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

“I think the experience of learning by doing rather than by reading books or listening to professors explain is something that I could not do in a classroom. It was also inspiring to talk to people who are passionate about the work that they do for others, and see the love that they have for the community.”

Destination: Berkshire County

Trip Organizers: Oliver Yang ’20 ([email protected]) & Haelynn Gim ’19 ([email protected])

The Experience

In this Community Outreach and Service Break Out Trip, students volunteered in groups at local organizations in Berkshire County. They participated in multiple projects, including cleaning at ROOTS Teen Center and Louison House transitional housing shelter, painting at the North Adams YMCA, and tutoring elementary students at Mohawk Forest. Students also spent a full day engaged in a variety of activities at Lanesborough Elementary School, and worked a great deal with food as they baked challah bread and cookies at Take & Eat, prepared and distributed meals at the Berkshire Food Project, and taught about food security to children within the community. These meals allowed for bonding with their peers and members of the community as they gathered and shared about themselves. Participants spent five days truly connecting with the Berkshires as they learned about the area surrounding Williams, bonded with community members and volunteered at organizations that serve as pillars of the community.

Participant Quotes

  • “Experience and work are some of the best ways to learn in a hands-on manner. The work we did is not textbook learning but was valuable and a learning experience in a totally different way. I learned more about the Berkshires, about how to work with others, about my fellow tripmates, etc.”
  • “This felt like learning through the experience of doing something with other people, which is something I could not get by reading books or hearing people talk in a classroom.”
  • “I think that a lot of learning can happen through this volunteer work. I definitely learned new things and practiced skills and made connections.”