International Service Trips
Prospective on a global scale
International travel is another exceptional aspect of the Chrysalis difference, and it’s been part of our program since our inception in 1998. This kind of exposure, including the public service component we incorporate, can shift a girl’s understanding of the world and be life-changing. Often, just meeting someone from another culture who is happy with so very little has an incredible impact. Students begin to better understand that they are meaningful in the universe, not the center of the universe.
Cultural immersion, education, adventure and service: these are the building blocks of our international travel experience. We have hiked the ancient trails of Machu Picchu, seen priceless works of art, visited mysterious sites of ancient and vanished cultures, built gardens at an orphanage, participated on coral reef restoration, and shuttled baby sea turtles to their ocean home in Mexico. On these trips, students tend to find themselves completely open to self-discovery and universal truths. We are never the same when we return.
Chrysalis offers these extraordinary experiences in international travel twice a year. One international trip is included with enrollment. (Students can participate in a second annual trip at an additional cost, as space allows.) Adventure, service and travel like this are often the highlights of a girl’s experience at Chrysalis. Global exploration can shape an adolescent’s future, educating in ways that would never be possible in any classroom. We also invite parents to join when possible!
Self-worth is the greatest thing you get through giving
We all feel good when we’re doing something that matters – about the good we’re doing, about the people we do it for, and about ourselves.
Students often begin a service experience wondering why they would want to do something difficult for someone else. There’s no promise that the recipients would ever do something for them in return. During the process, slowly but surely, students begin to understand that even though the project is for someone else, there is also reward to those who give.
After local or international service projects, our hearts are full. Nothing else compares, and nothing can diminish the sense of honor, blessing and accomplishment that comes from doing something wonderfully important for someone else. The experience lives on in our hearts forever.
No action is too small when the outcome is so great.
The process is a collective one, from modest gestures like delivering food and clothing, cleaning, painting, collecting trash and gardening, to major efforts like creating fresh water and sanitation systems, building schools, caring for orphans and teaching younger students.
As part of each student's phase work, they are to plan and execute a service project of her own.
We track every student’s service hours so they can reference the hours on job and college applications (often 50-100+ hours).
Service opportunities have included activities at a local nursing home and an animal shelter, raking leaves, stacking wood for families in town and writing letters to military soldiers.
A group of students serves at the Special Olympics in Whitefish, Montana, each year.
On our annual week-long campus-wide trip to Glacier National Park each July, we work on trails with the National Park Service, hike, and camp.
Our adventure program also has a focus on service, by stewarding the resources we use so extensively. We take two international trips each year that focus on local service.
There is truth in the notion that happiest are those who give of themselves.
Treatment at Chrysalis tends to be focused on the individual, as it should be. Yet we think it’s imperative to teach our students to be focused on others as well, and empower them to give of themselves. Teaching our students the importance of community involvement helps them develop into responsible, caring, confident and happy individuals.