Alternative Spring Break 2013

March 23rd to April 1st

Students build a house during Alternative Spring Break.

Spend your break giving back!

Have you considered using your Spring Break to become a more civically engaged person? Spend your time helping others, whether it's on your own or in a group. Utilize the list below to find your dream Spring Break, whether it's working to rebuild a home in Louisiana, working to protect the Everglades, New Jersey, helping to preserve the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, or something else entirely.

*NO LONGER AVAILABLE DUE TO LACK OF HOUSING ACCOMMODATIONS* Alternative Spring Break for Sandy Relief - New York City, NY

Unfortunately, the SUNY Alternative Spring Break trip to NYC for Sandy Relief through Binghamton University will not take place as planned due to the lack of adequate housing and meal accommodations for our students. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience, as we know it may disrupt your plans for the break. If you are an international student who has experienced difficulties in securing break housing due to this change, please contact us immediately at

However, it is still possible to volunteer for Sandy Relief and help New York families recover from the devastation that continues to disrupt lives. If you are able to secure your own housing, transportation and meals while in the NYC metro area, we urge you to contact Maggie Bernhard at New York Cares to schedule a service project over spring break:

Operation Northern Comfort - Locations in Central New York

Cost: $0

If you want to volunteer over break, but just have a weekend consider Operation Southern Comfort's partner organization Operation Northern Comfort. Operation Northern Comfort is a non-profit organization committed to serving the needs of communities in Central New York. For more information on how to become a Weekend Warrior visit:

Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge - Locations across the US

Cost: $0 - $500 contribution fee

Through Collegiate Challenge, groups of five or more can travel to one of over 200 community Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout the United States and spend one week helping to eliminate poverty housing in the area. Collegiate Challenge will give you a chance to improve skills you already have, connect with others, and make a difference. No building skills needed. For more information visit:

Student Conservation Association - Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida and Santa Monica Mountains, California

Cost: $25 for SCA application fee

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is the conservation corps of America. Each year, the SCA organizes alternative spring break opportunities for students interested in the protection and restoration of the national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks, and community green spaces in every state. In 2012, the SCA offered two alternative spring breaks in the Florida Everglades and Joshua Tree National Park. Information about this year's alternative spring break options can be found on their website:

United Way National Alternative Spring Break - Newark, NJ

Cost: $50 registration free, raise $300 in donations

The United Way has been offering alternative spring break options for students for more than seven years. United Way and Professional Service firm Deloitte have collaborated to help almost 2,500 students trade their spring break for service in communities all across the United States. Together, they have amassed more than 77,000 hours of community service. This year, United Way will be offering an alternative spring break option in Newark, NJ. The trip will give students the opportunity to work in a variety of educational settings helping to close the achievement gap for the children of Newark, NJ. Volunteers will work directly with kids and have the opportunity provide much needed physical improvements to local community facilities. For more information visit the United Way's Alternative Spring Break page:

Operation Southern Comfort - Locations in Louisiana and Mississippi

Cost: $325 participation fee

Operation Southern Comfort (OSC) is a volunteer organization based in Central New York that focuses on rebuilding hope and homes for people in the Katrina/Rita hurricane devastated areas of Louisiana and Mississippi. OSC works through churches and other community agencies to find families in need and help them get back on their feet.

To date, OSC has led over 2000 people on a total of 39 week-long trips. In the past, these OSC trips have involved volunteers in mucking out houses, beginning the rebuilding process (including electrical work, installing sheetrock, and roofing), and many other rebuilding tasks. No building skills needed. To learn more about how to get involved with Operation Southern Comfort, visit their website at

Outdoor Pursuits Alternative Spring Break trip to Wilderness Road State Park - Ewing, VA

Cost: $350, includes transportation, equipment, lodging and entrance fees, most meals and specialized instruction

Stewardship of our public lands, a spirit of camaraderie, visiting new
places, adventure and hard work – that's what this spring break trip
promises for those looking to give back to our nations trails. Your group will
be hosted by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
You travel and work as a trail crew of 10-14 people. No experience is
necessary, just a willingness to do your fair share, take pride in your work
and be part of a team effort. Expect to do manual physical labor removing
fence along the Wilderness Road Trail and general trail maintenance.
Daily hiking will be part of our work and free time. Each day there will be
opportunities to explore nearby destinations: Cumberland Gap National
Historical Park, White Rocks, Sand Cave, Natural Tunnel State Park and the
Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum among other choices. You will share
in cooking meals and living together dormitory style in an 1879 historic
mansion. The dates for the trip are Saturday march 23rd to Sunday, March 31st. 

Must register in the Outdoor Pursuits office, EG-10 by Monday,
March 5th. Two mandatory group meetings precede our departure, one of
which will be a day of team building at an off-campus ropes course. These Pre-trip meetings are on Friday, March 8th from 4-6 PM and Thursday, March 21st, from 2:30-5:30 PM.

For more details stop by the Outdoor Pursuits office in the lower level of the Rec Center at the East Gym or email:

Habitat for Humanity Spring Collegiate Challenge Alternative Spring Break Trip - Georgetown, SC

Cost: $400-450, includes travel, accommodations, activities, and most meals

Join BU Habitat for Humanity as they travel down to their affiliate Habitat for Humanity site in Georgetown, South Carolina during Spring Break! Spend the week with them building houses, having fun, and creating friendships along the way! To sign up, attend the upcoming Habitat for Humanity Spring Break meetings. See their Facebook page or Email Joe Garrant at for more information on the Spring Break trip and how to get involved with HFH!


Earthwatch Institute - Locations in North America, Central America, South America, Australia, Asia, Europe, South Pacific, Arctic

Cost: $475 - $5,625 contribution fee

The Earthwatch Institute has been organizing volunteer opportunities and projects aimed at bringing people together to work for the good of the earth since 1971. The Institute coordinates programs and projects year-round in locations all around the world. For more information on how to get involved with an Earthwatch Institute expedition over your 2013 spring break by visiting:


Disclaimer:  We cannot verify the authenticity of all of our posted opportunities- make sure you thoroughly investigate the provider and details of each break before committing to anything.

Last Updated: 7/30/15