Summer Mission at Trinita: Frequently Asked Questions
Back to Trinita 2013
What is Summer Mission at Trinita?
· An opportunity for lay Catholics to do volunteer mission work at a Catholic summer program in rural Connecticut.
· Volunteers serve children and families from the inner-city who come to Trinita for faith formation and outdoor summer activities.
Who coordinates the Mission?
· The Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity own and operate Trinita Retreat Center. Several MSBT Sisters live and work at Trinita year-round. Along with Trinita’s lay staff members and other local volunteers in CT, they plan and oversee the summer program.
· Volunteers apply and are selected through Missionary Cenacle Volunteers, which is a Catholic mission organization sponsored by the MSBT sisters. MCV Staff interview potential volunteers, provide them with information on the program, and work with the sisters and Trinita staff to lead Orientation for new volunteers.
Who should apply to serve at Trinita?
· MCV is seeking emotionally mature individuals who can put others' needs before their own during mission service. You must be 18 years or older to apply, and there is no upper age limit. Volunteers do not need to be Catholic to apply, but should be open to living and working in a Catholic environment.
· Many of our volunteers are active and retired school teachers who dedicate two or more weeks of their summer breaks to service. Other volunteers are college students, retirees and professionals who use their vacation time to serve.
· Parents are welcome to apply with their adult children, however we cannot accommodate families with children under 18. Married couples are also welcome to apply, but will be housed separately in the single-sex volunteer cabins.
What do volunteers do at Trinita?
· Work with other volunteers, the sisters, local volunteers and Trinita staff to carry out all activities of the summer program.
· Interact with families through both structured activities and free time. For example: lead groups of children and adults in age-appropriate activities during “peer group time”; Read stories, facilitate prayer and reflection, and play games one-on-one with a family during “family blanket time”; share meals and conversation with families; organize and supervise sports and games with the children; teach arts and crafts; lead hikes.
· Behind-the-scenes tasks may include: kitchen and bathroom clean-up; safety monitor at the swimming pool; supervise playground time; organize craft materials, prepare and serve afternoon snack, build camp fire.
· Some duties are assigned on a schedule. At other times volunteers are free to see where they can help or just spend time with the families.
What is daily/weekly schedule?
· A typical day at Trinita includes most of the following: Morning and evening prayer, meals, daily Catholic mass or a communion service, peer groups, pool time, craft time, family blanket time, an evening lesson led by the sisters, game time inside the lodge at night
· The same program content and activities repeat each week as different families attend. Special activities like camp fire and a talent show happen once each week.
Where is Trinita? How do volunteers get there?
· In the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains near the small town of New Hartford, Connecticut.
· Trinita retreat center includes over 100 acres of open grassy areas for games, wooded hiking trails, a pool, a main building for meals and meetings, cabins for volunteers and families, a chapel, and a lodge for indoor games.
· Trinita is about a 45 minute drive from the Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Connecticut.
· Volunteers purchase their airfare, train or bus passage to Connecticut, and are met at the airport, train or bus station by a sister or staff member from Trinita. Volunteers may also choose to arrive directly to Trinita by car.
What are living accommodations like?
· There is no cost to volunteers for meals and housing.
· Volunteers live in community with each other in single-sex cabins
· Cabins are simple but comfortable with hot water, electricity and fans. There is no air conditioning.
When is the program?
· June 23-28, 2013: Mandatory Orientation Week for new volunteers
· June 29-August 3, 2013: Families attend the summer program
· Serve a minimum of 2 weeks (Orientation plus 1 week with families)
· Serve a maximum of 6 weeks (Orientation plus 5 weeks with families)
· Volunteers can choose to serve anywhere between 2-6 weeks.
Other important information?
· Volunteers will have limited access to Internet and cell phone service at Trinita due to the rural location and also as an invitation to simple living and being present to those around them while on mission.
· Many of the families who volunteers serve are bilingual and speak Spanish and English. Some speak only Spanish. Volunteers do not need to speak Spanish, but should come prepared to be patient and understanding as they discover new ways to communicate with speakers of another language. This is a great opportunity to practice Spanish if you are learning it!
· Volunteers do not need to be Catholic to apply, but should be open to living and working in a Catholic environment.
· Volunteer mission work is an opportunity to serve others by putting their needs before your own. Personal comfort, privacy, and free time may be sacrificed while on mission.
How do I apply?
· Submit an initial online application (available beginning January 1, 2013)
· You will then be contacted by MCV staff and provided with 5 additional forms to complete
· You will also be given 2 recommendation forms for your references to fill out
· Complete a phone interview with MCV staff
How and when are volunteers selected?
· Applications are typically processed between January and April.
· The sooner you complete all steps of the process, the better your chance of being selected!