Each year, Saint Peter’s Prep runs a number of week-long Christian Service summer immersion trips. Students and faculty who participate in these trips speak of engaging and eye-opening experiences. These trips are a chance for Prep students to leave their comfort zones behind for a week and live in solidarity with people who are poor and marginalized.
The trips fall into three categories: Immersion Trips, Habitat for Humanity Trips, and Mission Trips. You can find information about all of them below!
Immersion Trips (Junior Year)
Week-long trips to sites in the rural Appalachian region or an Eastern city, which fulfill the 60 hour junior service requirement. They are:
- Nazareth Farm and Bethlehem Farms, two programs run in rural West Virginia. Students learn there about the dignity of hard work as they work alongside the community members to improve housing, farm, and serve in these impoverished and often forgotten areas. This year students will serve at NazFarm from August 2-8, 2020. BethFarm will return in Summer 2021.
- WV Ministry and Advocacy Workcamps in Gilbert, WV. WVMAW is a non-profit organization that was created to help WV residents whose homes have been destroyed by natural disaster, particularly flooding. Our work includes home repair and reconstruction, playground restoration, and parks cleanup. We spend our time out of service with the people of the Gilbert community. This year, we will serve in Gilbert from July 19-25, 2020.
- The Appalachian Institute at Wheeling University. This program introduces participants to the history and culture of the Appalachian region, while examining issues of poverty and environmental justice. We will be participating in one of their Rural Immersion programs from July 5-11, 2020.
- Romero Center (Camden, NJ): Each summer, Prep students travel to Camden, NJ to spend a week at the Romero Center, taking part in their Urban Challenge for high school students. At this retreat and social justice center, students serve at agencies around Camden and Philadelphia, while examining the issues of injustice that exist in the urban environments in our country. The work sites used in Urban Challenge include housing rehabilitation, work in schools and pre-schools, work at meal programs, and the South Jersey Food Bank, to name a few. Participants live in community with volunteers from other schools, and are afforded opportunities for education and reflection each evening. This summer, Prep students will volunteer at the Romero Center from July 20-25, 2020.
- Philadelphia, PA: Each summer, Prep students stay at the Aquinas Center in Philadelphia to learn about poverty and injustice in the City of Brotherly Love. Students will have the opportunity to serve in various parts of the city, while learning about the rich history and culture of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. This summer, Prep students will volunteer in Philadelphia from August 2-7, 2020.
- Archdiocese of Newark Work Camp: The Work Camp is an annual service immersion experience where teens from the Archdiocese of Newark will experience various forms of service, hands-on learning, and more, all while helping to make a difference in our Archdiocese! Prep students will work alongside groups from other local Catholic high schools, engaging in service, prayer, reflection, and social activities. The group stays at the Archdiocesan Youth Retreat Center in Kearny (where we do Koinonia). The 2020 Work Camp will be from July 19-24.
Habitat for Humanity Trips (Senior Year)
These trips are opportunities for rising seniors to volunteer their time building a house for a family in need with Habitat for Humanity. The Habitat trip will return in Summer 2021.
Mission Trips are service/immersion trips that follow a particular class year through their Prep career. Students have a chance to serve with their class year’s site every summer that they attend Prep. They also raise money for this site during our annual Mission Drive!
- Quito, Ecuador (Class of 2021): The group lives and works at the Working Boys Center, a program committed to “eliminating poverty among working boys and their families.” The Working Boys Center’s programs include a comprehensive education program, which begins with nursery school and ends with adult continuing education courses, and a healthcare initiative program that provides medical and dental care to Quito families. The center’s kitchen serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily to 2,000 people. Lastly, the center also assists Ecuadorans in obtaining loans to start their own businesses. This summer, members of the Class of 2021 will serve in Quito from June 22-July 5, 2020.
- Bethel, AK (Classes of 2020, 2023): Students and chaperones stay in the hall at Bethel’s Catholic church and spend time learning about life in Bethel and the native Yu’pik culture. They will also spend time in service at non-profit agencies throughout the town: the Senior Center, Bethel Alternative Boarding School, Tundra Women’s Coalition, and the Catholic church. All of these agencies have a Jesuit connection through the Bethel Jesuit Volunteer Corps Community. This year, members of the Classes of 2020 and 2023 will serve in Bethel from June 28-July 6, 2020.
- Los Angeles, CA (Class of 2022): This group stays at the Cardinal Manning Center, a Catholic men’s shelter in downtown LA’s “Skid Row,” the neighborhood with the highest concentration of homelessness in the country. Students will learn about hunger and homelessness through nightly meals at Cardinal Manning, and volunteering with other agencies in the area. The group also spends a morning at Homeboy Industries, a program working with formerly gang-involved men and women. This year, members of the Class of 2022 will serve in LA from June 21-27, 2020.