Who can participate?
• Families and or/children ages 10 and up with an accompanying adult
Where are we going?
• Camp Cielito, 1.5 hours from Panama City, Panama
What are we doing?
• Camp improvement construction in the AM
• Facilitate VBS in the afternoon for some
What is the purpose?
• Camp Cielito supports the central government's education requirement for religious education and provides an opportunity for a youth Methodist spiritual retreat experience
Where are we staying?
Saturday arrival night and Friday departure eve:
• Panama City-church conference lodging/ bunk bed-dorm rooms
• Camp Cielito- in cabins
Where are we eating?
In Panama City:
• Restaurant Dining
At Camp Cielito:
• Short walk where meals are prepared and served (by hired cook; sitting at tables on porch)
What documents/prep do we need?
• Updated Passports
• No shots needed
Is there medical care for emergencies?
• "World class" hospital 90 min away from camp, in Panama City
• Branch clinic 30 min away from camp
What's the weather like?
• Low 80s F daytime
• Low 70's nighttime
• Rain-only likely in the afternoons (like summer in Atlanta)
What about the water?
• You can drink the tap water in Panama City, but filtered or bottled recommend at Camp
What other activities are possible?
Team activities at camp:
• outdoor games, nature walks, campfires, songs
• Old Panama
• Colonial Panama
• Panama Canal
• Summit Gardens
• Local Beach
• Local Zoo
How much does the trip cost?
• $800-$850 / person
• Housing (7 nights)
• Camp food/water
• Restaurant food
Why should we go?
"The United Methodist Church has an emphasis on ministry with the poor, and it's something that is transformative, to begin walking alongside others, cultivating relationships and making a difference."
It's a meaningful experience for the whole family, and relationships that make a difference can be built by people of all ages.
Church leaders have seen the impression mission trips have on the children who attend, and how the children serve as an important part of the team. "Children often become leaders, teaching parents and other adults. They are often the first to make deep connections across the cultural divide. There is no language barrier for the kids, play is universal." The children interacting is often the first step toward bringing together the mission team and the people they serve.
A recent mom/mission trip participant also recognized the powerful memories the mission trip made for her family. She said, "I don't think any family vacation has had the impact on all of us like the family mission trip to Panama did."
The rest, renewal, and togetherness many long to achieve during a vacation can be found while making a huge difference in the lives of others.
Ultimately, you will receive a rewarding experience to last a lifetime. So... what are you waiting for? Let's go to Panama!!