Our Service Trips for High School Students includes Dominican Republic volunteer opportunities and Haiti volunteer opportunities. We have dynamic and meaningful itineraries abroad in which students volunteer and work side-by-side with locals and gain valuable experience in service learning while also crossing cultures. All of our travel programs include Fair Trade wages as a core value of our learning opportunities.
Some groups like to offer community service at home and abroad. One school from Montgomery County, PA had required volunteer hours at the local soup kitchen, then participated in an an international program in which they helped run a summer camp in the Dominican Republic. Your students can write blogs such as, “Volunteer at Home and Abroad: From Burlington County to Haiti.”
Our service trips for high school students are programs offered during the summer and the school year. We believe that international travel is most meaningful in programs that focus on learning from the culture we are partnering with. We do that by focusing on community service anchored in locally-identified needs.
Sustainability is at the key of what we do. Students from PA, NJ, and beyond are learning what ethical travel for sustainability looks like. As much as possible, we stay in locally owned hotels and eat in locally owned restaurants so that the money we spend there stays there (this occurs entirely in the Dominican Republic; in Haiti it is more difficult to find a locally owned hotel that meets our safety standards, and we put safety first). We hire locally owned transportation companies known for a stellar record. In fact, our drivers have worked with groups from Chester County, Essex County, Bucks County, and much more.
Community service opportunities are service learning programs that focus on educational and/or environmental sustainability. Examples of our programs can include students from Union County teaching English, students from Warren County running a summer camp, students from Burlington County teaching sports, students from Warren County painting, students from Bucks County in light construction, students from Essex County planting food for sustainability, and other groups of PA, NJ, and beyond doing much more. Your green thumb may get a lot of practice in Union County, and we have ways to create opportunities to use those skills abroad.
We offer a wide array of international opportunities, which some describe as non-religious mission trips. Our volunteer travel programs are designed to support local goals while also changing your group for the better in what they learn from a international, local partnership.
“The best week of my life,” is exactly how a former high school student describes her experiences on our Dominican Republic program. Students learn a great deal from their service, and many – perhaps most – will never look at the world the same way again.
We also find time for fun. We can have evening time at the pool or beach when possible. Some trips have an excursion day to a beautiful beach or sandbar. Sometimes students can also sign-up for surfing lessons or zip lining. Are you bringing a lot of players from a sports team? We can have international soccer games in Haiti or international basketball or baseball games in the Dominican Republic. Our Service Trips for High School Students are mostly service, but we build in time for fun and recreation, too.
When a teacher leads a program, the teacher and chaperones travel for free. We can also support teachers from various schools traveling together to help the trip run if you are coming with a smaller group. For example, we have combined groups from PA and Minnesota or PA and Michigan, because the one group was too small to run on its own.
Our Service Trips for High School Students include airfare, lodging, meals, transport within the country, a full-time local Field Director who stays with our group, and a full-time local bus driver who stays with our group. We have a field director and bus driver with us full-time in the event of an emergency. It also brings a local gaze and understanding integrated into the fabric of your trip. And they are at the disposal of our teacher leader throughout our trip.
Drew Schmitz, a teacher from Montgomery County, PA, coordinated one of our Service Trip for High School Students and said, “On the first day, our group of students was a bit nervous about what to expect when we arrived to the school we would be working at for the week. Within minutes of our arrival to the school, the students fit right in with the local children. It was nice to see how many students volunteered for the different tasks requested of us upon our arrival. I was also impressed with the students’ reflections at the end of each day. It was great to see that the students were taking away life lessons by working with this school and the local students, and that they would take these lessons home with them. Overall, it was a very rewarding experience for the students who went on the trip as well as myself being able to see their growth throughout the week.”
Our Service Trips for High School Students are available for schools from Bucks County, Burlington County, Chester County, Union County, Essex County, Montgomery County, Warren County, and other schools in PA, NJ, and beyond.