Getting Into the Outdoors by Getting Out of Their Comfort Zone

This spring, as many were packing bags for a week of partying at the beach, more than 130 college students were packing their bags for a different kind of vacation – an Alternative Break.  In response to the growing interest in altruist alternatives to the traditional spring break, American Hiking’s Alternative Break Program offers college students outdoor service opportunities in parks and forests across the country.  Hailing from 9 different colleges, student groups traveled to four states to help park managers maintain and beautify their trails and facilities in advance of the busy summer season of visitors. For many participants, the Alternative Break experience presents rewarding work and the opportunity to grow through new outdoor challenges and situations.  A student ... Read more

Summer of Service

With rising temperatures, leaves in full green splendor, and built up energy from a winter spent indoors, summer is an amazing time to get outdoors and enjoy the trail.  While your first idea might be to head to the beach or relax around the neighborhood pool, we encourage you to consider spending time this summer doing something that will have a lasting, positive impact- on your spirit and on the environment. During American Hiking Society's "Summer of Service", we are offering numerous week-long trail stewardship vacations that combine outdoor adventure with rewarding environmental conservation projects that contribute to the sustainability of our nation's trails.  The tan of a beach vacation will fade, but the satisfaction of a week spent in the ... Read more

Spring into a Service Adventure

There’s no better way to create your own sunshine and chase those winter blues away than on a Volunteer Vacation this Spring. Get out in nature, enjoy campfire camaraderie, make new friends, and give back to the trails you love as you celebrate the season. Here are just a few of the exciting opportunities volunteers can experience on one of the featured spring Volunteer Vacations: SLEEP in a newly constructed yurt (with electricity and heat) at Sweetwater Creek State Park (GA) EXPERIENCE the quirky charm of Texas hill-country at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge (TX) CHALLENGE yourself on a backcountry adventure in Los Padres National Forest.  Volunteers will be treated to a day trip to Santa Cruz Island with the possibility ... Read more

An Altruistic Alternative for Spring Break

September 29, 2016 – A leader in volunteer tourism, American Hiking Society is inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards and offering millennials impactful, adventure-filled volunteer opportunities for their next spring break. Their just-released 2017 Alternative Break trip schedule is chock-full of service vacations geared specifically towards college student groups and young professionals interested in giving back to the environment. Tailored to accommodate novice trail maintainers, these volun-tour trips combine day hiking, trail conservation, camaraderie, and nature exploration within a week’s time. In addition to providing colleges and universities with an alternative to the traditional spring break beach retreats, Alternative Break provides vital volunteer assistance to land managers as they ready their parks and trails for busy visitor seasons. “Alternative ... Read more

Spring Break on the Trail

Many think of spring break as a deserved respite from hard work- a week to relax, take a vacation, or catch up on errands and school work.  This is not the mindset of the dedicated trail stewards that spent their spring break giving back to trails and public lands through American Hiking Society’s Alternative Break program.  This spring, 150 college-aged students and young professionals dedicated their spring break to assist park managers with vital trail maintenance and building projects- backlogged work that most likely would not be completed without the aid of these spring breakers. Hailing from 11 different colleges and universities, and AmeriCorps, volunteers pledged to forego the traditional “party mentality” often associated with spring break and instead adopted ... Read more

Day-in-the-Life of an Alternative Breaker

Until she helped lug a truckload of 4-by-8s down a disused riding trail, Jenni Herrick never realized just how far 0.2 miles can be. Herrick, GWC’s assistant dean of students and director of the Office of Student Success, recently accompanied a group of six students on a weeklong alternative spring break to Virginia’s James River State Park (JRSP). There, she and the students helped build a new (wooden) stairway to a dramatic, previously inaccessible river overlook and renovated the long-overgrown — and deceptively short — equestrian path that leads to it. Even with temperatures in the mid-’70s, clear skies and no mosquitoes, the job was anything but a walk in the park. “We did a lot of raking, dug up a lot ... Read more

Host an Alternative Break Crew

Land managers, volunteer coordinators, trail and park organizations…we want to send you hardworking and dedicated  college students to help build, maintain, and restore your trails, through American Hiking Society’s Alternative Break Program. As students head back to their respective colleges and universities in the upcoming months, many of them will begin planning their winter, spring, and summer break trips for 2016! Many students will choose to spend their break giving back on an Alternative Break- stewardship trips for college students that emphasize giving back to charitable organizations. WHAT: Our alternative breaks are similar to our Volunteer Vacations in that they are trail building and maintenance projects organized by American Hiking Society and hosted by land managers and nonprofit partner groups across ... Read more
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