Students packed their bags for the weekend as they prepared for one of CLU’s service trips to Catalina Island.
From Nov. 9 to Nov. 11, California Lutheran University’s Community Service Center took 12 students on a service trip to work alongside the Catalina Conservancy on the Catalina Island Eco Marathon.
During the Eco Marathon on Saturday, Nov. 10, CLU students worked a water and spirit tent. The Eco Marathon is held every year in the town of Avalon on Catalina Island. Known for it’s breathtaking scenery, the marathon brings participants in contact with 26.2 miles of beautiful Catalina scenery and trails.
The Community Service Center has worked with the Catalina Conservancy for the past four years. Two years have been spent working on the Eco Marathon and two years have been spent working with species on the island.
Last year’s trip took place in the spring, but the trip is usually during fall break.
The trip was so popular amongst students that sign ups filled up in 12 minutes this year.
The trip was led by Karen Schomaker, coordinator of community service at CLU, and religion professor Rahuldeep Gill also accompanied the students. Sign ups started at noon on Nov. 1. Schomaker said everyone had an equal opportunity to get a spot, and once those spots were filled, students were placed on a waitlist in case there were last-minute cancellations.
Registration was only available online on the CSC’s website. The cost of the trip was $50. The rest of the costs were covered by the CSC and Outdoor Recreation. This year two students from the waitlist had the opportunity to go on the trip.
“I always tell students that if you don’t make it to the main list to sign up on the waitlist, because this year we had two students from the waitlist that are going on the trip,” said Schomaker.
Students explored Avalon on Friday night, had a campout dinner on Saturday night and went ocean kayaking on Sunday.
Lauren Witman, a sophomore and CSC intern who went on the service trip, expressed her excitement about attending.
“I have never been to Catalina, so I’m very excited to see and learn about the area, as well as go ocean kayaking,” said Witman. “I also love service opportunities and this is a great opportunity to take a mid-semester break to do a little service.”
Although Witman did not know any other participants going on the trip, she was optimistic about meeting new people, participating in activities and being able to help others.
Steve Santos, also a CSC intern, went on the Catalina service trip last year.
“There was a lot of Catalina Island that I learned about that I had never known before, because I had only been there once before when I was about 10 years old,” said Santos. “I never knew anything about the beaches, the history of the island, or the animal life that exists in the back of the island.”
This service trip provided an opportunity for students to get to know one another and explore and learn about what Catalina Island has to offer. It was a time for students to be able to appreciate nature, get to know other people and give back to those who need it.
Published Nov. 14, 2012