How to Become a Mission Trip Leader

September 23, 2016

Credit: Maria Cacciatore/ Achona Online 
Senior, Maria Cacciatore loves painting houses on her mission trip last year in Appalachia.

Credit: Maria Cacciatore/ Achona Online Senior, Maria Cacciatore loves painting houses on her mission trip last year in Appalachia.

Mission Trips are a highly recommended experience for every Academy girl. Nearly every person who goes on a mission trip loves their time. With seven trips this year going to places such as Dominican Republic, Mississippi, Heart of Tampa, Scranton, Ruskin, Costa Rica, and North Carolina there is a trip for everyone. Take this quiz to figure out which trip is best for you.

Junior Mia Torres explains, “Going on a mission trip last year brought me closer to my sisters, and made me reach outside of my comfort zone. It was an experience to travel somewhere I have never been. In addition, you had to make friends with people you would not have usually been friends with.”

Many girls strive to be mission trip leaders during their time at Academy. This is an amazing experience to share the values learned on a trip with underclassmen, and take leadership through the school.

Credit: Haley Schumann (used with permission) Haley Schumann explains, “Sister Kay helps give the Mississippi trip a family feel. She welcomes us into her home every year with open arms.”

There are many steps to fulfilling this goal. First, if you attend a mission trip as a freshman or sophomore, take chances during the trip. Show the chaperones that you are there for the right reasons by going outside of your comfort zone, and meeting new people. This will give you a step ahead when the chaperones are reading applications the next year.

During the fall, applications for mission trip leaders go out before regular applications. Once the application comes out there are five simple steps to applying.

Academy missionaries smile in the rain, proud of all of their hard work. Photo Credit: Lizzie Dolan (used with permission)
Credit: Lizzie Dolan (used with permission) Academy missionaries smile in the rain, proud of all of their hard work.

Step 1: Figure out which trip you wish to apply to.

It is recommended that students apply for trips they have been on before. However, there is a new trip this year going to Costa Rica in which any student can apply to be a leader for.

Jenna Wiley explains, “I applied for DR and I want to be a leader because last year it changed my life. It gave me a complete 360 as to how I view the world. I feel that as a leader I could help others have a great experience as well and help give them a new perspective and to really appreciate the Dominican Republic. I hope to pass on my passion to help others.”

Credit: Jenna Wiley (used with permission) Wiley plays with Henry in the Dominican Republic, she states “getting to know the people was one of the best parts of the trip.”

Step 2: Fill out application and talk to your parents.

The form asks simple questions such as name, grade, and level of spanish (for if you are applying to Costa Rica or Dominican Republic). It is important to have parent support during the process. It is critical to make sure your parents are okay with you going on the trip, and are aware of the cost.

Step 3: The Essay

The essay is the biggest factor in the process. Each girl writes an essay with the topic of “what affected your life most from the trip.” This topic allows girls to reflect on their experience and figure out why they truly love the trip. The essay is short, only one page long, but allows the chaperones to get to know the girls a little more. 

Dominican Republic Chaperone, Mrs. Zambrano states, “I look for commitment, enthusiasm, and dedication in my leaders. While the essay is not all I look at you can often read between the lines in a student’s essay. I can learn about a person’s work ethic, creativity, and ability to solve problems through the story they share in their essay. Most of all I look for an inner desire to serve others.”

Step 4: Make a Poster.

Each leader is required to create two posters to hang up around the school. The poster must include information on the mandatory mission trip meeting in order to let students know how to become a missionary. The best way to get students excited through posters is to include pictures from your trip.

If you missed the mandatory mission trip leader meeting and as a result missed out on the opportunity to be a mission trip leader, there is a mandatory meeting for any students wanting to become missionaries next Tuesday, September 27 at 3:30.

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