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What is Alternative Break?

Alternative Breaks, a program of Reeve Union Student Involvement,  sends teams of 9 college students to engage in community-based service projects during winter or spring break, providing opportunities for students to learn about the problems faced by members of communities with whom they may otherwise have had little or no direct contact. This immersion in diverse environments enables students to experience, discuss, and understand social issues in a significant way, ultimately, moving students towards action to make a positive impact.

Interested in being part of Alternative Break in 2020? Sign up here for updates.

Blog

Farewell NC…On the Road Again

Hello all, Carmen (trip advisor) here! The students did such a great job blogging all week, I thought I would let them rest and do the final post while we drive home!

Today we left Blue Ridge Assembly YMCA dark and early at 6:00 a.m. We hustled out the door with all of our items and stowed our cabin garbage safely in the bear proof trash bins. We took a final group selfie and said goodbye to our cabin and the beautiful camp that was our home away from home!

Our wonderful week ended with an incredible sunrise in the Apalachine Mountains as we weaved our way through the mountains…most people were sleeping but the navigator in the lead van made sure to get a few pictures for the group and all of you to see! I must say, the pictures don’t do the view justice, it was breathtaking!

To the members of this incredible experience…

Thank you for being brave and taking a chance with this trip! Your courageous spirit and competitive nature made every service project and group activity memorable in all the best ways! The support and encouragement was contagious…and of course, so was the laughter! The culture of “challenge accepted”, appreciation, and genuine care for one another made this group and trip very special. You have all left a permanent mark on my heart and I can’t imagine a more perfect ending to Women’s HERstory Month than this empowering trip with women dedicated to their personal and professional leadership development! Thank you for bringing your A Game and allowing everyone to be their self! 💕

 

 

Day 4: Painting Pals & Maia

Hey y’all!! Today we visited the Steadfast house which is a facility that helps house homeless women and children. While there we were able to help them repaint their kitchen. During our time working with them we were able to tour the facility and learn about homelessness within the Asheville Buncombe County area. As a result of our painting project we saved them money that they were able to put towards housing costs for the residents.

After a fun day painting, we drove and hiked to the top of Mount Mitchell, the tallest peak East of the Mississippi River. When at the top we were 6684ft above sea level!! It was an amazing experience with beautiful views.

We ended the night by doing facilitation activity pairs. In this activity were asked to create a fun team building activity and facilitate it with the group. Everyone had something different and creative! Currently we are all working on packing to come back to Oshkosh tomorrow! Hope to see you all soon!

 

Day 3: Food Friends & Melanie

Hey Y’all! Exciting things happening here today. This morning we volunteered with MANNA Food Bank and helped sort and bag Grapefruits. We all agreed working with this organization was super cool! Last year MANNA Food Bank distributed 18.2 million pounds of food.

Once we finished our work with MANNA we headed back to Blue Ridge to eat lunch before our next project. We were excited to finally be able to finish the bridge that we started on Sunday. Being able to finish the bridge project gave everyone a sense of accomplishment. It is awesome to know that this bridge will be used by so many people who stay at the Blue Ridge Assembly.

During our afternoon free time we were all able to enjoy some relaxation time where half of the group went hiking to the local waterfalls and the rest chillaxed.

We ended our night with a pizza party, reflection, and late night games. Tomorrow we look forward to our last day in North Carolina and working at the Steadfast women’s shelter!

Day 2: Garbage Goons and Nelson

Hey y’all we’re back! Today we spent the morning with GreenWorks picking up trash along side the Hominy Creek in Asheville. In total we collected twenty five bags of trash within our quater of a mile area. Nelson our GreenWorks leader was VERY impressed.

After an amazing morning of service we ate lunch then traveled to downtown Asheville to do some exploring. We got to see many local shops and buy some cute souvenirs.

Once we finished our trip we headed back to Black Mountain to grab some dinner. All of us decided to get a little dressed up and eat some wood fired pizza together.

We ended the night with a leadership activity called Johari Window. In  this activity we were tasked with exploring ourselves and creating deeper connections with others on the trip. Tomorrow we are looking forward to be working with MANA Food Bank and Blue Ridge Garden for service!

 

Trip Locations

Hurricane Recovery

Jan. 26 – Feb. 2, 2019 | Puerto Rico | $1500

On this trip we will work with efforts to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria. Projects could include working with the HeadStart program at the Boys and Girls club, environmental work in a nature reserve, or helping rebuild homes.

Trip Info | Learn More 

Environmental Stewardship

March 23 – 30, 2019 | Arches N.P., Utah | $500

Students will travel to Moab, Utah to volunteer at Arches and Canyonlands National Park(s). National Parks rely each year on trail crews, clean up crews and general work crews to keep these federal lands pristine and accessible. The lodging for this trip will either a group campground with amenities or a back-country site.

Trip Info | Learn More 

Leadership and Service

March 23 – 30, 2019 | Black Mountain, NC | $550

Students will travel by van to the Blue Ridge Assembly YMCA in North Carolina to work with a variety of agencies that serve needs in the area. All experiences will be hands on. This group will also participate in an outdoor ropes course during their time.

Trip Info | Learn More 

Diversity and Inclusion

March 24 – 29, 2019 | St. Louis, MO | $425

Students will travel by van to St. Louis on Sunday, March 24 and return on Friday, March 29. The service on this trip will work with neighborhood revitalization, working on household and neighborhood repairs that allow seniors to stay in their homes.

Trip Info | Learn More 

Education and Privilege

May 22 – 29, 2019 | Honduras | $1700

On this trip to Honduras students will be working with the non-profit Organization for Youth Empowerment – OYE. OYE’s mission as a community-based, youth-led organization is to develop the leadership and capacity of at-risk Honduran youth who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. In Honduras, primary education is free and obligatory for every child between the ages of seven and fourteen, but the associated transportation costs and income-loss to the household when a child is in school is often too much for families to bear, resulting in children who are forced to drop out of school and are thus unable to complete their “obligatory” education. OYE works to increase the number of students completing their education.

Trip Info | Learn More 

Selection

Timeline

Sept. 25
Applications are available

Oct. 12
Trip leader applications are due

Oct. 18 at Noon
Trip participant priority deadline
Applicants must sign up for an interview at this time

Oct. 22 – 24
AB trip interviews

Nov. 1
AB trip participants notified via email

Nov. 9
AB participant payment one due*

*Failure to make payment one will result in removal from trip

Criteria

Selection will be based off the AB Trip Application and Interview. This trip is a joint venture between Reeve Union and Student Recreation, as such, there are several outside factors considered during selection.

Applicants must have a cumulative 2.25 GPA
(Freshmen should list High School GPA)

Having a record of the following will
remove an applicant from consideration:

Violent or Drug Crimes on CCAP
Campus or Residence Hall Disciplinary Probation
Other incidents that raise concern

Payment Schedule

Payment OnePayment TwoPayment ThreePayment Four
Nov. 9Dec. 7Feb. 15March 15Total
Puerto Rico$100$450$475$475$1500
Arches N.P., Utah$100$125$150$125$500
Black Mountain, NC$100$150$150$150$550
St. Louis, MO$100$125$100$100$525
Honduras$100$530$530$540$1700
Participants are able to pay ahead at any time. Fundraisers will take place once participants are selected, but they are optional.  The fundraisers organized by Alt Break include: Pizza/cookie dough sale, staffing one of two trivia nights in Feb./March.

Selection

FAQs

What costs are covered by my trip fee?
  • Trip transportation
  • AB T-shirt
  • Lodging
  • Supplies for service work
  • Meals (each trip will let you know which meals are covered)
  • International health insurance
What costs aren't covered by my trip fee?
  • Snacks or travel day meals
  • Extra Activities
  • Immunizations/Passport (International trips)

Safety and Security Info

All Trips
Waivers & contact information on site & at university
Emergency contact information sent to parents
Agency contact number sent to parents
Flight information shared
All lodging at secure locations, places to keep valuables

International Trips
Copies of passports kept
Emergency travel insurance purchased
Registered with US Embassies in countries
Travel agent & university watch for international concerns
Alternative Breaks participants, including trip leaders, are required to attend mandatory events,
including group meetings and other events and activities