World Youth Day USA Guides International Pilgrimage Leaders Guide - Page 61

Youth Day group leaders. Some are common Pilgrim Age Concerns sense and others are drawn from experience Although the title of this event is World Youth and past mistakes and best practices. Day, most of the world treats the international gathering as a “young adult” pilgrimage and Tour Companies or Do-It-Yourself many of the international participants in Pulling together a World Youth Day pilgrimage Krakó w will be in their twenties. The standard is a major undertaking and the amount of work recommended age for this pilgrimage is 16 to can be daunting. A number of larger pilgrim 35. However, the World Youth Day committee groups in the United States (such as dioceses, has allowed pilgrims at young as 13 years of age apostolic movements, or clusters of parishes) to register and most pilgrims, regardless of age, hire a specialized travel company to take care of have had very positive experiences at World these details. One advantage of hiring a travel Youth Days in the past. company is that, when things go wrong, a travel company is there to assist you. However, it should be noted that an increasing number of U.S. dioceses attending World Before securing a particular organization or Youth Day have moved to a policy of bringing travel company, it is important to check that young adult pilgrims only (that is, age 18 or company’s references and financial state. older) to cut down on the overseas travel risks and liability, or because they believe the WYD There is also great flexibility in developing a message and experience are more suited to the World Youth Day pilgrimage on your own. The young adult faith experience. Minors (17 and overall costs may be less and there are possibly under) require closer supervision and assistance more flexible options for transportation, compared to young adults. Nonetheless, if your accommodations, and mobility (since you will diocese, parish, or apostolic movement has only need to secure a few spots rather than for decided to bring minors to World Youth Day, a large contingent). While travel companies will be sure to get written parental permission and try to meet individual needs, pulling the trip any necessary documentation necessary for together on your own ensures that those needs transporting minors abroad without their are met exactly as you and your pilgrims want. parents or guardians. It will also be good to Additionally, you can set your own deadlines help these teens through the movements of the for payments – and receive information World Youth Day event, especially if they seem firsthand from World Youth Day organizers. geared toward a young adult audience. 59