Youth Summer Opportunities

Youth Summer Opportunities

Youth Summer Programs

There are a variety of different youth opportunities offered for 6th-12th graders throughout the summer that not only invite youth to have fun, but grow in their faith, and meet new people. Both Middle School and High School grade groups have their own opportunities and trips, so make sure you check them out!

All youth trips will be in-person. Please read the COVID Information below.

If you would like to view the downloadable 2021 Summer Opportunities handout, please click on this green button:


Spirit Camp July 17 – 22, 2021

Who: Youth who completed 5th through 12th grade
Dates: Saturday, July 17 – Thursday, July 22, 2021
Times: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Camp Jo-Ota in Clarence, MO (2.5 hour drive from MUMC)

Spirit Camp is a unique experience that many report is the highlight of their youth experience. Students spend the week together in the midst of God’s creation playing, learning, and growing in discipleship. Some high school students will serve on the leadership team and plan and execute the majority of the activities. Adults serve as chaperones and of course have lots of fun.

What do the youth do at Spirit Camp?

The youth will do a little bit of everything, including (but not limited to) crafts, sports, drama, dance, Bible study, etc. They will also experience impactful worship, hear testimonies from high school students, participate in the “Olympics,”, host an 8th grade graduation, and send off our graduating seniors with an Affirmation Walk. All participants are part of a family group, a supportive and inclusive group, which helps youth feel like they have a home away from home. 

Here are some fun facts:

  • Youth sleep in air-conditioned cabins.
  • Bathrooms are updated with good, hot water pressure.
  • Youth can bring friends!
  • Youth receive three hot meals a day in an air-conditioned dining hall.
  • Youth can request specific friends for family groups and cabins.
  • Camp begins at 3p on Saturday and will return to Manchester UMC at 1p on Thursday.
  • Camp Jo-Ota is 2.5 hours away.
  • Family Groups are split into middle school groups and high school groups.
  • Packing lists and other important information are sent closer to date to those who register.
Is transportation offered to and from Spirit Camp?

Yes, buses will provide transportation to and from Jo-Ota. However, if you would prefer to drive your child to camp, you are welcome! There will be a question on the registration to indicate your preference. Several safe-gatherings certified adults will supervise the bus ride as our camp adults will already be on site getting ready for the week.  

How much does Spirit Camp cost?

Cost: A $50 deposit is due at registration, $230 total.
As with all events when registering, you can select to pay the full amount, half, or none. Scholarships are budgeted and can be simply selected as a payment option.

Adults Needed for Spirit Camp

Adult Chaperones are needed! Most of your duties are the safety and wellness of the campers, since the leadership team will plan and lead most of the activities. You are also responsible for leading the family group discussions. If you are new, we will pair you with a veteran. Approximately 16 adults are needed. If you are interested in being an adult chaperone for Spirit Camp, please email Beth Boemler.

Manchester UMC follows a practice called “Safe Gatherings” (formerly known as “Safe Sanctuary”) to help ensure the safety of minors and vulnerable adults as well as our staff and volunteers.  Click here to learn more.

COVID Information

All Manchester UMC Youth 2021 summer trips (Spirit Camp, High School Mission Journey, and Middle School Mission Journey) will take place on-site and at full length!

The following safety protocols will be in place for all trips:

  1. All participants should be fully vaccinated, OR, have a negative COVID test within 5 days of the trip departure. Parents should certify that this has happened (honor system).
  2. Masks and physical distancing optional when interacting with trip participants due to the close nature of these kinds of trips (buses, shared cabins, sleeping rooms and dining spaces, games, etc.).
  3. Masks and physical distancing required if/when interacting with those who are not trip participants.
  4. No special trips to theme parks or other public venues this year to prevent exposure.

Due to this information, we are extending the registration deadlines for all three trips to Monday, June 21.


High School Mission Journey July 31 – Aug. 7, 2021

Who: Youth who completed 9th through 12th grade
NEW: Those youth who have completed 8th grade and attend the Middle School Mission Journey and want to attend the High School Missions Journey.
Dates: Saturday, July 31 – Saturday, August 7, 2021
Location: Appalachia Service Project in Virginia

The High School Mission Journey is an opportunity for our older youth to roll up their sleeves and put their faith into action. They will work hard, but they will also play hard, experience another culture within our country, and grow in their relationship with God and each other. We recognize that being in mission is a lifetime commitment and we hope these trips are the beginning of a lifelong journey for our youth.

What will the High School youth do?

The high school participants, along with the adult chaperones, will work on building/renovating houses for people who live in rural Appalachia who do not have the means to complete the work.  Appalachia Service Project (ASP) thoroughly screens their recipients so as to make sure the need is vital and the location is safe.

On Saturday, July 31, we will stop and play somewhere. We will stay at a church on Saturday night before finishing the drive on Sunday morning. The actual event is TBA and dependent on which location we are assigned.  Beth would like to take the youth to a mountain coaster if possible.

How much does the High School Mission Journey cost?

Cost: $50 deposit, full price $225
There are limited spots available for this trip, so register early to guarantee your spot!
As with all events when registering, you can select to pay the full amount, half, or none. Scholarships are budgeted and can be simply selected as a payment option.

Additional Information on the Appalachia Service Project

If you or your youth would like to read more about the Appalachia Service Project experience, please download the Appalachia Service Project Summer Prep Packet.

COVID Information

All Manchester UMC Youth 2021 summer trips (Spirit Camp, High School Mission Journey, and Middle School Mission Journey) will take place on-site and at full length!

The following safety protocols will be in place for all trips:

  1. All participants should be fully vaccinated, OR, have a negative COVID test within 5 days of the trip departure. Parents should certify that this has happened (honor system).
  2. Masks and physical distancing optional when interacting with trip participants due to the close nature of these kinds of trips (buses, shared cabins, sleeping rooms and dining spaces, games, etc.).
  3. Masks and physical distancing required if/when interacting with those who are not trip participants.
  4. No special trips to theme parks or other public venues this year to prevent exposure.
Adults Needed for the High School Mission Journey

ASP requires two adults for every five youth. Six adult Chaperones, including at least two of each gender, are needed! If you are interested in being an adult chaperone for the High School Mission Journey, please email Beth Boemler.

Manchester UMC follows a practice called “Safe Gatherings” (formerly known as “Safe Sanctuary”) to help ensure the safety of minors and vulnerable adults as well as our staff and volunteers.  Click here to learn more.


Middle School Mission Journey August 13 – 16, 2021

Who: Youth who completed 6th through 8th grade
Dates: Friday, August 13 – Monday, August 16, 2021
Times: TBD
Location: LifeWise STL in St. Louis, MO

Participants will complete service work that benefits LifeWise STL, an agency that provides a variety of social services to members of the St. Louis community in the Near South Side neighborhood. Participants will also engage in service learning where they will better understand the root causes of urban poverty and what we can do to address the systemic societal imbalance. We recognize that being in mission is a long-term commitment and hope that this trip will begin a life-long journey for our youth.

What will the Middle School youth do?

Some of our tasks will include helping stock the LifeWise STL’s food pantry, supervising and playing with children in their summer camp, working in their community garden, and organizing their clothing boutique. We will stay in their Urban Forum house across the street from the main building.

We will also do fun things in the city of St. Louis, most likely to include the City Museum, the high ropes course at Union Station, and the City Garden.

As always, mission journeys are a wonderful opportunity for youth to grow in their faith, form lasting friendships, and experience a world outside their own. The experience can make a lasting impact with memories that stay for a lifetime.

How much does the Middle School Mission Journey cost?

Cost: $50
As with all events when registering, you can select to pay the full amount, half, or none. Scholarships are budgeted and can be simply selected as a payment option.

Adults Needed for the Middle School Mission Journey

Adult Chaperones, two men and one female, are needed! Most of your duties are the safety and wellness of the campers, since the leadership team will plan and lead most of the activities. If you are interested in being an adult chaperone for the Middle School Mission Journey, please email Beth Boemler.

Manchester UMC follows a practice called “Safe Gatherings” (formerly known as “Safe Sanctuary”) to help ensure the safety of minors and vulnerable adults as well as our staff and volunteers.  Click here to learn more.

COVID Information

All Manchester UMC Youth 2021 summer trips (Spirit Camp, High School Mission Journey, and Middle School Mission Journey) will take place on-site and at full length!

The following safety protocols will be in place for all trips:

  1. All participants should be fully vaccinated, OR, have a negative COVID test within 5 days of the trip departure. Parents should certify that this has happened (honor system).
  2. Masks and physical distancing optional when interacting with trip participants due to the close nature of these kinds of trips (buses, shared cabins, sleeping rooms and dining spaces, games, etc.).
  3. Masks and physical distancing required if/when interacting with those who are not trip participants.
  4. No special trips to theme parks or other public venues this year to prevent exposure.

Learn more about our Youth program: