I’m sure all those Youth Leaders out there are prepping their mission trips this summer, so I’m including some of my ultra Top-Secret mission trip hacks. These have come from pain-staking research, creativity, and mostly learning from my own mistakes.
Easy-Peezy Splinter Remover – Alright, we all get splinters. Sometimes it seems we get them more often on mission trip work sites, or at least our youth do. Instead of digging in your youth’s fingers with tweezers until they faint, first try pouring Elmer’s glue over the surrounding area. Let it dry and carefully peel the glue away. Most times, it easily removes the splinter, too. If not, you can also use baking soda and water combined in a paste form.
Doritos Kindling – This is one of the more common life hacks I’ve heard, but I wanted to mention it for two reasons. First, it really does work, Doritos really can be used as simple kindling. Second, if you are anything like me and my ministry, you have an emergency bag of Doritos with you at all times. Seriously, it’s crazy how much they love those chips…
Help! Wasp Invasion! – It seems like every single year, we have a problem with a wasp or bee finding their way into one of our dorms and the world as we know it ending. You can immobilize a bee or wasp easily and safely with hairspray. Don’t use dangerous chemicals, or spending the next hour with a flip flop, chasing the bee around and waving around said flip flop like a cray person, use a little spritz of Aqua net.
Help! Ant Invasion! – I wish bees and Wasps were our only critter cohabitants, but where there are youth, there is junk food, and where there is youth and junk food, there is a mess, and where there is a mess…you guessed it, ants. Instead of using chemicals, salt water in a spray bottle works just as well. Also, clean up the mess.
Coffee Grounds to the Rescue! – I sure hope you never have to use this one, but in the rare (not as rare and I’d like), you will have to clean up vomit. I know, I know, we live charmed lives…but if you sprinkle coffee grounds on the vomit, it will take away/cover the odor and dehydrate it, which aids GREATLY in the clean up. You can use cat litter and saw dust, but I usually don’t have either with me on Mission Trip. Coffee grounds, on the other hand…
In Hopes To Prevent the Last One – On a mission trip, stomach aches happen. Something about eating garbage food, too much caffeine, not enough water, not enough sleep…stomachs don’t stand a chance. There are several foods that naturally help with upset stomachs, which are better than overloading on Tums or Pepto. Try giving them a banana, ginger/ginger ale, chicken broth, oatmeal or apple sauce. Even if they DO end up puking, none of those hurt coming up, either. Win/Win.
There are countless other Mission Trip hacks, but I’ll save some from a part two, because everyone loves a good sequel!