Our program has grown to the point that we see multiple requests for the same dates.
FAQ - Will we be the only group there?
Answer - It depends.
As a matter of principle, we don't want to sacrifice the quality of trip experience and strong collaborative dynamic that we can achieve with our mission teams simply to increase the financial revenue and material resources that groups provide our ministries. Our goal is not to operate at our full capacity (around 100) year-round. Our goals are to bring groups alongside our existing ministry, to equip for effective outreach, and to bring resource into our community. This is not accomplished by working with more participants than we can effectively manage or juggling as many groups as can get onsite.
As a matter of policy, if your group size is 30 or more, we won't schedule a second group. If your group size is less than 30, you can expect the possibility of another group.
As a matter of practice, if your group has secured time dates with a deposit, we will gain agreement with you about the possibility of any other groups that might be present during your trip before we secure their dates. The options we will discuss for managing to two or more teams will be these:
The considerations before us are:
1) Can it happen safely?
2) Will it be effective to accomplish Kingdom work in the groups and in the community?
3) Will it enhance or detract from the trip experience of any or all of the groups coming?
Managing multiple groups takes additional staff, intentional planning, and consideration of a totally different dynamic that occurs when we bring teams together. Expectations, priorities, leadership styles, and personalities differ from team to team. If you have experienced New Vision before, you know that we embrace the glorious mess of the diverse group of people who make up our community and congregation with passion and intentionality. You can expect no less from our urban missions program.
Here are some different ways we approach having multiple groups:
1) Independent trips - groups function separately in schedule, activities, and facilitation by our staff.
Groups are housed separately, have separate schedules, and each has an assigned facilitator to manage their trip. They may eat meals at the same time, may serve in the same proximity or even do the same activity... but groups will not be intermixed for debrief times or projects.
Best for: groups leaders with very specific internal goals and expectations for their trip experience, groups that want an in-depth focus on a particular social issue or need in our community, groups doing special building or ministry projects, groups that would be overwhelmed by working with another group, groups with differing arrival dates,
2) Shared Cooperative trips - Groups will share the same basic trip experience, activities, and program but will maintain autonomy to process the trip experience in their own group.
Groups are housed separately. We will have a single schedule that all groups will participate in together. Groups will eat together and will probably serve together in most activities, but time will be given for each group to process their own trip experience. Likewise, groups may participate together for group rapport, team building, and experiential learning activities, but group autonomy is honored. Groups make their own free time plans. This is similar to how we run our "Event" weekend and day trips.
Best for: groups who like the idea of working with other groups, but aren't comfortable with fully combining to form one group for the trip, groups that have policies that would prohibit being housed with an outside group, short or long trips, New Vision events where we need a large quantity of volunteers
3) Combined Collaborative trips - Groups will bond together to share one trip experience.
Groups may be housed separately or together "guys with guys" and "girls with girls," with the agreement of all groups. Group rapport and team building will focus on blending and preparing the participants to serve together. Special consideration will be given to the adult dynamic to insure safety and respect amongst the trip leaders. Trip leaders will be responsible for the discipline of their own participants. All trip leaders will have a voice into the scheduled activities. Some group time may be arranged to allow groups to process separately. This way can be the most messy, but if done well... the most rewarding!
Best for: groups coming together from the same town or area, multiple small groups, large groups that don't mind absorbing a much smaller group into their trip, group leaders that value and want their participants to actively practice serving in unity with other believers, longer trips where there is time to develop a strong shared group dynamic.