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.