Spring Break Trips

Spring break trips

Trips that transform

Where are we going?
Explore all our 2014 trip locations in this custom Google map »

Step fully into a subject area that you're interested in, whether that is disaster relief, intentional community, urban ministry, restorative justice, or more. Delve into a community for a week and come back changed. These trips are specifically aimed at promoting the education and personal growth of participating students. Some students develop long-term relationships with their spring break partnering organization, while others develop a new personal interest. So don't be afraid to see what wonderful opportunities await you on a Service-Learning Spring Break Trip.

Pick from one of many places to serve such as Chicago, West Virginia, Louisiana, or rural Michigan. You will travel with student leaders, faculty or staff mentors, and other students. The trips incorporate a service component, outings to discover the community, and group reflection time. These trips are just as much about learning as they are about serving, so come ready to be transformed by the people you're going to meet.

Last year's theme was "Stepping Out." James Hunter, in his book "To Change the World," writes that Jesus' call to "go into all the world" has both geographic and social implications. Geographically, Christians must engage the world near and far. Socially, Christians must engage the world in all realms: "Skilled and unskilled labor, the crafts, engineering, commerce, art, law, architecture, teaching, health care, and service." Service-learning trips introduce students from all majors and walks of life to new and meaningful ways to engage the world.

Spring break 2014 trips montage
Spring Break 2014 Montage

Cost

All spring break trip participants pay $400, which covers all costs related to transportation, lodging, meals and organizational fees.

Give

We are able to offer all trips at a reduced rate and offer financial assistance thanks to generous gifts from alumni, friends, family members, and congregations. You can contribute online!

Apply

Leader applications are due on Monday, October 6th. Participant applications will be available in late October 2014.

Contact

Questions? Get in touch with Jessica Furno, our Spring Break Trips Coordinator.

 

Potential Trips for 2015

Coal Mining and Appalachian Culture

Travel to the Big Laurel Learning Center and encounter the economic, social, and environmental impacts of Mountaintop Removal coal mining on a rural community. Gain a truly unique insight into the daily life and culture of Appalachia from lifelong residents. Explore the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains through hiking and through stories told by residents who have been on these mountains their whole lives.

Location:

Kermit, West Virginia
Google Map »

Student reflections

Social and Racial Reconciliation

The Mendenhall Ministries was founded in 1962 in response to the appalling conditions faced by the poor black community in this rural Mississippi area. The vision attracted many concerned people, and grew into a ministry known for providing progressive local leadership within the community to address problems of poor housing, segregated and unequal education, lack of employment opportunities, and lack of capital-trapping institutions within the black community.

CCE credit is an option

Location:

Mendenhall, Mississippi
Google Map »

Work with a Residential Treatment Center for At-Risk Adolescents

Join the Florence Crittenton Agency as they strive to come alongside and help at-risk adolescents in Knoxville, TN. Experience the courage of women who are determined to re-claim their lives from the grip of addiction, a harmful relationship, or poor life choices. Open your heart to the broken and hurt and come back changed. Work will include spring cleaning, painting and all kinds of yard work.

Trip is only open to women

Location:

Knoxville, Tennessee
Google Map »

Student reflections

Food, Community and Creativity in a Rural City

You don’t have to go far on Spring Break to make a difference. Join *culture is not optional as they work to impact their own community of Three Rivers. Work to transform Huss School from an abandoned and forgotten piece of history to a new and vibrant community center. Spend afternoons exploring the community and the dynamics that shape small town America: farms, businesses, arts, journalism, etc. In the evenings stay at the Hermitage, a beautifully converted barn on 62 acres of rich, Southwest Michigan land.

Reflections on the trip:
Three Rivers by Erin Smith

Location:

Three Rivers, Michigan
Google Map »

Student reflections

Ministry among People in Cycles of Poverty and Storm Damage

Work with Hope Community Church in partnership with the Bayou Baptist Association, a community that Calvin students have been visiting since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Experience the environmental and cultural beauty of southern Louisiana while encountering the struggles faced by its residents every day. Learn from the marginalized Houma tribe about the impact that hurricanes have on daily life in the region and think critically about what can be done to help.

Reflections on the trip:
Houma by Jennie Hartstein

Location:

Houma, Louisiana
Google Map »

Student reflections

Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Travel to L’Arche community in Mobile, AL and experience life intentionally for a week. Join L’Arche as they live out their mission of making known the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationships. Participate with the L’Arche residents in evening meals and other daily life activities. Work may also include spring cleaning, painting and all kinds of yard work.

Location:

Mobile, Alabama
Google Map »

Student reflections

Ministry in a Hurricane-Prone Coastal Community

Work with the First Baptist Church of Grand Isle through the Bayou Baptist Association. Experience the environmental and cultural beauty of southern Louisiana while encountering the struggles faced by its residents every day. Learn about ministry to transient oil rig workers, shrimpers and tourists and those few who stay year-round to keep the community going.

Reflections on the trip:
Grand Isle blog post by Alegria (Allie) Klink

Location:

Grand Isle, Louisiana
Google Map »

Student reflections

Christian Community Development

Travel to the home of Rev. John Perkins and partner with The Spencer Perkins Center. Calvin students will help the Spencer Perkins Center fulfill their mission "to train and equip a new generation of indigenous leaders who are driven by the love of God to pass on the torch of reconciliation, community and youth development in West Jackson."

Only open to John M. Perkin's Leadership Fellows

Reflections on the trip:
Jackson by Chimes
Jackson by Sarah Stripp

Location:

Jackson, Mississippi
Google Map »

Urban Community Development

Work with The Pittsburgh Project and join in their mission to love on the community. Work will be focused on home repair for vulnerable homeowners in the inner city. Students will also engage and explore the urban culture of Pittsburgh.

Location:

Pittsburgh, PA
Google Map »

Student reflections

Racial Reconciliation and Poverty Alleviation

Spend a week with Sunshine Gospel Ministries on the south side of Chicago and engage the Gospel issues of race, class and poverty through daily Bible lessons and discussions, work projects and venturing out into the city to get the pulse of what is going on where the people are. In the past Calvin students have volunteered in the Chicago Public Schools, a private Christian school, working with Sunshine's afterschool youth program and also various construction projects.

CCE credit is an option

Location:

Chicago, IL
Google Map »

Student reflections

Trail Maintenance in the National Parks

Work with Trails Forever to repair and restore some of the 800+ miles of trails in Smoky Mountain National Park, the most visited park in the National Park system. Camp within the park for the week and cook over the campfire.

Location:

Smokey Mountains National Park
Gatlinburg, TN
Google Map »

Flood Relief with Alumni in Colorado

In September of 2013 devastating floods ruined entire communities in Boulder County, Colorado. Join with World Renew – Disaster Response Services and members of the Calvin Alumni Association to provide relief in this area.

Location:

Boulder County, CO
Google Map »

 

…Or Propose a New Destination Community

Do you have a close connection with a Christian community responding to unique challenges? Introduce others from Calvin to a place you have come to know and love, where they can serve and learn alongside dedicated people working to do God’s work in God’s world. Come by the Service-Learning Center to learn more about how you can propose a new trip destination.