Church of Saint Edward, Hogar Teresa Toda Mission Trip participant Code of Conduct Agreement
I understand that as a participant in this Church of Saint Edward mission trip my actions impact the experience of all the camp participants, future camp trips, and the reputation of the Church of Saint Edward. Therefore, I agree to the following very important principles of our sister relationship between the Church of Saint Edwards and the Hogar Teresa Toda and will read and adhere to the expanded explanations in the Traveler’s Preparation Guide.
- Emphasize relationship over resources – A true partnership builds and nurtures a familial relationship over a period of time, a relationship that transcends any single act of working together (such as a project) or of sending a check.
- Practice mutuality and equality – We each must acknowledge the wholeness of the other. We must be alert to the historic imbalances of power between developed nations and poor countries and how that inequity plays out at all levels of a relationship.
- Seek to give and receive, learn and teach – A true relationship is a constant give and take. We all bring something to the table, and we all have poverties that need to be addressed.
- Work to raise awareness of unjust systems and structures, and support “just” systems and structures – By supporting the Hogar, we are supporting a system that educates and uplifts girls to become healthy, educated, spiritual women.
- Deepen our faith by experiencing the universal, catholic church and by sharing responsibilities as a Catholic Christian – As the Reverend William Nordenbrock of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood explains, “If we approach our partnership as a mutual sharing within the body of Christ, then in our desire to evangelize, we receive the gift of being evangelized, of having our faith renewed.”
In addition, I agree to the following expectations before, during, and after the trip.
Expectations during Preparation for the Trip
- Attend the monthly preparation meetings. Participate with ideas, suggestions, questions, concerns.
- Travelers who live far from Bloomington are exempt from this, but must prepare themselves and take on preparation roles. On the trip, they’ll need to make an extra effort to get to know each traveler.
- Read the Travelers Preparation Guide (TPG). Reread “This isn’t what I expected”, an essay in the TPG.
- Plan to spend one week at camp. If you want to extend the trip and you can make the arrangements yourself, it’s a beautiful country to visit! It’s easier for us if you do camp first, then stay after. But, let the trip leader know your plans.
- Understand your role(s) on the trip. Prepare your lessons and activities.
- Learn some Spanish (please, thank you, greetings, etc. see TPG) and about the Dominican Republic.
- You are responsible for your passport, travel insurance, and travel clinic recommendations.
- Purchase your own plane ticket once we decide upon an itinerary. We do our best to travel together.
- Sign the St. Edward’s Travelers’ Release Form, get a background check, and submit your itinerary and emergency contact information to the Church office before the trip.
Expectations during the Trip
The Sisters invited us to the Hogar to be positive role models for the girls. Be respectable, respectful, and responsible.
Self Care and Boundaries
- Drink water frequently, at least 64 ounces per day. Be aware of the simple test to know whether you are hydrating properly.
- Eat at each meal and snacks. Campamento is not diet time!
- Sleep – you will need more than you do typically. Bring earplugs and an eyemask, if these are helpful to you. If you cannot sleep, lie in bed quietly and relax. We take siesta (nap or rest) after lunch each day and go to bed around 10 PM. These are your times to rest and recharge and are necessary.
- Boundaries – the girls cannot be in our rooms. They are familiar with this rule, but may test the limits.
- Do not smoke, use tobacco, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs at camp. We are role models.
- Don’t be alone with a girl.
- Respect the property of others, including all program facilities and property.
- Don’t leave the Hogar property alone or without telling the group leader you’re leaving.
- Do what you have to do to perform your best. You can take extra breaks if you’re feeling “off”. Just communicate with the leader.
- Attend daily meetings where we pray, reflect on the past day, and prepare for the next day.
- Communicate your concerns respectfully, be generous with praise.
- Understand and perform your role(s). Let others do their roles. Proactively help where it’s needed.
- Follow all appropriate instructions of the Sisters.
- Be prepared and expect for plans to change.
- Be on time for meetings, meals, camp activities. Cultural concepts differ, but we will be ready on time.
- Travel with the group. If you do take a side trip after camp, you are responsible for all planning and expenses.
Camp and Interacting with the girls.
- The girls love getting their pictures taken, but it gets out of hand. We will schedule picture times as well as assign one photographer to capture the girls doing camp activities.
- Our camp preparation room (we’ll let you know which one that is when you arrive.) is for our team use only.
- Do not give or accept gifts to any one girl. Even if it seems OK when we’re there, it’ll all come out eventually and feelings will be hurt.
- Do not show favoritism to a girl. This is hard, but strive to treat everyone equally well.
- Treat all persons (girls, Sisters, travelers, others we meet) with respect, loyalty, patience, integrity, courtesy, dignity, and consideration. This is what it means to be a Christian. Do not cause any intentional harm (physically, emotionally, or spiritually) to any person in any way.
- Use positive reinforcement rather than criticism, competition, or comparison when working with the girls or with one another.
- Do not touch or speak to a girl in a sexual or other inappropriate manner. Do not strike, spank, shake, or slap a girl. Do not humiliate, ridicule, threaten, or degrade a girl.
- If there is a behavior issue with a girl or girls, tell the leader who can tell it to the Sisters. They will deal with it.
My signature confirms that I have read this Code of Conduct and that as a volunteer ministering to the girls at the Hogar Teresa Toda, I agree to follow these standards. I understand that my behavior affects the entire group and future trips. If I or the group leader identifies that I’m having difficulty upholding any of this Code of Conduct, the leader and I will discuss the issue respectfully. I accept my responsibility and will do one of two things:
- I will take a time out from the activities and group. I will take the amount of time I need to prepare to serve appropriately again.
- If there is a pattern of difficulty, I will return home by my own means.
Expectations after the Trip
- Help find new travelers for future trips.
- Share your experiences with others by helping with reports or tri-fold picture displays for Sister Parish or Social Justice events. At the Teresa Toda weekend at the Church of St. Edward, speak during Mass and be available after Mass, as well.
- Maintain confidentiality with respect to the other travelers and the girls.