As students anticipate family trips to sunny beaches, warm weather and relaxation, many Northwestern students are preparing
for a different kind of getaway; one of cultural experience, spiritual service and further education.
But one fact holds true for both groups: they are excited for the upcoming week of life-changing opportunities and involvement in new realms of communities, lifestyles and perspectives. As the countdown continues for anxious travelers, excitement regarding SSPs (Spring Service Projects) and organized class trips permeates the atmosphere on campus.
Groups will focus on community involvement and interaction in projects such as hurricane relief and clean-up in New Orleans, Bible camps and after-school activities in Arkansas, Kentucky and Louisiana, and teaching in Minnesota and Mississippi. Many of these destinations have been on NW’s SSP itinerary for several years; however, students going to Cary, Miss., will be the first to tell of its experiences. The group will partner with Cary Christian Center in a number of fields, such as tutoring, health care and Bible studies.
Steph Wilcox, a junior going to Opelousas, La., is most excited for the night when “a bunch of high school students will sleep outside in boxes.”
“We will be helping with setting it up and passing out t-shirts and stuff,” Wilcox said. She is looking forward to the many potential projects the group will be involved in and also getting to see Louisiana, somewhere she has never been.
The U.S. is not the only country hosting NW students for the week, however. Two groups will be participating in international affairs in the Netherlands and Nicaragua, and the A Cappella choir will tour in the Czech Republic, Poland and Austria.
The Nicaragua group will participate in general community outreach through construction work, Bible teachings and health clinics. Two Christian youth hostels will experience spiritual formation as the Netherlands group evangelizes and shares its faith with the students and guests. The A Cappella choir will perform and minister to youth and adults alike as they reach out with their musical abilities.
“I am hoping to be in Branson, Mo. for the National basketball tournament,” said senior Jerome Hoegh.
If the team wins the GPAC tournament, they will be playing in the National tournament on March 10.
The wrestling team will be starting their National tournament on March 4.
“We will be in Oklahoma City wrestling for the first weekend of break,” said freshmen Angelo Quintana.
Other students are spending break by relaxing and taking a vacation.
“I am heading to Arizona to play golf with my dad and brother-in-law,” said sophomore Spencer Gort.
Tearing up the greens can be relaxing, but sophomore Dustin Van Beek is going to relax in a different way.
“I am just going to sit around with my family, maybe hangout in Omaha or Kansas City for a couple days,” said Van Beek. “Whatever I feel motivated enough to do.”
Spending time with friends and family is one of the most important parts of breaks. But some students work while spending time with their loved ones
“I’m just going to go home and be with my family,” said junior Krystina Smith. “I may work a little, but I will mainly just kick back and relax.”
Freshman Caitlyn DeCock has the same plans.
“I’m going to be working while enjoying Minn. and my family,” said DeCock.
For the students that are from out of state, like freshman Raymond Cleveland from Compton, Calif., staying on campus is the only option.
“We have to all stay in the apartments and just chill for a week,” said Cleveland. “It will be alright though, at least I don’t have class.”
Whether embarking on an SSP, playing sports, taking a vacation or just sitting back and relaxing, spring break is a time to get away from the homework and studying, and focus on getting rested back up to complete the school year.