Spring break for most students is a time when they can relax and get a taste of the long summer that follows a mere month and a half later. However, a number of lucky students got to venture to various places with different programs and campus clubs to embark on alternative spring breaks.
Most of us have callings in different aspects of our lives. Whether it is to be a lawyer, football star or sometimes simply someone who helps others that are in need.
Springfield College students traveled to Mandeville, Jamaica, Long Island in the Bahamas and Sumter, S.C. They participated in a number of activities ranging from building houses to simply playing with local orphans.
Kelsey Nobis, the chair of the Jamaica trip, worked very hard to put together a unique opportunity for students. After volunteering in high school and racking up just a little over 400 hours of community service, Nobis knows what it takes from students to be a vital addition to the trip.
“Springfield College has a very interesting breed of students. I use that word specifically,” said Nobis. “The types of students that are drawn to Springfield College are very involved, enthusiastic and passionate leaders. Not all students have that.”
Getting selected to join these trips is a process that involves applications and interviews. The leaders and faculty take the selection very seriously and want the creative and “outside the box thinkers.” After the selection process, Nobis narrowed down the list to 16 other students along with her trip advisors, faculty members Jody Santos and Sarah Heminger.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better group or better advisors,” added Nobis. “I couldn’t even imagine bringing anybody else other than the people that came. It couldn’t have gone more smoothly.”
While students in Jamaica worked hard, the Springfield College Outreach Committee (SCOC) spent a week in Long Island, Jamaica, specifically a town called Clarence Town. SCOC provides service in Springfield, but the highlight of the club is their spring break trip.
“As you’re helping people you get to learn about new cultures and meet new people,” said senior and president of the SCOC club, Laura Russet. “The past three years of going on the trip has really been life changing. It has helped me to gain perspective outside of the Springfield College campus. It is so easy to live in this bubble and forget about the rest of the world.”
This was Russet’s last trip here at Springfield, and although she is sad to see the trip leave her life, she knows that it has helped to make her an all-around better person.
“It’s an eye-opening experience,” said Russet. “It is overwhelming to come back here and to see all the food in the supermarkets and the various options and opportunities we have in America that others don’t [have].”
As some Springfield students expanded their horizons outside of the United States, the Habitat for Humanity club packed up their shovels and gloves and headed south for Sumter, S.C.
Sumter is a major hub right in the center of South Carolina that attracts the attention of lots of Habitat For Humanity clubs from all over. According to junior and co-president on the board of the club, Jen Kapinos, Sumter gets a visit almost every week and each club finishes where the last club left off.
“It is definitely a lot of work,” said Kapinos. “We are on the site from eight in the morning to about 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon, so it’s a long day, but it is definitely a lot of fun. Everybody is really ambitious to get a lot of work done for the family that we were building for.”
With 29 students that go on this trip every year, not every site can accommodate such a large number of eager hardworking Springfield students. Despite the limitations in site choices, the Habitat for Humanity club makes it happen and greatly appreciates the extra accommodations that are made for their large group.
All in all, every trip was a special opportunity that will never be taken for granted by any of the students that got to attend. With these trips becoming traditions here at Springfield, we can all expect a large amount of good to come from this small campus.