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 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.
The BOT Initiative is organized by the Center for Learning in Action and the Chaplains’ Office, with additional guidance from representatives from the Offices of Student Life and the Dean of the College, and from College Council.
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 Friday, September 14, 2018. Staff advisers will be available to discuss your proposals and answer your questions prior to submission. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you need help with any aspect of the proposal. 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 15, 2018. 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 and the Gaudino Fund. These grants never cover 100% of the cost of a BOT – but they’re a start!
Depending on the nature of the proposed project, a particular trip may also qualify for funding from an academic department. Trips that include faculty or staff as participants, as well as students, may also qualify for funding from the Committee on Undergraduate Life.
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.
- Trip is feasible, safe, and financially responsible.
- Participants will 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.
For 2019 trips, the tentative timetable for Break Out Trip preparation is as follows:
Deadline to Renew Returning Trips
Sunday, August 5, 2018
Acknowledgement of Trip Renewal
Friday, August 24, 2018
Purple Key Fair
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Towne Field House, 8-10pm
Opening of Trip Proposal Process
Friday, September 14, 2018
Information Sessions for Prospective Trip Leaders
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Schapiro 141, 8:00pm-9:00pm
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Schapiro 141, 5:00-6:00pm
Closing of Trip Proposal Process
Monday, October 15, 2018
Proposal Acceptance Notification
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Required Meeting for Leaders
- Interested participants are encouraged to attend!
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Dodd Dining Hall, 5:30pm
Participant Application Opens
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Individual Trip Q&A Sessions for Prospective Participants
October 29 - November 1, 2018
Various (See Schedule), 7-10pm
Participant Application Closes
Sunday, November 11, 2018
Participant Acceptance Notification
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Deadline to Enroll in Selected Trip
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Welcome Dinner for All Trip Leaders & Participants
Sunday, December 2, 2018
Dodd House, 5:30-7:30pm
Fundraising Plan Submission Deadline
Sunday, December 9, 2018
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 9, 2018
Project Work Plan, Updated On-Site Work Schedule & Fundraising Status Report Submission Deadline
Friday, January 11, 2019
Dinner/Mixer for All Trip Leaders & Participants
Thursday, February 7, 2019
Saturday, February 9, 2019
Trip Leaders Dinner
Thursday, February 28, 2019
March 16 - 31, 2019
- RSVP for Debriefing Dinners
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Dodd Living Room, 6:30-8pm
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Perry Living Room, 6:30-8pm
Host & Participant Evaluation Deadline
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Trip Leader Final Report Deadline
Tuesday, April 16, 2019