Alternative Break Trips are week long service experiences that happen over Fall and Spring Break. The focus of Break Trips vary each semester. Break Trips can focus on issues from food security to the environment to housing and homelessness to race and immigration to youth and education. Break Trips are designed and co-led by two students. In addition, a Faculty/Staff Learning Partner participates in each Break Trip. All Service Program sponsored Break Trips are alcohol and drug free.
"Nasula: Intercultural Service Learning Experience on the Pine Ridge Reservation"
Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
Student Trip Leaders: Julia Lehr, Eva Westheimer and Danielle Landy
Faculty/Staff Learning Partner: Stan Cross
During Spring Break 2014, students will travel to Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to engage with and learn from the Lakota people. Before embarking on this experience, students will develop an understanding of Lakota narrative concepts from a holistic perspective presented in on-campus workshops. This method facilitates a better understanding of individual personal narrative as well as how personal narratives intertwine with the stories of others. Additionally, students will learn about the complexity of historical marginalization, traumas, and on-going intense financial poverty of the Lakota. Through immersion in Lakota culture while on Pine Ridge, students will learn Lakota lessons related to spirituality, health, and history as well as the resiliency and strength of the human spirit. During this experience students will work to reduce hunger by distributing food on the reservation, in collaboration with Conscious Alliance, a Colorado-based nonprofit. Students will sort and deliver an estimated 20,000 pounds of food for families on the reservation. In addition, students will participate in a number of service activities throughout the week. In the past this has included creating garden beds, trash and litter clean up, and building fences for elders.
Applications will be available Wednesday October 9th, 2013 at noon.
Applications are due after Fall Break on October 29th, 2013 by 5:00 pm.
Students who are selected to participate in the Pine Ridge Break Trip group will be notified on November 4th, 2013.
"Sowing Altruistic Seeds"
Koinonia Farm - Americus, Georgia
Student Trip Leaders: Claire Lamberg and Katie Pannier
Faculty/Staff Learning Partner: Alisa Hove
Koinonia Farms, founded in 1942 as an intentional Christian agricultural community in rural Georgia, confronted racism, militarism and materialism in a time when confrontation of these social norms was neither expected nor welcomed. Out of Koinonia's mission came the inspiration for Habitat for Humanity, an organization that directly confronts housing needs by assisting low-income individuals and families in building and maintaining affordable housing. The community has continued to thrive while maintaining its original mission of equality. Today Koinonia specializes in the production of chocolate, pecans, peanuts, and fair trade coffee, to support people within and outside of their rural community.
The Koinonia Break Trip will focus on the issue areas of food security and housing and homelessness. We will be working and staying on the Koinonia property, assisting with harvesting their fall crops and working on on-going housing projects, and working with them in any ways they might need. Koinonia strives for an open and interactive community. Therefore, we will participate in their community lunches and optional morning church services. Later on in the week we will spend a day in Atlanta exploring our Break Trip issue areas in a more urban setting.
"Carabiners and Trail Cleaners"
New River Gorge, West Virginia
Student Trip Leaders: Will Harper and Tom Harper
Faculty/Staff Learning Partner: Libba Miano
The New River Gorge is one of the most sought after climbing destinations on the East Coast and is home to over one thousand climbing routes. This Break Trip will focus on the restoration of the Whippoorwill trail in the Summerville Lake area of the Gorge. This trail has, over time, sustained severe erosion that has subsequently widened the trail to a point where more and more vegetation is being destroyed by hikers and climbers who are avoiding mud.
Our goal on this Break Trip is to help reverse the effects of the heavy foot traffic this specific trail receives each year. This work will primarily deal with setting rocks in muddy areas to help guide climbers and hikers along the trail. We will work closely with the New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC). NRAC is a community of climbers who take it upon themselves to protect access to all of the region's climbing crags. This particular area of the Gorge provides access to Summerville Lake, and therefore, attracts more people than other areas in the Gorge. Its upkeep is crucial to protecting the environment and maintaining access rights to the New River Gorge so that everyone may continue to enjoy this breathtakingly beautiful area.
"Wildlife Conservation in Action" Captive breeding of big cats has occurred in some form for hundreds of years. To date, there are thousands of captive-bred, big cats, owned and bred by private collectors all over the world. In comparison, some species of big cats are critically endangered in the wild due to lack of habitat. These captive carnivores are bred and managed by people with little to no regard for the animals' health or the conservation of the species. The cats are bred and maintained for entertainment, fur and, misguidedly, as pets. Many of these animals end up being found on abandoned properties, under-nourished and over-bred. Since they were raised under such circumstances, they will never be able to be successfully released into the wild.
Big Cat Rescue - Tampa, Florida
Student Trip Leaders: Maggie Small and Cecile Parrish
Faculty/Staff Learning Partner: Mallory Nuckles
At the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida, several species of large cats have been brought in and provided a species-specific, lifelong home. They are not bred and are provided the space, nutrition and enrichment they need and deserve. With this Break Trip, we will learn about the consequences of reckless, irresponsible breeding and learn about the many ways that preserves contribute to global wildlife preservation. At the preserve we will do whatever tasks are needed to benefit the cats. Some examples of volunteer tasks that have been offered in the past are: clearing vines and brush from enclosures, building or dismantling fences, and other light construction tasks.
Break Trip Archives Click HERE
"Wildlife Conservation in Action"
Captive breeding of big cats has occurred in some form for hundreds of years. To date, there are thousands of captive-bred, big cats, owned and bred by private collectors all over the world. In comparison, some species of big cats are critically endangered in the wild due to lack of habitat. These captive carnivores are bred and managed by people with little to no regard for the animals' health or the conservation of the species. The cats are bred and maintained for entertainment, fur and, misguidedly, as pets. Many of these animals end up being found on abandoned properties, under-nourished and over-bred. Since they were raised under such circumstances, they will never be able to be successfully released into the wild.