Canton Service Trip: ‘Memorable’ Spring Break for 20 Tritons

Delaney Butterfield, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Every year during spring break a group of 20 juniors and seniors travel down to Canton, Mississippi, for a week-long service trip. The students coordinate with the organization MadCAAP, which organizes what projects they will accomplish on the trip.

The first two days were spent traveling in a minivan down to Mississippi. On Tuesday night, the group finally reached their destination and Wednesday they started working.

The students were split into two groups the first day, one working on a house and the other going to a local Walmart to hold a food drive.

“In about three and a half hours we had collected 238 bags of groceries. Then we went over to MadCAAP headquarters in Canton to sort the food,” said Keeli Otto, a senior who went on the trip.

MadCAAP has a food pantry and a clothing store inside their building. The food pantry serves over 90 families each week and the clothing store allows families to come in once a month and get clothes for no charge.

The participants then met back up to have dinner at the Baptist church where they were staying.

“They also invited us to go to their praise and worship group for teens. It was really interesting to see how other faiths practice their beliefs in comparison to that of the Catholic Church,” said Otto.

The next days were spent doing various projects at the house, garden, MadCAAP headquarters and Walmart. At the house, students helped put walls up, hung gutters and dug trenches. At the garden a better irrigation system was put in. And at the Walmart, another food drive was held.

All the participants agreed that this was one of the best experiences they have ever had. While it may not be a glamorous spring break spent at a resort, it was certainly memorable.

“The community there was extremely welcoming and happy to have us,” said Otto.

The 20 participants included Keeli Otto, Gabby Otto, Stephanie Staed, Macey Vandenmeerendonk, Ingrid Hirte, Susan Rose, Lizzy Smith, Sammy DeGroot, Elisabeth Lasecki, Heather Ruby, Chelsea Chrudimski, Maria Keenan, Kelly Hogan, Kelley Gardipee, Brian Hansford, Nick Robinson, Sam Conard, Tian Zhangchi, Kari Healy and Anna Patterson.

Campus minister Daniel Kriegl coordinates the annual event, now in its 19th year.