Pittsburgh Project Review: Part 1

1013943_600944483269355_2027099356_nI just got back from an amazing week at The Pittsburgh Project (TPP).  I wanted to offer a two-part review of my experience.  I will start by reviewing the trip preparation.

Cost:

Pittsburgh Project offers trips for High School, Middle School, as well as combined trips. The 2013 prices ranged $380 for a 6-day trip to $290 for a 5-day trip.  They also offer spring break trips, weekend trips, and one-day trips. While $380 might seem like a lot, you get a great value for your fee – housing, programming, meals, awesome support staff – in addition part of your fee helps pay for the materials to rehab the homes you are working on. It is important to mention that this fee does not cover all the costs associated with serving at Pittsburgh Project; TPP covers the rest of the costs through donations. It might be good to tell your kids to bring a couple of bucks to donate.

Registration:

The registration was very easy. TPP still does registration by mail; you simply fill out the form and mail a deposit check. They do allow you to adjust your numbers until the drop date, but any unused deposits are forfeited.  It is better to have an accurate number when you deposit. Lauren in the office is very helpful, so if you have questions make sure you contact her (412-321-1678). Certain weeks of camp do fill up very quickly, so deposit early with the most accurate count you can. One of things I have found helpful is to include some sort of financial incentive for parents who deposit or pay early. You would be surprised how motivating $10 or $15 off can be!

Pre trip Materials and Communication:

The pre-trip materials were good. They included a lot of information, including the schedule, trip leader information, skills forms, packing list, medical forms, and free evening options. The packing list does not mention bringing a fan; the accommodations are not air conditioned so you may want to encourage your students to bring one. TPP was extremely easy to communicate with and quickly answered my phone calls and emails.

Promo Video:

The promotional video was great; it got our students excited about serving in Pittsburgh for a week. It did however; scare a few of our parents. TPP rehabs houses for the disabled and elderly sometimes this means rebuilding a roof. The video showed students on a roof. Before heading TPP I talked to our insurance agent and one of the things I learned from that conversation is that frequently church liability insurance does not cover students or adults on a roof. I am not an insurance agent, so you might want to check your policy directly to make sure that the activities you and your students will be participating in are covered. I asked TPP to not put any of our leaders or students on roofing projects, and they accommodated our request, finding other equally fun projects for them to complete.

Overall, the pre-trip communication with TPP was stellar; the folks in the office really set us up for an awesome week! Look for the second part of the review soon! img-pghproject

Here is a link to the Pittsburgh Project.

Here is a link to the 2013 TPP brochure.

Here is link to the second part of the review.

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