Activities may include serving in a meal program for the homeless, working on a Habitat for Humanity construction project, helping with a summer program for local refugee children, or performing environmental service work. Most OA groups stay together in a community center or church “camping inside” in the area where they are volunteering.
Do you enjoy the outdoors but also want to volunteer? Our Adirondacks Outreach trip will stay at the beautiful Oswegatchie Educational Center in the southern Adirondacks, along with several Exploration Adventure trips. Projects will be a mix of indoor work at Lewis County non-profits, such as the food pantry and the ARC, and outdoor work at the center as they prepare for their fall season. This is a great opportunity to meet other orientation groups, do a mix of volunteer work, and have some time for light hiking, canoeing, or other outdoor activities.
Best Buddies at Pathfinder
Pathfinder Village is a residential community in Edmeston, NY (45 minutes from Hamilton) that creates a enriching environment for individuals with Down syndrome. On the Best Buddies at Pathfinder Village trip, we had the opportunity to work, play, sing, and dance alongside Pathfinder's residents, joining in them in activities like outdoor carnival games, Zumba, making and riding Strider Bikes, a live concert, a beach-themed "coffee house" party, and much more. Pathfinder continues to be a special place for our group as all of us have gone back to visit and further build on the connections we have made since our trip.
Upstate New York is home to many farms that aim to provide fresh, healthy food to their community. On this trip we have the opportunity to lighten the load for the farmers who work so hard to practice sustainable and earth-healthy techniques. In past years we have worked to restore Hamilton College's 1812 garden, which contains plants commonly utilized for medicinal practices in the 1800s, Down Dog Farm, a farm that provides community farm shares and focuses on improving a persons wellbeing (including yoga!), Maris Farms, which works to provide vegetables and flowers to veterans and their families, and Cross Island Farm, which works to create an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable farm, including an "Edible Forest". This trip visits the Adirondacks and the Thousand Islands and camps in state parks.
Lifting Up Libraries!
Get to know our local libraries, from small towns to the largest in downtown Utica. Help run various programs for kids, re-organize, refurbish, and get them prepared for a fall of reading with our neighbors in surrounding communities. You'll also have an opportunity to visit with area librarians, enjoy ice cream out with other local OA trips, and maybe do a bit of reading! This trip will "camp" indoors at a local church or community center.
Home to around 14,000 refugees from all over the world, Utica gained its reputation as the 'town that loves refugees.' Hamilton's close proximity to Utica allows us to actively volunteer in the local refugee community. Our activities include tutoring at BOCES, visiting the Bosnian Islamic Association and attending a naturalization ceremony. Indoor camping takes place in an area community center or church.
Service Smorgasbord is an OA trip that has something for everyone. The trip runs out of Utica, and includes doing direct service in the city. The trip also ventures out of Utica for more service at local farms, assisted living facilities, and last year we went to Upstate Cerebral Palsy. Overall the trip exposes new first years to all the different kinds of service that Hamilton facilitates, and the many options and experiences that are accessible to them in the surrounding community.
Serving the Environment
Students will perform environmental service work in the beautiful Adirondacks while learning about its history and visiting one of the Great Camps. Tasks may include trail-building, landscaping, outdoor clean-up, painting, and the like. Short, low-level hikes will be included. Outdoor camping.
Trip participants will work with Utica youth (elementary to middle school) who are part of the area's large refugee community, creating day-camp type activities (crafts, music, sports) on one of the days at an area church, and then accompanying the kids to the church’s beautiful retreat center on the second day. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees and participate in a conversation class with adult refugees from Myanmar, Somalia, and other parts of the world. Indoor camping in an area community center or church.