Spring break is about rest
and relaxation for many members of the college community. During the last week
of March, Oswego
student volunteers spent most of their vacation breaking a sweat.
Between hammer swings at a
for Humanity site, Alternative Spring Break participants also got the
chance to network with some alumni in Portland.
"I loved it," said Meghan Upson '10, who was one of 14
students on the trip.
Another group of students was
dispatched to Franklin, W.Va., where they built a Habitat home.
"I think a lot of people
would be surprised by how many students are interested," Service Learning and
Community Service Coordinator Alyssa Amyotte said, adding there are often more
applications for the program than space available. "There's a lot of interest
and people join for different reasons."
The Alternative Spring
Break draws students with various interests that range from a cheap travel
option to a chance to meet people. By the end of the experience, students tend
to agree the greatest satisfaction comes from performing the community service,
"It usually surprises them
- how much they can accomplish in a week," she said.
The students spent the
week gutting a home donated by the L.L. Bean catalog company. Alternative
Spring Breakers tore down walls and ripped out dated appliances to get the home
ready for refurbishing.
"I was looking for
something to do for spring break, I saw a flyer and it sounded like a good
idea," Upson said. "I like to do community service, but with all the credits
I'm taking, it's hard to find the time."
This year the Alternative
Spring Break aligned with a regional Oswego Alumni Association gathering
March 25 at the Ri Ra Irish Pub in Portland,
Maine. Students found plenty in
common with the alumni who attended the event, said Upson, who recalled
listening to Marcia Belmar Willock '50
talk about her Oswego
Willock followed up that
meeting with an appearance at the Habitat house the next day. Amyotte said that
the alumni networking piece may be included in future Alternative Spring Break
The college also has a
Habitat for Humanity chapter
that includes about 20 students who meet weekly, work on local projects and
- Shane M. Liebler
Upper photo: Students
gutted a house in Freeport, Maine,
for Habitat for Humanity during this year's Alternative Spring Break.
Lower photo: Volunteers also got a chance to
meet and greet Oswego alumni at the Ri Ra Irish
Pub in Portland, Maine, during the March trip.
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