Christopher Newport University’s Spring Break lasted from February 29th to March 8th. This year, several students from the Physics Computer Science and Engineering department spent their spring breaks on a service trip volunteering for the community. Avery Logue, a junior pursuing an information science major and minors in both computer science and leadership, and Zayn Khurshid, a junior majoring in information science, traveled with REACH alternative breaks to different parts of Virginia to volunteer. The service trips began Sunday March 1st and ended Saturday March 7th, so these students gave almost their entire spring breaks volunteering.
Avery was a trip lead on his trip to James River State Park. He spent the past two years volunteering on REACH trips to this Park alongside Logan Camp, another trip lead this year. At the park, Avery participated in miscellaneous jobs including clean up and maintenance work. The service trip happened to coincide with the opening of the park, so they were tasked with building gravel paths, repainting railings, blowing leaves off trails, reorganizing the visitor’s center, moving and splitting logs, and filling potholes around the park. Time not spent making the park presentable and accessible was spent playing games and bonding with other volunteers.
Zayn, who had served as a trip leader in the past, travelled to Lynchburg Grows in Lynchburg, VA. His service trip also featured a lot of physical work. He spent time digging, planting, composting, tearing down an old greenhouse, and participating in other odd jobs around the farm.
On the Friday near the end of the trip, Avery’s group attended a barbeque lunch and participated in a table tennis tournament. There was much fun to be had in down time from the service work. Zayn admitted that his favorite part of the experience was being able to see the impact their work had on the community and people they were helping. Not everything was sunshine and rainbows. The outdoor work comes with the side effect of getting pretty dirty. On the way back to CNU, the van that Avery’s group was riding in blew a tire leaving them stranded on the side of the road. Luckily, a friendly police officer happened to drive by and stop to help.
Both students spoke very highly of this experience. They formed lasting friendships every year and created many fond memories to look back on. Not only that, but devoting your entire spring break to helping others can grant you a whole new perspective on life. Avery and Zayn both strongly recommend that other students take the opportunity to go on service trips and help local communities. These fun and rewarding experiences should not be passed by.
Thanks to Avery Logue and Zayn Khurshid for sharing about their spring break service trips!