Berkshire Break Out Trip (B-BOT): Community Outreach & Service

“I think that experience/work is a vital component of learning because work is where learning gets ‘fulfilled.’ I don’t think that I fully ‘learn’ what I learn in the classroom until I challenge myself to ‘work/experience’ it in the real world.”

Destination: Berkshire County, MA

Trip Organizer: Joyce Lee ’17 ([email protected])

The Experience

In the local Community Outreach and Service Break Out Trip, participants volunteered with a range of local organizations in the Berkshires, including Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, Berkshire Food Project, the Friendship Center Food Pantry and the Louison House transitional housing shelter. Williams students on this trip also spent a full day at Lanesborough Elementary School, creating and facilitating science activities for 1st and 6th graders, and reading to kindergarten children. Through engagement with these local outreach programs, students became part of the greater goal of establishing lasting and ongoing relationships with community members all across the Berkshires. Along with the community service aspects of their time together, participants also had dinner and an evening activity together each night to facilitate group bonding.

Participant Quotes

  • “Doing volunteer service work really helped me feel more connected to the community here in the Berkshires. I was able to relive some of my favorite experiences in high school.”
  • “I was able to connect further with the community that normally wouldn’t have existed simply staying on the Williams campus.
  • “There are so many ongoing community services than I expected. The purposes of those projects reflect the life quality of people in the community. As a student who always has food to eat and place to stay, I did not realize there are people in the community who do not live the same convenient life.”