What Our Visitors Say
“Thanks again for allowing us to stay at your site. I believe this is our 8th time staying at the Washington Seminar Center!  It’s always been such a wonderful experience staying at your church. It’s nice because the students have more together time than they would at a regular hotel. ”
– Soraya , leader of 55-member group from Florida, 2013
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Sharing the Space

WSC is a service ministry that provides groups with an affordable way to participate in making the world a better place. As a ministry, we want to welcome all the people we can to serve and learn in our nation’s capitol. For this reason a group may be asked to share with another group.

Many groups who have shared the WSC with another group find that being able to meet other people coming to DC for a like trip is an added value to their experience. Sharing space is another way of building community between different groups, interests and faith traditions.

If a group has a contracted reservation for 20 or more people, they may be asked by the WSC coordinator to share the WSC. If the group prefers not to share, that’s fine, however the group must guarantee payment for 20 participants regardless if the actual number of participants is lower.

If a group has a contracted reservation for 19 or fewer people, they will be informed that they will be sharing the WSC with another group.

Sharing groups are always matched by age and programming needs. For example, an elementary-school group may be matched with a middle school group; a group bringing in a speaker for a hunger workshop may be matched with a group that could participate and split the cost. At WSC reservations are taken by number, not gender. Only under very rare circumstances do more than two groups share the WSC, and this is always discussed with all group leaders prior to being arranged.

Group leaders will receive an email of introduction (including contact information) as soon as sharing has been contracted so that both group leaders may be in contact with each other prior to arrival at the WSC.  The WSC coordinator will assign sleeping areas, bathrooms, refrigerators, and security closets for each group. By mutual consent group leaders may change some of these assignments to better fit the needs of both groups.

Preparing to Share the WSC

Like any type of community building, sharing space takes some work and effort from everyone involved. As a hostel, there is much common space to be shared and enjoyed. Conflict may occur and can be addressed positively or mitigated if group leaders have discussed expectations prior to the groups arrivals. Sharing the WSC will be much more successful if group leaders are in communication and participants understand what is expected of them regarding the WSC.

Here are some questions to discuss between group leaders who will be staying at the WSC together:

Overarching Group Questions

  • What is the purpose of your trip?
  • Has your group ever done a mission trip before? Have you ever been to the WSC before?
  • What is your group like? What are their interests? What are your group dynamics?
  • Would you be interested in sharing social activities, reflection, and devotion time?
  • What are ways to maintain our own individual groups’ identities and sense of community while sharing space?

Practical Questions

  • Sleeping Location: Would you like to share the sleeping space by group or by gender? If by gender, what is the breakdown of your group? The WSC has 3 bedrooms: one bedroom that sleep 18 people; one bedroom that sleeps 14 people and has direct access to one of the bathrooms, and; one bedroom (partition area) that sleeps 8 people. This last room also has spring mattresses. Often adult leaders sleep in this room.
  • Eating: Would you be interested in sharing meal times or not? Your group cooks one night, we cook the other? Do you plan on going out to eat any evenings?
  • Sleeping Hours: Does your group have a curfew/bedtime? What time do your activities start in the morning? How early do you need to wake your group up and head out the door?
  • Departure: What day/time is your group leaving? How will we split the cleaning duties?
  • Cleaning: Each group has different standards and understandings of what it means to be clean.  How do you define cleanliness and what are your expectations for the maintaining WSC during your stay?  How will you ensure you follow these standards?
  • Conflicts can occur and good communication is essential in resolving such issues. You may want to assign one person from your group who can be approached by the other group in a respectful manner to raise concerns and/or conflicts that arise during your stay. Share this with the other group leader and the rest of your participants.

If you have questions or concerns about sharing space, please do not hesitate to call the WSC.