Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Staycation: Alternative Spring Break 2012, Long Island

Getting ready to start our day inside the Habitat House!
Brittany, Kimberly and Lauren learning from Tom
Day one of Staycation Alternative Spring Break was a hit! It was freezing and rainy but, we helped build a house...what could be better than that! At 8:15am when we gathered to leave campus it was drizzling rain and 50 degrees but, we got moving early and kept it going straight through until 3pm. We learned a lot about each other before we even got to the site (e.g. Brittany is a cat whisperer and we had three students who were born outside of the United States and several who could speak more than one language!) The student participants were from various parts of the globe and the country and spent a lot of the day while working getting to know each other!
We got a small break to gather at 12pm and talk with other Habitat "regulars" about their experience and eat lunch (provided by the Girl Scouts), and finally the sun started to peek out. Out of the twelve students attending and two advisers only one adviser, Pat "Boom" Montagano, had experience volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. So, this was a learning experience for all. Students were able to use tools they've never used, set up scaffolding, hammer siding on to a wall and work together as a team with students they've just met for the first time to accomplish a lot on this awesome three bedroom home in New Cassel. 
While we were there a news crew came to do a story on the great work that the weekly volunteers and staff do at Habitat to build houses such as this. It was great to see the coverage of such an important contribution these men and women (and other groups like ours) make in our community!
It was a powerful experience because while we were there we learned about the family the house was being built for, ourselves, the team work that could be accomplished not only working with each other but, following directions and working with the volunteers who serve weekly at the house. This is the first day of a three day Staycation Alternative Spring Break. We loved working in the Long Island community and are looking forward to working at the INN tomorrow and the Animal Shelter on Friday. Read more this week from our student participants about their experience!

Enjoying the moment of sun and our day of building at Habitat Nassau County!


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