Dear Adult Leaders,

Thank you for choosing to be part of Catholic HEART Workcamp. You have made great sacrifices to participate in a week of service with teenagers. You will be blessed for your commitment. The following pages are specifically designed for adults participating as “chaperones” and youth leaders. We need participation from every adult that attends CHWC, as it’s impossible to have a successful week without your full cooperation and involvement.

We hope you’re ready to fasten your seat belt! We look to you to be fully engaged at your worksites and oversee your group’s teens at all times. You will be exhausted at the end of the week, but the rewards and satisfaction will make it all worthwhile. You are a kingdom builder and part of the anointing power of the Holy Spirit! You may even be personally affected spiritually and find yourself saying, “I got more out of CHWC than our youth group members.” We serve an awesome God who wants to reach you in a new way. Welcome aboard and thanks again for giving a week of your time to serve with Catholic HEART Workcamp.

CHWC Office Team

Thank you for agreeing to serve as an adult leader for Catholic HEART Workcamp! Without you, we would not be able to offer the Workcamp. Whether you are a veteran youth leader or a parent jumping on board at the last minute, you are a vital part of Catholic HEART Workcamp’s success. We are aware of the fact many adults make huge sacrifices to participate, sometimes even using their vacation time at their jobs to attend. Sleeping on the floor, eating camp food and dealing with adolescent hormones will surely get you bonus points in Heaven! You will not have much time to relax but you will be impacting teens and making a difference in the lives of the people you serve. The CHWC staff is very grateful for your time, commitment and effort. Being on the front line and in the trenches with teenagers is not an easy calling. Thank you for being an inspiration to us.

You will be working with others to share a powerful, life changing experience with your youth group. The focus of this Workcamp is on service, relationships, Jesus and having fun. If you look at CHWC only as an experience for teens, you will miss out on an opportunity for the spirit to move in your life. We have heard time and time again from adults that they receive just as much, if not more, out of their participation with CHWC than the teens. The bottom line is to have an open mind and an open heart when the week begins.

We need you to support all Workcamp activities and to help us enforce rules, even if you don’t agree with them. As adults, it would be easy to sleep during evening program, stay up past the designated “lights out” time or escape for a *real* cup of coffee. But CHWC needs your cooperation to make this week of service successful. We are asking you to be humble enough to fall under the authority of CHWC, even if you have to bite your tongue. We are all in ministry for our Catholic teens and the people that are served. If you have some ideas on how CHWC can improve, by all means let us know after the camp is over through the evaluations that we send out. We listen closely to adults who have taken time out to process and reflect on their experience and have constructive feedback to share with us. Here is a video to help you prepare for your CHWC experience.


A positive attitude is important especially when stress, problems and other difficulties arise. Your reaction will influence how your teens respond. Your attitude can make or break Workcamp. For example, when something goes wrong (like the school water heater breaks and there’s no hot water for showers or supplies arrive late at your worksite), teens will watch how you handle the situation. If they witness you accepting a setback with a good attitude, they too will accept it and work with what they have. You will impact the lives of young people by offering faith to them through your speech, conduct, hard work and willingness to pray and participate in activities. The bottom line is you are a role model. We need your help and support in expressing enthusiasm and creating a positive atmosphere. Your participation in every part of the morning and evening program is vital. Your teens will participate in planned activities if you are participating too. Please do not plan activities by yourself or with your group that would conflict with Workcamp scheduled events. We encourage you not to go off campus by yourself or with your teens during free time. If you do have any negative feelings about CHWC facilities, staff or program, we ask that you do not talk to the teens in a derogatory manner about CHWC.


As an adult leader, we need you to be responsible for your teens during afternoon and evening free time and in your sleeping quarters. We need you to make sure each member of your group is accounted for during morning/evening programs and before you go to sleep. At 10:30pm, we ask campers to go to their rooms and get ready for bed. Please be in the hallways and move your campers along to brush their teeth, say good night to their friends and get ready for bed. We also need your assistance in enforcing “lights out” at 11:00 p.m. Encourage your young people to keep quiet after “lights out”.


It is understood that some young people will clearly demonstrate the need for more supervision than others. CHWC would like to leave the task of handling any behavior problems with your teens to your Youth Minister and your adult volunteers. The CHWC staff will only become involved if:

  1. The situation requires immediate attention.
  2. Per your request.
  3. If a youth needs to be sent home.

If you see a young person (whether he/she is or is not from your group) doing something that is disruptive, destructive or a safety risk, we need you to intervene and encourage this person to stop. Don’t be afraid to use your authority in a kind and constructive way to resolve the negative behavior. Keep in mind, there may be times you are tired and stressed out but losing your cool rarely solves anything. Stay calm and pray for patience and gentleness to help you deal with the situation.

If a problem continues, talk to their group leader. If you see someone totally disregarding the rules, contact the Workcamp Manager, Team Captain or Director and make them aware of the situation.


Occasionally you will have a team member who will work as little as possible. He/she is not participating and would rather sit back and let everyone else work. You may even wonder, “Why did this person come to a Workcamp?” Here are some ways to deal with slackers:

  • Pray for the person and for patience. Specifically ask God to change this person’s work habits and give you wisdom to handle the situation.
  • Pull this person aside, share your concerns and talk kindly to him/her one on one.
  • Ask during the devotion time, “how do you think we are working together as a team? Do you think everyone is doing their fair share of work?” Try to have other team members answer this question instead of you.
  • If a person has someone else on the team who has become a friend and together they are slacking/goofing off, try to split them up. Ask them to do separate jobs.
  • Compliment and encourage him/her to keep working hard. Try asking, “I’ve noticed you look tired (or are not working as hard as you did yesterday), are you feeling okay? Can I help in any way?”
  • Ask this person to work with you on a project.
  • Talk to their group leader back at the base camp about your concerns. Maybe ask the leader to talk to this person about your concerns.
  • Ask another team member to speak with him/her one on one about your concerns.