APPLES Service-Learning Alternative Breaks student leaders will plan 14 programs during the University’s fall, winter and spring breaks throughout the year. To do that, these students – working in pairs – must exemplify good organization, communication and management skills to coordinate logistics, develop relationships with community partners and serve as peer leaders for the participants. But their success ultimately depends not on their individual characteristics but on their ability to work together.
This trust and accountability was first put to the test – tens of feet in the air.
The leadership team set the tone for the semester with an afternoon at the Carolina Outdoor Education Center, where partner pairs participated in a tree course and high ropes elements. The experience finished with a ride down the tandem zip line.
“The challenge course is a great bonding experience for trip leaders to experience together and provides a unique setting for APPLES organizers to learn about and from each other,” said alternative fall break co-chair Rani Reddy ’15, a public policy and philosophy, politics and economics major.
By using encouraging messages and problem solving to handle course obstacles, student leaders laid the groundwork for their roles during the academic year. If any participants were nervous, they didn’t show it – with the team’s support, all leaders completed at least one challenge course activity.
“Conquering the ropes course really allowed me get to know the other APPLES trip leaders better in a fun setting,” said alternative spring break leader Olivia Perry ’15, a history and public policy major. “I’m sure that we can now conquer anything together!”
APPLES Alternative Breaks leaders are selected in the spring for the following academic year. Participation is open to all undergraduate students. To learn more about APPLES Alternative Breaks, visit APPLES online.