2018 YRUU Mission Trip: Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge

Mission Trip is scheduled for August 6-11, 2018 at Battle Creek, MI*

What is “The Mission Trip”?
Since the summer of 2004, our church youth group has been participating in an annual trip to work for Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge. Collegiate Challenge is Habitat for Humanity’s year-round alternative break program that provides opportunities for students from youth groups, high schools and colleges to spend a week working on construction, demolition, restoration, and/or clearing out abandoned homes, in partnership with a Habitat for Humanity affiliate. Not only do we help people in need – it’s also fun! Participants have the chance to improve their construction skills, connect with new people in a new place, and put our faith into action by making a real difference in Habitat for Humanity’s work of eliminating substandard housing.

Expectations of Participants during the Trip:
The conditions during the work week are hot and dirty. The group is generally at a work site from 8am-4pm. Much of the work takes place out of doors or without air conditioning (construction and deconstruction). Youth can expect to participate in strenuous physical labor during those hours. After-hour group activities include such things as cooking, clean-up, and structured recreation. What follows is a list of general expectations that advisors have of participants:

  • Youth will participate in all activities, including Habitat work, extracurricular responsibilities, and leisure activities.
  • Youth will follow directions as given by advisors and Habitat staff.
  • Youth will work in tandem with assigned partners, and communicate clearly.
  • Youth will maintain safety standards at work site by wearing approved clothing and equipment, correctly using power and hand tools and following established safety regulations.
  • Youth will bring initiative, energy, and enthusiasm to the group.

Who is Eligible to Participate?
The opportunity to participate in this church sponsored trip is extended to youth who:

  • Are registered and regularly attending members of the church youth group
  • Are 16 years of age by August 6, 2018, and agree to the Covenant to meet the expectations named above.
  • Participation is limited to 15 youth participants; if full, priority participation will be determined by the Mission Trip advisors and the Youth Program Coordinator.

What are the expectations of Youth Participants before the trip?

  • Youth must be active members of our YRUU group and attend regularly on Sundays.
  • Youth must actively participate in at least two extra-curricular YRUU events (not including social events) before June 2018.
  • Youth must actively plan and participate in the YRUU Service presented to the congregation at both the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. church services on Sunday, March 4, 2018.
  • Youth must attend any necessary planning meetings related to the Mission Trip itself.

Parental/Family Expectations:
We would ask that if your child is participating in the Mission Trip this year, you actively promote and participate in YRUU Youth events, and support your son/daughter’s participation. Each family will be asked to contribute:

  1. Attend one of the Youth-led Services on Sunday, March 4, 2018.
  2. Bring an item to be sold at the annual Dessert Auction on May 13, 2018.
  3. Finally, we expect that a parent will be on call to pick up their teen from the church on the day we return, recognizing that the actual arrival time will be determined that day.

What is the Application Process?
Application is not a guarantee of participation. Potential participants must submit to Deb Solis, our Youth Program Coordinator:

  1. A completed registration form (see below), and
  2. A Letter of Interest addressed to the Mission Trip Advisors. The letter should include two-three paragraphs describing why you would like to participate, and the strengths and/or skills you bring to the project. Please be sure to submit this letter along with your registration form.


Applicants will be interviewed briefly (5 – 15 minutes, between 10:45am-12:00pm) by the Mission Trip advisors on Sunday, November 12, 2017 to establish commitment and suitability to participate, as well as to relay their strengths and hopes for the trip.

Four Youth: One Adult ratio requirement. We have two returning adult advisors, John Fitak and Alisha Koneazny and are seeking to add at least one new trip advisors to our team by October 15, 2017.

What will the cost be?
Each participant will be responsible for paying a non-refundable registration fee of $100.00, due by November 26, 2017. We suggest that a minimum of half that fee be paid by the youth themselves, from his or her own pocket, rather than paid by parents. This is to help instill a commitment by the youth. It is our hope that all additional costs will be covered by our fundraising efforts.

We will attempt to raise enough money to cover the basic costs of youth participation. Families of each youth may be asked to pay the balance between the amount raised and the amount needed to make the trip possible, up to a maximum of $160 per youth beyond the initial registration fee. This has not been necessary in the past, but we want you to be aware of what the potential cost could be.



  • Sunday, October 29, 12:30 PM:  Completed application and letter of interest due.
  • Sunday, November 12, 10:45 AM -12 PM: Youth interviews (5-15 minutes long) with Advisors.
  • Sunday, November 26, 12:30 PM: Upon acceptance of application, a check for $100.00, payable to FIRST UNITARIAN SOCIETY OF MILWAUKEE is due.

Payments and Letters of Interest can be given directly to Deb Solis, or can be mailed to:
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee
Attn: Deb Solis
1342 N Astor Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Questions? Please contact Deb Solis at deb.solis[at]uumilwaukee[dot]org or 414-273-5257 ext. 209.

*Habitat for Humanity does not confirm specific volunteer sites until a definite number of participants have been determined and fees paid. While we have not had problems getting our specific requests honored in the past, there is always a chance that we will be given a different site, or have to choose a different work week.


2018 YRUU Mission Trip Application Form

Submit completed registration form along with applicant’s Letter of Interest to the RE office no later than Sunday, October 29 at 12:00 p.m. Registration fees are due upon acceptance of application, or November 26, 2017, whichever is later. Questions? Please contact Deb Solis at deb.solis[at]uumilwaukee[dot]org or 414-273-5257. Thanks for your consideration and support!