 PM Free time. Volunteers prepare for bed.
- 9:00 PM Evening devotional led by a work team
- 9:30 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’s sleep.
There will be several opportunities during your week at SSP to reconnect with everyone from the church or youth group attending with you, 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 Middle 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
Service at work site all day, evening program
Adventure Thursday: half day of service, afternoon water play, BBQ dinner, slide show.
Pack up, clean site, receive bookmark with website to take online evaluation survey, breakfast, closing circle, depart.