Smokey Bear knows there are a lot of questions out there for those considering attending or already signed up for SMC.
Check out some of the most popular questions.
What is SMC?
Simply put, SMC is a week of mission and camp all rolled into one.
Who can attend SMC?
The Traditional SMC is designed for Middle &/or High School Youth and their Leaders. SMC YA is for our Young Adult Friends.
What if I'm not sure what I'm doing that week yet?
If you've looked at the family calendar and find that it's still blank for that week, grab a pen and write "SMC" - now you know what you're doing that week!
What do I pack, or Not pack for SMC?
This is such a great question that we've developed an entire 1-page response you can download HERE!
What is included in the Cost?
Round Trip Transportation from Lincoln
Meals - all but one meal (pack your lunch or bring cash for the trip out)
Lodging (sheets/towels provided)
amazing Evening Activities
Work Projects over 3-4 days
Who is in charge?
First and foremost God. The trip is hosted by SMC (you're on our site, check us out). We put together a great team for each SMC event that spends usually over a year working to plan, pray for, and lead these great events. Each SMC has an on-site Staff (Directors, Work Site Coordinator, Worship Leaders, Medical Personnel, and more), in addition to the Youth Pastors/Leaders/Volunteers coming with each group.
What about Background Checks?
We take the safety of each youth seriously. Each adult attending SMC (both our Staff & the Leaders coming from other groups) will have passed a Background Check completed by SMC prior to boarding the bus.
What if my youth misbehaves?
We've worked in youth ministry for years, and know that youth occasionally act out. But, we have faith that we'll all get along just fine during SMC. In the unlikely event that any issues cannot be corrected, Youth Leaders will contact the Parent/Guardian to discuss options. If warranted a youth may be sent home at the expense of the Parent/Guardian. If a trip home is warranted the decision of SMC Staff is final. Please talk with your Youth Leader if you have specific concerns.
What are the Policies of SMC?
Another great question - our Policy Statements can be found and downloaded HERE.
We hear Cell Phones are NOT allowed on SMC, what if my youth brings one?
Great question, we'll throw it off the mountain. This isn't our first trip like this, and many youth leaders weighed in on our Phone/Tech Policy, we're still standing by the fact that a week without is not harmful to the youth. Believe it or not, we've actually had youth come back and say they appreciate that we didn't allow this distraction for them during their SMC experience. Trust us, they'll survive and so will the parents!
What if there is an emergency and I need to reach my youth?
Parents/Family at home should have their Youth Leaders Cell Number and the Number for the YMCA Camp we are staying at with contact instructions are provided to each group to pass on to those back home. In emergencies, we can get a message to students.
What if there is an emergency and my youth needs to reach home?
So glad you asked, most Leaders and SMC Staff have phones, we will contact you if there is a need!
Can I drop my youth off late, or pick them up early?
This is ultimately between you and your Youth Pastor/Leader. However, we strongly discourage it. A youth arriving late means they've missed out on the initial bonding that happens between youth on these trips - especially with multiple churches attending. Leaving early means they will miss out on how everything comes together at the end of our week together. Either way, outside of emergencies we hope that every youth on SMC can experience the entire trip. This applies to Youth Leaders too, we count on the adults to be present for the entirety of SMC.
What type of work projects will you do?
We've spent most of our SMC time in the Estes Valley communities. Each year we typically do a project at the YMCA Camp we stay at. The YMCA is an organization that we believe in and the Camp benefits greatly from a group of our size serving for a day.
We have built relationships with many other organizations in the places we'll serve. For instance, a Christian Dude Ranch is one of our favorites. The work is hard and rewarding. Learning about the mission of the Ranch is always eye-opening to the youth and they feel fulfilled in completing projects for their ministry.
We strive to find a balance of "labor-based" projects and something that has a little more "human" connection. Each year our projects differ slightly, but we'll usually have a "final" list closer to the dates of SMC.