A different kind of Spring break cruise

Cruise vacations are a popular option for Spring breakers looking for a good time. Major cruise line ships fill fast with party-going students, often at a premium price. It’s the stuff high school and college memories are made of to be sure. This year, a different kind of student-focused sailing will make for some different memories.

Last year, students on Ocean Classroom Foundation’s Harvey Gamage sailed to Hispaniola. There, they built a house in just one week, from foundation to roof, for a poverty-stricken family. Their effort resulted in lots of good stuff. Two of the families children had been sharing a mattress placed on a dirt floor each night before they went to bed. One of the children had been living elsewhere for lack of resources and space. When the students left, that family had a good roof over their heads and those students came away with a life-changing experience.

“This type of service immersion is an invaluable experience on many levels,” said Alyson Graham, Ocean Classroom’s educational director.

In February, 17 high school students from seven US states will begin a similar voyage in the Caribbean that will sail through Spring break and end in the land of “I made a difference” in May. Called “SEAmester Spring 2012” the immersive voyage departs from St.Thomas on February 24Th arriving in New England May 5Th.

Sailings are being planned for Summer and Fall too. See Ocean Classroom Foundation for more information.

The Ocean Classroom Foundation is is a nonprofit organization committed to sending students and their teachers to sea on voyages in which the traditions, values and adventure of maritime life provide a unique context for education.

Photo: Ocean Classroom Foundation