By Fathers David Subu and Benjamin Tucci
- 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.
- Inter-Orthodox Outings / Visits to Other Parishes: It is essential for teens to realize that they are not alone and that there are more Orthodox people their age than they think!
- Service Project: Help at a homeless shelter, food co-op, or building project.
- 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.
- Nursing Home or Hospital: Visiting the sick and infirm needs to be taught early.
- Youth Choir Trip to Other Parishes: Some youth organizations are already recording and publishing their choir’s performances.
- Camp-Out: Spend an overnight or weekend stay in the woods and under the stars.
- Retreat at Camp / Retreat Center: This is like a camp-out but with more of the comforts of home such as beds and bathrooms!
- Cemetery: Remember the departed and learn about ancestors by tending graves at cemeteries where parishioners are buried.
- Amusement Park: This is a classic youth outing. There is often a park within two to three hours of most communities.
- Museum: Large exhibits of Orthodox art, Russian, Byzantine, and others, have become more popular and widespread.
- Sporting Event: Go to watch or to play!
- 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.
- Youth March: Youth have something to say about issues of justice, so “let your light shine.”
- 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.
- Concert: Whether secular or religious music, there are many free and open-air concerts in cities during the summer months.
- 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.
- Zoo, Aquarium, or Botanical 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.
- Waterfront: Beaches, lakes, and even pools and water parks are always great places for fun and fellowship. Be prepared for sunburn!
- Dinner / Banquet: It can be a dinner cruise, barbecue at family fun parks, or a formal affair.
- Dance / Cotillion: The American Romanian Orthodox Youth [AROY] has established a very successful yearly cotillion which gathers teens from throughout the country for an elegant formal dance and a planning meeting for its activities during the coming year.
- Education / Career Planning at a University: This type of outing is very good for high school teens looking to make decisions about the future.
- Workshop with Local Artist, Educator, Activity Instructor: This is a great way to gain new experiences, insights, and skills.
- 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.
Father David Subu is rector of the Protection of the Holy Mother of God Church, Falls Church, VA. Father Benjamin Tucci is associate pastor of Saint Mary Cathedral, Minneapolis, MN. Over the years, both have served in a variety of capacities involving youth ministry and have been members of the OCA’s Department of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministries.
Read about other ideas for youth ministry in the Resource Handbook.