Waubonsee piloted their first Alternative Spring Break experience in spring of 2016. Ten students and one advisor went to the Cumberland Trail in Tennessee where they spent the week building a portion of an ambitious, 300-mile Cumberland Trail extending from the Cumberland Gap National Park in Kentucky to the Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park, just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee. While there, the group learned how to use a number of tools and terminology that accompany trail-building. They also received additional education each day on hiking, safety, local history, animals and the forest surrounding them. On their day off (Wednesday) the group went to Nashville to experience local music, southern food, museums and more.
Waubonsee was one of four schools in attendance over that specific week and one of 12 schools that partnered with the Cumberland Trail over the spring break 2016 season. All participants stayed at Camp Wood in Dayton, TN. The camp provided meals each day, bunk style cabins, shared restrooms, a mess hall, campfire areas and beautiful views. While the week was very physically taxing, student thoroughly enjoyed themselves and highly recommended continuing the ASB Experience.
Quotes from ASB 2016 participants:
"I learned a lot about the environment and wildlife while on this trip. I think it made me value nature more and appreciate the impact I can have on making a difference in the environment."
"I personally loved the hard work...it takes a lot of people out of their comfort zone and gives [them] a different rewarding feeling."
"I loved that the group became more of a family unit throughout the trip. Working on the trail with several other individuals taught me how group leadership and teamwork can really move things along."
"If I could participate in ASB again I would in a heartbeat. I cherish the memories that we made and the lessons we learned from this trip. I'm grateful for the chance to continue my growth as an individual through this experience. The Great Eastern trail will be completed someday because of people like us! I love knowing that I played my part in accomplishing was has been a dream for so many people for so many years."