The Revelation

A Vacation of Service

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A Vacation of Service

Samantha Smith, staff writer

    While you are enjoying traditional family vacations visiting the most popular sights and strolling through well known towns, do you ever think about experiencing those places and spending your time in a different and more meaningful way? High school students around the world have opportunities to travel abroad for the purpose of service rather than leisure.

    Service trips abroad are opportunities to experience the destination in a more “local” way while also helping the community by working in some way to cause a change. Many companies that provide these service trips are Wilderness Adventures, Moondance, GoAbroad, GoBeyond, Rustic Pathways, and many more. There are also service travel opportunities offered by many schools, including your own!

    St. Andrew’s offers many travel abroad opportunities, which are directed by Director of Global Studies Przemek Tokarski.  

    “Especially when we visit our partner schools, we are able to help them at their Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School divisions to give the kids a chance to speak to native speakers of English,” Tokarski said.“Additionally, we spend one or two days doing service outside of our partner school.”

    Tokarski plans these student trips in a unique way. SA students learn a foreign language while the students located at the exchange school are also learning English and receiving service.

    “I think that we can serve both locally and internationally,” Tokarski said. “There are enough needs around us in in our communities, you don’t have to travel far away to help others. What international travel service offers is a better comparison. We can see that in many places around the world there are people with the basic needs that are not met: bad education, food deserts, poverty, homelessness.”

    Tokarski explains the difference between service locally and abroad by the difference in the communities. Tokarski states that serving abroad would open your eyes to see the extreme contrast between our needs and others’ needs.

    St. Joe Sophomore Harper Evers shares her personal experience from a student travel service trip with Wilderness Adventures to Hawaii, a popular destination many families travel.

    “This trip will always be life changing for me,” Evers said.“After attending this service trip, I realized how much it affected me. I learned it’s ok to put down your electronics and to get outside. I was able to have a much better time since I was helping others. It made me feel happier about the work I was doing. With service trips you get the experience of helping others and that’s the best part of the trip.”

    Evers expresses her enjoyment of serving others and the impact it had on the trip. She describes her experience as “life changing,” which is something that many students should experience while participating in service trips.

    St. Andrew’s student Lindsay Moriarity has participated in multifarious service abroad trips to El Salvador, and she also has traveled many times with her family. This experience has strengthened her knowledge about traditional trips and service trips.

    “Going on service trips is so incredible because it is important to help others in need, but you also learn so much,” Moriarity said. “When I came home I definitely had a different view about my life. We take so much for granted here and going on these service trips really opened my eyes”

   Service trips can help students broaden their perspectives on the needs of citizens around the world.

    “These past service trips were definitely some of my favorite memories,” Moriarity said.“I think anyone who is interested in service out of the country should do it!”

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