A.W.O.L

A.W.O.L. is BVU's alternative spring break program. In the past sixteen years we have sent 543 volunteers 123,000 miles to volunteer 18,000 hours of service! We have volunteered in five different countries and ten different states.

Mission: To immerse students in different cultures, heightened social awareness, and to advocate life-long social action through service on a local, regional, national and international level.

This year's student coordinators Caitlin Bach, Bonnie Keller, and Ryan Mellott have developed four wonderful trips!

Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop an understanding of relevant social issues and their root causes
  • Gain an understanding of concepts of social justice, including power, privilege, oppression and difference
  • Share information with others about social issues
  • Gain tools to become engaged in community efforts and act on social issues throughout their lives
  • Develop a personal and sustainable commitment to Civic Engagement and become actively involved.
  • Distinguish the difference between volunteerism and social justice/ civic engagement.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively facilitate reflection and discussion among peers

*Adapted from the College of William and Mary.

AWOL 2015

For Participant Trip Applications click HERE!

Trip Descriptions

Long Term Aid for a Post-Disaster Community:
Have you ever wondered what YOU could do to help the people that suffered through the horrendous natural disasters? Here is the perfect opportunity! On this AWOL trip the participants will be heading down to New Orleans, LA to help with hurricane disaster relief and community empowerment. With the non-profit Camp Restore, the participants on this trip will assist in the rebuilding and restoration of a community. This trip will open up the participants eyes to what has happened and the help people still need right here in our own country. By the end of this trip, the participants will learn how to collaborate with others, rebuild/restore broken down buildings, be immersed in the community, and get a glimpse of the disaster that is still in New Orleans 9 years after the event.

Being a Park of the Animal Advocacy Movement through Direct Outreach:
We will be working with Best Friends Animal Shelter in Kanab, Utah. Participants will spend the week learning about animal advocacy, how to care for many different kinds of animals, and the importance of giving a voice to those who do not have one. Spend the week working on a variety of projects such as cleaning and rebuilding trails for the animals to use, walking dogs and playing with cats and giving pot-bellied pigs belly rubs. While most of the week will be service work, we will also be learning about animal advocacy and how we can help shelter animals both at Best Friends and in our home communities.

Connecting with Individuals Experiencing Inner-City Poverty (Mystery):
Spend this Spring Break learning about and helping fight the war on poverty. There is so much of this country that is in serious poverty and here is your opportunity to help. We will be working with at-risk individuals, interacting with children, helping at local food banks, and many more opportunities. Our primary goal is to build strong and positive relationship with the individuals of the area. Through these new connections, we hope to have a great impact on their lives. This hands-on community service is a great way to get immersed by a different culture other than our own and have a life changing experience in the process.

Developing Communities through Education (Mystery):
Embark on a service adventure volunteering with a nonprofit organization focused on grassroots sustainable and economic development projects for a community in need. This international service trip encourages you to play a vital part in the ongoing rural education program through classroom activities, English and computer classes, and of course, participate in some sports with the local children. While at the school, we will help in the construction of a library and computer center. Participants will leave with a new perspective and better understanding of service, the culture of the region and the importance of education. Passports will be required, but not needed at the time of applying.

Check out the 2014 AWOL Trip blogs!

BVU Service Trip Locations

Click on a marker to find out more about a trip location, or click here to see a larger version of the map!