Coordinator: Discipleship Ministries

Staff Liaison: Doug Johnson, Director of Youth and Family Ministries

High Schoolers (grades 9-12) goes on one amazing trip each summer.

These trips have four points of focus:

  • Explore a different culture
  • Experience new styles of worship
  • Serve God’s people
  • Learn about how the way we live impacts those we serve

With these points in mind, we have traveled as far as Guatemala and as nearby as Seattle.

Summer 2024

No trip scheduled.

Contact Doug Johnson,, for more information.

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  • Summer 2023 ~ Western States

    Summer 2023

    July 6-9, 2023

    Our trip for high school summer 2023 was to the Western States Youth Gathering (WSYG) at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. We gathered with youth from across the western United States around the theme of, “Revive, Reunite, Rejoice.”  Two youth also attended the Western Youth Leadership Event (WYLE), the multicultural youth pre-event to WSYG.

    Some quotes from our youth:

    • “One of my most memorable activities was what we did for the Lutheran world relief fund; I and 200 other kids packed together 600 relief packages containing a toothbrush, a comb, 2 bars of soap, and a nail clipper, all wrapped in towel. All these packages were being sent straight to Ukraine. This activity really made me think about what I was doing for the world and just how easy it is to spread a little kindness and help in the world.”
    • “I was presented with interpretations of bible passages that I might not have made on my own, or seen conclusions drawn I may not have even considered. This experience has developed my understanding of how the bible could be interpreted.”
    • “WYLE was a great way to see people of color in the church and be able to talk about situations and experiences we’ve had as the minority in our churches.” 
    • Our theologians Jaz Waring and Reverend Libby Denton did a phenomenal job not only preaching the scriptures and helping us understand the meaning of them, but also tying them into our modern world.
    • “During Nightlife, the youth had opportunities to participate in fun activities, including board games, a dance party, a foam party (basically, people got to play around in dish soap foam), a pool party, and an inflatables party. I enjoyed these activities, as they gave me time to hang out with people like Carlos, Rolando, and Anderson, as well as meeting new people, who I also became friends with!”
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    • Summer 2022 ~ Local

      July 24-27, 2022

      We went on a summer retreat to Port Ludlow, Washington.
      We discussed issues around recent decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court. The topics were challenging. The youth and adult leaders were able to discuss the issues in a safe environment that was non-judgmental and extremely open to whatever opinions were voiced. Together, everyone grew in faith and friendship, spending time with each other, hanging out, getting to know each other and getting to know the problems of the world we live in.


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    • Summers 2020 and 2021

      Summer 2020 and Summer 2021 trip opportunities were not available due to the Covid pandemic.

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    • Summer 2019 ~ Mexico

      Summer 2019

      Mexico Mission Team Blog

      Six youth and six adults went to Baja, Mexico and partnered with Lantern Hill for a cross cultural exchange and service trip. A special emphasis was on relationship building.

      Trip dates were July 28-August 2, 2019.

      Our team of six youth and six adults shared smiles, played games, and spent meaningful time with the youth at Lantern Hill.

      The mission of Lantern Hill is to break the cycle of poverty.  Their strategy is to create sustainable, measurable, long-term love, care and education programs that give each person the opportunity to change their present and their future.

      Ongoing donations through Sunday Youth Education classes will continue to support Lantern Hill.

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    • Summer 2018 ~ Montana

      Summer 2018

      Image-2018-GodSquadMission-Montana3Our 2018 summer trip was to learn from and to serve with the Blackfeet Nation (with YouthWorks) in Montana. The Mission Team served by helping YouthWorks facilitate a Kids Club program, and helping to prepare for a Blackfeet Nation ceremony. Throughout the week, the Team built relationships with community members and learned about the Blackfeet Nation, its culture, heritage and story. Trip dates were July 21-28, 2018.

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    • Summer 2017 ~ Chicago

       Summer 2017


      July 16-21, 2017: We were in Chicago and worked with Center for Student Missions (CSM), the organization that we partnered with on our San Francisco and Toronto trips.  (To learn more about CSM, watch an introductory video at

      What Image-GodSquad--20170718_150435-1-Chicagodid participants do on this trip?
      Our mission team had been preparing their hearts for service in the city since January. The team worked together to create a Vacation Bible School (VBS) program and led VBS for a group of children living at the Cornerstone Community Outreach Center, a shelter that provides services for mothers and their children, and entire families. They also had opportunities to serve and learn more about the city in a variety of ways.


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    • Summer 2016 ~ Pacific Northwest

      Summer 2016

      Image-GodSquad--2016-GodSquadMission-Emily18Five youth and three adults were the Summer 2016 Mission Trip Team!

      Image-GodSquad--2016-GodSquadMission-Nona10We embarked on a ‘mystery’ tour of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) June 24 – July 1. Our trip included service learning, adventure, and tater-tot pizza!




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    • Summer 2015 ~ ELCA Youth Gathering Detroit

      Summer 2015

      July 15-19, 2015:  We attended the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) National Youth Gathering in Detroit, Michigan with 30,000 of our peers for a week spent on learning, serving, and worship!

      Read their blog:
      See photos on Instagram:
      Hear the sermon given by Joslyn and Lauren on August 23.

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    • Summer 2014 ~ San Francisco

      Summer 2014

      Image-GodSquad--2014-06-22--SanFranciscoWe served in San Francisco with Center for Student Missions (CSM) June 21-29, 2014.

      Image-GodSquad--2014-06-22--SanFrancisco2This was an urban focused mission trip, and we began to understand the issues of homelessness and poverty that are so prevalent in urban areas throughout the country, including our own.
      Read more… about CSM’s mission work in San Francisco.



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    • Summer 2013 ~ Idaho

      Summer 2013

      Image-GodSquad--2013-July-IdahoWe served in northern Idaho July 21-26, 2013. Our service was coordinated through Camp LutherHaven.





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    • Summer 2012 ~ ELCA Youth Gathering New Orleans

      Summer 2012

      Image-GodSquad--2012-NewOrleans-ELCAYouthGatheringWe returned to New Orleans, Louisiana, for the 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering July 17-2, 2012! We worshiped, served, and played with 35,000 Lutheran youth from around the country.

      Read about our trip on our blog.



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    • Summer 2011 ~ Toronto

      Summer 2011

      Image-GodSquad--2011-Toronto-402Toronto, Canada!  From July 24 through July 31, fourteen youth and four adults were in one of the most multicultural cities in North America for an urban mission and service trip with Center for Student Missions (CSM).

      Image-GodSquad--2011-Toronto-010 Image-GodSquad--2011-Toronto-342They served meals to the homeless at drop-in shelters in the city, and learned what the homeless experience as they live on the streets.

      Read their trip blog:



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    • Summer 2010 ~ Lummi Nation

      Summer 2010

      Image-GodSquad--2010-Lummi-1Twenty-two youth and five adults served the Lummi Tribe of Native Americans near Bellingham on a trip organized through Camp Lutherwood. We spent the week doing yard work, painting, and cleaning up a Lummi Long House; and were treated to dinner and Lummi cultural dancing.

      Image-GodSquad--2010-Lummi-2We also got to test our skills on a high-ropes course and have some fun tubing on Lake Samish.





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    • Summer 2009 ~ ELCA Youth Gathering New Orleans

      Summer 2009

      Image-GodSquad--2009-July-Emma-Sophia-NewOrleansIn 2009, we attended the ELCA National Youth Gathering in New Orleans. The theme for the gathering was Jesus, Justice, Jazz. The week focused on service to the city of New Orleans and included awesome worship experiences and powerful speakers. God led us to serve and to deepen our faith. We plan to return to New Orleans for the ELCA National Youth Gathering in 2012!



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    • Summer 2008 ~ West Virginia

      Summer 2008

      Image-GodSquad--2008-July-Max-WestVirginiaIn the summer of 2008, we embarked on a Road Rules adventure, Southern Style.
      Image-GodSquad--2008-July-Becky-WestVirginiaThis trip led us to Delbarton, West Virginia for a week of service with YouthWorks. We built relationships with people of all ages in this small coal-mining town through painting, construction, and running kids’ activities. From Delbarton, we ventured to Asheville, North Carolina for a night of fun and rest in a real bed. We then headed to Charleston, South Carolina, where we learned about southern life in the times of slavery, and were blessed to experience gracious southern hospitality.



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    • Summer 2007 ~ Guatemala

      Summer 2007

      Image-GodSquad--2007-Guatemala-service3In 2007, we broadened our horizons by heading to Guatemala with Partners in Service.
      While in Guatemala, our youth built stoves for families and planted trees to help fight the deforestation in the region.  Building stoves may seem like an unusual form of service, but  Guatemalans in rural areas usually cook indoors over an open fire.  This can cause a lifetime of lung problems, especially for children.  The stoves we built helped to pipe the fire out of the house while maintaining traditional cooking techniques.



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    • Summer 2006 ~ Midwest

      Summer 2006

      2006 was the original Road Rules adventure. We embarked on a wild trip to some of the largest cities in the Midwest. Here is a sampling of what we did:

      Image-GodSquad--2006-Brian+RoadRulesWe served, slept and worshipped at Trinity Lutheran Church, Lakewood, Ohio.
      Experienced the West Side Market, a Cleveland Landmark, took in the joys of public transportation, visited the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.
      All awesomeness.

      Image-GodSquad--2006-Kevin-RoadRulesImage-GodSquad--2006-Brad-RoadRulesIn Chicago we began with a socio-economic walking tour of the South Side with Dr. Richard Perry from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
      We also visited the Cabrini Green Neighborhood Association, experienced true sports fans at a White Sox v. Yankees game, ate Chicago style pizza, and volunteered at a senior center in the suburbs.

      While staying at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, we took an environmental tour of the neighborhood, which has a number of Superfund sites  played with the kids at the church for their summer program and went door-to-door to get neighbors involved in the church’s block party.  We also experienced an amazing prayer service and Redeemer’s monthly hip-hop worship, JUMP.

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    • Summer 2005 ~ ELCA Western States Youth Gathering

      Summer 2005

      In 2005, we attended the Western States Youth Gathering in Seattle, where we had the opportunity to meet youth from Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, California, and Washington, hear amazing keynote speakers and celebrate God with the music of Agape and Rachel Kurtz.

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