We will be working with our local nonprofit community partners throughout the spring and summer to develop our trips. When you register, we will have you rank your interest in the type of trip you would like to take. Please read through last year's trip descriptions; we will likely be running similar trips this year.
The Chenango Canal Association oversees the Chenango Trails project as well as the preservation of the canal, surrounding waters and land, while maintaining it as both an historic and public recreation site. The Trails project is an ongoing effort to create well- groomed walking and biking trails that will link numerous communities in Chenango, Madison and Oneida counties. On Sunday of trip week all of the groups work together on clean-up projects along the canal, directed by members of the Canal Association.
Johnson Park used to be the roughest spot in the Cornhill section of Utica, but thanks to the work of the Johnson Park Center, it's now a thriving place of positive change, with a youth mentoring and tutoring program, transitional housing for homeless families, job-training and placement for women including ex-offenders. The group helped with various programs including the food pantry, recreational and educational activities with kids, and neighborhood improvement projects.
Along Eagle Street in Utica, within two or three blocks of each other, are several human service agencies: Hope House, a free meal program for the homeless and hungry, Health Friends, making prescription drugs available for low-income families, New Horizons, a shelter for teenage girls who are on their own, Abraham House, a facility for hospice care for terminally ill, and Emmaus House, a homeless shelter for women and their children. Last year, the group focused most of their work on Hope House and Emmaus House, helping out with various projects on their wish lists and of course, preparing and serving lots of meals.
The Kirkland Art Center, in Clinton, offers educational arts programming and performances for all ages throughout the year, including summer and vacation programs for children. The Center is also an important hub of community activity, sponsoring book sales on the village green, a 5K run, drop-in art events, and the like. During their two and a half days of service, the OA group worked on renovation projects, cleaning up after some recent flooding, painting the children's art room, and helping to prep the space for the many fall events.
This group worked with a small population of refugee children and was jointly sponsored by the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees and Grace Episcopal Church in Utica. The two student leaders and participants ran a "day camp" for elementary and middle school aged kids, planning all of the activities (crafts, kickball, music, etc.) at two sites - one day at the church and the second day at the church's off-site recreational facility. In addition, an evening of practicing conversation with adult refugees at the MVRCR was included.
This trip traveled to the Asgaard Farm and Dairy in Ausable Forks, NY, to assist with farm upkeep, feed and tend to the farm's variety of animals, package cheeses and other farm products, work in the fields, and help with the harvest at a neighboring vegetable farm. In addition, the group also had time for a great hike! This trip was an AA/OA "crossover trip" - the group worked mostly outdoors, camped and cooked outside (rather than inside a church or community center), and hiked.