SOS Builds Update

Enjoy this SOS Builds update from Tyler Parker. He joined our full-time staff after three summers on summer staff and a year as an Academy intern.  img_0612

It has been such a joy to join the staff here at SOS. After falling in love with this city of Memphis during my first summer as a team leader in 2013, God has continued to bring me back year after year until I finally moved here for the SOS Academy in 2015.

My Academy year was such a blessing to me as I was introduced to SOS Builds and immediately fell in love with the program, and especially the kids.

Never in a million years could I have imagined that I would be placed in a leadership position over a group of middle schoolers, leading and guiding them through devotionals and constructing a rather large pavilion! You heard that right a group of middle schoolers constructed a 15’x30’ pavilion and did everything from cut and assemble the trusses to shingling it after it was decked.

What an experience that was for not only myself but for them as well!


There is always something special about completing a project and standing back and being able to say “Hey, I did that!” and that's exactly why we love to give the Builders as much ownership over their projects as we can. We can see that potential in them and it's our joy to give them a place to let that thrive.

So, now here we are a year later and I guess I did something right because I was asked to stay and lead the middle school Builds program and this year has already been so much fun.


We are in year 3 of SOS Builds and we have 15 amazing students. This year is looking to be extra busy with lots of hands on work for the Builders.

We started this year off with a little messy fun and had an Egg Drop Competition which was a fun way for the Builders to learn how to manage time, money, and think critically. During this time the Builders were given a budget and materials to purchase, to construct a device that would allow their egg to make it safely to the ground from heights as low as 3ft to a long 40ft drop off the SOS building. The Builders did a wonderful job using the resources they were given and all of them completed their projects on time for the drop day. Two of the devices survived a drop off of the top of the building!

When our Builders return from Thanksgiving break, we’ll be testing the balsa wood bridges that they created through November.

This year we have been walking through the Bridges of Life with the Builders as our weekly devotional time. The bridges overview creation to Christ and our need for Him. Each week we review the previous bridges with the Builders and then teach a new bridge. It is such a joy to watch them learn and retain these bridges well and really understand them.