"ABE opens your heart to communities of people who will show you both the beauty and vulnerability of humanity." -2013 Participant
Alternative Break Experience (ABE) programs exist to teach, practice, enhance and embed the charisma and mission elements of the College of Saint Benedict. ABE trips commit to:
- Raising awareness of social issues and injustices, such as poverty, racism, and environmental issues
- Encouraging reflection and questioning about the role of social structures in the perpetuation of poverty, injustice, etc.
- Moving from an awareness of social issues to an integration of justice and service into everyday lives
- Encouraging a polycentric world view which recognizes and values diversity of culture and perspective
- Encouraging shared leadership and individual leadership in the spirit of service.
- Integrating spirituality into the fabric of the experience
- Approaching the trips as a partnership with the people at the site and not simply charity on our part
- Fostering a sense of respect and community among the participants themselves, as well as with the people at the sites
- Providing an opportunity for students to have a fun and safe break, while challenging them to go beyond their comfort zones
Qualities and Characteristics of ABE Co-Leaders
- Openness and concern for the participants
- Willingness to be a co-learner with the participants
- Willingness to give guidance and direction and accept responsibility while encouraging student and group leadership when possible
- Honesty and respectfulness toward the participants and the site community
- Ability to deal with problems and conflicts constructively
- Concern for issues of justice
- Openness to diverse perspectives and faith stances
- Patience. You may not get all information as quickly as you like but you will receive all necessary information before departure. More information in Frequently Asked Questions
Responsibilities/Duties as a Co-Leader
- Attend participant information meetings and co-leader trainings
- Interview applicants expressing interest in trip
- Select group members
- Become acquainted with the assigned site and related issues
- Coordinate trip itinerary/logistics/fundraising
- Coordinate specific activities with your site contact person
- Gather group together at least once per month before departure to prepare for trip and build a sense of community
- Attend to ongoing needs and issues as they arise, before, during, or immediately after trip (conflict resolution, group dynamics, required paperwork, etc)
- Respond to emergency situations with students
- Pick-up and return rental vans in a timely and responsible manner
- Integrate the two components of spirituality/prayer & reflection into the experience
- Orientate the participants with ABE's Philosophy of Service and prepare them to lead reflection
- Cooperate and maintain contact with the ABE staff
- Meet all deadlines as outlined by ABE staff (financial, paperwork, etc)
- Handle the financial paperwork/budget/money for group (fundraising, balance expense sheets, receipts, etc)
- Be an informed resource person for your group
- Recognize any assumptions/expectations you have for the trip and work to reduce and eliminate them in order to be open to every experience while on your ABE. Assist participants with this as well.
Wish to apply?
Fill out the Co-Leader Application online!
Please note: $100 due with acceptance of a Co-Leader position!
*All applications are due September 15th, 2014 at 4 p.m.
Contact ABE if you want have any questions related to being a Co-Leader or would like help in your discernment process at firstname.lastname@example.org