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Spring break trip in jeopardy

Members of Hamline’s chapter of STLF prepare for their next upcoming adventure.

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Every year, Hamline’s chapter of Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF) takes a spring break trip to do community service. Last year, the group went to Charleston, South Carolina. This year, the group is preparing to go to Birmingham, Alabama.

 

Sophomore Alayna Baggenstoss, Finance and Fundraising Chair and Regional Core Chair for Hamline’s STLF chapter, says that the group will be gardening this year on their trip.

 

“In Birmingham, we will be volunteering at the Birmingham Botanical Garden. There will be a high school chapter joining us. It’s gonna be great,” Baggenstoss said.

 

However, Baggenstoss says that this year the group may need to alter their plans if not enough Hamline students sign up.

 

“If we don’t get enough people, we’re gonna have a shortened trip. We are considering our options, but we still want to do something over spring break. If we don’t get enough people to fill the bus, we will have to switch our celebration city to somewhere else,” she said.

 

Baggenstoss says that “celebration city” is the term that they use for the city that the group arrives in, and that on the first night, they all celebrate the fact that they made it there.

 

In the past, STLF has not had to worry about not having enough students to fill a bus because they merged with other schools. Last year, they merged with STLF students from Madison.

 

Baggenstoss says that this conflict  is because of the timing of Hamline’s spring break this year. As of Mar. 4, there are 19 Hamline students signed up and they need 30 to fill a bus.

 

Senior Kyra Engen, who is involved with Marketing and Recruitment and on the governing board for STLF, says that there is the possibility that they might not be able to go on a trip at all.

 

“There is no set plan yet if we do not get enough people. Either we try to plan a similar trip in a different way or we don’t go on a trip at all.”

 

The possibility of moving cities means that the group would be doing different work than they were anticipating. Engen says that the work done on the trip always caters to the community that they are working in.

 

“An average day on the trip is service in the morning, tourism (if there is any), then travel to the next city. I know for sure we will be doing service in an arboretum, cleaning community centers, prepping a community garden for the planting season and more. This always varies depending on what the specific community needs,” Engen said.

 

Both Baggenstoss and Engen agree that STLF is a very worthwhile program. Baggenstoss says that she enjoys helping strangers.

 

“Personally, I love going and helping these people at our service projects,” Baggenstoss said. “I love knowing that I’m helping people that I don’t know. I’m given the opportunity to help strangers. It’s an experience unlike any other that I’ve had before.”

 

Engen says that being involved with STLF has made her more confident.

 

“STLF is extremely important to me,” Engen said. “I went on two high school trips and it truly changed my life. STLF gave me the confidence I wear on a daily basis. I also learned what I want to do with my life, working in nonprofit, from going on these trips. You get the chance to meet new people and see the country and give back to others.”

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Spring break trip in jeopardy