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Alternative Break Service Trips
Alternative Break Service Trips
Bond, Learn, Serve
What are Alternative Breaks?
An alternative break is a trip that engages a group of students in volunteer service and learning, typically for a week. Alternative break trips originated with college students in the early 1980s as a counter to "traditional" spring break trips. Trips typically have a focus on a particular social issue, such as (but not limited to) poverty, hunger and homelessness, education reform, health and wellness, immigration rights, and the environment. Students learn about the social issues and perform projects with local non-profit and community-based organizations. Alternative breaks challenge students to critically think and react to problems faced by members of the communities in which they are involved (adapted from Break Away, http://www.alternativebreaks2012.org) The Alternative Break (AB) program enables students to immerse themselves in a new and different community to learn its historical, sociological, cultural and/or political background. Each AB experience is crafted in collaboration with community in order to explore the unique culture and social issues of a specific location. A team of approximately ten students will spend the week of June 17th-21st, 2013, on a service trip in Warm Springs, Oregon. The team will engage in pre-trip planning and orientation meetings and post-trip debriefing and reflection, a structure that promotes continuous learning through the emphasis on critical reflection and reciprocity.
The AB experience encourages students to critically analyze their assumptions and mindsets through learning about the complexity of social problems. Being immersed in a community environment enables participants to experience, discuss, and understand social issues in a significant way. The learning occurs for students as they are asked to be willing to engage in difficult conversations, ask questions, examine their beliefs, make mistakes, and confront challenging issues. The AB program values holistic education and creates opportunities that inspire personal growth with focus on short-term relief in addition to long-term sustainable social change.
Participating in an Alternative Break will be an opportunity to dedicate a week to transforming a community and your orientation to social problems, while having fun with fellow OSU students who have made an active commitment to learning and growing through service. Many participants will transfer their experience on-site back to their own communities even after the alternative break ends. It is also a unique opportunity to participate and help to shape a legacy of student service here at Oregon State University. Visit http://oregonstate.edu/cce/alternativebreaks to learn about previous trips or visit the Center for Civic Engagement in Snell Hall 158 to discuss your interests with the staff.
Benefits of participating in an Alternative Break:
- Engage in meaningful service to impact change related to an issue you care about
- Learn about and reflect upon the complexity and interconnectedness of social issues and problems
- Improve your leadership, critical thinking, and dialogue skills in dynamic real world scenarios
- Learn about options for continuing community engagement work upon your return to OSU
- Build meaningful relationships and a new community of civic-minded OSU students
- Travel to and learn about new places
- Learn, challenge yourself, and have fun!
- Develop an increased capacity to work across differences to build communities
- Gain valuable experience for your resume/CV
- Experience a program that will likely inform your future career path and lifestyle
- Participate in ALL pre- and post-trip meetings (there will be 2-3 pre-trip meetings).
- Be open to processing (at your own comfort level) the Alternative Break experience individually and as a group through organized reflection, journaling, and other activities that suite your reflection preferences.
- Serve as a positive role model, representative, and ambassador of Oregon State University while on and off campus.
- Be respectful of diverse community and cultural norms and values that you may experience in community and/or with members of the Alternative Break team.
- Commit to being an active contributor to your team and show respect for fellow team members, community partners, and populations with whom you are completing service.
- Be willing to explore diverse perspectives, opinions and to advance cultural competency, understanding, and sensitivity.
- Be in good university standing (academic standards and student conduct standards).
- Embrace experiences working independently as well as with a team or group.
- Be organized, self-motivated, adaptable, and flexible.
- Refrain from the use or possession of alcohol or any controlled substance/drugs for the duration of the experience.
2013 Warm Springs Alternative Break Trip: Monday June 17th to Friday, June 21st
Exploring Cultural Engagement & Community Wellness: Warm Springs, OR
Trip Cost: $140 (includes 4 dinners and 2 lunches)
Discover various factors impacting community health and wellness in Warm Springs by exploring elements of food sourcing, community and cultural activities, and outdoor recreation. Through direct service work, we will explore community gardens, nutrition classes, cultural events, and outdoor recreation/education that all impact the health and livability of the Warm Springs area. During our trip activities will likely include working on building raised garden beds for senior living, working at a community celebration (includes pow-wow, rodeo, horse racing, and other games), working with youth, hiking at Smith Rock, visiting the Museum at Warm Springs, and visiting with faculty and staff at the Warm Springs Extension Office to learn about the services and programs put on by OSU Extension for the community. We will be visiting with the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation and exploring and learning about the tribal customs of the native populations. Home to Warm Springs, Wasco, and Paiute tribes, the Warm Springs Reservation is inhabited by nearly 4,000 tribal members, most of whom live in or around the town of Warm Springs.
Note: Lodging will be the Kahneeta Resort & Spa (Teepee camping: This includes free pool entry. Also located in the Teepee area: bathhouse, restrooms, hot showers, laundry, vending machines, and a snack bar.) Trip fee includes transportation, lodging, 2 lunches, and4 dinners that will be prepared and shared together as a group. You will be responsible for your meals on travel days as well as for purchasing materials for meals not provided. There will be a professional kitchen available to prepare breakfast, pack a lunch, and cook dinner. There are two training rooms available for group reflection, activities, and bonding. The training rooms and the professional kitchen are located in the same building at the OSU Extension Office.
Learn more about lodging accommodations here: http://www.kahneeta.com/kah-nee-ta/rvs-and-teepee-s.htm
COMPLETED APPLICATIONS are due MONDAY, April 29th, 2013, at 5PM
Drop-off Application: Student Leadership & Involvement, Information Desk, 149 Snell Hall/Memorial Union East
Mail Application: Center for Civic Engagement, 158 Snell Hall/Memorial Union East, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331
Applications must contain an original signature. Applicants will be notified of the selection outcomes in early May.
Deposit and Trip Fees
Every participant is responsible for paying the trip fee above.
Selection of participants will be made in early May and if selected, you must accept your spot via email and pay a nonrefundable 50% deposit to hold your spot. Thus, please be sure the email address you supply is one that you will be checking regularly. A non-refundable trip deposit of 50% of the total trip fee will be due Monday, May 10th at 5:00 pm. You will have the rest of spring term to fundraise. The Center for Civic Engagement will provide fundraising ideas and resources to you.
If we do not reach at least 8 trip participants for a trip by May 10th, 2013, the trip may be cancelled. In this case, you will be refunded in full for any deposit you have made.
Checks or money orders need to be made payable to “Center for Civic Engagement—MUNCSC” and dropped off to MU 215 in the Auxiliaries & Activities Business Center (AABC). In the memo line, please write your name, AB, and the location/city for your trip. Final payment due dates will be communicated after trip selections have been made.
Trip Refund and Cancellation Policy: The trip deposit is non-refundable. If you have extenuating, unexpected medical, academic, or family/personal circumstances that are out of your control and need to cancel from the trip, you may be reimbursed half of the trip cost. The emergency must arise before the trip starts to receive a refund for half of the trip cost. Students will be asked to provide a signed request for the partial refund that indicates the extenuating circumstances.
For questions regarding the Warm Springs Alternative Break Trip, please feel free to contact the Julia Lang, Civic Engagement GTA with the Oregon State University Center for Civic Engagement, at email@example.com or 541-737-3172.
Accommodations related to disability may be made by calling 541-737-3172.
Previous 2013 Trips:
Yakima, Washington: Community and Cultural Engagement, $145
Uncover the human face and human cost of land acquisition, colonization, and immigration by exploring the influx and interplay of different cultural groups in the Yakima valley by working with the Native American Reservation, Yakama Nation, Latino migrant workers, and the City of Yakima. This trip will reveal the buried roots of our nation’s history and explore present and future implications for different cultural groups in the United States.
San Francisco, California: Hunger & Homelessness, $145
Explore the complex, multi-faceted factors at play impacting hunger and homelessness in San Francisco. Participants will complete service projects centered on addressing hunger and homelessness while meeting and working alongside local visionaries who actively address these issues in their communities. Learn about homelessness issues in major urban areas including the short-term relief and long-term solutions that are being worked for and envisioned.
Ashland, Oregon: Environmental Restoration & Conservation, $205
Discover the pressing environmental conservation and restoration issues in Ashland. Participants will complete environmental restoration projects such as creek restoration, planting, mulching, invasive species removal, fertilizing, trail building, and restoring bird habitats with a variety of community partners. Learn about threats to the natural environment and legislation that is impacting natural habitats and ecosystems.