Parents, please read the letter below. We also encourage you to download a hard copy.
We are so excited your child will be attending Discovery Weekend, February 2-4. It is our prayer that they will experience God’s love throughout the weekend.
We would love to welcome your student’s friends during the weekend. Middle school priority registration ends Friday, January 19. This ensures students receive their desired shirt sizes & visitors are grouped with friends. However, we will continue to accept online middle school registration until Sunday, Jan 28. Registration is available at riverchasestudents.com. Walk-up registration will be available that Friday night, February 2; please contact email@example.com if you plan to register after January 28.
High school registration ends Friday, January 12. If a high schooler is interested in attending after January 12, please
email firstname.lastname@example.org to see if spots remain.
There are also opportunities for parents to serve during the weekend; many of these opportunities require only 2 hours
of your time, such as letter sorting, helping with registration, or manning our Check Point desk. Please review our Sign
Up Genius link on the Discovery page at https://riverchasestudents.com/discovery-weekend/#volunteer.
Here are a few instructions & reminders for the weekend:
Middle School Drop-Off / Parking
Friday Night Drop-Off
Middle School student drop-off begins promptly at 7:00 pm. Please DO NOT arrive earlier than 7. Drop-off will occur in the main parking lot surrounding the Fellowship Hall & Gym/Well. We will direct carpool lanes; parking will not be allowed in the main lot (see map). High school students will greet your child and collect their luggage during drop off. We will also collect from you any letters you have for your student. Please have all of these ready. Your student will enter the Narthex to receive their name tag & begin the weekend. We will stagger drop-off times by grade: 7:00 – 8th Grade | 7:10 – 7th Grade | 7:20 – 6th Grade
Sunday Afternoon Pick-Up
Middle school students will be dismissed on Sunday after our Modern Service, which begins at 11. You are welcome to join us for that service. If you will be arriving after the Modern Service, we suggest arriving at 12:15. Please park on campus & meet your student in the Gym. We will not have carpool lines for pick-up.
Early Checkout (Middle School only)
If you know your child will need to leave/return during the weekend, please email that timing to email@example.com. On the day of pick up, meet your child in the Narthex at our “CheckPoint” desk. Please allow at least 10 minutes to checkout. We ask that students do not check out between 1 – 2pm on Saturday and that early Sunday checkouts occur before 10:30 am.
The main parking lot will be closed for the duration of the weekend (see red lot on map). If you will be picking up or dropping off your child throughout the weekend, please park in the upper lot. We have included a map for your reference.
High School Arrivals / Parking
High school students should arrive at the church by 4:15 pm* on Friday, February 2. They will park in the Carl Raines lot near the lower entrance. Students will meet in the Sanctuary at 4:30 pm and should bring their luggage & keys to this meeting. (*This may change; if so, the change will be communicated.)
Due to their leadership role during the weekend, high school students have a maximum of one check out during the weekend. Students who leave Discovery Saturday to attend Sadie’s or other events must return to the church by 10:30 PM in order to stay at their assigned Host Homes. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if a high schooler will be leaving during the weekend. During Discovery, they must check in/out with their Disciple Group Leader. High School students will not be allowed to drive to/from host homes & Discovery.
High school students are expected to stay after the Modern Service for lunch & to help clean.
Middle School Students Packing & Housing
Middle school students will sleep at the church during the weekend. They will be separated by gender and sleep in assigned rooms with adult supervision. We will bus the students to off-site showers on Saturday & Sunday mornings. All meals, drinks, and snacks will be provided throughout the weekend. Please DO NOT send or let your child bring candy, drinks, or food unless they have special dietary needs (ie – gluten-free). If your student will bring food to meet dietary restrictions, please contact our meal coordinators Glen and Kelly Helms (email@example.com) to coordinate.
We also ask that if your child has medicine that must be administered by an adult, that the medicine is turned in during registration. All medicine should have the child’s name & dosage instructions clearly labeled.
Your child will need a Bible, journal, pen/pencil, toiletries, a swimsuit (for the public shower), towel(s), pillow & sleeping bag, and comfortable clothes for inside and outside activities. Students are not allowed to bring cell phones.
High School Students Packing & Housing
High school students will stay at approved host homes, and for safety reasons, are not allowed to drive to these host homes during the weekend; transportation will be provided. Students will turn in their keys upon their arrival to Discovery Weekend.
High schoolers need to pack clothes for inside and outside activities, toiletries, Bible, a journal, and pen/pencil. Linens and towels will be provided by host homes. They are also encouraged to bring a backpack to keep their belongings in during the sessions. All meals, drinks, and snacks will be provided throughout the weekend. Please DO NOT send or let your child bring candy, drinks, or food unless they have special dietary needs (ie – gluten-free). If your student will bring food to meet dietary restrictions, please contact our meal coordinators Glen and Kelly Helms (firstname.lastname@example.org) to coordinate.
Saturday Evening Parent Prayer Service
We view Discovery as a chance for our students & their loved ones to grow together in Christ. This is shown during our Saturday evening prayer service whereby parents and loved ones join their student(s) in a time of prayer. Each middle school student will be called individually for a time of prayer with their loved ones. High school parents are welcome to attend as well. The service will be held at 6:30pm in our Sanctuary; please be seated in the Sanctuary before 6:20 that evening.
On Sunday morning of Discovery, all students receive letters of encouragement/love from family, friends, valued adults, and fellow students. Receiving these letters is often a surprise to the students, especially the middle schoolers. There is not a quota on the number of letters for a child to have, but most students receive ~5 letters. These letters are meant to be signs of love and affirmation from your child’s loved ones and expressions of love and God’s love for your child. Ask grandparents, siblings, relatives, close friends, coaches, teachers, etc., to write letters.
You are welcome and encouraged to bring your letters to church before Wednesday, January 31st. Please drop off the letters at the receptionist’s desk in the Education Building. After that Wednesday, letters will be collected during Friday night drop-off and throughout the weekend in bins in the Narthex. We require that all letters be turned in NO LATER than 6:30 pm Saturday evening, February 3. Please bundle letters (by a rubber band or ziploc bag) and include the child’s First Name, Last Name, gender, and grade CLEARLY on the outside of each envelope. Please remember that it can be very discouraging if a student does not receive any letters.
Sunday Contemporary Service & First-Time Baptisms
All Discovery participants will attend RUMC’s Modern Service at 11 am in the gym. One of our high school students will be speaking, and our band from the weekend will play. Parents are welcome to join; it’s a great chance to get a little insight into the weekend.
If your child has never been baptized, there will be an opportunity for first-time baptisms during this Modern Service. Please discuss your feelings about baptism prior to the weekend. If your child would like to be baptized, please contact us immediately. If your child makes this decision over the weekend, we will contact you. If you have any questions regarding baptisms or this service, please contact Seth Moon (205) 478-6100.
Emergency Contact Info
Should you need to contact your student during the weekend in case of emergency, please contact Rebecca Horn – (662) 347-0281 or Jeff Huerkamp (205) 492-8785.
The Discovery Team