Unity – A trip to Arizona planned by Unity College for the spring semester break has been postponed until the spring of 2014 because of financial reasons, according to Jessica Steele, director of the college’s Outdoor Adventure Center.
“It is an expensive trip,” said Steele. “So, we will continue on the fund-raising and go next Spring Break.”
Since the trip has been postponed, fundraising efforts will go on throughout the year. “The students had various fundraising ideas such as healthy bake sales, basket making courses, (and a) car wash,” she said. Some of these have already taken place and some are still in the planning stages.
Unity College freshman Matthew Leagan, an Adventure-Based Environmental Education major, said that he was disappointed that the trip had been postponed but that he understood why it happened. “Trips like this take a huge amount of money,” he said.
According to Steele, this trip, on which students will explore Arizona, is going to be the first of a series of programs that will be a part of the new Spring Break Wilderness Immersive Program Integrating Community Service, Cultural and Natural History (SWISH).
“SWISH is a program designed to cultivate integrative learning by assisting students to make connections across curricula,” she said.
She went on to say that one of the main goals of the trip is “to engage students in a wilderness immersion,” that might include “backpacking, kayaking, canoeing, day hiking, white water rafting, spelunking, snorkeling, etc.”
Another component of the program, she said, is “to provide community service within a park, zoo, school, or wildlife refuge.”
The trip will include eight to ten students, and last seven to fourteen days.
Participants will choose what they want to do on the trip, from wilderness exploration to natural and cultural history. “(Arizona) is home to some of the most gorgeous national parks, monuments, and forests,” said Steele.
“I think it is a very good idea for students to go on trips like this because you get to learn more about our country in ways that most people can’t even begin to imagine,” said Leagan. “When you are in the back country you get to see why nature is such an amazing place and why we need to help protect her any way we can.”
He added, “This also helps show us why a place such as Unity exists. You also get to make new friends because you have to work together to make the trip work.”