Caravan 2012
Where: Cortez, Colorado
When: 7/28-8/5/12

Our youth experienced the adventure and fascinating heritage of Mesa Verde country in Cortez, Colorado. The spectacular mountains, mesas and canyons offer outdoor recreation and vast archaeological treasures. We immersed ourselves in the culture of this region, and had the opportunity to help residents who struggle with poverty through a variety of work projects.

Las Vegas, Nevada
When: 7/30-8/7/2011
Who: Incoming 9th graders-graduating 12th seniors
Expectations: To have a willing and serving heart, to be a part of youth group and participate in fundraisers
How: Rental Cars

Church Youth Group Works in Vegas

Be different! That was the theme of this year’s St. Andrew Presbyterian Church mission trip for high school students. The youth group calls this trip Caravan because it transports them to new places and new experiences.

This year definitely was different as they traveled to Las Vegas. Who knew working in Vegas at the height of summer and in 110-degree-plus temperatures would be so great?

Five adult leaders and 29 youth set off on July 30th for what would be a memorable week of service, sightseeing, community activities and a lot of fun. And the students survived without cell phones, computers or iPods.

Their services and sites included:

Making sandwiches for Three Square, an organization that provides meals to the hungry, 40% of them children;

Playing with kids at City Impact, a community outreach center devoted to helping individuals and families learn the skills they need to live productive and fulfilling lives;

Stocking food banks at City Mission of Las Vegas and Calvary Downtown Outreach;

Relationship building with the elderly and mentally handicapped at Opportunity Village.But the week wasn’t all work. The students visited the Strip and toured the M&M outlet, swam in Lake Mead, and held a community picnic where they hung out with the people they were serving all week. They even had a black light miniature golf course all to themselves one evening.

One of the most moving events was a presentation by Hookers for Jesus, an organization run by former prostitutes committed to helping those still in the sex industry to get out. The accounts of their experiences were real eye-openers for our Sonoma Valley kids.

On their return, the youth spent Saturday night at the church and conducted two worship services on Sunday. They did everything from leading the singing to giving testimonies about how the week affected their lives, what they learned and how much they appreciate home.

St. Andrew once again partnered with Youthworks, an organization that specializes in youth group mission trips to over 70 locations in North America, including urban, inner city, Indian reservation and rural sites. Their staff members are experts at interacting with and leading teenagers.

Several churches in our valley have active middle and high school groups. St. Andrew’s senior high youth meet after the second service each Sunday from noon to 2:00 p.m. And our NEXT program: a college preparatory course for juniors and seniors, starts September 18 at 10:45 a.m. For more information, please call 707-996-6024.

For more information on Youthworks, visit

Questions? Call Dawne Carver or email at [email protected]

Caravan Fundraising: View our fundraising page for more details.

We are working to gather more information for past Caravan adventures, including testimonies!

For more information, or to send pictures, stories and updates for this page, please contact Dawne Carver via email at [email protected]