For college students across America, spring break is a time to relax. It is a tease before summer, a week of beaches, relaxation and nice weather (hopefully). The Springfield College Outreach Committee, however, chose a more selfless approach to their spring break. Making their way to Long Island, Bahamas, SCOC got to experience life outside of the Springfield bubble.
“This provides the opportunity for someone who may not ever have the chance to travel internationally to go figure out what other culture is like,” said the president of SCOC, Clare Henry. “Our days mostly consisted of getting up early and working six to eight hours. Then at night our host would take us to a new beach to check out or a cultural event.”
The trip, which lasted seven days, made it possible to provide a wealth of culture to the Springfield College students who attended. The crew offered whatever they could to the community. Often times they would help to repair things or spend time with the children, whatever they could do to help.
The students all had to go through a selection process to determine if they would be a good fit for the trip.
“SCOC consists of a written application and an interview,” Henry said. “We pick people based on past experience and if they have done anything like this before, and if we think they can grow from this trip.”
Traveling abroad is something many people do, something that is heavily associated with the lure of the “typical” spring break. This trip, however, wasn’t the typical spring break by a long shot. The lucky students got to experience a different type of vacation. It can be easy to be swept up in the temptation that spring break offers, but these students decided that they would do something a little more meaningful and put their needs aside.
“Atlantis is great, it has the purpose of relaxation and to get people away from their hectic lives, but the minute you step out of the resort walls, there is poverty and need and most people don’t see that,” Henry stated. “This group that went down to the Bahamas had the opportunity to see that, and now our biggest goal since we have been back is to share what we have seen and share what we’ve learned and to press that knowledge on other people.”
The trip that occurs every year is a great way to meet new people and give back to others who have less. By stepping out of the norm, SCOC made a difference.