St. Mary’s Adult Parish Packet
WorkCamp Mission Statement
Arlington Diocesan WorkCamp is an intentional Christian Community that provides an experience of direct service for young people within the boundaries of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington.
History of WorkCamp
“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food this day, and one of you say to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:14-17
In the mid 1980’s, several parishes began participating in non-denominational Work Camps around the country. Inspired by the Word of God to better the lives of those in need, the young people from these parishes were rebuilding homes in disrepair. The experience invariably changed the hearts and perspectives of all involved.
Encouraged by these experiences and recognizing similar needs closer to home, a few youth workers sought to bring the WorkCamp experience to the Diocese of Arlington in 1989. Their efforts produced an experience of serving others that was both Catholic and customized to the culture and needs of young people. Scripture, the sacraments, and Catholic Social Teaching were integrated with challenging home repair projects, music, and shared stories of faith. Since that time, the Diocese annually sponsors a WorkCamp in areas within its boundaries.
This summer, young people and supporting adults will again have the opportunity to serve residents who are disabled mentally, physically or financially. Along with the Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry, youth workers and volunteers from local parishes will provide the leadership and planning to make WorkCamp 2016 happen. Starting as early as eighteen months in advance, these volunteers work closely with skilled contractors and representatives from social service agencies to ensure that the best services are delivered to those in need.
WorkCamp is the highlight of many parish Youth Ministry programs. Stories from past participants reflect the profound faith experience encountered there. Once again, we will embark on the life-changing WorkCamp experience, and we seek young people and adult leaders to join us.
Exploring the Mission of WorkCamp
Mission of WorkCamp
“Arlington Diocesan WorkCamp is an intentional Christian Community
that provides an experience of direct service for young people
within the boundaries of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington.”
- “Intentional Christian Community”
- All parishes, adults and young people will prepare and work together in the same manner.
- “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common, they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” Acts 2: 42-47
- We will have the opportunity to experience living out the Gospel in our very own community
- “Direct Service”
- We will be challenged to focus on others in order to provide service to people survive their “present crisis”.
- “Young People”
- The main focus of WorkCamp is for young people to encounter the person of Christ through the experience of direct service.
- The primary role of adults is to serve the needs of the youth in order to further enhance their experience.
- “The Catholic Diocese of Arlington”
- Poverty is not a faraway problem. The work begins at home!
Overview of Arlington Diocesan WorkCamp 2016
When: Saturday, June 24 to Friday, June 30
- Leave for WorkCamp on Saturday afternoon, June 24.
- Orientation and WorkCamp training on Saturday evening and Sunday.
- Monday through Thursday are full work days (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). Work projects consist of basic home repairs – painting, drywall, roofing, building wheelchair ramps, and indoor and outdoor clean-up.
- Daily evening programs for all participants. After closing on Friday, June 30 we will depart at 2pm.
Where: Massaponax, Virginia. The group will be based at Massaponax High School.
Sleeping quarters are divided with girls/women in one area and boys/men in another.
Adult Volunteer Requirements
ALL Adult Volunteers must submit the Declaration of Commitment to the St. Mary’s Parish WorkCamp Community to the Youth Coordinator (Arragon Perrone) by Monday, December 12th.
ALL Adult Volunteers except for Contractors must be OPCYP/VIRTUS compliant. If not currently, they must register for a VIRTUS training class by Monday, December 12th. Contractors are encouraged to become compliant but at the very least must submit their authorization for a background check to validate they are eligible to work with youth.
OPCYP Compliance and VIRTUS Training:
- Must comply with the Diocesan Policy for the Protection of Children and VIRTUS (see links provided below). They must be OPCYP compliant. This status may be checked through St. Mary’s parish liaison, Miss Patricia Binninger, at or by calling the Office for the Protection of Children and Young People (OPCYP) at 703.841.3847 or visiting
- Arlington Diocese OPCYP:
- OPCYP Background Check Forms:
The Diocese requires each parish to provide the following adult volunteer positions:
Adult Crew Leaders: Will help supervise the young people 24 hours a day for the entire time we are at WorkCamp. They will supervise a small group (the crew) at the work site and be responsible for groups from their parish at Homebase.
- Must be 25 years or older
- One male Adult Crew Leader is needed per 5 male youth; for the 6th to 10th male youth you need a second male Adult Crew Leader. The ratio is the same for female youth and adults.
- Should attend all WorkCamp parish preparation meetings so they are prepared for the experience and be part of the formation with the young people from their parish WorkCamp group
- Encouraged to attend the February and April Stakeholder meetings: February 13, 7:30-9:00pm, Heller Hall, St. James Church, 905 Park Avenue, Falls Church and April 24, 7:30-9:00pm, also in Heller Hall
- MUST attend one of the mandatory Adult Leader Formation Meeting, which can be selected from the March 6, March 11, and March 16 training days. There is not a specific meeting for veteran adult leaders, since the training focus has changed from past years. Any Adult Crew Leader that misses this training, for any reason, cannot come to WorkCamp.
Contractors: Adults, at least two years out of high school, who are proficient in home repair skills and can work well with young people.
- For every 5 youth, the parish must provide one LEAD WorkCamp Contractor (or more) to work at least Monday through Thursday of WorkCamp.
- Assistant WorkCamp Contractors are welcome to participate. Please note that assistant Contractors do NOT fulfill the Lead WorkCamp Contractor requirement described above.
- If you have a pair of Contractors that want to work together:
- This is fine, but this only counts as one Contractor for the parish ratio (only one project is covered).
- WorkCamp strives to honor all of these requests but always reserves the right to split up these pairings, if need be, to cover as many projects as possible.
- Contractors are encouraged to become OPCYP compliant. At a minimum, Contractors are required to submit their authorization for a background check to validate they are eligible to work with youth.
- The initial Contractor Meeting will be held at St. Ann Parish in Arlington, VA on June 7 from 7:30 to 9:30pm
- If any potential WorkCamp Contractors have questions please call the Office of Youth Ministry at 703.841.2559.
Homebase Team: These are adults, at least two years out of high school, who fill a variety of jobs at Homebase (where WorkCampers stay when not at a project site) during the week of WorkCamp
- A specific Homebase Team training day will be held in June and is MANDATORY. This is different from the Adult Leader Formation day.
- There are a number of roles and skills that are needed at Homebase to make WorkCamp run smoothly These include: Troubleshooters, Kitchen Staff, Tool Room Staff, Nurses, General Homebase Crew, Set-up and Tear-Down Crew, and Overnight Security just to name a few. For more detailed descriptions of these roles, please visit the online resources page at:
Security Personnel: These are adults, 21 years and older who are willing to come to WorkCamp one afternoon/evening to provide security for our young people while the Adult Crew Leaders shower and have dinner. Security personnel are needed from approximately 2:30 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. on Monday through Thursday of the WorkCamp week; they are also needed all day Sunday. A parish signs up for a particular day/night at the February Stakeholder meeting.
- The Security Volunteer List is due to the Office of Youth Ministry or postmarked in early May
- The numbers of required volunteers are based on how many teens are attending from each parish, and are provided below; these #s are minimums and are dependent upon the final number of volunteers that are needed to cover a particular venue for each night of WorkCamp:
- 1-10 Youth: 2 men, 2 women
- 11-20 Youth: 2 men, 3 women
- 21-30 Youth: 3 men, 3 women
- There may be security volunteers who are willing to attend for the whole week. On a case by case basis, a volunteer willing to serve all week may offset the hours required by multiple volunteers on one day. This will reduce the number of volunteers a parish must bring. Approval of an alternate arrangement will be based on availability of volunteers and the planned security schedule.
Nurses: Needed at Homebase. Multiple full-time nurses are needed for the whole week. The “Volunteer Nurse Form” can be found in the Online Resources. These volunteers will be asked to provide proof of training (certificate or letter from professional employer).
Driving Requirements for All Adult Volunteers:
- Any adult driving for WorkCamp must be on the list of approved drivers for the Diocese. To find the appropriate Authorized Driver Application:
$475 per adult crew leader. Contractors, security volunteers, and priests do not pay. The parish will be working on fundraising options to decrease or eliminate this cost.
You will receive steps to register once the Stakeholder has received the adult’s commitment form and is made aware of the adult’s OPCYP/Virtus compliance OR registration for a VIRTUS training class by December 12th. Online registration and paperwork for WorkCamp is due to the Youth Coordinator by Friday, December 12.
Most of the participant fee goes into purchasing the materials for home repairs. Some provides breakfast and dinner for the week and evening program costs.
WorkCamp Meeting Schedule
WorkCamp participants will meet on the following dates at St. Mary’s Lyceum- St. Joseph’s Room. Parents are invited to attend. It is mandatory for WorkCamp participants to attend.
JanuaryCommitment to the Team
FebruaryServanthood – Catholic Social Teaching
MarchSpirituality & Confidentiality
AprilModesty and “What to Bring & How to Pack”
May Tools & Safety Issues
JuneTying It All Together
- All meetings are MANDATORY. If you cannot attend a meeting please call the Stakeholder Greg Smith at (207) 837-1030
- Note the May meeting is tool-training day. You will experience tool use and site safety issues.
We recognize that $475 per person may seem like a daunting fundraising task. Please know that every dollar goes directly towards building materials, food and other costs that are required to make WorkCamp happen. Since all money earned from fundraising goes towards the overall cost of WorkCamp, all participants are expected to help. We will hopefully earn enough money to reduce the $475 cost per adult!
The following are fundraisers that are already scheduled through the parish. We encourage you to come up with other fundraising ideas that you may be excited about to share with the rest of our group.
Lenten Soup DinnerMarch 3
Letter Writing PartyFebruary TBD
Mother’s Day Flower SalesMay 14
Parish WorkCamp Adult Information Sheet
Name: ______Gender: ______
Phone: ______Email: ______
Number of WorkCamps previously attended: Virtus Certified? (circle) Yes No
What roles are you interested in? Please check all that apply.
Adult Crew Leader
Declaration of Commitment to the St. Mary’s Parish WorkCamp Community
I have read the attached information and I understand and agree to the responsibilities that must be fulfilled by all St. Mary’s parish WorkCamp participants (as detailed below).
- Complete and return all paperwork in on or before the designated deadlines.
- Make an honest effort to attend and participate in the WorkCamp preparation meetings and fundraisers.
- Participate in the building of the parish WorkCamp team through prayer and organized activities.
- Obtain all the necessary tools and supplies needed for the week.
- Cooperate with all the guidelines for WorkCamp and be mindful that at all times I am a representative of the Diocese of Arlington and the Catholic faith.
I am interested in helping WorkCamp with the following (please circle):
1) Serving as an Adult Crew Leader, Contractor (no license required), Homebase team member, Security Personnel or Nurse
2) Assist with recruiting Crew Leaders (if necessary) volunteer contractors, security personnel, and nurses
3) Hosting the WorkCamp reunion at my house (summer evening)