Student Voices Heard, Student Stories Told.
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Photo by M. Brady

The First Baptist youth group poses on their benches.

Trip of a Lifetime

First Baptist youth spend their spring break helping others.

Spring break can be a time of recreation, vacations, and rest, but as a group of volunteers from First Baptist Spartanburg showed, it can also be a time to help others and learn new skills. The group’s trip to Pineville, KY. Involved them working on various tasks such as collaborating on a service project, performing short plays, and playing with kids.  

One major aspect of the trip was holding a bible club to teach children about Christianity. Bible club included kids as young as preschoolers and was held at a local church in the area. It started with playing games such as throwing a frisbee with the kids outside, before coming inside to do activities. These activities included singing, making crafts, having a snack, and splitting into separate groups according to age. The leaders of the groups worked together to make a lesson for the kids to enjoy such as a funny skit. After the bible club finished, the volunteers went to dinner to finish their day. 

Riley Maguire (10) and Amelia Joyner (11) building park benches for their service project. (Photo by D. Mattison)

Riley Maguire (10) found working with the preschoolers during bible study to be enjoyable since she did not have to try to be serious around them. Maguire immediately became very close with a young girl that lost her mother at a young age and played games with her frequently to make her feel safe and happy. This mission trip taught Maguire a lot about helping others and working hard, she loved doing a project that helped benefit those in need.  

“I definitely learned a lot about love and selflessness. I had such a fun time building the picnic benches especially since it was with people that I really enjoyed being around and made everything fun. it was also really fulfilling to be able to see the finished products at the end of the week and be able to be like ‘I did that!’,” said Maguire. “It’s just really fulfilling to be able to do something for kids who don’t have the best home situation, even if it’s just for a week, because these kids remember you and this one week out of every year have a lasting impact on them, as well as us.” 

Each morning until noon, the volunteers split into different groups to complete a service projects. These service projects included painting a church, building picnic benches and cleaning up buildings.  

Amelia Joyner (11) loved being part of the mission trip and met new people that changed her life forever. 

“Dinner was the best part of the day for me because I was able to spend time bonding with my group off campus and outside of working on a project. The trip was a great experience and I’m grateful for all of the new friendships that were formed,” Joyner said. 

As well as gaining experience and getting to meet new people, Cole Hogan (10) loved service projects such as building benches in the community that helped teach him a valuable lesson about making beautiful things with his own two hands. 

“My service project for the trip was building picnic tables with my friends. I really enjoyed this and thought that it was a great experience,” Hogan said.

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