Grand Canyon hosts Alternative Break Citizenship school
47 college students pay a visit to the park
GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - On July 10, 47 college students, from 17 states around the country, descended on Grand Canyon National Park to learn the art of facilitating an alternative break experience. They will be attending an Alternative Break Citizenship School (ABCs). These "schools" are the signature leadership training sessions of Break Away: The Alternative Break Connection, Inc. (Break Away), a national non-profit organization that supports the development of quality alternative break programs that inspire active lifelong citizenship. The ABCs have been offered since 1993 and combine interactive workshops and activities with an intensive 6-day alternative break experience.
While at the Grand Canyon, the future alternative break leaders will provide up to 800 volunteer hours to the park, learn how their project will benefit the park and its resources and experience for themselves the personal rewards of participating in an alternative break experience. At the same time, workshop sessions and discussion will address such planning issues as site selection and development, diversity, recruitment, finances and fundraising, liability, team building, conflict resolution, and facilitation and leadership skills. All of this is intended to prepare the participants to lead their own alternative breaks during the 2010/2011 school year.
This ABC focuses on restoration and conservation in national parks. It is anticipated that these 47 future leaders will provide alternative break opportunities around the county that are related to the environment; and that they will impact the lives of up to 1,000 students in the coming year.
According to Grand Canyon National Park Volunteer Coordinator Todd Nelson, "Volunteers are an integral part of Grand Canyon National Park and the National Park Service. Respectively, volunteers contributed 63,051 hours to Grand Canyon and 5,923,324 hours to the National Park Service in fiscal year 2009. Hopefully, from this training a number of student leaders involved in Break Away will choose a National Park Service area for their 'break' to experience some of their public lands and, perhaps some of them will become future stewards of these public lands."
For additional information on this event, please contact, Volunteer Coordinator Todd Nelson at (928) 638-7307. For more on Break Away and their ABCs, please visit http://alternativebreaks.org/About_Break_Away.asp. To learn more about visiting Grand Canyon National Park, visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/grca.
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