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Spring break trips allow a unique opportunity to enter into a different context for a week. By exploring a new city or community, students are faced with the challenge of slowing down, looking others in the eyes and resting in the peace that knows our God is faithful beyond the context we call our own. Plan to be encouraged by community members whose feet are firmly planted in the hope of their context, and prepare to be invited into this hope. These trips are specifically aimed at promoting the education, spiritual growth and vocational understanding of participating students. So, don’t be afraid to see what wonderful opportunities await you on a service-learning spring break trip.
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.
Trip participants pay $400, which covers all costs related to transportation, lodging, meals and organizational fees.
We offer trips at reduced rates and offer financial assistance thanks to generous gifts from alumni, friends, family members, and congregations. You can support spring break trips too.
Information is available in the S-LC. Register online.
Questions? Ask our Spring Break Trips Coordinator.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
Live on a rural Georgia farm for week and learn what it means to farm in the US in the 21st century. Participate with Koinonia Farm (the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity), an intentionally multi-racial community, as they strive to connect their faith with the way they farm and the things they eat. Think critically about food and farming issues in the US and what the implications are for the choices that are made, both by industrial farms as well as by you and your food choices.
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
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