An important part of a successful mission trip is having a team that is cohesive and works well together! There are a few different steps you can take to ensure that your team is the best it can be.
Meet Your Team Before You Leave
Depending on how familiar you are with your mission team, setting up a few events before your trip may be helpful in everyone getting to know each other. Host a cookout, dinner party, or any type of gathering. This will allow time for the group to bond and assure that everyone is familiar and introduced.
Set a List of Team Goals
Prior to departing for your trip, have a team meeting where your team can set a list of goals and objectives for your trip. This could consist of anything from specific activity goals to general focuses such as "focus on spirituality" or "improve teamwork skills." Making a list like this will give you guidelines to focus on when you go on your trip!
Start a Group Chat
Set up a group message including all the members of your team. Prior to your trip you can use it as a way to plan and communicate and then send photos and memories after you return.
After each day, have a collective reflection where your team shares their personal experiences with each other. This time can also be used for team building which can strengthen your team further. Some things to reflect on may include cultural differences, how each member is doing mentally and physically, high and low points for the day, and any other points you feel like discussing.
Switch It Up
Try random assignment for partners! If there are group or partner projects, have a team leader choose partners instead of volunteers choosing their own. By doing this, the members of your team will be able to form new bonds that they may not have if they chose their own partner! When everyone is comfortable with each other, the team will run like a well-oiled machine.
Hopefully these tips will help you get started on forming a team that is comfortable and allow you to go into your trip knowing that you will work well together! Mission volunteers have often described how the relationships they created on mission trips have lasted for the rest of their lives and how they remain close with their team members long after their trips are over.