What is a Break Out Trip (BOT)?
Break Out Trips (BOTs) are College-sponsored ventures in which students (and sometimes, faculty and staff) provide hours of voluntary service through short-term intense work projects conducted over part of the College’s spring break. BOTs offer opportunities for students to participate in ethical volunteer experiences that are transformative both for them and for their host agencies/communities by immersing themselves in carefully planned projects in close collaboration with their hosts. We guide student leaders and those who advise them according to the Principles of Ethical and Effective Service and the Key Elements of Effective Experiential Pedagogy.
The BOTs Initiative is organized by the Center for Learning in Action, with additional guidance and support from the Chaplains’ Office, Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, Davis Center, Office of Student Life, Dean of the College, and College Council.
The 2020 Break Out Trips have been announced, and the Participant Application Form is now open! The application deadline is Sunday, November 10th at 11:59pm. Please see the latest timeline for 2020 Break Out Trips below.
New for 2019-2020!
Thanks to the generosity of President Maud Mandel and Senior Staff, we are able to pilot some changes this year that will increase equity:
- Because of additional funding allocated to the program on a pilot basis, there will be no group fundraising requirement.
- Individual participant contributions will be capped: $200 for domestic trips and $400 for international ones.
- We have been given permission to adjust participants' required contribution according to financial aid level. With this increased financial support, some participants' required contributions could be as little as $50 or even lower, depending on the particulars of a given trip.
If you are interested in participating in a future trip, or have a new idea for a trip, please take our general interest survey so we can help match you to Break Out Trip opportunities:
More information about past trips may be found here:
How can I propose a BOT?
Complete the BOT Proposal Form beginning Wednesday, September 25, 2019. It is strongly recommended that students review the Break Out Trips 2019-20 Planning Manual (hard copies are also available in the CLiA office), and consult either a Break Out Trip Committee member or other knowledgeable staff or faculty advisor prior to submitting a trip proposal. If you need assistance in obtaining an advisor, or if you need help with any aspect of the proposal, please email [email protected]. Note: The Project Description is particularly important. Be sure to explain what the project is and why it’s important.
The deadline for proposing a 2019 BOT was Monday, October 14, 2019. Proposals are required for both new trips and to repeat a previous year’s trip. Members of the BOT Committee are eager to help you develop and refine your plan – and to help you find funding.
How do I figure out how much the BOT I want to propose will cost?
Use the Budget Calculator to break down the various costs for the whole trip – food, lodging, transportation, materials and supplies, etc., – and to calculate the cost for each individual participant.
Where can I look for funding for a BOT?
Submitting a BOT Proposal Form automatically qualifies you for consideration for a grant from a funding pool that includes funds from the Center for Learning in Action, the Chaplains' Office, the Gaudino Fund and other resources. These grants cover most of the cost of a BOT, less a required individual contribution on a sliding scale based upon a student's level of financial aid.
Note that all BOT proposals include the expectation that every individual participant, regardless of his/her financial means, will contribute some of his/her own funds to the cost. The amount of this contribution is worked out in consultation with the BOT Committee, but all students who apply to participate should plan on saving for their trip between late October (the participants' application opening) and spring break.
How are BOT proposals approved?
Proposals will be examined by the Break Out Trip Committee (made up of staff and students) and must meet basic criteria in order to qualify for funding. Proposals may be given tentative or conditional approval, and students may be asked to revise some aspect of the proposal in order to receive support. Student organizers may meet with members of the BOT Committee during the revision process.
Proposals are reviewed based on the following criteria:
- Clear articulation of the social justice theme(s) of the proposed itinerary and activities
- Trip is well-thought out and well-planned, with specific sites and hosts determined.
- Trip is feasible, safe, and financially responsible. Additional priority will be given to lower-cost (especially local/regional) trips and domestic (U.S.) trips.
- Participants have connections to on-site local organizations, individuals or trip service providers who are well-equipped to host the trip.
- Students proposing trips have some knowledge of the destination and of the project. Prior experience with organizing an alternative break or similar project is a plus.
- Where applicable, students proposing trips have foreign language ability and experience in the host culture or region.
- Additional priority may be given to trips with a dedicated faculty or staff advisor.
For 2020 trips, the tentative timetable for Break Out Trip preparation is as follows:
Deadline to Notify of Intent to Repeat 2019 Trips
Sunday, September 1, 2019
Purple Key Fair
Thursday, September 5, 2019
Towne Field House, 8-10pm
Information Sessions for Prospective Trip Leaders
Sunday, September 22, 2019
Paresky 220, 5:00-6:00pm
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Paresky 220, 8:00pm-9:00pm
Opening of Trip Proposal Process
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Closing of Trip Proposal Process
Monday, October 14, 2019
Proposal Acceptance Notification
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Required Meeting for Leaders
- Interested participants are encouraged to attend!
Sunday, October 27, 2019
Dodd Dining Room, 5:30pm
Participant Application Opens
Monday, October 28, 2019
Individual Trip Q&A Sessions for Prospective Participants
October 29 & October 31, 2019
Various (See Schedule), 7-10pm
Participant Application Closes
Sunday, November 10, 2019
Participant Acceptance Notification
Sunday, November 24, 2019
Deadline to Enroll in Selected Trip
Monday, December 2, 2019
Welcome Dinner for All Trip Leaders & Participants
Thursday, December 5, 2019
Dodd Dining Hall, 5:00-7:00pm
Detailed/Updated Budget Submission Deadline
Sunday, December 15, 2019
Travel Itinerary & Travel Data Form Submission Deadline
- Participant Travel Data Form (for trips with air travel)
- Participant Health & Emergency Information Form (for trips without air travel)
Sunday, December 15, 2019
Project Work Plan, Updated On-Site Work Schedule & Budget Status Report Submission Deadline
Friday, January 10, 2020
Dinner & Workshops for All Trip Leaders & Participants
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Trip Leaders Dinner
Thursday, February 27, 2020
March 21 - April 5, 2020
- RSVP for Debriefing Dinners
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Thursday, April 9, 2020
Host & Participant Evaluation Deadline
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Trip Leader Final Report Deadline
Sunday, April 26, 2020