Want to pet a pony? Meet with K9 Officers? Spend your morning at the Humane Society and an evening with therapy dogs? Want to discuss the power of animal characters like Clifford, Garfield, Wishbone, and Nemo to teach us lessons? Understand more about how animal welfare relates to poverty? Ask questions about the responsibilities of a community to animals and the benefits of working with animals for a community?
That’s what I’m going to be doing August 6th-11th on my 7 Generations Pre-Orientation Trip. 7 Generations trips started 2 years ago, and I’m so proud to help continue the tradition of these week long service trips offered to incoming students. I’ve loved a lot of my job requirements, but planning this trip has definitely been the most fun because I’ve gotten to come up with all new ideas and basically figure out the best ways to cuddle with and better understand animals in our community—works for me!
While these trips weren’t around when I was an incoming freshman, I was lucky enough to serve as one of the student co-leaders two years ago on a trip that addressed urban farming in Lynchburg. Even as a leader, that week served as a great growth and learning experience for me about our issue, other William and Mary students, and developing my own sense of purpose and active citizenship. We closed that year’s trip with a story-telling event, and here I am sharing my story about asking the “wrong” questions that were actually just right.
So if you’re an incoming student (or you know one), I would encourage you to check out the 7 Generations website and register by June 29th. Oh, and I should mention, there are three trips for Summer 2012—Exploring the Human-Animal Connection, Diminishing Hunger in Virginia, and Assessing Access to Housing & Healthcare. I plan to have a pretty fantastic week this August 6th-11th, and I would love for you to join me—and perhaps help me create an even more awkward 7 Generations trip photo than this one from two years ago.
I’m pretty sure we’re trying to act out moving the mound of clay to build a new floor in the green house, but this might also just be our interpretation of struggling to understand complex issues of social justice