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Communication During the Summer

Dear Parent(s),

In the “old days,” it was easy for Trip Leaders to make sure students had good communication during the summer; we simply required them to produce a letter before dinner each Sunday… BUT

Today, it’s much different. With the advent of cell phones, email, apps, social media, high-tech cameras, and that wonderful thing called Facebook, everyone wants real-time news and 24/7 access to their children. But for all the advances in technology, communicating from overseas still has its challenges. In some countries, it’s somewhat easy for students to find an internet café and send an email home. But in others, it’s much more difficult. For example, the internet system in Sierra Leone can be primitive, and in China, they won’t let you in an internet café without a resident ID card.

Royal Servants policy requires each student to email home at least once a week. But unless the Trip Leader stands over each student’s shoulder there is no way for us to make sure they’ve contacted home…even if they say they have.

If you fail to hear from your son or daughter this summer, know that it isn’t through a lack of follow-up on Royal Servants’ part. Most often the issue is that the internet isn’t working in-country, they can’t find an internet café, they have been locked out of their account (due to them accessing it in another country), or they simply can’t get their phone card to work. If you don’t hear from your child, please don’t assume the worst. Simply send an email to the trip leader and let him or her know how long it’s been since you’ve heard from your child. They’ll follow up and find out why, and make sure they get in touch with you ASAP.

Partnering Together,
Tom Ives
Director of Royal Servants
Reign Ministries


3 Easy Tips to Getting Started!

Click here for the team itineraries.

Social media on the web has revolutionized our lives! There is a lot of conversations going on and it is very exciting! We use a variety of mediums – Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and most importantly, our website - to share updates from Royal Servants trips with you! Here are some ways you can do that.

  • Subscribe for Email Updates:

    Subscribing to our trip updates ensures that you will get ALL all the latest updates throughout the summer. All of our social media posts will be gathered and posted onto the blog found on our website. By subscribing, you will receive an email at 5 PM (central time) containing a collection of updates from that day. You can subscribe to a specific trip or to all trips (during training camp everyone will receive the same information). You can subscribe by clicking here »

  • Pick your Channel:

    The best place to find all updates, pictures and videos is the (A) website. But you can also follow our social media outlets to receive updates, on our ...

    Our goal is that you can consume where you want.

  • Use Facebook to Share

    Facebook tip: Go to Reign Ministries Facebook page and “tag” the picture of your student and any other students you know. We will not be tagging students, however by tagging your student, you will then be able to share that bit of news with their friends and family members. The only way images can be organized to identify your student is by you and your friends. We simply do not have the authorization to provide that level of organization

  • Check for Pictures in Flickr:

    We will be posting ALL of our pictures on Flickr (far more than on Facebook or our website). On Flickr, pictures will be organized by trip. Click here to go to Flickr »

  • DISCLAIMER:

    We love to be able to update you as parents, supporters, family, and friends; however, our time and resources are limited. This is especially true once our teams are overseas. Our trip leaders and staff do their best to post updates when possible. As mentioned previously, many of our teams will not have regular access to Internet and we may only see a few updates from them throughout their time overseas.

    In fact, some Trip’s Updates will be text only. At times for some of our more remote trips, pictures and video are impossible to post. Overseas the Internet can be VERY underdeveloped. For example, we may get only a few brief posts from Sierra Leone, Uganda, and China due to Internet accessibility, and we will not likely see any pictures or video.

If you have any social media or communications-related questions, please contact Corin Mchargue(cmchargue@reignministries.org)

In the event of an emergency please refer to the email that was sent to you with the Training Camp emergency contact information.

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At Training Camp, while it may seem that we have more resources and time for updates, our teams are extremely busy preparing for their trips, and this is their first priority – not social media! If you see your student, we’re very glad to give you a glimpse… if not, know that they are doing just fine and their days are filled with sessions, worship, team time, etc. But here are a few ways YOU can be in contact with your student.

  • Hilltop Express (ONLY at Training Camp)

    Send your son or daughter an encouraging email/note via Hilltop Express. We will print and deliver it during the next mail delivery (usually around dinner time). Your student will not be able to respond, but will still enjoy getting a printed message from you! We are able to deliver Hilltop Expresses to students most days during their time at Training Camp (June 14—June 30). The last day you will be able to send an email and have it printed is June 30 by 3PM CST. You can send a hilltop express here >>

  • Send Mail & Packages (ONLY at Training Camp)

    Mail is much more important than many parents or relatives realize. Care packages are a great way to show your son or daughter you are thinking of them while they are at Training Camp. Contents of care packages can include favorite candy, chips, snacks, etc.

    Try not to send large items. Students have limited room in their packs, in addition to a weight allowance. Care packages are a great low-cost way for relatives or friends from the youth group to bless and encourage your son or daughter. Make sure you send any letters or packages in time! (Training Camp tear down begins early the morning of July 2nd, and anything that arrives that day or afterward will be returned by the post office.)

    When mailing items to Training Camp, please mail to:

    Royal Servants                                                                                                         “Participant Name – Trip”                                                                                         W4797 State Rd 33                                                                                                     Pardeeville, WI 53954

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  • Mail:

    We cannot guarantee that letters, and especially packages, will get to their intended destination. Letters usually arrive, but packages often never arrive at all. So we are asking your family not to send packages overseas, only letters or cards (and not even those in some countries).

    Follow this link to find the itinerary for your participants’ trip >>
  • Email:

    Though it is generally available, we cannot guarantee that email will be possible. Many third-world countries experience frequent issues with their communications systems and China often filters incoming and outgoing mail.

  • Phone

    Some teams may have access to telephones, while others may not. And, even if available, phone calls may not be the best method of communication. If they are available you will need to purchase a phone calling card. You can Google “international phone card” for available providers. (Phone cards will not work in Nepal, Sierra Leone, or Uganda). Note: Phone cards work well while traveling in the US in place of cell phones to call from airports.

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