Frequently Asked Questions
Preparations | Health & Safety | Debrief
1.What is the difference between Teen Missions and other short-term opportunities?
Experience: Teen Missions is a pioneer of the concept of providing short-term missions experience for teens. The first teams went out in 1971 and since that time over 50,000 North American youth and an additional 80,000 national youth have assisted with a variety of evangelistic and building projects with over 200 established missions in over 110 countries.
The Lord’s Boot Camp: Teen Missions rugged 200+ acre training facility is no “pamper camp”. Young missionaries learn teamwork on the Obstacle Course and experience each training activity as a team. Training in basic construction, evangelism, music, drama, and spiritual and practical survival skills is required. Specialty teams receive focused training using drama, choir, clowning, motorcycle, TESL(Teaching English as a Second Language) audiovisuals (film teams), sports and/or medical missions. Some teams may receive additional cultural training for travel to sensitive countries and/or cultures.
Diversity: Teen Missions is one of the few organizations that is truly interdenominational, having worked with hundreds of church denominations and mission boards. Our staff works in unity from many different backgrounds for one purpose. Our summer team offering is also one of the most diverse to nearly every continent. Projects range from work teams building airstrips, orphanages, and churches to evangelism teams sharing Christ using film, music, puppets, drama, and clowning. Our teams have traveled using mission planes, local transportation, horseback, backpack (foot), dirt bikes, river boats, and more.
BIBLE, MISSIONARY & WORK Training Center: Teen Missions offers a unique opportunity for FREE Bible, missions, and work training to former team members at its three-year Bible school (2 yrs classes + 1 yr internship). In the mornings, students attend classes; and in the afternoons, they gain practical experience and fill key missionary positions in Teen Missions worldwide ministries at the Florida headquarters. Students complete their Bible training without acquiring any debt, having gained practical missions experience, and are ready for immediate placement in full-time ministry.
Impact in assisting overseas mission efforts: Teen Missions project time on the field (for teens) runs for four to five weeks allowing many work teams to complete significant projects. Two hundred dollars of each North American team member’s support cost is built in to donate to the host mission overseas to buy building materials. A portion of each team member’s support is used to help sponsor a national teen in an overseas Boot Camp. Each team member is truly making a difference as a summer missionary through work, evangelism, and financial support for local ministries and training.
2. What is the doctrinal statement of Teen Missions?
1. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible and authoritative Word of God.
2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in the three persons: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. We believe in the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood and His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His tangible return in power and glory.
4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a Godly life.
6. We believe in the resurrection of the body of the saved and lost — they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in Christ.
3. What is Teen Missions policy on doctrine?
Teen Missions does not discuss or teach the doctrines that divide the body of believers. Teens asking questions of specific doctrinal issues are directed to their parents and/or pastors. Doctrines included in Teen Missions doctrinal statement are taught.
4. Is Teen Missions affiliated with any specific denominations?
No. Teen Missions is not a denomination but is interdenominational. Teen Missions staff, leaders, and team members come from a wide range of evangelical denominations.
5. How old do I have to be to go on a summer missions trip?
- Preteen Trips 10-12 yrs
- Teen Trips 13+ yrs
- Adult Trips 18+ yrs
6. Does Teen Missions screen team members?
Teen Missions does not require recommendations or references before team members are assigned to teams.
Teen Missions wants to get the teens into the program, not close them out.
7. What are the basic parts of the summer program?
Teen Missions summer mission trip program has three main parts:
1. Boot Camp — Spiritual & Practical summer trip training in Florida (Approx 2 weeks)
2. Project — Work or Evangelism Project overseas (Approx 3-4 weeks)
3. Debrief — with other teams at Teen Missions Retreat Center in Florida (Approx 5 days)
8. What is Boot Camp?
The Lord’s Boot Camp (called this because everyone is required to wear work boots) is Teen Missions rugged 200+ acre training facility. Young missionaries learn teamwork on the Obstacle Course and experience each training activity as a team. Training in basic construction, evangelism, music, drama, and spiritual and practical survival skills is required. Specialty teams receive focused training including choir, clowning, motorcycle, TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) audiovisuals (film teams), and cultural training for sensitive countries.
9. Why 6-inch boots?
For safety reasons, 6-inch construction boots are required for all team members and leaders through the duration of the team. Besides the obvious safety advantages for a work project site and rugged terrain, these boots protect against disease caused by human and animal waste found on and in the ground because of a lack of toilet facilities in many third world countries.
10. Do I have to live in a tent?
All team members live in tents during Boot Camp. Once on the mission field, living situations will differ depending on the available accommodations at each particular project site.
12. Do I have to run the Obstacle Course?
All team members are required to participate in the Obstacle Course to the best of their ability. In the case of a medical condition, a doctor’s excuse is required to be excused from doing the obstacles, but the team members will walk the course, so they will be involved as much as possible with the rest of the team.
13. What about Special Diets & Medications?
Any special medications or diet restrictions are reported to Teen Missions on the Health Status Forms. Appropriate measures are taken by the team leader to ensure the proper care of each team member while under their care. Medical conditions are reported to Teen Missions during the registration process and occasionally may limit mission trip choices to destinations that allow for suitable care.
14. What is done in the case of serious illness or injury?
At Boot Camp, a First Aid station is manned 24 hours a day. There are two hospitals within 10 miles of Boot Camp. While on the field, if a team member is sick for more than 24 hours, they will visit a doctor, clinic, or whatever medical facility is available to be seen by a health care worker. The location of these medical facilities and doctors is determined in advance so that no time is wasted in getting team members proper care.
15. What happens in the event of political unrest, natural disaster or other safety issues while the team is overseas?
Teen Missions monitors all the locations of teams and is in communication with the missionaries on location overseas. In the event of any political unrest, natural disaster, or other safety issues arising, Teen Missions has in the past, and may again, change the project for a team, or transfer a team from its project to another site. We will do whatever is necessary to ensure, to the best of our ability, the safety and success of each team member, leader, and team.
16. Do I need a passport?
All team members and leaders that depart the United States on teams are required to have a valid passport.
17. Can I get extra prayer cards and letters?
Team leaders and members can order extra support letters and prayer cards at a cost of $5 USD per 100 support letters and $10 USD per 100 prayer cards.
18. Can I bring a devotional?
No. Teen Missions will provide a devotional for you during your involvement geared to your Boot Camp and field experience.
19. What is Debrief?
(click on the question to go to the Debrief Page)
20. Will I receive news updates?
Each team member is required to send a postcard home upon safe arrival at the Lord’s Boot Camp. Photos of Boot Camp training are posted regularly on our Facebook Page and nightly rallies in the Big Top are broadcast live as a webcast each evening. Two reports are posted to our website each week (as logistics allow) while each team is on the foreign field. Team members are permitted one phone call home (time permitting) prior to departure overseas and upon return to the USA before the beginning of Debrief.
21. Can I send my child care packages?
Packages are NOT allowed to be mailed to the team member at Boot Camp, during project time or at Debrief. This includes Commissioning Day packages. Many times the food cannot be consumed before the team member leaves and it goes to waste.
We ask that in lieu of Commissioning Day packages, you send your team member a “Congratulations” card with cash or a gift card inside so they can buy goodies at the airports.
If you will be coming for Commissioning, you may bring drinks and goodies. If you will be visiting the day before Commissioning, then you can check with the leader for suggestions on what may be needed. The leaders will not be allowed to make phone calls or send e-mails concerning this.
We ask that no care packages be sent to team members while on any part of their summer team. In many cases, packages sent to team members arrive after the team has left, and it becomes the responsibility of the full-time missionary on the field to pay for any customs and taxes that the country charges out of his or her own finances. In most countries, packages cannot be returned to sender and MUST be claimed by the missionary.
22. Can I Volunteer?
(click on the question to go to the Volunteer Page)
(click on the question to go to the Visiting Boot Camp Page)
Yes, this simplifies the process the Finance Department will have in entering the check to each team member’s account, and for proofing their work.
After registering, each team member receives a support packet with support letters and prayer cards to be used in raising your Project Expense. These letters and prayer cards are designed to give your supporters relevant information of Teen Missions and the team you are going on. Make a list of family, friends, church members and others who would be potential supporters. Send each person on the list a support letter and prayer card.
YES, Go to our Donate Page for more information.
There are a number of deadlines that we suggest team members aim for:
30 Day Deadline: 30 days after receiving your support packet, team leaders and members should have their first $300, and their paperwork turned into the Teen Mission office.
Halfway Deadline: halfway between your registration date and May 1, half of your support should be turned in.
May 1: All of your Project Expense should be in for Teen Boot Camp
May 15: All of your Project Expense should be in for Preteen Boot Camp
You will need to call the Teen Missions office to see whether it is possible to switch to a less expensive team for which you have sufficient funds. There are also change fees to cover administrative costs and possible airline penalties.
The Project Expenses that team members raise are dispersed by Teen Missions to cover the expenses of the team transportation, food, building supplies and operational expenses.