Making life a little easier for others is the goal for area youth as they prepare for a mission trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn., next week.

Thirteen youth from Pawhuska’s Assembly of God’s ‘Relentless Youth Ministries’ have been hosting a variety of fund raisers throughout the year to cover expenses for this year’s trip. Most recently, they held a car wash at the Alco parking lot where donations were accepted.

Spokesperson Amanda Stroud said, "Five adults will chaperon students from the 7th grade to high school on this ’Group Missions’ trip. We will join 20-30 other groups from across the country to help elderly Gatlinburg residents with minor house repairs, work with disabled children, volunteer for Vacation Bible School, and assist churches in financially troubled areas."

Group Missions is comprised of volunteers from various churches, including Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutheran, Catholics and non-denominations.

The Pawhuska group will be led by Michael Stroud who is the Assembly’s full-time Youth Minister. Amanda said ‘Group Missions’ is similar to YouthWorks and the Methodist’s YouthForce in their goal to help others. Once they arrive in Gatlinburg, they will be housed in a boarding school and receive their project assignments.

This will be the Relentless Youth Ministries’ second mission trip.

"Our first mission was to Colorado last year," said Amanda. "Michael did extensive research to find a mission project for our youth."

Cost per student is $289 plus each adult chaperone. The group will be leaving July 26 and returning Aug. 2. As soon as their return from Gatlinburg, they will start planning for a big back-to-school bash.

Donations are being accepted. For more, call Michael Stroud at 918-440-0440 or Amanda Stroud at 918-440-7960 or email