Break Out Trips

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.


  • 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 is 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
    11:59pm

    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
    11:59pm

    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

    • 2019 Participant Application Form

    Sunday, October 28, 2018

    Individual Trip Q&A Sessions for Prospective Participants

    October 29 - November 2, 2018
    TBD, 7-10pm

    Participant Application Closes

    Sunday, November 11, 2018
    11:59pm

    Participant Acceptance Notification

    Tuesday, November 20, 2018

    Deadline to Enroll in Selected Trip

    Wednesday, November 28, 2018
    5:00pm

    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
    Tentative

    Group Fundraiser

    Saturday, February 9, 2019
    Tentative

    Trip Leaders Dinner

    Thursday, February 28, 2019
    Tentative

    Spring Break

    March 16 - 31, 2019

    Debriefing Sessions

    • 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