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Best Christian Mission Trips for Middle School Groups

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by Abbie Thiebaut Abbie is a full-time member of the EM staff who uses her experience leading mission trips to encourage others to serve in communities across the U.S. and around the world.

So, you’ve decided to take a group of middle school students on a mission trip. If you're unsure about whether you should take a group of middle school students on a mission trip, let me start off by saying that it is sure to be a life-changing experience for you, your students, and the community where you serve. But where do you even begin? You know it’s something worth pursuing, but there can be so many steps to get there! As you consider when and where to go., it’s important to consider the following details as well:

1. Budget: Middle school students typically rely a bit more on parent contributions and may need some help fundraising along the way. Before picking a location, it’s great to set a budget that your students, church, and supporters will be able to work with. Some trips will cost you more depending on transportation to get there as well - be sure to factor that in as you plan! 

Note: EM trip fees typically include the cost of lodging, meals, evening programming, and building materials (and ground transportation in international communities!) 

2. Chaperones: Great chaperones can be amazing help on a mission trip, and you will need them! They can act as extra drivers or worksite leaders, help manage behavior, and most importantly, act as mentors for students and engage in 1-on-1 conversations as your students grow and process their experiences. 

Note: We recommend a ratio of 6:1, six middle school students for every adult. 

3. Appropriate Challenges: Middle school students are all at different points in growing and maturing. Finding the right trip should take into account your students’ starting points and give them meaningful, appropriate opportunities to grow while participating in God’s plan for communities around the world. 

Now that you’ve taken some time to reflect on your starting point, it’s time to choose a trip!

At EM, we strive to make all of our mission trips mutually beneficial for team members and community members alike.

Our middle school mission trips all reflect meaningful, safe environments for your students to serve and grow while making a real impact in the lives of those they partner with. And so, we’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of the 10 best mission trips to bring your middle school students:

Pike County, KY

Your middle school students will have the opportunity to engage with their peers while investing in the town of Pikeville, Kentucky. Trips here encompass a wide range of activities including construction projects, Kids Club, nursing home visits, and so much more. Outreach programs often involve local kids and pre-teens, so your team will have opportunities to do more than just serve — they will build meaningful friendships with their peers in rural Kentucky.

Learn more about Kentucky mission trips.

Navajo Reservation

The Navajo Reservation is the perfect place to disconnect from cell phones and other devices and spend time intentionally serving others and developing your faith. Your team of junior high students will partner with local ministry leaders to do meaningful construction and building projects, lead Kids Club, and learn about the local Navajo culture. The week that your students spend on the “rez” might be one of the most transformational experiences of their middle school years.

Learn more about Navajo trips to New Mexico and Arizona.

Belmopan, Belize

At Experience Mission, we often talk about the value of serving others both locally and globally. Belize mission trips are a great introductory international mission trip for your pre-teens. They’ll have the opportunity to live the local way, lead Kids Clubs, and participate in construction projects while getting to know local families and teens. While we partner with a network of Spanish-speaking churches, this is a great introductory experience because most young people in Belize speak English, as it’s the official language and used in school systems across the country.

Learn more about mission trips to Belize.

Cuba

Your team will have the opportunity to work with vibrant and growing house-church ministries in Cuba. You’ll help to meet practical needs for residents while being the hands and feet needed to keep ministries moving forward including working with an agriculture ministry, facilitating a Kids Club, and supporting families of children with disabilities.

Learn more about mission trips to Cuba for middle school students.

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Wherever you decide to serve, we’re excited that you’re taking the first step on behalf of your students and we’d love to help make your trip a reality! You can start by filling out an interest form and a member of our staff will personally contact you to answer questions, narrow down options, and get you going in the right direction. Looking for trips that are good for a mix for high school and middle school students? Check out our Teen Mission Trips!

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