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!

If you would like to view the downloadable 2022 Summer Opportunities handout, please click on this green button:

Please check back on this website after March 16 to register for these 2022 Youth Summer Opportunities.


Spirit Camp July 16 – 21, 2022

Who: Youth who completed 5th through 12th grade
Starting Date and Time: Saturday, July 16 at 12:30 p.m.
Ending Date and Times: Thursday, July 21, 2022, 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 take a field trip to a nearby water park, 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. Family groups are divided into middle school and high school, and middle school groups are assigned to high school mentors.

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.  Parents driving separately are welcome to follow the buses, if they choose.

How much does Spirit Camp cost?

Cost: $225.00/camper $180.00/leadership team $50.00 deposit
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 the 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 trips are planned to take place as scheduled. Additional requirements may be in place depending on county mandates and church policies. These requirements may include vaccination, a negative COVID test shortly before departure, masks, and other safety protocols. If trips are modified or postponed, all participants will be contacted with new details as soon as decision are made.


High School Mission Journey July 30 – Aug. 6, 2022

Who: High School Youth (9th through 12th grade). Youth who have completed 8th grade and attend the Middle School Mission Journey and want to attend the High School Missions Journey.
Departure Date: Saturday, July 30, morning
Return Date: Saturday, August 6, 2022, evening
Location: Appalachia Service Project (We will be assigned 1 of 3 sites and will be notified of our specific location at a later date.)

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. The goal of every project is to make a home warmer, safer, and/or drier. Exact projects will be determined almost right before we leave based on the needs of the homeowners.

On Saturday, July 30, 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.  

How much does the High School Mission Journey cost?

Cost: $250.00 with a $50.00 deposit

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 visit www.asphome.org.

COVID Information

All trips are planned to take place as scheduled. Additional requirements may be in place depending on county mandates and church policies. These requirements may include vaccination, a negative COVID test shortly before departure, masks, and other safety protocols. If trips are modified or postponed, all participants will be contacted with new details as soon as decision are made.

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 June 9 – 12, 2022

Who: Youth who completed 6th through 8th grade
Departure Date: Thursday, June 9, morning
Return Date: Sunday, June 12, 10:30a
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. Exact projects will be determined closer to time based on the needs of the agency.

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 males 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 trips are planned to take place as scheduled. Additional requirements may be in place depending on county mandates and church policies. These requirements may include vaccination, a negative COVID test shortly before departure, masks, and other safety protocols. If trips are modified or postponed, all participants will be contacted with new details as soon as decision are made.


Youth Float Trip

Date: Saturday, June 25
Time: 8a to 4p
Location: TBD

Description: This float trip is a fun way to enjoy each other’s company and enjoy God’s creation.

Please register by June 19!

Items for the Float Trip
  • Wear swimsuits and any other clothing to help the youth feel comfortable while floating on a tube.
  • Shoes MUST be worn and have an ankle strap.
  • Hat/visor is recommended but not required.
  • Bag with: 1) towel, 2) dry clothes to change into after the float trip, and 3) bring sunscreen with their name on it.

NOTES: The youth will be required to apply sunscreen before and during the float trip. All supplies for the river, including food and water, will be managed by adults so the youth only have to worry about themselves and their tube.


Learn more about our Youth program: