Many of you have asked me for some more detail regarding our HS Camp that shifted from New Orleans to Middle TN as a result of the recent flooding. Although I don't have a lot of detail as we are rebuilding some of these trip elements from scratch - I hope the content below will bring you up to speed on the most common questions we are hearing.
Certainly this element impacts everyone and it would seem that serving at home would equate to fewer expenses. Since we have already worked diligently to manage our normal costs in the New Orleans area, though, our expenses are similar for a local trip. I'll break some of these down and in doing so you should see some other answers to questions we've heard.
Lodging is not an expense in New Orleans since Metairie Baptist does not charge us - so there is no savings in that area. In fact, since we are working just as hard to maintain the group dynamic that happens on our NOLA trips (as well as position ourselves to be efficient in reaching work sites in a timely manner), we will likely not be staying at GBC. That means we might incur a slight unexpected lodging expense that we wouldn't have in NOLA.
Transportation might seem like an area that we could save, but we will still be renting our transportation to get us to all of our job sites. The largest potential for savings here might be with fuel, but we are still trying to budget this wisely to prevent any surprises. Although van rentals are cheaper than the buses we rent, we will need more of them. I do expect a slight savings here, but this will depend on the work we get and the geographic location of that work.
THE "SINCE WE ARE HERE" FACTOR
One of the huge benefits to our mission trips and camps is the isolation we get as a group that contributes to our focus to our mission and to each other. Our leadership have agreed that this is not something we are willing to sacrifice just because we are close to home. To that end, we will not be able to accommodate requests of students wishing meet us at the job site. There are some students needing to take the ACT Saturday, June 12. We will allow students needing to take the ACT to meet our group after testing, but not using their own transportation - you will need to be dropped off. Students will not be allowed to drive their cars to job sites, group meetings, or have them available at our lodging site.
The work is continuing to pour in - just another affirmation that we are in the right place for this trip. Our focus will be just as targeted as it is in New Orleans, and we will treat every aspect of this trip as if we are 8 or 10 hours from home.
Thank you for sharing this vision with us. As soon as we have finalized all the details of this trip we will communicate all the particulars. That communication will include any adjustment in cost savings we can realize and pass back to you.