Step into the world of the Red Lake Chippewa—people who proudly honor their traditional ways!
It’s one of the few “closed” Indian reservations, so called because the tribe won’t divide and sell off their beloved land for anything.
Your adventure will be centered in Ponemah,a remote community with few services. It’s an opportunity to take a break from the fast pace of modern life—and be challenged by a slightly more rustic mission experience.Many of the people who live here are more traditional than in other parts of the reservation—making Ponemah the best place to explore Chippewa culture!
You’ll be welcomed here by the Chippewa—a people who know how to live off the land.Frigid northern Minnesota winters take a horrific toll on homes, andjobs are scarce here.That means you’ll do real work, from building sturdy wheelchair ramps to replacing leaking roofs.
You’ll stay in a picturesque school on the shore of Red Lake right next to a community park and tribal powwow grounds. As you experience a truly vibrant native culture from the inside—as no tourist ever could—you’ll develop a new empathy for others, and deepen your understanding of God’s love.
Special treats: What could be better after a few days of hard work in the hot sun—than passes to a water park? It’s true! The tribe owns a water park a short distance away—and everyone at this adventure gets a free pass!
The frigid winters here are hard enough on houses. But overcrowding due to limited housing stock and poverty make things even worse. You work here may include:
- Replacing shingle roofs (Local Project Advisors will teach you what to do)
- Ripping out and replacing rotten siding
- Building new porches and ramps
And you’ll learn what it means to be a disciple on your Adventure here in the Great North Woods!
The safety, security, and well-being of every participant is our number-one priority. Our team has years of experience ensuring that extra precautions are given to make every aspect of the mission trip as safe as possible. We visit each location in person several times before your Adventure, and we check each worksite for safety before you arrive.
You need to bring one adult volunteer (age 21 or older) for every 5 students (age 20 years or younger) you register. If you have both genders registered, you need to have at least one adult volunteer of each gender.
Anyone with a heart to serve others and a desire to grow closer to God is welcome to join us on a Lifetree Adventure. Our domestic mission trips are designed with teenagers and youth groups in mind, and each trip has a minimum age allowed depending on the type of projects happening at that location.
The Group team provides care to nearly all the details of your trip, including lodging, meals, project coordination and building materials/supplies during the mission experience, discipleship programming and materials, on-site support crew, and a T-shirt for every participant. The fee doesn’t include transportation or meals to and from the trip location or during your time off.
For our domestic mission trips, we use a clean, comfortable high school or middle school as our home base for the week. We sleep, eat, and do all our programming at the school. You’ll want to bring an air mattress and bedding.
You will provide your own transportation to and from your mission trip. The vehicles and drivers you bring will be used to provide daily transportation to and from the project sites.
Many of our trips give you the option to focus on home repair or relational ministry. Actively engaging in the local culture is important to us. So, you might yodel, dance, cook, craft, clog, powwow, or sing. Your mission adventure concierge will have specific details for each location.
What types of work does “home repair” entail?
Depending upon the location, need, and your skill or desire for work, you might be assigned to a variety of projects. Work ranges from challenging at Monument Valley to moderately challenging at Red Lake to moderate at Owego, Mescalero, and Lame Deer. Raytown and Monson offer moderate to simple home-repair projects as well as relational ministry opportunities.
What if I don’t have any construction skills?
Don’t worry—what really matters is your desire to work. No matter how challenging the project, if you really want to put in the effort, skilled Local Project Advisors and on-staff Troubleshooters will be available to ensure your success!
What does “relational ministry” entail?
Relational ministry could entail a variety of opportunities to interact with and meet the needs of local people. From assisting elderly residents to serving at a food bank to building trails, your work will be a valuable opportunity to connect one-on-one with people who need your help.
Very much so! Group’s Lifetree Adventures is unique in that we partner directly with local tribal leaders and agencies. We’ve enjoyed decades of solid relationships based on trust and respect. People on the reservations now count on us to come—and every resident will have specifically applied for your help.
Far from new! We are the original youth mission trip created by Group Publishing in Loveland, Colorado. Now we call our mission trips for youth and adults Lifetree Adventures. For over 40 years we’ve provided worry-free mission trips with highly experienced staff, thoroughly prepared service opportunities, and rich spiritual growth experiences created by Group’s experts. Our team is led by Thom and Joani Schultz and includes several seasoned veterans with decades of experience in mission trip planning and programming. We’ve also added some innovative new updates to the mission trip experience! Our travelers rely on the stability and security of a large established organization.
The Next Steps
Build the excitement
Have the conversations to get approval from leaders and key decision makers. Download FREE Plan-It Guide
Build your team
Spread the word and start recruiting your group! If you have adults in your congregation interested in chaperoning and supporting your team on the road, share our Support Roles with them. There are several ways for adults to share their gifts throughout this experience.View Support Roles
Answer these questions
- Have you considered a budget with travel costs, registration fees, and emergency funds?
- Have you received firm commitments from a core number of people?
- What is most exciting to you and others about this trip?
Reserve Your spaces
Register for your trip by calling our friendly staff at 800-385-4545, ext. 4166, or by registering on this website.
2020 Catalog & Info
Get an introductory package sent to your mailbox! This pack includes your 2020 catalog and more information about all of our mission trips (plus freebies!).Request Info
Get in touch with one of our Adventure Concierges to schedule a time for a one-on-one meeting.Schedule Meeting
FREE Adventure Plan-it Guide
Receive valuable resources that help make your decision-making and trip-planning easy!Download Guide
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