High School Summer Trip- The Decision

Nate Hellum   -  

Hello parents! Believe it or not, it has only been 8 days since our “High School Summer Trip parent meeting”. In some ways, it feels like it was just yesterday, but in more ways (at least for me) it feels like it’s been an eternity since we presented our Summer trip options to you all.

Well, today, we have an update for you. Now, if you just want a quick answer to the question, “Where is my High School student going this Summer?” then feel free to skip to the section, “Our Final Decision”. However, if you are interested in knowing the “why” behind what we chose, feel free to read along with us as we break it down for you.

All the info that played into our decision

For those who want more info than less, this is the section for you. We will be letting you into the minds and conversations that went on in the meetings with our team.

Parent Conversations

After the parent meeting, we (Moriah, Kyle, and myself) had time to talk with many of you and see what your initial thoughts were about the Summer trip. We left that morning with two observations.

  1. Although many of you still felt it would be a worthwhile experience, you and the students also communicated that you were bummed that VBS and the Wednesday night church service wasn’t available in Mexico. 
  2. You and your students were excited about the potential that an experience in Mexico could bring. However, when it came to COVID-19 and safety, you were more comfortable with Tennessee.

Survey Results

After the parent meeting, we presented you with the opportunity to fill out a survey and let us know what you were thinking. We will provide a few parts to our survey results. First, the basic results. Second, the breakdown of what those results reflected based on the comments we received with many of the results.

As we analyzed the comments of each result and basic results, here is the most accurate version of the survey we had.

  • 47.5% (19/40) were comfortable with both options.
  • 42.5% (17/40) were only comfortable with Tennessee.
  • 5% (2/40) only selected they were comfortable with Mexico.

Based on those numbers and the comments, we arrived at this number.

  • 0% of you would only go to Mexico.
  • 10% of you would go to either but preferred Mexico.
  • 5% of you would go to either but preferred Tennessee.
  • 42.5% of you would only go to Tennessee.
  • 15% of you seemed to have no preference and would go to both.

Final Results based on both

Alright, so I know that’s lots of numbers. With all those numbers in mind, here is what we concluded that meant.

Based on that data, our best estimates conclude that… We would get 21/40 students if we went to Mexico, which is 52.5%. If we went to CIY we would get 36/40 students, which is 90%. The question is, for those who only marked “I am comfortable with Mexico”, does that mean they wouldn’t send them to Tennessee? That’s the assumption I decided I had to make for the above percentage (90%), however, I’m not entirely sure that’s a true statement. If that statement isn’t true, and they would still go to TN, it would make that go to 39/40, or 97.5%.

Our Final Decision

After conversations about safety concerns and COVID-19, travel, cost, the overall experience of the trip, and the info we have received from you, we decided that it was very clear God was directing us to go to Cleveland, TN for CIY this Summer. We heard often from you all that you trusted us. We appreciated that a lot! So, with all the info we had, it was clear that although Mexico is an incredible trip with lots to offer, there were too many “COVID-19 related unknowns” for us. As a team, we want to confidently be able to tell you that we are providing a safe trip. We CAN provide that confidence for CIY. However because of COVID-19, we could NOT with Mexico.

What do you do now?

Get excited!

First of all, CIY is not a downgrade. Different than Mexico? For sure. A downgrade? Absolutely not! We are beyond excited about what God will do at CIY this Summer and know that this will be an experience for students that will be life-changing! We can talk all day about it, but we’d encourage you to check out all the exciting things that happen at CIY on your own as well. Just click this link.

Talk to your student(s)

We are really excited about this trip. Summer trips as a student are the thing I miss THE MOST about High School. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and being able to attend these events as a Youth Pastor, but nothing can replace what these experiences are for a student. So, get excited about this trip for your students! As parents, our apathy about an event will often result in their apathy as well. But as parents, when we are excited about something, that excitement rubs off on our kids!


We’re excited, you’re excited, and now they’re excited, so now what? Well, now it’s time to get them registered for the trip and start fundraising! THIS WEDNESDAY registration will be open with Super Savers available this coming Sunday. Registration will be available at this link.

More info will be coming out soon! For any questions, feel free to email me (nhellum@ccames.org), Moriah (mcooper@ccames.org), or Lorinda (leverett@ccames.org).