Old First welcomes youth, adult and intergenerational groups for weekend or week-long urban immersion learning experiences in the heart of the City of Philadelphia. Service campers learn the challenges facing the city and the joys and rewards of hands-on work in agencies that are making a difference in our city. Service campers also learn to experience some of what life might be like for our disadvantaged neighbors: relying on public transportation and sleeping communally in a shelter-like setting. Service campers volunteer at social service sites including Wellspring’s own homeless shelter, food & clothing cupboard as well as other sites across Philadelphia such as the Whosoever Gospel Mission, Sunday Breakfast Mission, MANNA, and Broad Street Ministry.
The urban service camp experience also includes time for participants to reflect on the spiritual, social and political implications of their experiences. Old First staff or members can lead these reflections or can join in as the group leads its own reflection.
And there is usually time for some good, old fashioned fun, too– often, for example, sight-seeing in the historic district or fun on South Street!
Old First strongly encourages service camps to stay and worship with us on Sunday as that may be the only opportunity for visitors to get to know us as a church (worship is at 11 during the year and at 10 am in the summer).
Before service camps leave, our Outreach Coordinator or another church member need to conduct a wrap-up reflection and evaluation.
Download our brochure to learn more about Wellspring’s Urban Service Camps!
Information for Upcoming Service Camps