ideas for youth ministry FIELD TRIPS

By Fr. David Subu and Ron Tucci

1. Monastery Pilgrimage: One of the most valuable experiences a youth can have is to spend a day or two in the monastic environment to see how deeply Christianity can be lived.

2. Inter-Orthodox outings/vists to other churches: It is essential for teens to realize that they are not alone and that there are more Orthodox people their age than they think!

3. Service project: Helping at a homeless shelter, food co-op, or building project. See "20 Something Ways to Get Youth Involved in Christ-like Service."

4. Church council, assembly, or convention: Attend youth-related councils or congresses and make the youth presence known at Church councils such as the All-American Council.

5. Nursing home or hospital: The need to visit the sick and infirm needs to be taught early.

6. Youth choir trip to other parishes: Some youth organizations are already recording and publishing their choir's performances.

7. Camp-out: An overnight or weekend stay in the woods and under the stars.

8. Retreat at camp/retreat center: This is like a camp-out but with more of the comforts of home such as beds and bathrooms!

9. Cemetery: Remember the departed and learn about ancestors by tending graves at cemeteries where parishioners are buried.

10. Amusement park: This is a classic youth outing. There is often a park within two to three hours of most communities.

11. Museum: Large exhibits of Orthodox art, Russian, Byzantine, and other, have become more popular and widespread.

12. Sporting event: Go to watch or to play!

13. Science or nature center: With interactive exhibits, these are particularly good for younger groups. Exhibits ranging from high-tech to complete wilderness can entertain all ages.

14. Youth march: Youth have something to say about issues of justice, so "let your light shine."

15. Movie: You can choose either a current feature that is of interest to your youth ministry or arrange for a special showing of another film. Be sure to preview the movie before showing it to a group.

16. Concert: Whether secular or religious music, there are many free and open-air concerts in cities during the summer months.

17. Fair or festival: The local town fair, a block party, or an ethnic festival, can be great opportunities for teens to go, have fun, volunteer, or run their own booth.

18. Zoo, aquariam, or botonical garden: These trips are great for days with good weather by offering a variety of shows as well as wandering time to keep youth interested.

19. Waterfront: Beaches, lakes, and even pools and water parks are always great places for fun and fellowship. Be prepared for sunburn!

20. Dinner/banquet: It can be a dinner cruise, barbecue at family fun parks, or a formal affair.

21. Dance/cotillion: AROY has established a very successful yearly cotillion which gathers teens from throughout the country for an elegant formal dance and planning meeting for the groups activities during the coming year.

22. Education/career planning at a university: This type of outing is very good for High School teens looking to make decisions about the future.

23. Workshop with local artists/activity instructor/educator: This is a great way to gain new experiences, insights, and skills.

24. Ice-cream social or picnic: This is very simple, traditional idea. It is something that doesn't require too much organization and a good place to start for any youth group.