This past week, AWOL sent five trips to locations in the United States to participate in service learning. Our trips went to Baltimore, MD, Pine Ride, SD, Rosebud, SD, Moab, UT, and Sauk Centre, MN and performed 30 to 40 hours of service while learning about the community and social issue in each area. Here are some quick looks at the service performed!

Sauk Centre, Minnesota

  1. Participants had a blast at Camphill Village! They mucked out a pig barn (moving 3 tons of manure and old straw), harvested 87 pounds of parsnips, organized a garden shed, moved furniture into a newly renovated house, and sifted compost. It was a busy day! Then they participated in a relaxing night doing yoga class with some of the villagers. Their big project the last few days of their trip was gathering, splitting, and stacking firewood. Camphill is hoping for another mild winter next year, but if that’s not the case, they helped them gather more than enough firewood to heat their homes for the year.
  2. “We all had an awesome trip and are grateful for all of the new friends we made at Camphill Village!” – site leader Emily Pauli

Rosebud, South Dakota

  1. The Rosebud trip had a very exciting Wednesday learning how to chop wood with an axe, saws-all, wedge, sledgehammer, and a chainsaw! They started the day sorting the piles of wood into different sizes, and then they started chopping away. Mother Lauren, their host, taught them how to use these tools carefully and methodically. After a long day’s work, they had filled two trailers full of wood!
  2. “It was exciting to know that the wood we chopped can help 8 families stay warm.” – site leader Shamly Mackey

Moab, Utah

  1. A halfway update from Moab highlighted a drive across the Midwest, visiting two national parks, and helping build a quarter mile of a new mountain biking trail.
  2.  “We’re learning how to celebrate and appreciate our public lands with Grand County Trail Mix.” – site leader Emily Roberson

Baltimore, Maryland

  1. Baltimore started off their week of service working with Moveable Feast, an organization that packages and delivers food to over 600 individuals living with terminal illnesses and their families, and Paul’s Place, a non-profit that works to promote life and growth by battling common issues associated with poverty and unemployment in the Washington Village/Pigtown neighborhood. After packing food, sorting clothes, and playing with children, they ended the night meeting up with USD alumni and former AWOL president Shane Bryan, who now works as assistant director of the Students Outreach Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University. 
  2. “He informed the group of what he’s been up to post-AWOL and gave them more detailed information about the history of Baltimore. In addition, he provided a first-hand account of what it is like being a resident of the area.” – site leader Kennidy Asche   

Pine Ridge, South Dakota

  1.  Tuesday the team spend their day at the Head Start in Pine Ridge. Each member of the trip got a different classroom and had the opportunity to interact with kids throughout the day. After they left, they headed back to the Pine Ridge Retreat Center to get ready for “kids’ time.” Four of the participants rode in the van to pick the kids up and saw the different neighborhoods that they live in. The team played kickball and board games until it was time for them to go home. For dinner they got to eat breakfast burritos made by a local lady in town, and attended an art show where local artists came and displayed their work.
  2. “This was a great opportunity to learn about the methods and the meaning behind some of the colors and images used in Lakota art.” – site leader Andrew Koch