Alternative Break Club Continues Travel Despite COVID Interference
Getting out of your comfort zone is not always easy. In fact, it is one of the hardest things to do in life. However, personal growth has been linked to breaking down barriers that arise when opportunities seem overwhelming or frightening.
This is exactly what the Alternative Break Club on campus does. Traveling to new places, exploring different cultures, and forming new relationships in the community at first can be a little nervous, but it’s almost always worth it.
“The reason Alternative Break Trips were designed was because it was an emerging experience,” said Charlene Elvers, Alternative Break Club advisor. “It’s really designed for students to take a lot of time and immerse themselves in learning about another community or social justice issue. “
The Alternative Break Club offers various trips during the school vacations for Springfield students interested in community service and social justice. Each event is facilitated by a student responsible for the trip who plans and coordinates the activities of the specific service trip, which is usually centered around a main social justice initiative.
Trips usually take place during spring break in March, but in the past others have been offered in January and May.
Most recently, the club strives to always organize a local trip that stays in the city of Springfield, so students can have the opportunity to learn more about the place they call home for four years. For board member Kyla Boyns, the trip to Springfield was one of her favorites.
“You don’t just go and do a favor. You end your service, but you also learn more about the community that you are a part of, which I really like about this experience. It’s not like you go away for a week, do anything, and then you’re done. I’ve learned so much about Springfield through the club in general, ”Boyns said.
The pandemic has halted the number of air travel and flights. This year, the club is therefore striving to offer more trips within driving distance of the college, on the theme of environmental justice. The club hopes to offer service trips to different parts of the country soon, but with the pandemic still in full swing, the schedule for these trips is on hold at this time.
Some of the favorite trips for members of alternative break clubs include the 2015 Together in Guatemala campaign, the 2017 Breaking Boundaries trip to San Diego, and the 2017 Haiti Youth Empowerment Trip. Many students on these trips have taken part in these trips. explained how the experience was an up call ”, because it was really the first time they left their privileged bubble.
“When I went to Guatemala, my first year, it was a wake-up call. It was the first time I had left the country and the first time I had seen a third world country, ”said Devon Rivard, a student who visited Guatemala with the alternative break club. “I fell in love with the people there and the way they give off positive energy and friendliness even despite the obstacles. “
Applications for this year’s trips will arrive around the start of next semester. For more information on club membership and the application process, contact Charlene Elvers by email, [email protected].