A.W.O.L

A.W.O.L. is BVU's alternative spring break program. In the past sixteen years we have sent 641 volunteers 160,000 miles to volunteer 28,000 hours of service! We have volunteered in five different countries and ten different states.

Below is a list of service trips available. To apply to be a Site Leader click here for an application and here for the information sheet. Participant Applications will be available in a few weeks.

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 Luke Hastie, Amanda Miley, 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 2017

Below is a list of service trips that will be leaving March 18th. 

Trip Descriptions

Animal Advocacy and Environmentalism

Generally when we think of service, we think about helping other people in their daily lives.  However, with this trip participants will be serving a very diverse community of animals.  The trip focuses on taking participants back to their relationship with the wildlife and the nature that surrounds them. Participants will have the opportunity to tend to sick or injured animals and spend time feeding them as well. If the animals are unable to be released back into the wild, participants will be able to spend time helping condition the animal to their enclosed habitat. This site will give participants the chance to experience wildlife ranging from dogs to birds and many other exotic animals.

Advisors: Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson & Jamie Schoenherr

Site Leaders: Selecting 2

Participant & Site Leader Cost of Trip without Eggink Endowment and grant funds: $1100

Site Leader Cost of Trip with Eggink Endowment and grant funds: $550

Participant Cost of Trip with Eggink Endowment and grant funds: $748

Economic Development in Marginalized Communities

The organization that participants will be working with will provide a quality service experience for all who attend. The organization works hard to promote a grassroots sustainable social and economic development projects. Started by a former Alternative Break member, this organization works with the local people of the area and with participants to make sure there is mutual growth and development in key areas of the community, while also opening the eyes of the participants to the culture around them.  Participants will be getting down and dirty, working in a farm setting to help one of the local communities with their economic gain. Throughout the week, the participants will be immersed in the culture that they will be working in by learning  and working directly with people in the community.

Advisors: Rev. Ken Meissner & Mike Walker

Site Leaders: Selecting 2

Participant & Site Leader Cost of Trip without Eggink Endowment and grant funds: $1550

Site Leader Cost of Trip with Eggink Endowment and grant funds: $775

Participant Cost of Trip with Eggink Endowment and grant funds: $1,038

Tackling Poverty and Serving Youth

This service experience will be working with two different social justice issues, supporting indigenous peoples while also helping youth develop. Participants will be serving at a youth camp for the indigenous people. This camp was originally started by members of the community and provides support to over 369 families struggling with poverty and other social justice issues. Here, participants will be able to participate in the after school programs targeting youth of all ages. There are many different options of activities in the program ranging from athletics with the older youth to arts and crafts with the younger youth. This opportunity will be an environment that allows participants to work with any interests that they may have and wish to share!  Participants will also be serving with a Prom Dress project, which includes sorting donations or working directly with the administration of the camp.

Advisors: Emmanuel Amon & Mark Shea

Site Leaders: Selecting 2

Participant & Site Leader Cost of Trip without Eggink Endowment and grant funds: $350

Site Leader Cost of Trip with Eggink Endowment and grant funds: $175

*due to the low cost of this trip only Site Leaders will receive Eggink.

Got Social Justice?

The Center that participants will be working with is a frontrunner when dealing with the social, economic, environmental and racial justice issues that plague the city in which it works. The Center is a liaison for the voices of communities of color and marginalized communities.  Their goal is to change the conditions that many in the area are living with, while also making sure their voices can be heard. The Center strives to accomplish these goals through organization, activism, community engagement, and transformational learning. Participants will be spending the week eating and sleeping at the Center, while also attending social justice issue round tables.  The Center is also an intermediary group with the community and will be putting participants in touch with community organizations that they will work with throughout this transformative experience.

Advisors: Lori Berglund & TBA

Site Leaders: Selecting 2

Participant & Site Leader Costs without Eggink Endowment and grant funds: $900

Site Leader Costs with Eggink Endowment and grant funds: $450

Participant Costs with Eggink Endowment and grant funds: $612

Check out the 2016 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!