Thursdays are going to be the best day of your week in the summer!!! Every summer middle schoolers (6th-8th grade as of the previous school year) choose to roll up their sleeves, put on closed-foot shoes, and SERVE all over the Twin Cities! Students serve in the mornings and then play in the afternoons—all in the name of Jesus.
What to Expect
Summer Stretch meets in the Bridge at the Valley Creek campus at 8am on designated Thursdays. Students will get a shirt the first day they participate and should wear that every week. The group starts with games and devotions and then heads to service sites in the Twin Cities (Feed My Starving Children, Naomi center, Tubman Alliance women’s shelters, adult day center, Salvation Army downtown, and more). Students return to the Valley Creek campus for lunch. The cafe is open, and students are welcome to bring their own lunches from home. The afternoon activity is different each week. Students should be back to the Valley Creek campus by 5pm each week. They finish their day with a little debriefing and reminders for the next week.
Middle School Summer Stretch (SS) REGISTRATION WILL OPEN APRIL 1: Thursday summer service and fun for current 6-8th graders! See information below to find dates, info/FAQ and the sign up/payment link. SPECIAL RATE available from April 1 to May 15, $70 for all 5 dates! Beginning May 16 the cost is $90 (or you can pay $20 per date— Valleyfair is $30). Scholarships are available and friends are welcome. Senior High leaders will be needed! Questions: Contact Lindsey Schmidt or Stacy Winter.
DOWNLOAD INFORMATIONAL HANDOUT
Dates and Afternoon Events
June 21: Grand Slam
June 28: Bowling
July 12: Nickelodeon Universe
July 26: Cascade Bay Waterpark/minigolf
Aug. 2: Valleyfair, 8:30am - 7pm
Please wear tennis shoes each week. Many of our service sites won't allow the students to serve unless they are wearing closed-foot shoes. Students may wear other shoes for the afternoon play activities if they choose to. We also require that all participants wear a Summer Stretch shirt to all sites. We will get dirty...so dress for it!
On dates when we are going swimming, girls need to wear 1-piece bathing suits, a long tankini, or a colored shirt over a 2-piece. (this swimsuit policy is followed at the water park and Valleyfair).
Due to the nature of the day, we ask that iPods, handheld games, valuables, and electronics be left at home. Students may have a cell phone, but if they are found to be a distraction for your child we'll keep them for the day's activities. In the past we have had many students lose or forget their cell phones and iPods at service sites, recreational sites, and around the church. The church is not responsible for replacing any lost, stolen, or broken items.
Each student's family is responsible for driving at least 1 time during the summer for the full day (8:00 - 5:00pm) or the morning (8am-noon). If you are unable to drive please find a replacement or contact Lindsey Schmidt. We also need all drivers to complete and pass a background/driver's check. This helps us ensure that our students are safe on the road with our adults. All drivers need to be at least 21 years old.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the day's schedule typically look like?
8:00 - 9:00am: youth have opening devotions led by Sr. Youth staff and drivers have a drivers meeting
9:00am: leave for service sites (typically 7-10 different locations)
9:30 - 11:30am: serve at sites
11:30am: drive back to WLC (no stops please!!!)
noonish: bag lunch time at WLC (each student is responsible for bringing their own lunch! Cafe 121 is also open if you'd like to buy lunch)
1:00ish: leave for play site on buses
1:30 - 4:00pm: play
5:00pm: arrive back at WLC for pickup
Where do students meet at 8:00am in the morning? and where do we pick them up in the afternoon at 5:00pm? We meet in the Bridge in the mornings for opening devotions and students can get picked up by the east doors at 5:00pm. (every day except: FMSC date, 5:15pm and August 2, 7:00pm.
How does the Valleyfair day work? Please arrive at WLC no later than 8:30am and we'll return by 7pm on Thursday evening. Please wear the Summer Stretch T-shirt. Youth will want money for lunch and snacks. There will be at least one car at Valley fair if youth want to bring a sack lunch to leave in one of the cars. There will be a "lunch time" where folks can go get their lunches and eat them in the parking lot. No outside food or beverages are allowed in the park, but youth can bring a water bottle. Please pack only what students are able to carry and need for the full day: 8:30am - 7:00pm. The bathing suit policy is still the same, gals will need to wear a 1-piece or a shirt over their 2-piece. Students are asked to stay in groups of at least 3 for the day. There will always be a WLC adult near the carousel if they lose their group, need help, or feel ill.
Why do parents have to drive? We need volunteer drivers in order for this program to work, without them we can't host 50+ youth each week. If you are absolutely unable to drive or find a replacement please contact
. All drivers need to be at least 21 years old.
What are drivers responsible for? We ask that drivers arrive at WLC at 8:00am to receive your adult t-shirt for the day, to look over the directions, and to receive instructions regarding the day's activities. Drivers will take a car/van-load of kids to a service site, work alongside that group of students, bring them back to WLC, do a de-briefing exercise with them while eating lunch, and then jump on the bus and come play with us in the afternoon. In the afternoon we will all be together as a large group so if you need to leave after lunch please let Lindsey know at least a week in advance so she can make sure there are enough adults for the afternoon activity. WLC pays for your afternoon activity entrance fees.
What if we are going to be out of town for a week? If you know you are going to be gone one of the weeks of Stretch please make sure Lindsey knows. It is critical that we respect our service sites and provide the number of people that we say we are going to provide. This helps them out and also helps us know how many cars we need each week.
What if I want to bring a friend along? If you would like to bring a guest with you we'd love to have them! We do need to know at least 7 days in advance so we can make sure that we have enough drivers, sites, and tickets. We are often restricted by the number of seat belts and service site spaces, so the more notice the better!
How are service sites selected & are they all Christian? Many of our sites are places where we have been serving for years (Feed My Starving Children, Salvation Army, etc) others come highly recommended by fellow SS churches in the Twin Cities. They are not all Christian-based organizations, but they all provide services to people in need in honorable ways. There are a couple of sites where we serve that other people from the community may be serving alongside our youth. (Salvation Army, FMSC, etc) At these sites we don't have control over these other folk's language, discussions, or behavior. Knowing this, we do make sure that each group of youth has adults from WLC who have had a background check and also that these sites know we're a church group with junior high students.
Can my other children come along if I am driving? If the children are at least 5 years old they may come for the whole day (you will need to pay for the cost of their afternoon activity). If under 5 they are welcome to join us after lunch, but most of the service sites won't allow them to come due to insurance purposes. Please notify Lindsey of other non-stretch children, so that she can figure out the right number of seat belts for each car.
Will my youth need money for anything? Many of our afternoon activities are places where students can purchase snacks (MOA, swimming, Grand Slam, movies, bowling). There are also arcade games at both Grand Slam and the bowling alley that will require additional money if your youth would like to play them. We will cover the admission costs for each activity out of the registration fee.
Will we know where we're serving in advance? Each week we'll send out an email update letting parents know where their youth may be going the following week (this is always subject to change due to drivers and group attendance). It will also give parents a reminder of recreational site needs (swimsuits, etc).
Drivers will be notified at least 1 day before the day they're driving via e-mail with directions and specific notes about their site. Parents, you may not always be driving your youth. We try to arrange it so you're serving together, but it's not always possible with the number of people in groups, seatbelts, and at times there are two parents from the same group driving.
How many service hours do students receive for each day of SS? Students receive 2 hours for each day they attend. If your child is registered for Foundations we'll enter those hours for you, we don't need a servant event form.
Parent Driver Check & Background Check Form
Questions? Email Lindsey Schmidt or call 651-739-5144.