Alternative Reading Week

Student Life & Community Experience

Alternative Reading Week

South Carolina

Participants on this trip will be travelling to the Southern US to build a house with Habitat for Humanity.  The exact city will be announced in October 2013 (in the past this trip has been to sunny Sumter, South Carolina)!  Our team will be focusing on building houses for the week in an area with a rich history in building Habitat homes over the past years.  We will be taking a coach bus for the week and will also have the opportunity to see the area we are working/staying through a couple of social evenings out.



  • 35 in total, including:
  • 2-3 Group Leaders (assisting the professional leaders, these can be students with service experience, faculty or staff)
  • 2 Professional Leaders


 Service Projects:

Our week will consist of beginning the construction of a brand new home!  This will primarily include framing (building the structure of the house including the main floor and walls), nailing, using power tools, etc.  No construction experience required!*  During our time building, we will most likely be working alongside the future homeowners, which adds a very personal touch to the experience.

 *Since no experience is required, these skills will be taught on-site and safety procedures outlined.


Community Partner:

Habitat for Humanity believes that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live.  They are a nonprofit ecumenical Christian ministry but build with people in need regardless of race or religion and welcome volunteers of all backgrounds.  Whenever possible, sustainable and energy-efficient houses are built.  Around the world nearly 2 million people live in slum housing and 100 million are homeless. 

Check out Habitat for Humanity on-line:



This trip is $600 Canadian per person.  A down payment of $300 toward the cost of this trip is due at the time of your brief interview, which you will be contacted to schedule once your application has been submitted. A successful short interview and the submission of your down payment will confirm your spot on the trip.  Please come to your interview with your down payment, which can be paid by cash or cheque.  Please make all cheques payable to Brock University and note your name and student ID in the memo line.  Please also note that steel-toed work boots are required while on the build site.  Participants must have these by the time of the trip.


Medical Precautions:

It is recommended that all participants have an up-to-date Tetanus vaccine.  Any medical related needs are the responsibility of the participant and not included in the cost of the experience.  We highliy recommend all participants to visit their family doctor or Student Health Services on campus to discuss this travel.


Accommodations & Meals:

Our team will be staying at a local church or other arranged volunteer housing site where we will sleep and cook breakfast and dinner together (lunchs and some dinners are provided by our hosts and/or Habitat).  Showers will happen after our day of building at public facility or may be included at our housing site.  We may also go out once during the week to experience local cuisine, which will be at the cost of each participant and not included in the cost of the experience.


If you have any additional questions about this experience, please feel free to contact Sandy Howe at or at x4126.


Applications are now available! 

These will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. This trip will be open to the entire Brock community.

Participant Expectations:

  • Available to fully participate in all pre-departure meetings including: "Meet the Team" Social - week of November 24, 2013 and the Pre-Departure Workshop Day - Saturday, January 18, 2014 (approx. 9am-4pm).
  • Available to fully participate in the Re-Entry Workshop on Sunday, March 2, 2014 (approx. 2pm-5pm).
  • Available to fully participate for the duration of the trip: Saturday, February 17 - Sunday, February 23, 2014.
  • Submission of a $300 non-refundable down payment (cheque or cash only) at the time of your brief interview, which you will be contacted to schedule once your application has been submitted. Please come to your interview with your down payment.*

*Please make all cheques payable to Brock University and include your name and student ID in the memo line.  The down payment can be dropped off to Sandy Howe in the Learning Commons, Room 226 during business hours.

  • Submission of all remaining trip fees by 12:00pm (noon) on Friday, January 10, 2014.

Note: If a participant withdraws from the program and a waitlisted applicant is able to participate, the withdrawn participant will be refunded their fees less the $300 down payment.  After January 10, 2014, all fees are considered non-refundable.

  • Responsible for ensuring valid travel insurance and health insurance is in place for the duration of the trip experience. 
  • Responsible for following all safety related guidelines outlined by the Professional Leader(s), Group Leaders and partnering organizations.
  • Responsible for securing a valid passport and/or VISA.
  • Understanding that this is a substance free experience (no drugs or alcohol may be consumed during the experience or purchased to bring back into Canada).
  • Understanding that this program is facilitated through Brock University and as such, the Code of Conduct for Brock students extends to cover all behaviour during the trip experience.

 Apply now to participate!


Group Leader Information:

Each trip can only be a success with the help of those willing to step up into a leadership role!  Group Leaders will be chosen who complete the application below (any applicants applying to be a Group Leader, will also be considered for general participant spot on the trip in the event that we have more applications for Group Leaders than we have spots available).

Additional Expectations of Group Leaders (in addition to the expectations of a participant outlined above):

  • Participation in Group Leader meetings leading up to the trip, as well as one meeting upon return
  • Assistance in facilitating the Pre-Departure Workshop Day leading ice breakers, etc.
  • Organization of a trip team social activity (optional for participants) in advance on the trip
  • Assistance in facilitating the Re-Entry Workshop
  • Assistance in gathering photos/media during and after the trip and with the creation of display boards for volunteer appreciation event
  • Assistance in facilitating reflection activities during the trip
  • Willingness to assist the Professional Leaders with tasks during the trip as necessary

For taking on this extra responsibility, Group Leaders will receive $100 off the cost of their trip.  Applicants for Group Leader positions may be contacted for an interview.  Group Leaders who are not selected for the Group Leader role will automatically be considered for a spot as a general participant.

Apply now to be a Group Leader!