UREC staff alternative spring break recap

UREC student staff travels for 14th year in a row to serve in the Bahamas


 
image: /_images/recreation/articles/urecasbbahamas.jpg
UREC Staff with Uriah McPhee Students

For the 14th straight year, a group of UREC employees have dedicated their Spring Break to continuing a long-standing global community service partnership. 

In March 2017, 13 UREC undergraduate employees (along with 3 professional and graduate staff, and 4 non-UREC employees) continued the tradition of UREC staff traveling to Nassau, Bahamas, to the Uriah McPhee Primary School to volunteer working with Bahamian school students pre-school through 6th grade, providing physical education, and service at the Adventure Learning Center.

Nora Osei, a UREC Graduate Assistant and one of the trip leaders, shares her experience on this trip:

"The group stayed at the Adventure Learning Camp (ALC). The ALC houses local church groups, organizations, and mission teams coming from abroad to serve the Bahamian people. They also have an Adventure Learning Center down the street which has farm animals for local Bahamian students to take field trips to for their science classes. Earlier this year, the Bahamas was hit by Hurricane Matthew. The hurricane did a lot of damage to the whole island of New Providence, and people are still trying to recover from it. The stone wall and fence which protected the Adventure Learning Center was damaged, so time was dedicated that week for the UREC group to help repaint it.

Uriah McPhee Primary School's Motto is: People Need People. They truly understand the importance of community. Every morning before school, the UREC group would come about 30 minutes early to hang out and play with the kids before class. Normally for their PE class once a week, the kids just run laps around their school because their classes are very big and it's easier for one PE teacher to facilitate that. This week is special. For the past 14 years, these students look forward to JMU students coming to facilitate P.E. games and activities for different grade levels. The kids remember the names of the JMU students from last year, and by the end of the week, they had all 20 of our names memorized. The kids were sad to see the UREC group leave, but it's rewarding to know the UREC staff will return and hold a special place in their hearts, just as they have in ours.

Throughout the week, the group became very close. We laughed from 6am during morning yoga, to 11:30pm in the cabins giggling for hours over the silliest things. Friendships were created and strengthen during the airplane rides, when we took turns cooking scrumptious meals for each other such as 18 boxes of macaroni and cheese, cleaning, riding the bus, riding the jitney, at the beach, during our 8 mile hike round trip to a beautiful secluded lagoon, holding a snake at a national park, and allowing ourselves to open up our hearts and grow from each other during reflection each night. The sense of community, compassion, support, and care that we experience throughout the week was immense. The amount of smiles, bear hugs, deep-hearty laughs, tears of joy, excitement, passion, and hope was overwhelming. Pictures and videos cannot fully capture all the love that was shared and felt. The impact this trip has had on the group and the children at Uriah McPhee is profound. Thank you for this unforgettable experience."

UREC looks forward to continuing this tradition in 2018 for the 15th anniversary trip!

UREC Homepage / Facebook / Twitter

Published: Sunday, March 19, 2017

Last Updated: Friday, April 14, 2017

Back to Top