We'll be packing up the vehicles for the mission trip on Friday evening before we depart. Then we'll head out the next morning to drive down to Appalachia. We will be returning just in time for worship the following Sunday.
ASP is open to anyone who is at least 14 years old. 13-year-olds may also attend as long as they have completed the 8th grade. Volunteers come as a group, and each group must plan to divide into work crews. Typical work crew sizes are 7 volunteers for youth groups, 5 youth and 2 adults. Each work crew is then assigned to a separate project.
A typical work day looks like this:
7:00-8:00 am Rise and shine, devotions, breakfast
8:30-4:30 pm Work day with Noon lunch break at the work site.
5:00-6:00 pm Crew check-in for project updates, supply requests, etc.
6:00-7:00 pm Dinner
7:00-10:00 pm Center clean-up; evening activities (a time of fellowship, reflection, sharing, singing, playing, sometimes with a guest speaker, local musician or artist, or other special event); free time
10:30-11:00 pm Quiet time; settle in for a well-deserved sleep
11:00 pm Lights-out
ASP provides tools at each of the centers. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring their own tools. The ASP staff will purchase supplies from the local hardware store each morning and will deliver them to the worksites throughout the day.
Safety is of utmost importance at ASP. ASP requires that every volunteer be equipped with safety goggles and ear protection while on a worksite. For projects that involve demolition, N95 dust masks will be required. If groups are not equipped with these items, ASP is prepared to provide them. Minor injuries can occur so they ask that all groups spend time in their pre-trip activities to increase everyone’s awareness of operating safely while at the worksite and while at the center.
Cell phone coverage is very spotty throughout the area they serve. There is cell phone coverage in many of their centers but limited or no WIFI at the centers. They encourage you to use your cell phone only for emergencies. An important part of the ASP experience is transporting yourself away from your everyday life, and immersing yourself in your experience in Central Appalachia.