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Experiment: Mission Trip + Twitter

So, this past week has been a summer mission trip for the youth ministry. We were in Ashland, Kentucky this week with Kingdom Builders. It was a great trip and I'll have videos/pictures to share later. Tonight I'm exhausted and really glad to be home with family. I did want to take the time to post this, though.

This week I experimented with Twitter. I set up a Twitter account and decided to try using it as a parent update while on the youth mission trip. I had two reasons I thought this might be a good, helpful thing:

  1. First, for them. You see, mommies love knowing what their babies are up to. And they like to know they haven't fallen off a roof or busted their thumb with a hammer or gotten left behind at a gas station. This was an easy way to make general info on the youth trip available to parents. I set it to show updates on the church website and they could check in as often as they chose to.
  2. Second, for me. I set it up so I could send updates from my phone so it was super quick and easy. Whenever something noteworthy happened, I took the 30seconds to type up a little text message, send, and it was done. I sent updates two or three times a day and actually had several comments from parents when we got back from the trip tonight about how much they appreciated it.
I don't know that this will become something that we use for every little trip or event, but for some of the bigger, longer trips we probably will. Easy for me, helpful for them; that's a win-win. All in all, it was a good experiment.

Does anybody out there have suggestions/cautions about something like this? Ideas on how to make this better?

Here were the updates from the week:
5:30 AM Jun 21st There will be running updates of the #KingdomBuilders mission trip over the next week. Here we go! #fb

9:07 AM Jun 21st Mmm... Breakfast at BK in SC. (Btw, we ran over a Bambi this morning. No damage to bus; most kids slept right through it.)

12:44 PM Jun 21st Driving thru VA. Napping, cards, iPods, and a few fictional suspense novels seem to be passing the time. One kid's eating Oreos & PntBtr.

7:41 PM Jun 21st We are in Ashland and done w/ supper. Just took group pictures and now going through safety training. Yeah for power tools!

10:04 PM Jun 21st Worship w/ Jonathan & Lisa... so good!

10:42 AM Jun 22nd Working on a roofing project in Ashland, KY, tearing off old shingles today. Right now it's time for a break... It's hot on that roof! #fb

12:37 PM Jun 22nd We were talking about where we're from & stuff we like to do. This Columbus kid just asked, "So what is a Snooky anyway?"

8:29 PM Jun 22nd Tonight's lesson: We find contentment in Christ. (Often we chase it in other things and people and places, but it's found in trusting Him.)

1:29 PM Jun 23rd ROAR! Power tools make me feel manly. We're patching holes and beginning to lay the shingles. It's hot but these kids are some hard workers!

3:03 PM Jun 23rd We're about to clean up our worksite for the day. Didn't get quite as much done today as we had hoped, but it's looking like a real roof!

9:19 AM Jun 24th It's official: A package of shingles is heavey to carry up a ladder.

3:07 PM Jun 24th Ahhh... Cold popsicles are refreshing.

5:47 PM Jun 24th It's our "free night out." We're going on a youth group date night: all going to dinner at Outback and then to the movies!

7:01 AM Jun 25th 6am just keeps getting earlier all week. (6 is wake up, breakfast time. 7 is out the door, time to work.) Day4 - Here we go!

11:13 AM Jun 25th Everybody off the roof! Hurry and spread the tarps! It's a Kentucky rainstorm!

3:00 PM Jun 25th The sun is back out, things are drying out, and we're back to getting work done. Cutting boards, patching holes, laying paper & shingles!

8:16 PM Jun 25th Ashland's mayor came to our worship service tonight to say thank you for the work Kingdom Builders has done in the city this week. Cool.

10:58 PM Jun 25th Really great night: awesome worship times, good conversations about how God is working in people's lives. Now, bedtime!

6:37 AM Jun 26th I'll be honest: It's hard to wake up this morning.

4:57 PM Jun 26th Dirty, tired, and an 1 1/2 hour later than planned... but the roofing job is done! Me wants shower and dinner (in either order). #fb

about 16 hours ago YAWN... We're up, about to eat breakfast and then truck it on home. There will definitely be some napping on this bus ride!

about 15 hours ago It's 7:45 and, like Simon & Garfunkel, we're homeward bound. #fb

about 9 hours ago Mmmm... Waffle fries at a Chick-fil-a in Charlotte, NC.

about 5 hours ago Back in GA now. We'll be home soon!

about 4 hours ago Back in the 'Boro! (Bank sign says it's 102*!)

Note: The "#fb" was secret code so that the Twitter elves would tell the Facebook gnomes to update my status.

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