Williamsport, Pennsylvania – Instead of heading home or somewhere sunny, a group of Lycoming College students have dedicated their time to the local community.
The free “Alternative Spring Break” program is hosted by Sophia Stabley, Director of Community Service and Involvement at Lycoming College, and Jae Ellison, Director of Leadership and Outdoor Education (OLE) at Lycoming.
Participating students remained on campus during the break and worked together on various community services and outdoor recreational activities.
“We wanted to make this experience promote community not just among peers, but also among the community we have around us by exposing students to nonprofits,” Stabley said.
With the pandemic derailed beyond alternative spring break opportunities, Stabley was thrilled to be able to host this alternative spring break and welcome both familiar and new faces. A group of 20 students, including OLE members, joined the activities daily.
In the past, students involved in the Spring Break alternative traveled to Washington, D.C. or New York to participate in the Youth Service Opportunities Project or the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge to help build homes across the United States. United. However, with the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 cases, the group remained on campus and Stabley and Ellison instead took the students to local nonprofits.
Students helped Camp Koala, a bereavement camp for children, demolish and landscaping in preparation for the opening of their new office building; as well as two animal shelters, Farm Animal Rescue and Ashburn’s Animals, to help with day-to-day chores and larger projects like turning winter bedding.
“It was fulfilling and restorative for my soul to serve alongside the students as well as these organizations,” Stabley said. “We really wanted to reap the feeling of family, and we couldn’t have done it without OLE, its staff, and the students who participated.”
In addition to being exposed to service opportunities in the area, students enjoyed community offerings, such as the Kaos Fun Zone, movie theaters, the Trout Pond roller rink, and Penn’s Cave.
To get involved in campus community service, students can join a number of campus service organizations.