Youth group headed to D.C.

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 25, 2009

NATCHEZ — Every year the Jefferson Street United Methodist Church youth group takes a trip to get away and look inside themselves. And — oh yeah — work.

Next month the group will head to Washington, D.C., where they will tour the capitol before taking a three-day retreat to Myrtle Beach, S.C. While they’re in Washington, D.C., however, the group will take a break from the tours to do a mission service project, something that has become a summer trip tradition.

In the past, some members of the group were hesitant about the service part of the trip, youth group president Guy Wimberly said.

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“A lot of people who had not done the service before were not really enthusiastic about it, but then they did it and had a blast,” he said.

Now, however, doing service during the trip only seems natural, youth group member Chesley Coffey said.

“If we didn’t do the service now, it would feel like there was just something missing,” he said.

The group usually works with the Boys and Girls Club of whatever metro they decide to visit, and Jefferson Street Summer Youth Worker Will Godfrey said he has been in contact with the director of the Greater Washington, D.C.n Boys and Girls Club.

“They have several locations, and she is finding out which one we can do the most work at the day we are going,” Godfrey said.

In the past, the group has done everything from paint to pull weeds at different clubs, and Wimberly said each different experience had its rewards, a statement Coffey said he agreed with.

“It sounds cheesy, but once you see the look on the kids’ faces it sort of warms your heart,” he said.

While touring the Washington, D.C., locations, the group will have different sessions to emphasize virtues associated with the trip’s theme, “loving the unlovely and the unloveable,” youth group coordinator John Hudson said.

Those virtues and venues might be courage at the Lincoln Memorial, or overcoming prejudice at the Holocaust memorial museum.

“Basically, it’s about setting aside our human emotions to not like people,” Hudson said.