What to Expect & What to Pack

Every year we receive many questions from Volunteer Venture registrants inquiring about work, housing, food, and clothing expectations. In addition to the brief summary below, participants will be contacted by their trip leaders with information about cooperating agencies, daily schedules, and trip highlights. Volunteer Venture trip leaders are returning students involved in campus service initiatives. Participants will also receive all necessary program information at check-in.

Housing (plan for very sparse accommodations!): 

  • Roanoke, VA:  Students will stay at Highland Street Baptist Church.
  • Greensboro, NC:  West Market Street Methodist Church; please bring a sleeping bag and Thermarest though couches are available in the youth suite. Students have full access to church kitchen, full bathrooms, and youth suite. 
  • Lexington, VA:  Students will be staying as a group on campus. Students should bring a sleeping bag and a pillow. Access to full bathrooms and a kitchen will be provided. 
  • Charleston, WV:  Students stay at the Blessed John XXIII Pastoral Center. 
  • Washington, DC:  First Trinity Lutheran Church; students will be on mattresses on the floor, so sleeping bags and pillows are recommended. Full access to bathrooms, showers and kitchen.
  • Richmond, VA:  

What to Pack

  • Varies according to site assignment. Expect some outdoor work/construction and some administrative or school placements. 
  • Bring close-toed shoes (tennis or running shoes or the equivalent). You may also bring sandals or flip-flops but should not wear them to the work sites. 
  • Hats for outdoor work.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Appropriate clothing for working with kids and/or the elderly, or for getting really dirty outdoors. 
  • Some of the trips participate in an Alumni event. No blazers or female equivalent necessary. Nice summer attire is suggested.
  • Rain gear (please check the weather forecast for your city as you are packing!) 
  • Plan for some cooler weather at night.


Student trip leaders plan menus for the week. Much of the food is from the grocery store (cold cuts, peanut butter and jelly, granola bars, chips etc.), and there are occasional take-out meals or meals at a restaurant depending on your trip. Although there will be plenty of food, the menus are very basic. If you have a food sensitivity or allergy, please make it known to your trip leaders or to Jenny Davidson (jdavidson@wlu.edu) before you arrive on campus as trip leaders need to prepare their menus ahead of time.