Warren Wilson College
Service Program 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Jasmine Woo, Break Trip Program Student Assistant, at email@example.com.
According to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), in 2006, in one square mile of ocean there are 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. This causes great harm to more than 100,000 marine mammals and over one million sea birds each year. During this five day service trip to Virginia Beach, you will participate in team building and bonding activities along with service work including ocean clean ups and various projects for the aquarium. We will also have the opportunity to take part in educational classes that will allow us to have a deeper understanding of marine life. This trip will allow us to explore the Virginia Beach aquarium and enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour. After a hard day of working in the aquarium we will enjoy a nice walk on the beach to relax. Please join us to help the marine life on the East coast this fall!
Muir Valley, Kentucky is a recreational wilderness area in the Red River Gorge, one of the most popular climbing destinations in the country. Due to the heavy use of this land, the non-profit organization Friends of Muir Vallet was founded toMuir Valley, Kentucky is a recreational wilderness area in the Red River Gorge, one of the most popular climbing destinations in the country. Due to the heavy use of this land, the non-profit organization Friends of Muir Valley was founded to restore and preserve this area, as well as to educate the climbing community and general public about land stewardship. The goal of this trip is to give back to the climbing community by responding to Friends of Muir Valley’s volunteer needs, which will include activities such as trail maintenance and invasive species removal. We will be staying at a comfortable campground (with access to showers and a game room) and splitting our time between service, rock climbing, and exploring the trails and canyons of the area. We hope to expand our understanding of outdoor sport culture within the context of environmental stewardship.
Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, a non-profit community organization in Pennsylvania, is dedicated to the care and growth of individuals with developmental disabilities. Kimberton Hills, one of over 100 communities of the international Camphill Movement that stretches across 4 different continents, was founded in 1972. The residents, co-workers (long-term volunteers), and day and group volunteers work together in the community’s dairy, fiber arts studio, pottery studio, CSA garden, herb garden, orchard, apiary, vineyard, and café.
Our Break Trip will focus on many issue areas, but especially health, disabilities, and the elderly. By working alongside Kimberton Hills residents and co-workers, we will gain an appreciation for and better understanding of individuals with developmental disabilities, an often-overlooked group of people. In the weeks before Fall Break, we will be talking with Lucy Lawrence, the Social Work Program Director here at Warren Wilson, and we will have a day of volunteering with the nearby Mountain Area Residential Facilities (MARF), a non-profit similar to Camphill.
This Break Trip will take place on Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia. The work done during this Break Trip will focus on contributing to the maintenance of the Island’s wilderness preserve. We will approach this issue by assisting the State Park Services with preservation-based work which will range from trail clearing, construction, and/or park maintenance. The service will be a total of four, 8-hour work days, followed by a day to explore the natural history of the island.
Information on the island will be presented to the group by life-long resident Carol Ruckdeshel. This information session will include an extensive history of Cumberland Island’s struggles to resist commercialism and to maintain the natural habitat. Participants are expected to do significant physical work as well as do personal research on the island and its history before the trip.
WARNING: In the past, there have been significant numbers of mosquitos and other insects during this service trip. The group will be camping and there may or may not be access to showers. If any of these factors seem difficult to manage, the trip may not be for you.
In the post-industrial era, the American city of Detroit, Michigan and its inhabitants have been crippled by an unsustainable socioeconomic infrastructure. However, recent years have brought about an inspiring grassroots response to this trend, which has begun to reshape the most adversely affected urban centers through local sustainability initiatives.
Detroit has become a model for grassroots community development and advocacy. On this Break Trip, we intend to explore a range of issues – from urban gardening, housing deconstruction, the reclamation of real estate and the complex history of the city, which changed the city almost overnight. We will attempt to take a hands-on approach to understanding the complex and changing landscape of the city. We will work within the community to see how community groups have responded to these changes, the lasting movements and effects that were created and how these groups continue today. We will discuss the implications of class, race, and the natural environment within the context of sustainable urban development. Our group will participate in pre and post trip workshops and service trips that address related issues within our own community.