Spring break is a very busy time for Raider Nation. During break, Raiders go all over the country for sports, ensemble trips, personal trips and Spring Service Partnerships. Sometimes students even travel abroad. This spring break, the baseball and softball teams will be busy competing, and students and faculty will be heading on 11 different spring service projects, both domestic and international.
The women’s softball team is off to a great start with their season, having won each game they have played so far.
“This group has worked hard and their extra time in the Juffer working on their game is paying off,” head coach Shane Bouman said.
Hopefully, success will follow the team as they continue to compete over spring break, but the women will also have plenty of time to spend with their families. Students will get a chance to soak up the sun during their time in Tucson, Arizona.
The men’s baseball team will also be competing, and head coach Brian Wede is excited to get into a normal pattern for the team with the time off from classes during beak. The men will be very busy playing, especially during their time in Florida. They will have lots of opportunities for making memories and forging their bond as a team during the van rides, service projects and time in their rental houses.
In additional sports news, esports will be competing in a tournament the first Saturday of spring break, and men’s track and field, women’s track and field and wrestling will have their championships the first weekend as well.
As for the rest of the student body, students will be heading on 11 SSPs—nine domestic and two international. Some of the destinations students will be visiting are Opelousas and New Orleans, Louisiana; Grand Marais, Minnesota; Denver, Colorado; Lindale, Texas; Puerto Rico and Croc, Mexico. During their trips, students will help with construction projects, after-school programs, building community relationships and assisting with prison ministry.
This service work will be done in partnership with existing organizations that are doing great work.
“Students get to learn from real people that are really out in the mission field,” Kaylee Maasdam, one of the Opelousas, Louisiana, SSP co-leaders, explained.
This year’s SSPs will partner with organizations like Youthfront, Compton Initiative, Calvary Mission, Hope for Opelousas, Coldwater Foundation, Mazatlán Ministries, World Renew and local churches.
SSPs are truly a huge part of NW culture. Through them, students get the opportunity to truly live out their faith in servitude to others. Natalie Wheeler who is one of the faculty leaders for the Opelousas SSP said that one of reasons she loves to go on SSPs is seeing “[students] understanding of ‘serving’ grow and be stretched in ways that they may not have thought.”
Sometimes this stretching is shown in how students learn to expand their idea of where mission work should be.
“Oftentimes we think of mission work as overseas,” said Lily Anderson, a co-leader for the Lindale, Texas, SSP. “In reality, the mission field is all around us. It’s even in our own backyards.”
Traveling to so many parts of North America also provides students with many opportunities to broaden their world view.
“SSPs provide a great opportunity for students to gain new perspectives and see the world through the eyes of others,” shared Hannah Van Meeteren, one of the Puerto Rico trip co-leaders.
With so many amazing partnerships and dedicated students, faculty and adult leaders, this year’s SSPs are bound to be a success, and we wish luck to the hard-working athletes who will be competing over break as well!