Entering a context

Spring break trips allow a unique opportunity to enter into a different context for a week. By exploring a new city or community, students are faced with the challenge of slowing down, looking others in the eyes and resting in the peace that knows our God is faithful beyond the context we call our own.

Plan to be encouraged by community members whose feet are firmly planted in the hope of their context, and prepare to be invited into this hope. These trips are specifically aimed at promoting the education, spiritual growth and vocational understanding of participating students. So, don’t be afraid to see what wonderful opportunities await you on a service-learning spring break trip.

You will travel with student leaders, faculty or staff mentors, and other students. The trips incorporate a service component, outings to discover the community, and group reflection time. These trips are just as much about learning as they are about serving. So, come ready to be transformed by the people you're going to meet.

Where have we gone?

Take a look at this map to explore all of our 2018 trips. Click the tabs below to find out details about the experiences.

Cost

Trip participants pay $500 (or $450 if you register before December 20), which covers all costs related to transportation, lodging, meals, and organizational fees. The Service-Learning Center encourages and provides a platform for students to fundraise toward their registration fee. Scholarships are available.

Give

We offer trips at reduced rates and offer financial assistance thanks to generous gifts from alumni, friends, family members, and congregations. You can support spring break trips too.

Register

To register, complete the application found here.

Contact

To contact the Spring Break Trips Coordinator, email slc@calvin.edu with “ATTN: Erin” in the subject line.

2018 trips

  • Big Laurel Learning Center (Kermit, WV)
    ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP   APPALACHIAN CULTURE   SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY

    Travel to the Big Laurel Learning Center, founded in the 1940s as a mountain school dedicated to preserving local land and culture. Encounter the economic, social, and environmental impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining on a rural community and learn how to respond in light of Big Laurel’s guiding values: learning, celebration, hospitality, community, and sustainability. Explore the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains through hiking, as well as of the Appalachian culture through listening to the stories of residents who have lived in these mountains their entire lives.

    Space available
  • The Mendenhall Ministries (Mendenhall, MS)
    RACIAL RECONCILIATION    STRUCTURAL INJUSTICE    COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

    The Mendenhall Ministries (TMM) was founded in 1962 in response to the appalling conditions faced by the poor black community in this rural Mississippi area. The vision attracted many concerned people, and grew into a ministry known for providing progressive local leadership within the community to address problems of poor housing, segregated and unequal education, lack of employment opportunities, and lack of capital-trapping institutions within the black community. Join TMM in their work of community development by helping with youth camps, restoring farms and buildings, and participating in various other projects that address community needs.

    Space available

    Location

    Mendenhall, MS

  • Bayou Baptist Association (Houma, LA)
    CYCLICAL POVERTY RELIEF     RURAL MINISTRY     HOSPITALITY AND COMMUNITY

    Work with the Bayou Baptist Association, located in southern Louisiana, a community that Calvin students have been visiting since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Experience the environmental and cultural beauty of southern Louisiana while encountering the struggles faced by its residents every day, such as hurricane damage, cyclical poverty, and injustice. Learn to slow down and listen by spending time with local residents from all walks of life.

    Space available
  • L'Arche (Mobile, AL)
    ADULTS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES   INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY   RECIPROCITY

    Travel to L’Arche community in Mobile, AL and experience life intentionally for a week. Join L’Arche as they live out their mission of making known the gifts of people with intellectual disabilities, revealed through mutually transforming relationships. Participate with the L’Arche residents in evening meals and other daily life activities. Work may also include spring cleaning, painting, and yard work.

    Space available

    Location

    Mobile, Alabama

  • First Baptist Church (Grand Isle, LA)
    HURRICANE RELIEF    TRANSIENT POPULATION DYNAMICS    COMMUNITY MINISTRY

    Spend a week working with the First Baptist Church of Grand Isle. Experience the environmental and cultural beauty of southern Louisiana while encountering the struggles faced by its residents every day. Learn about ministry to transient oil rig workers, shrimpers, fishermen, and tourists, and those few who stay year-round to keep the community going.

    Space available
  • Koinonia Farm (Americus, GA)
    FARMING AND FOOD JUSTICE   RACIAL RECONCILIATION   INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY

    Spend a week on a rural Georgia farm and learn what it means to live intentionally in relation to food and community. Participate with Koinonia Farm, the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity and an intentionally multi-racial community, as they strive to connect their faith to the way they farm and the things they eat. Think critically about issues of food justice in the US and about the implications of food and farming choices made both by the food industry and by you.

    Space available
  • The John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation (Jackson, MS)
    RACIAL RECONCILIATION    CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT    LEADERSHIP

    Travel to the home of Drs. John and Vera Mae Perkin and partner with The John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation. Help the Foundation fulfill their mission to transform lives in West Jackson, Mississippi. Explore the principles of Christian Community Development, including reconciliation and servant leadership. This trip is only open to John M. Perkins Leadership Fellows.

    Space available
  • The Pittsburgh Project (Pittsburgh, PA)
    RACIAL RECONCILIATION   DIGNIFIED LOW-INCOME HOME REPAIR   URBAN CULTURE

    Join The Pittsburgh Project in loving the city of Pittsburgh. Participate in their mission of developing servant leaders and upholding the dignity of vulnerable homeowners. Work alongside these homeowners in doing home repair in the inner city. Engage and explore the urban culture of Pittsburgh and the critical issues of racial reconciliation and inclusion.

    Space available
  • Sunshine Gospel Ministries (Chicago, IL)
    RACIAL RECONCILIATION  URBAN COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT  RECIPROCITY AND LEARNING

    Spend a week with Sunshine Gospel Ministries on the south side of Chicago in their BridgeBuilders program, fulfilling their motto of "Listen. Learn. Serve. Return." Experience the giftedness of the Chicago community through listening and learning. Engage the issues of race, class, and poverty through daily lessons and discussions, work projects, and explorations of the city. Serve and learn in neighborhood churches, the Chicago public and private Christian schools, Sunshine's afterschool youth program, and various construction projects.

    Space available
  • Trails Forever (Great Smoky Mountains National Park)
    TRAIL REPAIR     HIKING AND BACKPACKING     ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

    Work with Trails Forever to repair and restore some of the 800+ miles of trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited park in the National Park system. Camp within the park for the week, cook over the campfire, and hike the beautiful mountains.

    Almost full
  • Disaster relief with World Renew (Manning, SC)
    COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT     HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES     DISASTER RELIEF

    Join with World Renew – Disaster Response Services to provide relief after a natural disaster. Spend time engaging local community members and historical sites to delve into the historical, economic, and social forces that have shaped the region.

    Space available

    Location

    Manning, SC