Information for Parents

Thank you for taking time to find out more about The Navigators and the Gulf Coast Summer Program. Our staff consider it a privilege to serve and spend time with your student. In addition to the content available on the website, we have addressed a few parent-specific questions here:

What is unique about a Summer Training Program? A university student typically has three summers to choose how they spend their time, make (or spend) their money, and grow as an individual. Many trips, internships, and adventures are out there, but we believe a Summer Training Program is a unique opportunity in that it provides your child:

  • The opportunity to move to another city and work a full-time job and craft leadership and relational skills that will apply to any occupation
  • An environment led by staff and energized by the 50-70 other college students that challenges them to grow in all areas of life, faith, and character
  • Time to develop Biblical convictions that will affect their relationship with God and others for the rest of their lives
  • The invaluable experience of meeting and working with people from all over the world

Will I be able to visit my child? Yes, parents are welcome to visit their students during the Summer Training Program. The closest airports to the program are the Tampa International Airport (TPA) and the St. Pete – Clearwater International Airport (PIE) airport. Please coordinate with the program to determine what days of the week will be least disruptive to your child’s work and program schedule.

Your child is expected to work scheduled shifts and he or she needs to get staff approval before requesting extra days off of work. We value work and encourage students to honor their work commitment. We also ask students to follow through on their GCS commitments, even when family is visiting, because we believe they will learn the most when they are present and engaged at all of their meetings and Bible studies. Thank you for understanding and support as we ask students to honor these commitments.

Will my child be safe? The Navigator staff take the safety of your child very seriously. We have several policies designed to ensure the safety of your child and we do all we can to ensure the safety of students at the program.

How will my child get to the Summer Training Program? Most students carpool with other students to get to Florida. Each campus will try to set up rides for their students based on what city they live in. It can be helpful if you child is able to bring his or her car to the program. Your child may also fly or drive separately to the STP, if he or she does not live in a nearby city or near those students who are driving. If coming from the airport, we can arrange for someone to pick them up.

If my child is without a car, how will he or she get to work and out to buy food? Students maintain similar schedules and are able to carpool to and from work and to nearby grocery stores throughout the week.

Thank you for your commitment to your child! We believe the Bible is clear that your child is to honor his or her parents. If you have any questions or concerns about your child attending this STP, feel free to contact the Navigator staff at your student’s campus or email the Gulf Coast Summer Director at