Every Canton Trip ‘Unique’ Due to People Involved

Madeline Jaloszynski, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Over spring break, 19 students and five chaperones rented four mini-vans to head down to Canton, Mississippi, to serve others.

Senior Owen Martzke describes this trip as a unique experience every year. Even though they travel the same route, stay in the same gym in Canton and do the same activities,  it is still very unique because of the people.

This year was Martzke’s second year going on the trip. He really liked having prior knowledge before going again. He built a connection with the community last year and was grateful to continue strengthening that bond.

Martzke personally enjoyed the car ride down.  It is split up into two days so it is not overwhelming for the drivers but it goes by very fast. Martzke rode shotgun in Mr. Kriegl’s van. They had a lot of good times talking and listening to some great music (which Owen created himself on Spotify). They also had a delicious lunch at the Blytheville, Arkansas, Zaxby’s which is unique to the South.

“My favorite part was definitely pulling off the highway outside of Canton and rolling down the windows, jamming to music on the ride into town. Seeing Canton again and waving to people on the side of the road and knowing how much we were about to accomplish in the next three days was truly amazing,” said Martzke.

The first day they were there they worked on a lady’s trailer. They patched gaping holes in the floor, built a deck off the back door, tiled the kitchen floor, fixed a window and stained cabinets. The whole group worked there the first day, but it was rainy and in a small space so most of the projects were only half done.

The second day a group of six including Martzke went back to that trailer and accomplished the second half of the previously mentioned projects. The rest of the group worked at another house.

On the third day the entire group worked in the community garden which was actually created by NDA about nine years ago. They laid down gravel, soil and manure while also fixing up some of the rotting beds and preparing others for planting.

“It was very muddy that day, but we worked hard, and it was my favorite day of work,” the senior added.

Martzke really felt that he grew personally in just a few days. He described the trip as “very humbling and the perfect opportunity to step back and forget about all of my responsibilities back in Green Bay in order to focus on the work at hand.”

“The trip puts things in perspective and allows me to become a better person by focusing on the work I do for others. Visiting and working with the people from Canton like John and Karen is such an amazing experience, and it really shows us what is important in life,” Martzke said.

Overall, Martzke would without a doubt go back to Canton if he had the opportunity. He had nothing but good things to say about the trip. Martzke is very grateful that he was able to go both years in a row because that typically does not happen.

His biggest reason for wanting to go back was because he built a relationship with John and Karen as well as Mr. Kriegl.

“They are amazing people and without them none of this would happen. This service trip has been my favorite memory of high school,” he said.

Senior Claire Edgar agreed, saying, “I really enjoyed bonding with other students and people I wouldn’t normally see or have in my classes. Also it was fulfilling to spend my spring break helping people and using my time off for the greater good. It was a great spring break with a purpose!”