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What have other people said about the Urban Plunge?

 

What are the costs of an Urban Plunge?

The costs of a weekend Plunge starts at $145 and a week-long Plunge starts at $280. A One-Day Plunge starts at $55.

We also offer a trip called a “Join-A-Plunge”, which is a Plunge designed for individuals, small groups, and families. Click on the links below for specific costs and details.

What cities offer the Urban Plunge program?

Our current Urban Plunge locations are:

What should we bring?

Each Urban Plunge location has slightly different accommodations, so make sure you check with your City Coordinator on what sleeping items to bring (such as an air mattress or cot).  In all locations you should bring:

  • A sleeping bag or blankets
  • Pillow
  • Towel
  • Toiletries
  • Weather appropriate clothes
  • A water bottle
  • Bible and a pen

Is there a dress code?

It is okay to dress casually on the Urban Plunge. Wearing jeans, shorts, and shirts with sleeves are all fine. It is important, however, that no one wears clothes that expose their stomachs or are revealing in any way. Due to the nature of our ministry partners, modesty is very important. This means short-shorts, short-skirts, and strapless or halter tops should not be brought along. Additionally, no open-toed shoes are allowed for safety reasons. We will be outside during parts of the Plunge, so dress according to the weather.

Also, be sure to ask your City Coordinator if your specific ministry partners require nice clothes (for church) or clothes that can get dirty (for gardening, painting, etc.).

What are the beginning and end times?

For weekend Urban Plunge trips, your group will meet us between 3:00-4:00 PM on Friday. Check with your City Coordinator for the exact time. We end around 1:00 PM on Sunday after the last church service.

Week-long Urban Plunge trips will begin around 6 PM on Sundays and run through the following Friday at 9 AM.

One-Day Plunge trips will begin at around 8 AM on the day that you decide and will go until around 8 PM that same day.

What are the dates for an Urban Plunge? Are there pre-set dates?

There aren’t pre-set dates for our normal Urban Plunge. You tell us what date you had in mind and in which city and we will check the availability of that date. If you’re wanting to do a weekend Plunge (3 day, 2 night) or a week-long Plunge (6 day, 5 night), but during sometime in the week, we are able to see what we can do to make that happen. We are very flexible with dates!

However, our Join-A-Plunge trips have pre-set dates. We offer these trips for individuals, small groups, and families. In 2020, these trips are going to be held in Chicago, Dallas, Des Moines, and Omaha (click on the city for specific details for those trips).

Can we schedule an Urban Plunge for longer than a weekend?

Yes! Please let us know if you have an interest in adding on a day or two to your experience. You can add to your time serving or simply enjoy one of the local recreational activities. Each additional night of stay is $45 per person to extend the Plunge or $15 per person to stay an extra night at the lodging site and it does not include Plunge-related activities.

Is there a minimum or maximum amount of participants?

Yes. We require a minimum of 10 participants per team. You may bring less, but because of fixed costs (accommodation, facilitator, etc.), we will charge you for 10 people to cover the trip. The maximum team size varies from city to city, so please contact our office.

Is there an age requirement?

No, we do not have an age requirement. What we do ask is that everyone on your team is willing and able to serve for the duration of your trip.  Any age limit restrictions are up to the discretion of the individual team leaders.

Are there any additional costs we need to cover?

The cost of the Urban Plunge includes an Urban Plunge t-shirt, housing, meals, a facilitator to be with your group, all materials, assistance with recruiting, a faith journal for each participant, digital and physical promotional packets, and logistical support. For weekend Urban Plunge trips, we provide Friday night dinner, three meals on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday morning. We also provide snacks throughout the weekend. You are welcome to bring your own additional snacks if you wish. You might need to schedule a lunch on your own on Sunday afternoon in order to debrief with your group.

For week-long trips, dinner on Sunday, three meals a day, plus snacks, including breakfast on the last day (Friday) is provided.

If you or any team member have any food or medical allergies, please make sure to let us know beforehand so we are aware. We recommend that those with special food allergies/choices bring their own food. We will try our best to accommodate for those restrictions, but we highly suggest you bring your own food for your own safety and peace of mind.

The only additional cost for your team is transportation, extra added fun excursions of your choice, or special meals/snacks, and any above and beyond inclusions.

What is the payment schedule?

The first step is the payment of a non-refundable deposit to reserve your Urban Plunge dates. The deposit is $300 for a weekend Urban Plunge and $500 for a week. This payment will be deducted from your final bill. Five weeks before you leave, we will send you an invoice based on the number of people on your team. This is required to be paid, by check or online, four weeks before your scheduled departure.

Please mail your check to:

Christ For the City International | P.O. Box 390395 | Omaha, NE 68139

(Further details are also outlined in the Team Application form).

What is the cancellation and postponement policy?

  • If a whole team cancels: 
    • If a team postponement occurs 30 days or more before the start date of the trip, we will apply the entire amount of your deposit and all other funds to a rescheduled trip within the same calendar year. 

    ○ If the trip is not rescheduled within the same calendar year, the team will be considered canceled. 

    • If a team postponement occurs 29-15 days before the start date of the trip, the entire deposit will be forfeited. The remaining funds can be applied to a rescheduled trip within the same calendar year. 

    ○ If the trip is not rescheduled within the same calendar year, the team will be considered canceled. 

    • If a team postponement occurs 14 days or less before the start date of the trip, the funds will not be refunded unless the reason is because of an Act of God. 
    • If a team cancellation occurs 30 days or more before the start date of the trip, a refund of the team’s payment minus the deposit may be obtained. 
    • If a team cancellation occurs 29-15 days before the start date of the trip, a refund of the team’s payment minus the deposit and a 10% cancellation fee may be obtained. 
    • If a team cancellation occurs 14 days or less before the start date of the trip, the funds will not be refunded unless the reason is because of an Act of God. 
    • If an Urban Plunge takes place from November March, snow and cold are likely. 

    ○ Cancellations or postponements due to weather: 

    ■ Only in the case of the following advisories and warnings that are being issued on the dates of your Urban Plunge and in your city or the city of your Urban Plunge will exceptions be made. 

    • Freezing Rain Advisory 
    • Winter Weather Advisory 
    • Winter Storm Warning 
    • Ice Storm Warning 
    • Blizzard Warning 

    If individual team members cancel: 

    • If a team member cancels and the team is able to find a replacement, CFCI will transfer those funds to the new team member without penalties. 
    • If a team member cancellation occurs 30 days or more before the start date of the trip, a full refund of the team member’s payment may be obtained. 
    • If a team member cancellation occurs 29-15 days before the start date of the trip, a refund of the team member’s payment minus a $45 cancellation fee may be obtained. 
    • If a team member cancellation occurs 14 days or less before the start date of the trip, refunds will not be refunded unless the reason is because of an Act of God. 

    The team’s final balance and all team member registrations are due 30 days prior to trip. 

    If the balance is not paid by the due date, a 5% late fee will be assessed on the total trip cost. 

Do all individuals need to register?

Yes. Each participant must submit an online Individual Registration form (signed by a parent, if under 18). The registration includes a permission slip and a liability release. Christ For the City International does not carry insurance on participants, so we encourage everyone to have health insurance.

Can you help us with the recruitment process?

Yes! We provide recruiting materials in the form of a digital promotions packet (which you will receive via email) and a physical promotion packet (which you will receive in the mail). Here is what each one of these packets contain:

DIGITAL PROMOTION PACKET

  • Pre-Plunge Lesson Plans (a short Bible study series to go through with your team to encourage them to come on the Urban Plunge)
  • ‘Gift Baggies’ Brochure (This is an optional activity to do with your group or church before going on the Urban Plunge. This includes making and collecting gift bags for the homeless)
  • Social Media Images (Pre-made .jpg images that you can use to advertise the Urban Plunge across your social media)
  • Parent Letters (Hand-outs for parents as an introduction to the Urban Plunge, which has answers to frequently asked questions)
  • Church Leadership Letter (Introduction to the Urban Plunge)
  • Promotional Videos
  • City Specific Flyers (To print and distribute to encourage others to go on the Urban Plunge)
  • Fundraising Ideas
  • ‘Steps To Take’ Brochure (Step by step instructions for the team leader on how to plan and recruit for an Urban Plunge)
  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Urban Plunge Photography (An important document to hand out to your team that outlines what is and isn’t appropriate for photography during an Urban Plunge)

PHYSICAL PROMOTION PACKET

  • Pre-Plunge Lesson Plans
  • Parent Letter
  • Church Leadership Letter
  • City Specific Flyers
  • General Urban Plunge Flyer
  • Fundraising Ideas Brochure
  • ‘Steps To Take’ Brochure
  • Urban Plunge Poster
  • Sample Discovery Journal
  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Urban Plunge Photography

We can also come to your church/school to spend time answering specific questions and provide information for those who might be interested in being a part of your team. All we ask is that you cover your travel expenses. Please let us know how we can assist you to make your Urban Plunge as successful as possible!

Is the Urban Plunge safe?

We will do everything in our power to ensure that every participant remains safe. In each of the cities that we work, we partner with organizations and ministry leaders who have been working with the poor and marginalized for many years. Our ministry partners are in the neighborhoods every day and they have amazing relationships and street credibility with the people that your group will be serving. Urban Plunge participants are, therefore, in very capable hands with people who know a great deal about their surrounding demographics. Furthermore, every single Urban Plunge group is accompanied by a trained facilitator who also knows each ministry and the leadership well and is responsible for looking after all trip logistics, as well as debriefing and encouraging all participants.

Do we need chaperones?

If the team is composed of Jr. High or Sr. High students, then chaperones are required. As you know the maturity of your specific students, we leave the ratio of students to chaperones up to your discretion. Although a CFCI facilitator will be with the group most of the time, they will not always be staying overnight. Your team leaders/chaperones have the responsibility to stay with their participants during the nights and to monitor their discipline. Ensuring cooperation and disciplining behavior are the responsibility of the team leader and/or chaperones, not the facilitator.

What about transportation?

You will need to provide vehicles to transport your group between ministries and to and from the Urban Plunge. You need to have room in your lead car for our facilitator and possibly a facilitator-in-training.

However, for our Join-A-Plunge trips, you will only need to provide transportation to the Plunge location. We will then provide transportation during the Join-A-Plunge.

What’s the schedule?

Four weeks before departure, team leaders will receive a tentative schedule. This will include a description of each of your scheduled ministry partners, as well as their address and contact information.

We say tentative schedule, because flexibility is a key component of every Urban Plunge, as plans can change last minute. Urban ministry can be unpredictable and although we will do our best to ensure everything works as planned, the nature of working with so many ministry partners requires flexibility and openness to schedule changes.

Can we take photos?

Yes! You will be taking your own pictures on the Urban Plunge. However, we would love to see them, so be sure to share them on Social Media with #UrbanPlunge.

Please see the handout in your promotional packets: ‘The Do’s and Don’ts of Urban Plunge Photography’, and give one to each member of your team before the trip.

We work alongside many vulnerable demographics, such as children, the homeless, and disabled, so it’s important to understand that taking photos can often be inappropriate. In fact, it can add to feelings of shame, isolation, and powerlessness. Therefore, all team members and leaders need to be extra careful of when and how photographs are taken.

Please check with your Urban Plunge facilitator at each new ministry site if photos are appropriate. Also, never take anyone’s photo without their permission.

What happens in a weather emergency?

In a weather emergency, every effort will be made to keep your team safe. There are shelter locations in the event of severe weather at all lodging locations. If you are out serving, the ministry partner and your Urban Plunge facilitator will have a plan. Please listen to and follow their instructions.

How can we contact you?

See the ‘ministry partners’ tab on our website for more information about the exact ministry partners of your team’s chosen Urban Plunge location. Contact your City Coordinator for details about your schedule or specific city location. Or contact our office to address general Urban Plunge questions or concerns at 402-592-8332 or norm@cfci.org.