Break Trips

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart."


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.


If you have questions about the Break Trip Program, please contact Missy Harris, Break Trip Program Coordinator, at or Jasmine Woo, Break Trip Program Student Assistant, at



**Please note that all Break Trips sponsored by the Service Program Office are drug and alcohol free.**

Some financial assistance is available for students who are eligible.

Students can apply for ONE Break Trip.  However, in your application, you will be asked if you are interested in other trips if you are not selected for the trip that is your first choice.


"Focused Attention: Conservation for the Climbing Community"
Muir Valley, Kentucky

Saturday, March 15 - Saturday, March 22
Student Trip Leaders: Becca Droz and Jay Massey
Faculty/Staff Learning Partner: Dylan Suter
Trip Cost:  $200.00

Each year 40,000 people travel through Muir Valley to climb in one of the most world renowed sport climbing spots in the country-the Red River Gorge, Kentucky . Similar to the past break trips called Shovels and Rope, we are going back to help Rick and Liz Weber(the owners of Muir Valley) and this time with a little more intention. This spring we narrow our focus to recognize that the work we are doing is for the benefit of the climbing community. With so many people traveling through this area to climb, it sees a lot of wear and tear and the least we can do is help patch some of that up and help to prevent further damage in the future. Rock climbing has many life lessons to teach and we will use it as a tool for such, as well as help leverage the importance for service for the climbing community. This is not just a trip for service work, it is an opportunity to become a stronger human through awareness exercises, to work on noticing and breaking out of our habitual tendencies. With support from Friends of Muir Valley, we will be staying at a campground, Land of the Arches, which has amenities such as bathrooms and sinks. You should be prepared to sleep in tents in potentially below freezing weather for the week.

CLICK HERE for more information about Muir Valley and the Red River Gorge.

Applications are now closed.


"New Beginnings: Immigrant and Refugee Communities"
Sunday, March 16 - Saturday, March 22
Student Trip Leaders: Blanca Perez and Rebecca Smith

Faculty/Staff Learning Partner: TBA
Trip Cost: $220.00

Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia houses an average of 1,500 inmates, making it one of the largest private facilities for detaining immigrants. The center profits $97,000.00 each day yet has failed to meet Immigration and Customs Enforcements (ICE) medical standards and has failed to provide educational or rehabilitation services offered in other government run facilities. In response to the injustices practiced within Stewart Detention Center, El Refugio and Alterna communities have united Latino immigrant families to support each other and those detained with communal meals, worship services, and visitation services. Our time in these communities will consist of educational trips to learn about the lives of undocumented immigrants living around the Atlanta area, homestays with families in the Alterna community, and visitations with some of the men incarcerated in the Stewart Detention Center.

The second part of the week will take place at Jubilee Partners, an intentional Christian service community that works with refugees in Comer, Georgia. We will learn about the lives of refugees who come to the US with documents.  We will spend time working in the organic garden and/or assisting with childcare, while parents are taking English classes. Overall, we will experience how intentional communities have responded to the needs around them, whether in support of Latino immigrants or refugees.  We will also see the different ways that life unfolds for those who came to this country seeking new beginnings.

CLICK HERE for more information about El Refugio and Stewart Detention Facility.

CLICK HERE for more information about Alterna Community.

CLICK HERE for more information about Jubilee Partners.

Applications are now closed.


"Building Peace in War: Constructing Relationships"
War, West Virginia
Student Trip Leaders: Emily Odgers and Savannah Livengood
Sunday, March 16 - Saturday, March 22
Faculty/Staff Learning Partner: Doug Bradley
Trip Cost:  $225.00

McDowell County, West Virginia was once a highly populated and wealthy area. It is now one of the poorest counties in the nation. After a series of floods and the receding coal industry, this area is left with myriad of poverty related issues: dilapidated houses, environmental pollution, rampant drug use, and a failing education system among others. Amidst this dreariness, many members of the community have been striving to better the lives of their neighbors. We will be working with some of these inspiring people with the organization Big Creek People in Action. Participants will work with BCPA construction leaders to assist in housing projects – from replacing ceilings to painting. In addition, we will experience different aspects of the area's culture – think bluegrass, flat-footing, and great old Southern tales.

Participants in this trip will stay at the Big Creek People in Action Community Center for three nights and will camp for two nights.  The group will return to campus on Friday, March 21 and will participate in a local service project on Saturday, March 22 in Asheville - to connect the work the group does in West Virginia with issues in our local community.

 CLICK HERE for more information about Big Creek People in Action.

Applications are now closed.


"Interfaith-a-delphia: Helping and Learning to Love All Your Brothers and Sisters"
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Friday, March 14 - Saturday, March 22
Student Trip Leaders: Grace Loveland and Gabriel Sifuentes
Faculty/Staff Learning Partner: Brian Ammons
Trip Cost: $220.00

On the Interfaith-a-delphia Break trip, students will have the opportunity to explore multiple faith traditions and work with community partners in the inner city of Philadelphia, PA. By partnering with the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, students will have the opportunity to learn about Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Baha’i, and Islam. The Interfaith Center will provide a customized program for our group, which will include engaging in service opportunities around issues such as homelessness and food security. This trip will provide an opportunity to engage with and learn about different faith traditions, while promoting partnerships between faith communities to address issues within the local community. This trip would be perfect for anyone with an open mind – with openness to deepening their own faith and with openness to exploring other traditions and meeting new people. The goal is to promote spiritual growth and understanding, and to move past a society of tolerance into one of love and acceptance.

Student participants on this trip will be expected to help the group with fundraising efforts.


 CLICK HERE for more information about the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia.

Applications are now closed.


"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.

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.

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.

Check out this blog on the Service Learning Class trip that went to the Pine Ridge Reservation during Spring Break of 2013.


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CLICK HERE to view the Break Trip Archives.