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My First Service Trip

Madeline Polino - November 21, 2016

Going on a service trip was bittersweet at first - I wanted to go, but I didn’t actually want to go. I was new to service, in a new environment, with people I barely knew. But by the end of the trip, I knew exactly why I had gone and exactly why I wanted to go again. It was a different environment, doing something I had never done before. 

The trip had changed the way I looked at just about everything. I grew up in a pretty comfortable environment with a loving family and I had met people who only had one of those things or none at all. A big aspect of my life is home and family and some of the people we had met at the shelter had no home and had no family. I noticed that I wanted to give that environment to people, whether it be just giving them someone to talk to or a comfortable place to sleep at night. 

After the trip and being able to sit down and think about all the things I had done, I had come to the conclusion that I wanted to go again and I wanted to do more. Wanting to lead and needing to lead a service trip were two different things, because I wanted to do it because it was different but I needed to do it to prove to myself that I could do more and to continue my experience. As a pretty fundamental person, being on this side of the trip is fun, working to find ways to bring the team together and make the experience as enjoyable as possible rather than sitting back and just enjoying the ride. 

Thanks to Jay and Kerry for giving me the chance to lead but also thank you to Kyle and Derrick and the rest of the Alternative Spring Trip 2016 team for making my first experience so enlightening. You guys have all taught me what it means to serve and what it means to give myself to others in your own unique ways.