Tips for debriefing your family trip

Brad M. Griffin | Jul 18, 2013

I don’t know about you, but I hate coming home after any kind of family trip.

The kids are cranky. The van is disgusting. The fridge is empty. And there are loads of laundry. Sometimes it takes a week to unpack everything.

If you’re in post-trip funk in your household, you can relate. This year we wrote a series of guides for YouthWorks for their summer Family Trips. One of those guides was for parents to use after the trip. While the real impact of the trip is still percolating in the minds and hearts of family members, parents often have few resources left to help connect the dots for their kids and themselves.

Whether you did a service or mission trip of some kind this summer, or took a vacation or camping trip, here’s a list of reflection questions you might find useful from our Family Trip guide. Pull one or two questions from this list over the next few weeks to help invoke some family sharing over a meal or while looking back at pictures.

  1. What was one highlight from our trip for you? An experience, a relationship, or something that made you feel fully alive?

  2. Where did you notice God this week?

  3. What’s something new you learned about God?

  4. What was a low-light for you? Something that was frustrating, disappointing, or not what you expected?

  5. What did you learn about yourself?

  6. What did you learn about our family? Did anything surprise you, make you laugh, embarrass you, or make you feel proud of our family?

  7. What did you learn from people in the community or someone else on the trip? Who do you want to remember from this trip?

  8. What ideas do you have for how our family can serve together back in our own community?

  9. Would you want to do this kind of trip again? Why or why not?

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, writer, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of over a dozen books, including 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager, Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and Can I Ask That? Brad and his family live in Southern California, where he serves as Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Mountainside Communion.


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