A Different Kind of Spring Break

1947492_818936138133881_398953884_nFor Spring break I decided to go out on a limb and take part in a community service trip to Nashville, Tennessee. To be completely honest, the reason I decided to go was because I didn’t want to go home and stay in the boring town of Severna Park for a week. The decision was a bit out of character for me, considering that I have done community service exactly once in my life. I never would have pictured myself giving up my spring break to go on a service trip. 1148795_10100613340353034_1472071988_nAfter an 11-hour drive, we arrived at the church we would be staying in for the next week. I realized we did not have rooms like I had expected. We were sleeping in a gym. The walls of our “rooms” were office partitions. Our beds were cots. Plus we were also living with about 20 other students from The University of Maryland, sharing two showers. I immediately thought to myself, “What have I gotten myself into?” I thought that signing up for this trip was a horrible mistake. But I can honestly say that going on Alternative Spring Break was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. 14830_10100613340258224_36796290_nMy experience went loads better than expected. When we weren’t doing trial maintenance at Warner Parks, the seven other students, graduate assistant, and I visited various sites around Nashville including the Parthenon replica, Loveless Cafe, the Opryland Resort, Jeni’s Ice Cream, as well as Foamhendge (a full-size replica of Stonehendge made out of styrofoam). What surprised me was that the community service itself was incredibly fun. Essentially, we went hiking in the parks and fixed up the trails while we were doing so. When hikers passed us, they thanked us for fixing the trails and it felt great to know that we were truly making a difference. 1505481_10152265575269710_972606674_nIn addition to giving back to Nashville’s community, I met a ton of incredible people during the trip. Prior to the trip, I had only met two of the students, but afterwards I gained eight new friends. We had a ton of laughs playing games in the church, going out on the town, singing songs in the van, and creating inside jokes. My trip was so enjoyable that I plan on going on all of the Alternative Break Connections trips next year. If you’re interested having a different kind of break or simply want to learn more about Alternative Break Connections, click here. – Ceanne West

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